Merry Christmas 2021

charlie brown christmas tree

I hope you enjoyed a peace-filled Christmas. With all the craziness in the world anymore, I believe peace is one of the nicest gifts I could’ve wished for you this year. Wes and I enjoyed a peaceful one at home with a nice long walk in the woods and lunch on the back porch, whilst watching the birds. 

If you’ve been following my blog for the past few years, you’ll remember I almost always share a photo of my Charlie Brown Christmas tree with you. Well, this year I decided to add a fun twist to the tradition, and while I still have up my little interior Snoopy tree, I decided to borrow it’s blanket and ornament and headed out into the woods to find just the right little tree that needed a little extra love this Christmas. Since we have lots of little pines on our property, I must admit I had a very hard time choosing the right one, but finally found this wee little beauty. I carefully placed the red ornament on it and wrapped the tiny blue blanket around it, and upon seeing it, decided it was perfect! And you know what? . . . I do believe it stood up a little taller!

We’ve enjoyed several nice days this past week weather-wise, so we decided to build fires on a few of them. Of course it became the prime setting for enjoying lunch outside as well, and moreover, perfect for roasting a couple of marshmallows for a little dessert in the afternoons! We chose a location in the front yard to place our fire pit where we can sit and watch all the birds that now frequent our feeders!

campfire

And speaking of birds, this past week was a very exciting one for birdwatching! Whilst eating lunch one day, and looking out the window, we saw a Pileated Woodpecker fly up and land nearby on a sumac tree. Then it started tearing into the sumac berries, and was very much enjoying devouring them! 

Pileated Woodpecker

We had never seen a Pileated eat berries like that before, and excited to be watching that one, we couldn’t believe it when another one flew up, landing right beside the first and commenced eating the berries as well! Then they started spreading their wings and tail feathers, and hanging upside down and climbing up and down the limbs, as if they were dancing the tango! I’m not quite sure if it was a territorial dispute, mating ritual or perhaps a fight over the scrumptious berry supply, but whatever it was, I was thrilled to have been given a chance to watch such an amazing interaction of these two big, beautiful birds!

Pileated Woodpecker2

I know you’re gonna think I’m making this up, but then it got even better when a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker flew up and joined in on the berry buffet! 

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Another morning I looked out of our bedroom window and noticed several birds on the ground just outside, and instantly realized it was a flock of Slate-colored Juncos. They were picking at small seeds on the ground and peaceably went about this business of eating for quite some time, so I happily stood there watching them. 

Slate-colored Junco

A few minutes later I noticed a larger bird flew up, and saw that it was a Yellow-shafted Flicker, and it too was picking around and eating seeds on the ground. They are such strikingly beautiful birds to me with their interesting mix of patterns. 

Yellow-shafted Flicker2

I love how it looks like they’re sporting a handlebar mustache and a thick clump of black chest hair when they look straight at you!

nature blog, artist blog, yellow-shafted flicker, wildlife photo

 

Then of course there’s their lovely back feathers complete with a gorgeous bright red “handkerchief” on the back of their heads. What another delightful morning of bird watching right out of a window in our cabin!

yellow-shafted flicker, wildlife photo

Having finished putting the roof on the front porch, we started bringing down more rocks for our patio we’re building out back. We love going to the “rock store” as I call it, where there are a few big stacks of sandstones which were mined a long time ago and left, as they were considered the “B” rocks. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be able to go pick out any rock you like and know it’s free! The only catch is, we have to load them into the wheelbarrow and get them down the hill and carefully unload them where we’re going to use them. Some are absolutely gorgeous, but just too big for us to move, so Wes carefully managed to slowly chisel away and separate several of them, thus making them a more manageable size to handle. Once we get it finished I’ll share a step-by-step collection of photos with you. Another fun project was building a bench down by Sunken Creek. Wes chipped away until he got all of the bark removed form the cherry logs, then we buried them partly in the ground and attached an extra board we had to the top. It should last a very long time, and sure does create a wonderful place to sit and relax while watching and listening to the little creek. 

Wes and I want to wish you a blessed New Year filled with good health, much laughter, and peace!

nature photo

See our miniatures in person this week

Society of Animal Artists 2021 Exhibition
The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, located in Oradell, NJ, until January 16th, 2022

Society of Animal Artists The Kingdom Show
The Midland Center for the Arts, located in Midland, MI, until January 16th, 2022 

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 “Merry Christmas 2021

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