Smokies summertime fun!
by Rachelle Siegrist
Wes and I headed back over to the lake this past week for another kayaking adventure, this time taking friends Tom and Sharon along with us. It was a stunningly gorgeous day, and we couldn’t wait to hit the water! Soon we arrived at the boat ramp, where Sharon christened her boat with a handful of lake water before we loaded up, paddling on our merry way. The lake’s surface was nice and smooth making it flawless for her maiden voyage in the new kayak!
Within minutes Wes had spotted a beautiful Prothonotary Warbler, and while he watched and photographed the gorgeous little yellow-headed bird, the rest of us watched a pair of ospreys flying over and fishing in tandem. The birds circling in the sky above while peering into the clear water below, spotted fish, each time swopping down out of the sky, plunging into the water and sending splashes up into the air, while coming out with a prized catch in their talons! A few minutes later a pair of Bald Eagles flew overhead delighting us all, and the day had only just begun!
Sharon instantly fell in love with her new kayak, and I’m pretty sure she and Tom enjoyed the sport as much as the Wes and I do. Soon we were paddling back up into a creek and the recent rains made the current much more intense and stronger than normal. Upon seeing the crystal clear water, I suggested to Sharon that we get out and wade while enjoying the cool water, with our beloved kayaks in tow.
It felt delightful walking on the sandy creek bottom, while watching schools of small fish swim past as we made our way up the creek to the wee pebble beach. Once there, we beached the kayaks, once again enjoyed one of our favorite picnicking locations. Of course I couldn’t wait to get back into the water to wade and found the perfect rock to sit on out in the middle of the stream. Try as I may, I couldn’t convince Sharon or Wes to sit out in the stream with me. However Tom decided it was a perfect place to enjoy snorkeling for a while.
Even though I could’ve easily stayed there all day long, eventually it was time to start back so we loaded up into our kayaks and we’re on our way. The trip back was like being on a guided tour, since all we had to do was sit back and relax while letting the current slowly take us along. Once back out into the lake, Sharon and I found a spot where the water was actually warm. We tried hard to find a spot where we could easily get out and back into our kayaks, so we could take advantage of the blissfully warm water, but alas were unsuccessful, so we happily soaked our arms and feet in it instead.
The lake’s glassy surface, perfectly showcased reflections of the surrounding mountains as we paddled back across. Arriving back at the boat ramp, we loaded up the kayaks and started the journey home, relishing yet another wonderful memory made!
Our Exquisite Miniatures tour is currently at The Stauth Memorial Museum, located in Montezuma, KS. It will be on display there until September 3rd, so if you are in the area it’s a great time and a wonderful venue in which to enjoy being “Wowed” by our miniature paintings!
Exquisite Miniatures on display at the Stauth Memorial Museum (photos courtesy of the museum)
Wes is delighted to have six paintings featured in this newly published book with proceeds benefitting Rhinos: Rhino Images – Art and the Rhinoceros, First Edition, 2017. This book shows the rhino in art – masterpieces from the ancient past to the present. There are over 300 rhino images in this book. The rhino images include drawings, paintings, etchings, rock carvings and sculptures done in a variety of materials. These images of the rhino range from early civilizations such as in China, Roman Empire, Indus civilization in Pakistan/India area and from Southern Africa down to current day images of paintings and sculptures produced by modern day artists. Whether in the ancient past or in the present the rhinos are always represented as huge, powerful and solitary animals. Drawings, woodcuts, etchings, paintings and sculptures of the rhino all depict the power of the animal. The text indicates where you may find these rhino images. For the artists of our time their websites have been given. There are very few of these magnificent wild animals left in the world, so unless they are protected and managed, artistic images will soon be the only viewing option. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go to saving the rhino from extinction. The book is now up and running, being available via https://www.amazon.com as a Kindle eBook download at a cost of $US20.00. Just type in rhino images in the search and the book will be available for purchase.
~ Fresh off the Easels ~
I finished one of my pet commissions this past week, of two adorable friends named Riley and Boris! It was such a joy painting these two adorable babies, and seeing their obvious love for each other as well as the precious expression on Riley’s face, brought a continual smile to my own face! I’m currently painting on another dog commission of a precious baby named Tito, as well as working on a Smokies landscape.
Wes finished his painting this past week of boats which we photographed in a marina while in Easton last year during the Waterfowl Festival. Having an extra day to spend at Blackwater Wildlife Refuge and see some of the surrounding area, we really enjoyed photographing the boats. We plan to have a couple of these delightful boat paintings at the Waterfowl Festival this year, including this one featuring the Wendy Lee, and upon close inspection, you can see three people working aboard it!
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Until next time . . .