Bats, Birds And A Special Visitor

Rachelle siegrist

After what feels like months of work, we took a couple of breaks this past week to just enjoy life for a while, and enjoy it I did! One day while running errands in town, we swung by Captain D’s and grabbed some delicious lunch to go and took it to a nearby park. What a nice park it was indeed and we found a great spot by the water to enjoy our picnic lunch. Afterwards we took a leisurely stroll around the mile hiking trail, stopping to admire a couple of beautiful flower gardens created by a local garden club, and to watch a flock of Mallards exhuberantly taking baths. It was such a nice break from the recent days spent working, and I felt like I was visiting and exploring a new location, which I guess I was! 

wes siegrist

Another day this past week, we enjoyed a visit from one of our dear collector friends whom we’ve known for many years and feels like family to us. Dr. Bob, as we call him, went out of his way to come visit us in “the boonies” as he calls it, and enjoy a spaghetti lunch on the front porch. It was a wonderful afternoon full of conversation and laughs, as we caught up on recent happenings. Since it’s been nearly two years since we’ve seen him, it was wonderful seeing his friendly face in person once again and was indeed a real treat for Wes and I. 

rachelle siegrist kayaking

Yesterday was lovely and so we decided to spend the afternoon kayaking at nearby Watts Bar Lake. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to “splash” my kayak back into the water again, with it being over a couple of months since we’d been on the water! Paddling at a new location, I almost felt like we had set off on a journey in an RV, and it was a wonderful feeling indeed! We saw more birds than we’ve ever seen while kayaking in Tennessee.

ducks

There were several Blue Herons, ducks, geese, grebes, and a Bald Eagle that swooped down not too far from us, snagging a fish in its’ large talons, before flying off, water streaming down from his prized catch! And there were literally hundreds of Coots floating and bobbing about the water’s surface, making me feel almost like I was back home on Lake Okeechobee!

kayaking

After paddling along quite a distance, we came upon a beautiful park situated on a peninsula affording visitors almost 360 views of that section o the lake. Unbelievably there were only 3 people at the park, and as you can imagine with us having recently moved from the Smokies, we found that hard to believe on such a gorgeous Saturday. That being said, we were delighted to have it mostly all to ourselves! 

kayaking2

 

I’m not really sure how many miles we paddled yesterday, but we were both a bit tired by the time we returned to the park where we launched the kayaks. It was a wonderful day and much needed time of relaxation! Meanwhile back at home, the leaves are starting to turn to flame, bringing bold splashes of bright reds and yellows to our woods. 

 

autumn

We’ve spent a bit of time working on the trails we’re making through the woods, and it’s been fun walking them each day. Excitedly, we discovered we have a small creek on the property! Most of it is actually underground, with several holes along the way where you can see the clear water running below. I’ve named it Sunken Creek, for obvious reasons, but it emerges to the top of the ground to the one side of the property and meanders a short distance before heading down to the neighbor’s pond. Almost each time I walk by it, I see a couple of frogs hanging out there, which is always a treat for me!

sunset

We’ve enjoyed some lovely coloration in the evening skies at sunset, and I thought it was particularly pretty after a rain shower had left bright droplets at the tips of the pines in the foreground. The evenings are a pleasant time to walk the trails, and I ended one day with standing in the open part of the backyard, whilst watching the bats flitting through the air above my head, and all about me, coming very near to me at times. Zipping here and there, up and down like aeronautical ballerinas, while catching bugs and feasting. Having always loved bats, this was sun a delightful experience for me and I’m quite anxious to get our bat houses up, and hopefully attracting these wonderful new tenants! I’m sure this comes as no surprise, but after that I patiently watch and wait each evening to see if the bats will return and tango with me for a short while.

bay flying

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

And The Work Goes On

wild aster

Firstly, I want to apologize for ads being on the blog once again. I know it’s terribly distracting, and these are not monetized ads, and I do not make a cent off of them. They were absent the past couple of years, because we paid $100 a year to keep it ad-free, and have decided to no longer do that, so once again my apologies for the inconvenience. 

Now, to this week’s happenings… Wes and I continue to feel as if we’ve enrolled in work camp, and after several setbacks, thankfully we’re slowly making progress. The back porch roof is getting very close to being ready for the roofing panels. However, we’re going to stain it before putting them on to make it much easier to apply the stain. This has been a BIG job thus far, but I’m sure we’ll enjoy it once it’s completed. It’s not the first porch we’ve built together either, but as we’ve grown older each time, it takes a little longer than the last time. But that’s okay, because the tortoise did win the race after all!

buidling a porch

Between days of building, we’ve taken a couple breaks to work in the yard. I went to the “Free nursery” (AKA the woods) and dug up three large beautiful clumps of fern and transplanted them into one of the front flower beds I’ve made. It looks so nice to see something green and thriving in them, and after we moved several loads of semi-composted mulch we found  by the driveway, and spread it around part of the bed, well it looked even better! 

garden bed

The birds seem to enjoy the new ferns as well, as they explore and search for bugs in them! Speaking of birds, I’m thrilled to report this morning while I was sitting on the front porch eating my breakfast, that Chickadees and Nuthatches finally visited my feeders and seed pile on the wooden picnic table! I can’t tell you how excited I was to enjoy watching my feathered friends, and it made my week! I’ve been waiting since we moved here, to see one go to the feeder, and am so thankfully they’ve found it!

Many times when we’re walking or working outside, we see something interesting, whether it’s an interesting mushroom, wildflower blooming or insect. Well one day this past week, I couldn’t believe it when I saw this gorgeous purple beetle! I’ve seen lots of beetles that are iridescent blue or green, but had never seen a purple one, and it was quite lovely indeed!

beetle

We’ve had to make a couple of trips into town this past week to get more wood, screws etc., but thankfully it’s a beautiful picturesque drive most of the way, with pastoral scenes and water crossings such as this one by Caney Creek below. In the lower left corner you can see a kayaker fishing, and we can’t wait until we can get back on the water in our own kayaks soon! There are numerous places to kayak around here, so I’m hoping to be able to share many beautiful photos from times spent on the water with you in the future.

Caney Creek

But for now, we’re trying to get certain things done here at the house, especially before winter. Unbelievably, we’re still waiting on our carpet installation, and finally received a call earlier today, informing us it will still be over two weeks before they’re coming to do it. I know good things come to those who wait, so this must be very good carpet! We are waiting on the carpet to be installed, before finishing unpacking and moving the remainder of our stuff, as we sure don’t want to have to move it all twice. I think the best part will be sleeping up on a regular bed and real mattress, instead of on our little camping mattress on the floor. Nonetheless, we’re making memories.

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

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. 

kayaking

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

YUMMY!

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