There’s a Bear in the Campsite

black bear cub

Wes and I went to visit our friends that were camping at a state park nearby and were greeted by a black bear cub in their campsite! If was an adorable little cub and was so friendly and graciously let me get a photo of it. Andrew and Joanne’s daughter Charlotte had been waiting for us to arrive so we could see her awesome bear mask and of course we absolutely loved it! While Wes sat with Andrew and Joanne by the campfire, I explored the nearby stream and took a short hike with Charlotte that lead us around an island. The island is accessible by foot only during the winter when the water levels are lower, and you can walk across the exposed sandbar. Amazingly whilst we were walking, a flock of sandhill cranes flew right over us, filling the air with their incredible sounds and exciting both of us!

rachelle siegrist

Wes and I both enjoyed a “first” that day! Our friends have electric scooters and an electric bike, and Charlotte was especially excited for me to ride the electric scooters with her. Having ridden skate boards whilst growing up, I figured it should come fairly easy to me, or at least I was hoping so . . . ha! It actually took a minute or two to determine how much pressure to put on the throttle to make it go without throwing myself off of it, as well as carefully testing the brake, so as not to throw myself over the front . . . LOL! Thankfully, I managed to get the hang of it quickly and we were off, zipping all around the different sections of the campground and I felt like a kid again, which is always a nice treat! 

wes siegrist

Wes decided to pass on trying the electric scooter and you can see from the above photo, that Charlotte is patiently waiting for him to catch up on the electric bike. We were both amazed at the power the electric bike had, even going up the many hills throughout the campground! It was also impressive how easily it peddled with the wee tires on it with no power boost, and decided it must have an amazing gear ratio. Moreover it was an incredibly smooth ride, so as you can tell, we were most impressed! I must say that was certainly the most fun I’ve ever had riding a bike uphill!


Even though they have paddle boards, they’ve never paddled kayaks, so we took both of our hard shell kayaks and our two inflatables, so they see which kind they liked best. While they liked different aspects of each, they liked the hard shells best. Charlotte really loved Wes’ blue kayak and took to it like she had been paddling all of her life! It was a fun day indeed, and when we tried to crank the van to come home, it wouldn’t start. Andrew jumped it off with an electric jumper, but on the way home our dials all died, then they’d come back up and die again. When the turn signals stopped working too, we started really thinking the alternator must be going out. The next day our neighbor came over and jumped the van for us and Wes drove it to a garage. After testing the battery and alternator which were both good, they spent several hours searching for what could be causing the problem. Just before closing they finally found the culprit, which was thankfully an easy fix, and Titanic is running like a champ once again.


I am delighted to share that the daffodils are starting to bloom!I have been waiting for the return of green, blooming things for months now and am so thankful that spring is getting so close! We have several volunteer daffodils that come up throughout the woods and add such a beautiful lemon-yellow splash of color to the still drab landscape. The Forsythia is in full splendor now as well, and I’m so thankful that it wasn’t bit back by extreme cold temps like it was last year.

forsythia blooming

Now, lets talk about something that has Wes and I both baffled and we’re hoping that perhaps one of you will have some insight on this matter. You see there are several big holes scattered throughout the bottom of a ravine section on our property. At times water runs through part of this underground world, but there are a few of the holes in which we never see water. The one shown below is one of them and it’s obvious that there’s a critter that lives in there, but we’ve never been able to see any footprints, not even in the snow. 


animal den

Now this big hole shown below, is about 10 feet from the other hole, and the mystery critter keeps pushing leaves into it and piling them up to close this one off. It’s obvious that they’re pushing the leaves from the same direction each time and has to be big enough to do so. But alas once again . . . no footprints to by found anywhere nearby.


Now, this hole is another 10 feet from the previous hole stuffed with leaves, and this morning during our walk, we noticed that the critter has pulled a green limb off of what appears to be a tulip tree down into the hole partway.  We’ve entertained the thoughts, of fox, skunk, groundhog, and possibly even squirrels, and are just not sure as to what it may be. A chipmunk is all we have witnessed go into any of the holes and they’re too small to push these piles of leaves. Maybe it will always remain a mystery, which I suppose is okay too. 

animal burrow



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

society of animal artists exhibition

My “Under Her Wings’ shown in the top left

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 WEBSITE     Email us

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle


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