Lens-Artists Challenge #252 – What’s Bugging You!

ants, red, plant, bugs
Marching Ants

“If ants are such busy workers, how come they find time to go to all the picnics?”

Marie Dressler

I suppose it had to happen eventually, so here we are writing about BUGS of all things! I am the first to admit I am not a fan of bugs. Yes of course they are extraordinarily important to the health of our planet. They pollinate our fruit and flowers, devour the undesirable remains of dead animals, serve as a food source for many larger animals, and some, like butterflies, add beauty to our environment. So this week I’ll follow Donna’s lead (albeit under protest) and share some of my “favorite” bug images, including the ants on the flower above and the Busy Bee on the flower below.

flower, bee, yellow, orange
Pollinator at Work

“As much as any creature on the planet, bees provide a win-win situation with their actions… I suppose we could all take a lesson from them.”

Jay Ebben

As photographers we are often drawn to bugs for their many and varied colors. Bees are typically yellow with black, butterflies come in most every shade of the rainbow, and dragon and damselflies are often quite colorful. For example, I loved the blue and green hues of the specimen below.

dragonfly, wings, blue
Big-eyed Bug

“I can only see a dragonfly, its wings as thin and light as silk and its body the color of rainbow.”

Daniela Norris

Speaking of color, any time my neighbors see anything interesting they invite me to head over with lens in hand to capture whatever marvel has arrived. I caught the little creature below on one such afternoon. Critters seem to thrive on their kind-heartedness, as do my husband and I. This little fellow will one day become a black swallowtail butterfly similar to the one I’ve included in the collage at the end of my post.

bug, colorful, green, yellow
It’s Not Easy Being Green

“When a caterpillar bursts from its cocoon and discovers it has wings, it does not sit idly, hoping to one day turn back. It flies.”

Kelseyleigh Reber

Most often we photograph bugs with which we are familiar, such as those I’ve featured above. Now and then however, we come across a stranger and are excited by the opportunity to capture the newly-observed creature. Such was the case during our visit to South Africa. Apparently this creature, an Eutricha Capensis eventually becomes a rather boring brown moth. But oh my, what a colorfully interesting creature it is until then!

orange, South Africa, moth, hairy
Colorful Creepy Crawler

“The moth prefers the moon and detests the sun, while the butterfly loves the sun and hides from the moon.”

Suzy Kassem

Yet another unusual creature, I found this one right here on Kiawah. As best I can tell, it is a White-striped Longtail butterfly although that species is not typically found here according to entomologists. I’ve only seen it once in 20+ years, while out photographing the flowers shown in the image.

insect, white-striped longtail
Far From Home

“I have never been lost – I just wasn’t ready to be found.”

Nikki Rowe

Next, not unlike bugs in general, my least favorite (other than a mosquito – of which I have no image) is the spider. Our first exposure to the large “banana spider” as they’re called here was when my husband walked into one of their many webs in the woods near our home. They’re quite large and we’ve never made that same mistake again! They last only a few weeks but during that time it seems they are EVERYWHERE. Fascinating creatures but not in my backyard please 😊.

spider, web
Unwelcome Guest

“A spider is slow, but its web catches the fastest flies.”

Matshona Dhliwayo

I’ll close with a few favorite butterfly images. After all, who can resist their graceful presence as they flit from flower to flower showing off their colorful beauty.

butterflies, flowers
Fluttering By

“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”

Rabindranath Tagore

Despite my aversion to most bugs, I was surprised to find quite a few examples in my archives. While butterflies are quite common here, I’ve included some critters from our travels as well. I look forward to seeing your response to Donna’s fun challenge. Be sure to link to her beautiful post here, and to include the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our WP Reader section.

Next week we’re happy to announce that Brian of the uber-popular Bushboys World will be our guest host. Be sure to visit him Saturday at noon EST to participate in his challenge. In the meanwhile, as always please stay safe, be kind, and enjoy the journey.


