Fluffy Flowers and Scrumptious Fruit

praying mantis photo

P.M. is her name and karate chopping is her game!

Upon walking out on the front porch a couple of days ago, I noticed we had a visitor walking up the sidewalk. It was one of our resident praying mantis named P.M., and I sat watching her for awhile as she slowly walked along with her arms outstretched in the karate position, whilst looking for prey. They are insects with BIG attitudes, so I love photographing them from this angle, and I’m pretty sure that if she could see how BIG and intimidating she looks, she would certainly approve of her portrait!  

With continuing to pack and getting ready for our upcoming closings on both houses this week and moving, and with several of my family members currently very sick with the virus, stress is a big part of daily life anymore. This past Friday morning we decided to take a break and go kayaking for awhile, so we packed a lunch, backed the van out of the garage, and loaded the kayaks. We excitedly jumped into the van and Wes turned the key to crank it, and “click”. He tried it again, and “click”. We both knew right away what is was, since we’ve had to have the starter replaced on our 23-year old van once before. 


The water was SO clear and beautiful!

Wes called AAA, and within an hour or so the tow truck was here. Since our van was parked around back, we were most thankful he was able to get it started by banging on the starter itself, while Wes tried to crank it. The van roared to life and we left it idling while Wes spent the next 15 to 20 minutes calling garages until he finally found one that could fix the van that afternoon. So while Wes spent most of the day at the garage waiting on the van, I continued to pack. 

Since we didn’t get to go kayaking Friday, we went this morning instead, and I must say we thoroughly enjoyed our break from all the current stresses. We paddled back to a favorite lunch spot, where we climbed out onto the pebble covered bank and sat there in somewhat of a daze while eating our sandwiches.  

rachelle siegrist

LOL 🙂 I’m not sure what Im doing here . . . Maybe the chicken dance!

It was very relaxing, as spending time by the water usually is, sitting there eating and looking around us for unusual or pretty rocks, placing them all onto a larger rock situated there between us. Of course afterwards, I just had to wade in the frigid water for awhile, but did it most carefully, as I fell down 3 weeks ago, landing on my left knee right smack on a rock. Needless to say it’s taking a very long time to heal and has added yet another ingredient to our stress cocktail.

nature photo

Isn’t this colorful with the piece of smooth blue glass

There were several beautiful flower bushes blooming along the bank, as we paddled along, and I especially loved this fluffy collection of blossoms or either spent flowers! Whichever they are, they were lovely.

nature photo flowers

Do you know what this is? If so please let me know in a comment 🙂

Right before we ate our picnic lunch, Wes came upon a wild grape vine laden with what appeared to be muscadines, so he picked a big handful and we ate them with our sandwich. They were very yummy, but the pawpaw fruit he picked and we ate later was absolutely delicious! Neither one of us had ever had it before, and it tastes very much like a dessert custard. I call it a “mountain mango” and wish we had a grove of pawpaw trees now, so we could enjoy lots of their scrumptious fruit!

If all goes well, this time next week we should be in our “new to us” house, and most likely won’t have our satellite internet up and going yet, so there probably won’t be a blog. But as soon as I can, I’ll be sharing photos of the new place with you and what projects we’ve started. 

pawpaw fruit


See our miniatures in person this week

Society of Animal Artists Art That Matters to the Planet Show
August 14 – October 25, 2021:The Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Jamestown, NY

Society of Animal Artists Animal Impressions Show
August 21 – November 7, 2021: The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ

Exquisite Miniatures is currently at the beautiful Elliott Museum located in Stuart, FL 

We are delighted to have our history-making tour on display in this beautiful museum! So if you’re in, or are going to be in the area, plan a visit to see over 60 of our miniature paintings in person, grab a magnifying glass and experience the “wow factor!” And if you fall in love with one . . . well, it can be yours forever, as all paintings in the exhibition are available.

To see our available miniature paintings, visit our WEBSITE hereartofwildlife.com

Contact us by EMAIL here: siegrist@artofwildlife.com

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle

4 thoughts on “Fluffy Flowers and Scrumptious Fruit


    We will be thinking of you on the 15th as you start the next chapter of your lives. So sorry
    to hear of your family ill with covid – hope it isn’t your folks. We were in Townsend the end
    of August and were saddened by how much things have changed since the pandemic. We
    likely will not return as it was our last year in the timeshare (it’s closing) and we’re too old
    to drive up any more. Look forward to the return of your blogs! Paula

    1. Thank you Paula!
      We are very excited about this next adventurous chapter in our lives and will start sharing it on my blog as soon as possible.
      It’s my brother and his entire family, and my sister and brother-in-law that have covid. It’s very sad and scary, especially for my brother who had a kidney transplant and is in the hospital fighting to keep his kidney working. All prayers for him are greatly appreciated.
      Yes, Townsend is a very different place than when we moved here 20 years ago. We will cherish our memories made with you both!!
      Hugs 🤗

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