Daily thunderstorms have kept us from straying too far from our home here in the Smokies this past week, but we’ve managed to get out early in the mornings on most days to spend a little time outdoors. One morning we headed into the park nearby to spend some time flyfishing. Although we didn’t reel anything in, we had a few good bites, with a couple of them being good-sized trout. Besides, just being out there wading in the chilly water, whilst listening to the symphony of birdsong filling the air, mixed with that of rushing water, makes it great fun whether you catch any fish or not! At one point I had just made the perfect cast, landing my wee bumble bee lure directly under a tree limb hanging out over the water, and within seconds a fish hit it, tugging it enough to cause me to let out a wee shout in excitement!
The plus side of the daily showers is the higher water levels in our river, making tubing a much more thrilling adventure! We traded in daily walks or bike rides for tubing most days, and boy have we been having fun! I’m filled with excitement each time we go as if it’s the first time, and can’t wait to get my wetsuit on and head down to the water. The louder the roar of the whitewater, the more excited I get, as I jump onto my tube and hang on. The big dips that send you flying up into the air, causing you to leave the icy water below before coming back down are obviously some of the best sections of whitewater, and there are several like this in the section we tube. Our rides down vary according to the speed at which the river is flowing, and the walk back follows alongside the river and is quite picturesque. Then it’s time to go down again whilst enjoying yet another thrilling ride. On mornings when the water levels are lower and it’s clear, we love snorkeling and watching the different species of fish found in our streams here in the Smokies. I personally love finding deep pools with just the right water current, so it creates an endless pool in which I can swim and swim, and I love every minute of it!
Here in our gardens, flowers continue to bloom and we’ll be enjoying fresh peppers off of our pepper plants soon! Our resident Carolina Wrens are raising their second batch of precious babies, while some of our other babies are growing, such as one of our Praying Mantises that lives on the front deck. I’ve watched this particular one grow from a wee small baby, and it’s big enough that it acts like it can take on the world now! Recently, I was sitting out in my favorite chair on the front deck enjoying the warm sun for a few minutes, and over walks “P.M.” the praying mantis on the nearby handrail. It stopped and looked at me while raising both arms as if it was going to try and karate chop me, and the next thing I knew it jumped over onto my neck, missing my face by mere millimeters! Obviously, it caught me off guard as I wasn’t expecting it to do that, so I carefully got it and placed it on the rosebush beside me. Of course, it immediately lifted both arms as if saying “I will take you on and chop you!” Like they say, dynamite comes in small packages and that is surely the case with P.M.!
~ In The Studio ~
I finished a miniature painting this past week inspired by our visit to the gorgeous Three Sisters Springs in Florida last fall. We kayaked to this picturesque location and spent over an hour there while I blissfully snorkeled. We didn’t see any manatees there during our visit, but since they frequent the area, especially in the winter months, I decided to add them to my painting. A dream of mine is to be able to swim with a manatee, so for now, this is as close as it gets for me.
Wes has spent most of his time working on office work for the SAA dealing with catalog editing and other things associated with the upcoming exhibition at the Briscoe Museum this fall. This is his most recent miniature painting featuring our very own Carolina Wren, Peedeepeeps, sitting atop the Carolina Jasmine which was full of bloom at the time, adding to the beauty of the moment and captured forever in a little gem!
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Until Next Time . . .