Lens-Artists Challenge #251 – Buildings and Other Structures

NYC, LA, USA, architecture, buildings
Home Sweet Home, the USA

“Architecture is the very mirror of life. You only have to cast your eyes on buildings to feel the presence of the past, the spirit of a place.”

I.M. Pei

This week Anne has asked us to share images of buildings and other structures. Living on Kiawah in the heart of nature, this is not something on which I typically focus. In my travels however, I find architecture of all types immensely interesting. My opening collage features structures I’ve admired here in the U.S. The two on the bottom left are California’s beautiful Getty Center. All of the other images are from NYC. I love that the city is the mix of new and old, avant-garde and traditional. The center top and middle left images are the new World Trade Center designed by Santiago Calatrava. While I absolutely love the interior which looks up from inside toward the towering skyscrapers that surround it, I find the exterior a bit out of place and rather “squatty”. What do you think?

china, buildings, modern, ancient
Whirlwind Tour of China

“If you want to understand what’s most important to a society, don’t examine its art or literature, simply look at its biggest buildings.”

Joseph Campbell

To me, one of the most fascinating things about China was the sheer breadth of the ages its architecture has spanned and how it has evolved. From the Great Wall’s origin in 220 B.C. to the amazing futuristic cityscape of Shanghai, the variety and beauty is quite simply incredible. I chose just a few of my many favorite examples to include in today’s post but there are many more examples in my previous blog posts about China.

Europe, architecture, Prague, Budapest, Dubrovnik, France
European Splendors

“The sun never knew how great it was until it hit the side of a building.”

Louis Kahn

If I were to think of one word to describe my impression of Europe’s most memorable buildings, it would be “elegant”. I loved its many castles and churches, it’s walled cities, and the pervading sense of history I found at every turn. I could have filled my entire post with buildings from any of the categories I’ve chosen, or of several I haven’t, but I found it impossible to feature only one place. That said, I’ll close today’s post with one of my favorite places from all of my travels, the Angkor Wat complex of Cambodia.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

“Perhaps it is the most impressive sight in the world of edifices.”

Helen Churchill Candee, Angkor the Magnificent

As always I’ve enjoyed my stroll through the archives, this time in search of memorable buildings and structures. Thanks to Anne for her uber-interesting challenge and her beautiful and interesting post. We hope you’ll join us with your choices this week. Remember to link them to Anne’s post here and the use the Lens-Artists TAG to add your post to our reader section.

Thanks to all who responded to Amy’s Cloudscapes challenge last week – we very much enjoyed the amazingly beautiful assortment of skies! We hope you’ll join us next week when Donna leads the challenge on her Wind Kisses blog. Her subject for the week will be BUGS – how fun is that?! In the meanwhile, as always please stay safe, be kind and enjoy the journey.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.

Use the search field for additional images of any of this week’s subjects

Lens-Artists Challenge #250 – Skyscapes/Cloudscapes

clouds, stormy, LaQuinta
Threatening Clouds, La Quinta, California

“Whisper your dream to a cloud. Ask the cloud to remember it.”

Yoko Ono

This week Amy asks us to share images of cloudscapes that have stricken our fancy enough to draw our lenses. Ive opened with a recent image from a visit with friends in California. I remember distinctly the moment we saw these clouds floating threateningly toward the nearby mountains. They reminded me of clouds I’d seen in South America called lenticular clouds {Image here). While appealing to photographers they are known to cause severe turbulence which can often affect air traffic.

Likewise, as shown below, I have a vivid memory of an evening we spent with friends on a lake in Montana. I’d never seen anything like it. The sky was alight with brilliant red clouds due to continuous lightning strikes, all reflected on the water. It was a mesmerizing, thrilling spectacle – which fortunately was happening miles away.

boats, sky, clouds, storm,
Fire in the Sky, Whitefish Montana

“I could not think of anything but ways to describe the sky, the clouds, the light.”

Gwendoline Riley

From the archives, I’ll admit the image below was purely a stroke of luck. My husband and I were visiting Jackson Hole’s Grand Teton National Park and had run to the visitors’ center as frightening clouds gathered around us. I’d been photographing the park and had my camera in hand as huge lightening strikes filled the sky. I was fortunate to capture one of them, shown below.

lightning, clouds, weather
Striking, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

“Mirth is like a flash of lightning that breaks through a gloom of clouds and glitters for a moment.”

