Wow . . . What Is That?

bird planet

Okay . . . Let’s have a bit of fun . . . So what do you see when you look at the photo above? It’s kind of hard to tell for sure isn’t it? Well, to me it looks like a planet and a new one at that! I call it planet “Bird”. For you see it’s actually a flock of sandhill cranes and ducks along the shoreline, and isn’t it just wild looking? My dad recently got new binoculars thru which he photographed a gator using his phone. Thinking that quite clever, I decided to try it through our spotting scope, which thankfully we finally remembered, when going to see the cranes for the last time this past week. Unfortunately because our iPhone has two lenses, I couldn’t quite line it up correctly through the scope, and this is what the photo turned out like. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but in other ways it looks really neat . . . I love it! Next time I’ll take my old iPhone that has only one lens and try it, just to see if it will work better.

sandhill cranes5

We were supposed to be meeting some good friends of ours there, but sadly they had a death in the family and couldn’t make it. Since we were en route when we learned of their sad news, we decided to go anyway, since this would be the last time we’d see the cranes this year, as they are already starting to return north. There weren’t near as many cranes as last time, but nonetheless, there was still a bunch of them! Occasionally a group would fly in joining the others, but most were quite busy with eating, preening and even bathing. With the spotting scope we could see them really well this time and it was amazing watching the one bathing and actually dipping completely beneath the surface of the water before popping back up and shaking its long wings. 

sandhill cranes3

There were nearly as many ducks as there were cranes, and every so often we’d hear one let out a resending “Quack… quack…quack…quack” sounding as if a hilarious joke had just been told by one of their feathered friends. Each time it happened, we couldn’t help busting out in laughter as well! Whilst watching the cranes and ducks, Wes spotted a larger bird swooping through, and Wes said it was a northern harrier. It was beautiful, and flew back and forth several times, before flying off and disappearing into the distance. 

northern harrier

It really took our experience to another level to be able to really see and watch the birds this time. Moreover, a small pond nearby was inhabited by spring peepers and they sang their glorious song of spring the entire time we were there! It was a treat indeed, and reminded me that spring is getting closer every day!

sandhill cranes4

This time we got to see several of the elegant cranes “dancing” while gracefully jumping up and down with long wings outstretched, and it was beautiful to behold! I was really hoping to get a nice photo of them performing their spring ballet, so I could paint it, however the distance was just too far for our camera to get a really greta shot of it. I greatly enjoyed just watching it though.

sandhill cranes8

I absolutely love how this pair below had their beaks perfectly lined up.

sandhill cranes2

Reluctantly saying goodbye to the cranes, we headed to a new area to do a bit of exploring, and found a short trail leading to this overlook offering a nice view of the Tennessee River. I love the complimentary colors at work, with the beautiful blue water paired against the warm colored sand and shoreline.

Tennessee River

Later on we found a great spot to sit and enjoy our picnic supper whilst listening to the relaxing sounds of the water lapping the shore and watching the sun dipping lower and lower into the evening sky. A large flock of seagulls soared round and round above us, adding even more beauty to the already lovely setting.

sunset on tennessee river

We’ve been continuing to work on projects here at our property as well this past week. We got two big piles of free mulch, compliments of the power company, and we’ve been using it to cover our new flower beds. The adorable little yellow trailer shown below, was left in the back woods by the previous owner. Although it looks rough, it’s still in pretty good shape, so we got two tires for it, to replace the dry rotted ones that were on it. It’s a 1952 military trailer and still has the star on the back, in a section where the yellow paint has flaked off. 

wes and rachelle siegrist

Queen of the mulch mountain… I win! The posted signs were already there, so we just left them 🙂

I named the trailer “Minion” after those adorable little cartoon critters that make me laugh so much, in the movie Despicable Me. We hitch Minion up to Titanic and she and her little friend are off and flying down the long gravel driveway, with Minion bumping up and down behind her and holding on for dear life! Once at the top of the drive by the road, it’s loaded and mounded over with mulch, and back down the driveway it goes! It’s made it so much easier to haul stuff like the mulch . . . and more fun too. Now all I have to do is find a little beeper that will sound like the fireman minion in the movie, that goes “Bee…doe…bee…doe…bee…doe” when Wes starts backing it up LOL 🙂



I finished my miniature painting on silk of a beautiful little Prothonotary Warbler this past week. I saw this gorgeous little bird whilst we were kayaking last spring. It was jumping about and searching for bugs in a tree overhanging the water and didn’t mind me being nearby by at all. I watched it for quite awhile and enjoyed the encounter so much that I decided to paint it.

prothonotary warbler painting by rachelle siegrist


Our touring exhibition EXQUISITE MINIATURES is now on display at the MUSE (Douglas Family Art Centre) in Kenora, ON, Canada. It will be on display there thru March 15, 2023. For more info,  visit their website The MUSE

Society of Animal Artists 62nd Annual Exhibition Tour 
On display thru April 2, 2023: The Ella Carothers Dunnegan Museum of Art, Bolivar, MO

38th Almost Miniatures Show at Francesca Anderson Fine Art, Portraits North,                                                               Lexington, MA, until February 25,

To see our available miniature paintings as well as some upcoming shows,

visit our WEB

SITE     Email us


Until Next Time ~ Rachelle


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