What Was That BIG Crash in the Woods?

amaryllis blossom

We have a flower blooming, and I can’t express how delighted I am to see the large, bright, peppermint striped petals! Wes overwintered it in the greenhouse and that way we get to enjoy its gorgeous blossoms a little early. We had it on the screened porch, but with the return of cold temperatures. . . Ugh. . . we moved it into the dining room. I can see it better there anyway. It was a house warming gift from our dear friend Diane, and the small, lone bulb came in the mail, complete with a pot, dirt and instructions on how to properly plant it. We had Amaryllis whilst living in Townsend, but had to leave them behind when we moved, so we were delighted to receive this one. We planted it and enjoyed one blossom last winter, then Wes repotted it in a larger pot and overwintered it in the greenhouse, and it has repaid us for our care with multiple large blossoms this year! Four buds have opened thus far, with four more yet to open! Plus it’s sprouting two new plants from the original, so Id’ say it must be pretty happy.

Peering out the living room window recently one morning, I saw what I thought was a lone turkey walking across the gravel driveway. Suddenly I noticed that there were two large, dark birds and upon looking through the binoculars I saw they were actually Canada geese. We have never had the geese in our yard before, so I quickly grabbed the camera and took a few photos of them off in the distance. As I watched, the pair slowly walked across the drive and headed down the trail on the other side, obviously having walked along the other path to get to the drive. They meandered along the trail through the woods and eventually made their way over to the neighbor’s yard. They continued walking towards the back, then suddenly took off, flying overhead and heading back in the direction of the pond on the other side, where I heard them splash down. I had to laugh as I thought they obviously just wanted to go for a leisurely stroll through the woods and perhaps do a little sight seeing. Nonetheless, we got to add Canada geese to our yard list.

canada geese

Upon editing the photo of them for the blog, I noticed that you can see mommy squirrel’s nesting cavity in the lower left corner, which I thought was pretty special. 

cute squirrel photo

Like so many of you, we have had some wild weather this winter! The most recent storm moving through our area this past week, brought torrential downpours and tropical storm force winds. The winds lasted all day long and into the night, so we stayed out of the woods that day and instead stood in the yard close to the cabin and watched the wind bending the trees in unison as if they were all in a yoga class together. I saw two dead trees go down and Wes happened to see a couple more later on. Right after supper that evening, we lost power, so for entertainment that night we sat on the couch and streamed YouTube on the laptop. We could hear the winds continuously howling away outside, sounding like a roaring ocean. At one point I heard a tremendous crash that seemed to jar the ground and house, and said “Oh no . . . that sounded like a big tree!” Well upon walking through the woods the next morning, we saw that it was a very big tree indeed and sadly one of the living oak trees, and furthermore, it fell directly over the walking trail.

wes siegrist

That’s a wee Wes in the middle to show the size comparison 

oak tree

Even though we have lots of trees, I must admit I felt as if I had lost a dear friend, as I love all of our trees and really hated to see a live one go down. It is what it is though and will make the critters happy in the future. Wes is finally feeling better after being quite sick with what he believes to be a sinus infection, so he has been working on cutting up the downed trees. We will be leaving most of this one after cutting a section out, so we can easily walk our trail once again.

I was thrilled to enjoy a couple of days of sunshine and milder temps this past week, filling me with the hope that I’ve nearly made it through winter. However, the cold returned and once again it’s gray and rainy outside, and the woods look like they’ve been swallowed up in fog. What is it with all the fog here this winter anyway? I don’t know, but like many of you, I am so ready for spring. 

oak tree fallen


I finished my wee painting of “Mommy Squirrel” peering out from the warmth and safety of her nesting hole in the tree. This was such a fun and sweet painting to do, and I so enjoyed painting her! The painting measures 11/2 inches and will be going to one of our miniature shows this spring. 

squirrel painting

In case you’ve ever wondered how to frame miniature artwork in one of these traditional style gold frames, I made a video showing the entire process step-by-step, and you can watch it below. Be sure to like and share if you enjoyed it and found it helpful. Visit our YouTube channel @rachelleandwes to see numerous other informative and fun videos. 


Society of Animal Artists Encounters with the Animal Kingdom Exhibition
February 22 – April 8, 2023: The Janice Mason Art Museum, Cadiz, KY

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

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

visit our WEBSITE  artofwildlife.com     Email us

Until Next Time ~ Rachelle


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