Joseph Addison

Apparently I’m drawn to stormy skies as they’re also featured in the image below. Captured last summer during our visit to North Carolina, this one brought plenty of rain but was gone as quickly as it appeared.

storm, clouds, sky, mountains
Storm Approaching, Sugar Mountain, North Carolina

“Sunlight streamed through grumbling storm clouds that played like tiger kittens around the mountain ridges.”

Jane Wilson-Howarth

For the last of my travel images, I’m including a bizarre cloud formation captured during a family reunion in Bethany Beach, Delaware. The scene drew my eye both because of the odd cloud configuration, and because I was astounded by the family that remained despite the oncoming storm.

storm, beach, clouds, rain
Eternal Optimists, Bethany Beach, Delaware

“Whatever the clouds plan to do; I always trust in the sun which never fails to come out.”

Munia Khan

Lest you should think otherwise, here on Kiawah we too have our cloudy days. Fortunately, they are fairly infrequent and for the most part, pass quickly. I’ll close with a few of my favorite local cloudscapes.

clouds, sky, fisherman, Kiawah Island
Fast Fleeing Fisherman, Kiawah Island
Kiawah, Ocean Course, storm, clouds
Golfers Beware, Kiawah Island Ocean Course
kiwis, clouds, sky, ocean
Clouds At Sea, Kiawah Island
cloud, sky, Kiawah, Ocean Course
Feather Cloud, Ocean Course, Kiawah Island

“No cloud is ever in the same place. Each day is a new masterpiece.”

Sanober Khan

Thanks to Amy for the opportunity to visit some of our favorite skies; we hope you’ll join us by sharing yours. Be sure to link them to Amy’s post here and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our reader. Thanks also to those who responded to John’s Art in the Park challenge last week. It was so much fun seeing such creative works from around the world. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week at noon EST when Anne leads us on her beautiful Slow Shutter Speed blog. Until then, as always please stay safe, be kind and enjoy the journey.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.

Lens-Artists Challenge #249 – Art in the Park

statue, building art, parade horse, ceiling art
European Art

“When one travels around the world, one notices to what an extraordinary degree human nature is the same, whether in India, or America, in Europe or Australia.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti

This week John has asked us to post about public art – in the park or anywhere else for that matter. Now that is no small task, especially when one considers the amazing examples of all kinds of art around the world. As such, I’ve elected to take a wide view of what constitutes “art” and have included a variety of things I consider art from our travels around the world. I’ve opened with some of my favorites from Europe, each of which is identified at the end of my post (as are all the rest of my images) for those who are interested. Below, some art from our travels in South America.

music, art, statue, wall art, LaBoca
Samples from South America

“It is through art that we will prevail and we will endure. It lives on after us and defines us as people.“

Rita Moreno

The thing about art is that it is literally everywhere. Music, painting, street art, statuary, sculpted gardens, architecture, literature, films, and of course, photography. The growth of wall art has been especially amazing as we now see it everywhere. Buskers too can be seen most anywhere that crowds gather, and the evolution of architecture from stately mansions to the contemporary work of today’s masters leaves one wondering what tomorrow will bring.

Israel, art, ballet, statues, church
Wonders of Israel

“Art happens when what is seen becomes mixed with the inside of the person who is seeing it.”

Chaim Potok

Another thing that strikes me about art is that it is universal. Whether in Israel (as above) or China (below), or any of the countries I’ve included in today’s post (or haven’t for that matter), nothing stops the creation and enjoyment of art. You may love music, or painting, or photography or the work of the great masters, or perhaps you’re one who seeks and admires street art – but one way or the other there will be a form of art that resonates with most anyone the world over.

china, art, dragon, warrior, Buddha
Chosen from China

“I like the fact that in ancient Chinese art the great painters always included a deliberate flaw in their work: human creation is never perfect.”

