The Chipmunk and the birdseed

Good morning little Chipmunk. It’s nice to see you, but this birdseed is for birds, not for Chipmunks.

Chippy replied, “hmmmm – please, can I try just one”?

Nibble, nibble, nom, nom, nom, Crunch, GOOBLE, CHOMP, NOM, NOM, NOM!!

After finishing the entire pile, he said, “thank you for the birdseed, but if you want to feed just birds, you shouldn’t put out snacks Chippies love to eat!”

I thought to myself, wow! That is one smart Chipmunk!

A Bunny on the side of the road

This morning I saw a little bunny and I stopped to ask asked him why he was eating his breakfast so close to the road.

Are you talking to me??

The Bunny said he loves this exact spot because it was where the best greens were. He said that Foxes stay away from the road because it is very dangerous and told me he could avoid the dangers of both the road and prowling foxes if he stayed tucked in just to the side of the road.

spring greens are the best

keep one eye open for Mr. Fox!!

and the other eye on the road…

As he continued to eat his breakfast, he promised me to be extra careful. I enjoyed my little talk with the bunny and I just have to trust he knows what he is doing, so I went on my way.

so much to choose from here

and if I don’t move no one will ever notice me

A Cedar Waxwing courtship ritual

The Cedar Waxwing is a bird that’s hard to not to love. They are incredibly beautiful with a delicate and sophisticated appearance, they travel in groups and display behaviors that personify love and caring for each other.

During courtship, the male will offer the female a gift of something like a piece of fruit, a flower petal, or an insect. They will pass it back and forth until the gift is eaten.  I have seen this ritual a few times and it’s the sweetest thing to watch!

Here is a little something for you….

Once the ritual starts, the birds are very focused on each other. If you are really lucky you can see them in the trees passing their gift back and forth, back and forth.

Would you like it?
Here you go.
Aww…. thank you! I love it!

Cedar Waxwings are found throughout North America. You can see them in places where fruiting trees are available as a food source.

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the Red Fox and the Snapping Turtle

On a morning ride along a Vermont road, my husband and I came upon a Red Fox. At first I thought there might be something wrong with the Fox because it did not seem to be concerned as we approached. It became apparent the Fox was interested in something down the road. At first, I did not pay attention because I was focused on taking pictures (morning light can be tricky for photography).

What is that?
It is not coming towards me…

That’s a Turtle! Maybe laying eggs?

The Fox knows this Mom is laying eggs, and it wants them, but knows better than to go near Momma Snapping Turtle, so the fox paces a bit, then walks off to think about how to deal with the situation. Meanwhile Mom is readying her nest. She will not let anyone (not me, not the Fox) stop her from completing her task.

I want eggs, but not while Mom is here.

Meanwhile, Mom keeps working on her nest.

I will have to think about this….

The Fox pops back out to check on the situation, it really wants fresh eggs for breakfast but knows it will have to wait. So the situation turns into a waiting game.

Is she still there? I need a new plan!
Still digging…
More digging – taking her time..

And so the game goes on. The Fox changes strategy and moves into the field behind the Turtle, hoping she would complete her mission soon and move on, leaving the fox to raid her nest.

Watching from a safe distance.
More digging…
More digging….

We went to our destination, and when we returned Momma was still working on the nest. The Fox was not in sight, but most likely it would return to find the nest. It’s hard to leave things as you found them and not interfere, but animals will do what comes natural to them, which is what keeps nature in balance.

I thought about “saving Mom” from the dangers of the Fox and the road, but I figure she has survived and raised many new generations by nesting where she pleases, and it is my hope that her offspring will survive in-spite of the Foxes along the way.

Portraits painted from photos – a gift for any time

There is nothing more special than a beautifully crafted portrait custom made for someone you love!

Portrait Portfolio

Pet Portrait Portfolio

To commission a portrait,  contact me to discuss the details. and then provide a photo. It’s that simple! Now is the time to place your order to have your portrait completed in time for the holidays.

Whether you would like a painting of a loved one, an event, a special moment or your favorite pet – your portrait will capture your precious moment in the most stunning way imaginable!

Contact me today for more information:

Claire Payne,
Claire Payne Studios
4787 Ethan Allen Highway, St. Albans, VT

Making your own Barn Quilt

As you may know by now, I love old barns!  The older the better!  When Joe and I bought the Solomon Goodrich Homestead the condition of the barns on our new property were a lot like the ones in the VPR piece called Testament to old falling down barns in Vermont.  We have since restored our property to create Claire Payne Studios.  It only makes sense we should try a Barn Quilting project!

Here is a picture of the Quilt  we will be creating in our Barn Quilt Event.

Vermont Barn Quilt at Claire Payne Studios

Barn Quilts are wooden block painted to look like quilt patterns and can be displayed indoors or out.  They have been around for hundreds of years, but have become popular again.

A bit more about Barn Quilts: