Me snorkeling while floating face down on my tube
It’s hard to believe today with the temperature currently hovering in the low 50s, but it was warm enough this past week, that we got to go snorkeling for the first time this season! Okay, so we had on wetsuits and decided to float atop our partially inflated tubes to keep part of us warmer, but hey . . . whatever works and keeps me warmer, while allowing me to play in the water! We saw numerous varieties of fish, and I was thrilled to see several large Hornyhead Chub minnows working on nests! These fish are amazing not only in appearance, but also because they actually carry rocks bigger than their heads at times, upstream to make large nests.
The chubs aren’t the only colorful fish in the stream, the Warpaint Shiner, as pictured below are one of my favorites too! They look as if they’ve been painted, hence their namesake, and are usually quite friendly.
There are several darter species found in our Tennessee streams, including this little beauty shown below, called a Redline Darter. They’re a bit more shy, but if you can stay in place for a minute or two, they’ll peak at you from behind or underneath rocks and come out for a short visit.
So here’s what I look like as I’m trying to hold myself in place with in a strong current, while using my GoPro attached to an extendable monopod, to carefully try and film all the different fish. The current in many places is very strong, and it seems like the biggest concentration of fish is usually at the base of whitewater areas, so it’s quite tricky to stay in place and almost impossible to hold the camera still. It’s great fun though and I love exploring every nook and cranny to see what I can discover!
There are so many varieties of minnows and darters, which we’re trying to learn, and another favorite of mine are these gorgeous Tennessee Shiners which turn bright red during breeding season. Their beautiful bright colors remind me of snorkeling in the Florida Keys!
I think the bright red colorations of the Tennessee Shiners pair so nicely against the backdrop of the green water!
We also found two different Mottled Sculpins, which are stunning fish as well! They were in stronger current areas, so it was harder for me to hold the camera still enough to get a really clear photo of them. Nonetheless, you can still see how truly amazing they are!
As promised, here’s my latest video for you to enjoy! Travel along with us as we go camping, kayaking, hiking and exploring!
See our miniatures in person this week
Opens June 1st 2021 at the beautiful The Elliott Museum located in Stuart, FL
“Still Life With Granny’s Pheasant II” (One of over 60 miniatures you’ll see in our touring exhibition)
We still have paintings available through these miniature shows listed, so visit their websites linked below to see what can still be yours!
Masterpieces in Miniature
May 2021: Picture This Gallery, Alberta, Canada
30th International Miniature Art Show
May 1-31, 2021: Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC (We were the judges for the show this year)
The Art of the Miniature XXIX
May 2 – June 13, 2021: The Snow Goose Gallery, Bethlehem, PA
To see our available miniature paintings, visit our website, artofwildlife.com
Would you like to commission us? If so, contact us by Email
Until Next Time ~ Rachelle