Madelene L’Engle

As an American I have also been fortunate to have traveled throughout the country from coast to coast. It seems only right that I should close with a sampling of some of the art I’ve experienced here in the U.S. Following then, from both eastern and western USA.

western US, Chihuly, sneaker tree, hummingbird, wall art
The Wild Wild U.S. West

“Western art is built on the biographical passion of one artist for another.”

Jim Dine
Art, Eastern US
Home Sweet Home – Eastern USA

“What constitutes American painting?… things may be in America, but it’s what is in the artist that counts.

Arthur Dove

I couldn’t begin to count the art treasures I’ve enjoyed throughout our years of travel. I’ve left out the incredible architecture of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, or that of the Great Wall of China or the Sagrada Familia of Barcelona. I’ve omitted amazing treasures like those housed in Paris’s beautiful Louvre or New York’s glorious Guggenheim – both masterpieces in their own rights. I’ve neglected the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. But art doesn’t have to be famous to be wonderful, its beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as well as that of its creator. At the end of the day, that’s what art is all about. As well it should be and ever it shall be.

Sincere thanks to John for the opportunity to focus on much of the world’s beauty. Be sure to visit and link to his wonderful post here, and to include the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our reader. Thanks also to those of you who joined us for last week’s Mood challenge. Your responses covered a wide range of emotions and ways to express them through photography. Finally, Amy will lead us next week so be sure to check out her Share and Connect site next Saturday at noon EST. Until then, as always please stay safe, be kind and enjoy the journey.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.

Collage Locations – Left to Right

Europe Top: Budapest park statue, Vienna high rise, Boulbon France parade / Bottom: Provence-Chateau La Coste, Prague- Leather cowboy chair, Budapest Solarium Ceiling

South America (all in Buenos Aires) Top: La Boca Musician, Silver Flower, La Boca’s Colorful Houses / Bottom: Subway entrance (also today’s header), Wall Art, La Boca Upper Window Installation

Israel Top: Jaffa antiquity statues, Acra Mosque, Tel Aviv wall art / Bottom: Tel Aviv Dancing Shoes art installation, Church of the Annunciation windows

China Top: Dali Garden, Longsheng Buddha, Beijing Advertisement / Bottom: Beijing Dragon, Beijing Rooftop Warrior Statue

U.S. West Top: Seattle, Chihuly Glass (first and second images),Utah Roadside Restaurant / Bottom: Utah Sneaker Tree, Oregon horse statues, California Wall Art

Eastern U.S. Top: Ghent NY Church Window, Charleston SC wall/performance art, Taconic NY state park welcome center / Middle: Ashville NC Pigs Strolling, Charleston SC Pineapple Welcome Statue, NYC wall art / Bottom: NY Culinary Institute welcome fountain, Charleston Magnolia Gardens statue, Saratoga NY Jockey statuettes

Lens-Artists Challenge #248 – Mood

goat, kid, sad, tired, black

“Sometimes, we are sad but we really don’t know why we are sad, so we say we aren’t sad but we really are.”

Mark Haddon

This week Sofia has challenged us to share images that express moods in our photography. While I know it may be quite different than her original intent, I decided to share some images I made last week during a visit to a local “goatery”. It was great fun being out among the baby goats, most of them just days or a few weeks old. Like humans I found them to be quite expressive in the way they showed their moods. For example, the little fellow in the image above looked quite sad, while the one below seemed curious and inquisitive, if a bit shy.

goat, funny, inquisitive
Here’s Looking at YOU Kid

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

Albert Einstein

Some of the goats had already established their place as “king of the hill” / “leader of the pack” / “top dog” (or in this case, top goat!). The little one below seemed to have decreed him or herself as exactly that.

goat, proud, leader
Top Goat

“Leaders emerge, they cannot be recruited.”

