“I would maintain that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Years ago my husband and I left the busy streets of the great northeast and moved to a beautiful barrier island in South Carolina. Instead of street scenes my everyday life is typically full of beach scenes, bicycles and boats. This week my days were filled with dolphin encounters.
The photo above shows a pod of dolphins engaged in “strand feeding”. Stranding is a behavior unique to dolphins along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. Scientists find it interesting because it demonstrates learned behavior passed from mother to calf. Basically the dolphins form a group which corrals a school of bait fish and forces them onto the shore, where they feast on as many as they can devour. During season they will eat up to 20 lbs of fish per day.
Here, a bicyclist watches as the dolphin gets lucky with a jumping mullet. Stranding is very active this month due to the large numbers of mullet in the rivers and creeks. It’s thrilling to see the dolphins charging the beach in a group of 10 or 12 with tremendous bursts of speed and grace. The melee is made more frenetic because the pelicans have an uncanny sense of when and where the strike will happen and are always there to work for their own piece of the action.
SEARCHING FOR SCRAPS
And of course, everyday life here on Kiawah involves photography. Here, one of my compatriots gets up close and personal with a pod of dolphins strand feeding literally at his feet.
Those who follow my blog know that I try to include a quote (or several) that works with my images. This week I chose Gratitude as my featured quote because it is the primary emotion I feel when I think about my everyday life. That I can spend my days surrounded by incredible beauty, and experience such magnificent creatures up close and personal, is indeed “happiness doubled by wonder”. A picture really is worth a thousand words – I know just how these guys feel :-).
HAPPY FELLOW I
HAPPY FELLOW II
Note: All photos taken with Nikon D/300s and Nikkor 70-200mm lens.
- Gotcha – 120mm, f/11, 1/400, ISO 400
- Cyclist Onlooker – 120mm, f/11, 1/400, ISO 400
- Searching for Scraps – 125mm, f/11, 1/320, ISO 400
- Photo Op – 125mm, f/11, 1/800, ISO 400
- Happy Fellow I – 120mm, f/11, 1/400, ISO 400
- Happy Fellow II – 200mm, f/11, 1/640, ISO 400