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Kiawah’s Magnificent Marsh – Weekly Photo Challenge: Muse

 “What begins at the water shall end there, and what ends there shall once more begin.”  

Doug Dorst

(9 photos)

AFTER THE STORM
AFTER THE STORM

This week Brie Anne has offered us a most interesting challenge; to illustrate our personal “muse” – that to which we turn time after time for inspiration. For me, the answer is an easy one; the beautifully varied vistas of Kiawah’s marsh.  Above, in a shot taken from my back porch, I’ve captured its creeks reflecting the clouds immediately after a summer storm.

TANGERINE SUNSET
TANGERINE SUNSET

“Praised be my Lord, for our sister water.”

Francis of Assisi

One of the reasons I love the marsh is that it is ever-changing. It can be many things, depending on the season, the time of day, the weather, or the tide. Above, a second shot of the marsh during a beautiful tangerine-colored sunset. Below, on a crisp, clear, early summer’s day.

A SUMMER'S DAY
A SUMMER’S DAY

“The places where water comes together with other water. Those places stand out in my mind like holy places.”

Raymond Carver

RAYS OF GLORY
RAYS OF GLORY

“All water is holy water.”

Rajiv Joseph

Above, yet another sunset over the marsh. In this capture the sun’s rays remind me of the spreading fingers of God on the cover of my second grade catechism 😊. Does anyone else out there remember that?!

BIRDS ON THE MARSH
BIRDS ON THE MARSH

“Water belongs to us all. Nature did not make the sun one person’s property, nor air, nor water, cool and clear.”

Michael Simpson

Beyond the beauty of the marsh itself, the presence of some of the most interesting and often beautiful creatures within its boundaries creates a powerful draw for a nature-loving photographer. Above, an ibis launches from the marsh grasses, leaving its companion behind. Below, a somewhat more dangerous resident! Although our native alligators strongly prefer fresh water, they can tolerate the brackish water of our marshes for a short while, and often show themselves as local fishermen or crabbers haul in their catches.

LURKING BELOW
LURKING BELOW

“Water’s water and that’s why it’s beautiful.”

Alberto Caeiro

Of course the favorite creature found in the creeks of our marshes is the playful bottlenose dolphin. Often times as we kayak along with the current, the dolphins will come out “spy-hopping” to see who’s entered their realm. Here in South Carolina they have been studied by as illustrious an organization as National Geographic because of their strand-feeding behavior. Working together, they push bait fish to the shore, and then push themselves out of the water to dine on their prey. Scientists are interested in the activity because it is a learned behavior that the dolphins pass on to their young. I’ve observed it several times, and am fascinated and excited every time. Below, a quick capture I shot of a marsh visitor enjoying the dolphins up close and personal, followed by a capture of dolphin strand-feeding here on Kiawah.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

“The next time you think you’re perfect, try walking on water.”

Ziad K. Abdelnour

SUCCESSFUL STRAND-FEEDING
SUCCESSFUL STRAND-FEEDING

“No water, no life. No blue, no green.”

Sylvia Earle

I’ll close with a capture of our lovely marsh as the full moon’s rise is reflected on its waters. As you can see, it has been a favorite subject throughout my time on Kiawah. Here in our backyard, we enjoy a beautiful beach, lagoons ripe with fishermen’s bounty and of course the glorious maritime forest complete with grand, moss-covered oaks . For me though, the marsh tops them all.  It grows on you like a good friend – the more time you spend with it, the better you know it. The better you know it, the more you love it.  How wonderful is that?!

MOONRISE OVER THE MARSH
MOONRISE OVER THE MARSH

 “What begins at the water shall end there, and what ends there shall once more begin.”  

Doug Dorst

To see what inspires some other bloggers, click here.

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113 thoughts on “Kiawah’s Magnificent Marsh – Weekly Photo Challenge: Muse Leave a comment

  1. Tina, how incredibly fortunate you are to live where you do! These gorgeous shots just take my breath away. And to learn that you have bottle-nosed dolphins there is icing on the cake. I’ve loved these mammals since first doing a report on them in 5th grade 🙂 Thanks for sharing your muse. I can see why you love Kiawah so much!

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