Haresh Sippy

Anthropomorphism is defined as assigning human traits and emotions to non-humans. But who, I ask, SAYS that non-humans do not have emotions and moods?! It’s been shown that animals communicate, care for their young, form packs which in turn have leaders, and have emotions that in many cases are every bit as strong as our own. Why then, should we assume they don’t have as many moods as we do?! These adorable little goats were as playful and fun as any children I’ve known – jostling for position and continually engaging in games that any parent would recognize. Not unlike human babies, they seemed to be constantly hungry. Interestingly it seemed they didn’t care if the source of their milk was their own mother or any female in the vicinity with a reasonable supply!

nursing, goats

“Nourishment comes in many forms. So does happiness.”

Ranjani Rao

Of course since the goatery shares its home with a number of other farm animals, we were entertained by them as well. For example, there were quite a few chickens as the farm has a large egg business. This one seemed particularly proud of her work. I learned that the red comb typically denotes that the chicken is in “lay”.

chicken, eggs, basket, carton

I used the image in a birthday card I sent to a good friend. I wished her an “egg-cellent” birthday. She replied with a much more clever caption “You mean I have to pack them TOO?!” LOL, wish I’d thought of that!

Can you guess the caption of the next image?

sheep, gray

“Actually, I’m an excellent liar. But what I’m really good at is appearing appropriately sheepish and adorable after I’m caught.”

Julia Quinn

Finally, one of my favorite animals of the day (except for the baby goats of course!), the most contented, laid-back, relaxed fellow ever. Although I can’t be sure, I’m thinking he may have sired some of the goats with similar coloring. Maybe that’s why he looks so contented 🙂. Gotta love that smile!

goat, laid-back

“We need to regard relaxation as a process of surrendering to a deeper wisdom.”

Kenneth S. Cohen

Hopefully Sofia won’t mind that I took such a literal approach to her challenge. Be sure to visit her beautiful post on Photographias, and to link your responses there. Adding the Lens-Artists Tag will ensure that your post appears in our reader section.

Sincere thanks for your amazing responses to Ann-Christine’s Backlit challenge last week. It was truly inspiring to see the ways everyone has made the most of such beautiful light. Next week‘s challenge will be led by John on his Journeys with Johnbo site so be sure to check it out next Saturday at noon EST. Until then as always please stay safe, be kind and enjoy the journey.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.

Lens-Artists Challenge #247 – Backlit

Bryce Canyon, light, hoodoos
Spotlight on Bryce

“It is the experience of the struggle that backlights the moments of wonder”

Craig D. Lounsbrough

This week Ann-Christine has offered us some amazing examples of backlighting along with a challenge to feature some of our own. I’ve opened with an example from our visit to the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. I’ve spoken before about the incredible experience we had after outwaiting a violent thunderstorm. It was followed by an ethereal light made even more beautiful by the fact that all of the other visitors had left the scene!

Also from travels out west, the image below was made during a superbloom we were fortunate to catch while visiting Arizona. It seems cacti are one of the best subjects for showcasing the beauty of backlighting.

desert, cacti, superbloom, flowers
Blooming Desert

“The world of human affairs has long been a shadowy place, but always backlit by the light of hope.”

Carl Safina

As Ann-Christine has beautifully shown, flowers offer an excellent opportunity for featuring the influence of backlighting. Two examples, followthe first from a visit to Michigan and the second from nearby Magnolia Gardens.

pink, backlit, flowers, pink
Fading Michigan Beauties
Iris, backlit, sunspots
Close To Home, Magnolia Gardens

“Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky.”

Charles Wright

Also from nearby environs and frequently showcased, the gorgeous live oak trees of South Carolina’s lowcountry, dripping with backlit Spanish Moss at sunrise.

life oak, sunrise, backlit, light
Live Oaks, Lowcountry South Carolina

“Real life is – quieter, more understated. No one is backlit and nothing has a soundtrack.”

Matthew Crow

Next, from far away places, a beautiful wind chime which we should have purchased but didn’t. The beauty of photography is it reminds us of the marvelous things, both large and small, that we’ve seen along the way.

wind chimes, backlit
Whimsical Wind Chimes

“Grass was frosted white, rhododendron leaves curled tight, winter bare trees backlit by the moon.”

Patricia Cornwell

Also from our travels, a beautiful window reflecting on the dark tiles beneath it thanks to the light shining through from behind.

stained glass, church, colorful
Wonderful Windows, Israel

“…the stained glass window a blurred kaleidoscope backlit in the morning sun.”

Red Tash

And finally, two personal favorites from our travels in Southeast Asia. On the left, a young girl about to play her instrument of chimes, on the right a lovely woman showing the classic halo of backlighting from a window above and behind her.

Young, girls, backlit
Lovely Ladies, Southeast Asia

“Let’s jump ahead to the moment of epiphany, in gold light, as the camera pans to where the action is.”

Richard Siken

Sincere thanks to Ann-Christine for her challenge – always good to remind ourselves of some of photography’s most effective techniques. Be sure to visit her beautiful post here and to use the lens-artists tag in your responses. Thanks also to Patty for last week’s “expanded” definition of Still Life and the many interpretations it allowed. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week when Sofia will lead us with her challenge “Mood”. Until then, as always please stay safe, be kind and enjoy the journey.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.

Lens-Artists Challenge #246 – Still Life

vegetables, french, France,
Luscious French Fare

“What photograph isn’t a still life?”

Gary Winograndyou

The quote below my opening image, I must admit, cracked me up! It’s true isn’t it – unless it’s a video most any photograph is clearly a still life. That said, Patti’s challenge has asked us to share images of still life in the more artistic, traditional sense. I’ll admit it is not something I focus on, nor am I very skilled at it. But the beauty of the Lens-Artists challenges is that sometimes they push us out of our comfort zone and so, here we go 😊.

My opening image was captured during a trip to the south of France – where somehow the food always looks and tastes incredible. Below, another image from the same journey, captured inside an ancient church. I was enthralled with the hymnal and the beautiful walls.

hymnal, colorful, church, walls
Days Gone By

“Still life subjects will often reflect a clearer picture of a photographic artist’s imaginative vision.”

Paul Outerbridge

Leaving France behind, we journey to China, where everywhere one turns there is a still life waiting to be made. The first, below, a simple arrangement of chairs that drew my eye immediately.

chairs, china, brick, brown
Two Chairs

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”

Dorothea Lange

On the subject of evoking an immediate response, I found the image below an interesting portrait of life in China’s small towns. Children played in the streets, deliveries were made by bicycle, and this configuration, a local barbershop, was set up on the street for passers-by.

scissors, bowl, stool, country life
Shave and a Haircut…2 Bits

“Still life painting has more to do with light and shadow than with the objects themselves.”

William C. Wright

Next, two images from Cambodia. On the left, I was drawn to the simple yet elegant arrangement, on the right, it was the careful detail of the offering that called to me.

statues, idols, offering, devotion

“A great still life can evoke an emotional response to an object.”

Adam West

Finally, an image I captured in Mexico some years ago. In addition to the natural beauty of the landscape and seaside surrounding us, this simple composition from a resort pool drew my eye and my lens.

Three Vessels

“Still life is the touchstone of painting.”

Edouard Manet

Clearly Patti’s skill at both creating and capturing elegant still life scenes is far beyond mine, but I enjoyed the opportunity to think outside of my usual box. I encourage you to visit her beautiful post here, and to step up to the challenge with your own examples. Be sure to link to her original post and to use the Lens-Artists tag to appear in our reader section.

Thanks also to those who responded to last week’s Environment challenge. It was so interesting to see the diversity of responses, proving that there is beauty to be found no matter what type of surroundings we find ourselves in. We hope you’ll join us next week when Ann-Christine will lead us once again. Until then, as always please stay safe, be kind, and enjoy the journey.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.

Lens-Artists Challenge #245 – Environments

New York, NYC, city
NYC Scenes

“The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.”

John Updike

Long ago I remember a story about the City Mouse / Country Mouse. As I recall, each was happier in its own environment – which leads me to this week’s challenge – Environments. We’d love you to show and tell us what it is about your own environment that is most special to you. Maybe you’re a city mouse (as above) who loves to travel to the country for a change of pace (as below) – or vice versa. Maybe you travel back and forth from home to work. Whatever your ‘druthers, this week’s challenge is to share your images and thoughts about environments, whatever they may be.

country living, animals, horses, cow, barn
Out in the Country

“We need more country than concrete, more mind than material, more savannah than sky-scrapers, more melody than malady”. 

Abhijit Naskar

My husband and I have lived and worked in multiple environments including large cities like New York and Philadelphia, as well as several suburban areas as commuters. We are currently living in a naturally beautiful but relatively remote environment. Through the years we’ve experienced all kinds of places. We chose Kiawah because of its beauty and peace (as below) but also because of its proximity to Charleston (which follows), a wonderful southern city. It offers excellent restaurants, good theatre and a terrific airport for an easy getaway whenever we need one.

Kiawah, birds, gator, Ocean Course, sweetgrass
Life on Kiawah

“No throne in the world can substitute a beach chair.”

Talismanist Giebra
city, Charleston SC,
City Life, Charleston SC

“A city is successful not when it’s rich but when its people are happy. “

Meik Wiking

Whatever your preference, a change of pace can often be exactly what you need to re-energize before returning to the comforts of home. For us, travel delivers exactly that. We’ve enjoyed every one of our adventures but we can also say we are always happy to return to the peace and quiet of home.

Patagonia, Tel Aviv, Petra, Jordan, Africa, Elephants, Canada
Seeing the World

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

St Augustine

City, country, suburb, small town – whatever your preference(s) this is your chance to highlight the environments you’ve experienced and enjoyed (or not!) We hope you’ll join us to share your thoughts and images. Please be sure to link them to my post and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our WP reader section.

Sincere thanks to Siobhan for her marvelous Glowing Moments challenge, and to all of you for your as-always interesting and creative responses. We hope you’ll also join us next week when Patti leads our next challenge on her terrific Pilotfish Blog. Until then, please stay safe, be kind and enjoy the journey.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.

Lens-Artists Challenge #244 – Glowing Moments

superbloom, AZ, cactus, glow, buttercups, yellow
Desert Glow

“If a flower can flourish in the desert, you can flourish anywhere.”

Mashona Dhimaya

This week we welcome guest host Siobhan of Bend Branches, who invites us to share some Glowing Moments. I’ve opened with a favorite of many glowing moments captured during an amazing desert superbloom in Arizona. It’s always special visiting my brother and his family there. Equally glowing, the simple aloe plant below, captured here on Kiawah following a morning rain. It’s the grasses behind the plant that give the image its glow.

aloe, plant, yellow, green, glow, raindrops
Aloe Glow

“Not all thorns hurt, some protect you as well.”

Jagadeesh Kumar

Of course, one might expect a glow from flowers in the sunlight, but a glowing rock? Now that is something I think Siobhan, an environmental scientist, would appreciate. I captured these at an Ohio state park while visiting friends there. Again, special moments spending time with friends while exploring an amazing new place.

rocks, glowing, colorful
Glowing Rocks

“Rocks and minerals: the oldest storytellers.”

A.D. Posey

Speaking of rocks, I was reminded of some magical glowing moments when my husband and I visited Sedona. I captured the image that follows from high above the town one morning at daybreak. It seems there are some very early risers there, including yours truly – which as I’ve often admitted, is not the usual me!

Sedona, AZ, morning, lights, daybreak
Glowing Moment, Sedona

“Come with me to the mountains. Every rock there tells a story.”

Avijeet Das 

Of course I couldn’t let Siobhan’s challenge pass by without including an image of a glowing moment on Kiawah’s beautiful beach. The image that follows is one of my favorites – the glow is subtle in a beautiful sky above the ocean’s magic.

sunset, sky, ocean, foam, pink, Kiawah
Kiawah Magic

“A sunset is the sun’s fiery kiss to the night.”

Crystal Woods

Mother Nature has given us many memorable glowing moments, but others can be found thanks to the evolution of technology. For example, from the simple lightbulb:

lightbulb, glow, lamp, glow, bulb
A Simple Glow

To creative lighting in architecture:

windows, stained glass, four, colorful, glow
Windows Aglow, Israel

To an explosion of city lights:

Shanghai, night, lights, Bund, Shanghai, glow
Walking The Bund, Shanghai

And finally, to a simple combination of nature and human ingenuity:

night sky, start, light, blue
Best of Both Worlds

“Lighting is more complex than one thinks.”

Horst P. Horst

Sincere thanks to Siobhan for her creative challenge and for joining us as guest host this week. Please be sure to visit and to link your responses to her beautiful post here. Remember to use the Lens-Artists Tag to make sure your post appears in our WP reader section. Thanks also to Donna for her Tricky post last week. We had tons of fun seeing your very creative responses. Finally, I’ll be hosting the challenge next week here on Travels and Trifles and hope to see you then. In the meanwhile, as always please stay safe, be kind and enjoy the journey.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.

Lens-Artists Challenge #243 – It’s Tricky

colorful, abstract
Guess What!

“Burst and swirl and fly around, their wings shining with all the colors of the universe.”

Kacen Callender

Traditionally in many countries including the U.S., April 1 is called “April Fool’s Day”. There are many speculations on how and why it came to be – I’ll leave it to you to do your own Google-search! In any case, our guest host this week, Donna of Wind Kisses, has definitely set us a tricky challenge. You must visit her post to see how a true artist approaches such a subject! For me, this one really was a stretch. I decided to depend entirely on Photoshop to put my response together, starting with the image above. Can you identify the subject? If not I promise an answer at the end of today’s post.

horses, bird, trick
The Nose Knows !!

“The smaller the creature, the bolder its spirit.”

Suzy Kaseem

Well you have to admit, if a toucan ended up in front of two huge western horses, there would certainly be a bit of curiosity aroused! Perhaps a nasal comparison would be in order in light of the prominence of the feature in both species. In any case, to have such a meeting would be pretty tricky, don’t you think?!

alligator, turtle, trick
Reptilian Relatives

“We do not know how to live with these carnivorous beasts and poisonous reptiles because of our ignorance.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Every so often I learn something new as I am researching for my blog. This week I learned that turtles and alligators are indeed very close relatives within the reptile family. I will admit I’ve never seen them face to face as in the tricky image above, but many times I’ve seen them hanging out together around Kiawah’s ponds and lagoons. Also, the turtle I chose is actually newly-hatched and was nowhere near the size I made him. I suppose turtles do not fear alligators because their protective shell would make them a less-than desirable meal!

Monkeys, Africa
Monkey See Monkey Do

“Don’t take yourself so seriously. You’re just a monkey with a plan.”

Naval Ravikant

One might think the larger monkey on the left has his eye on the smaller one on his right, but NO, this is just another trick on my part. While both were chomping down in they same field of delicious flowers, they were actually nowhere near each other. I thought this image made the larger male look rather predatory and the smaller a bit flirtatious but in fact neither attitude is true. Interesting how deceptive we can be while playing tricks, isn’t it? Remember that the next time someone grabs your attention with a suspicious online image or story!

whale, fishermen, tricky, P/S
Fisherman’s Nightmare

“People fish because they are searching for something. Often it is not for a fish.”

Fennel Hudson

I’ll just let your imagination play with my final image above 😊. If nothing else, I’m sure my husband will get a kick out of it! Thankfully, fishing for whales is strictly forbidden except for s very few indigenous tribes or via April Fools photo trickery!

Thanks to Donna for this week’s tricky challenge. Be sure to check out her amazing post, and to link your responses to it here. Thanks also to Anne for last week’s New Experiences challenge. It was fun reading about the many experiences you described and illustrated for us. Next week we’re excited to welcome Guest Host Siobhan of Bend Branches so be sure to check out her post at noon EST next Saturday. In the meanwhile, please remember to stay safe, be kind, and enjoy the journey.

Wondering about my opening image? It’s a P/S twist of an oversized rubber peacock at a zoo. Here’s the actual image:

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.