All About Irma

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Vivian Greene



My sincere thanks to those of you who expressed concern in light of the forecast arrival of Hurricane Irma.  Fortunately for the our little island, Irma struck only a glancing blow, resulting in flooding and down trees, but no serious damage.  Our layers of emotion went from anxiety, to fear, to hope and finally to relief as she veered further and further west and away from the South Carolina coast.



“Not all the storms of life can be predicted.”

David Petersen

Beyond our emotional layers, Irma had some interesting impact on the layers of our local nature. One of my favorite pre-storm affects was the clustering of wood storks around a nearby lagoon. The lagoon waters had been drained in preparation for the oncoming rains, leaving a veritable feast of fallen fish on which the birds were happy to indulge. Wood storks are an endangered species so I was happy to see so many of them looking so healthy.



“Joy weathers any storm: Happiness rides the waves.”

Todd Stocker

What was good for the birds was obviously not so good for the fish. They were everywhere, as were the insects and birds feasting on them. As they say, one man’s pleasure is another man’s pain.



“The greatest storms on our earth break not in nature but in our minds.”

Mehmet Murat Ildan

In addition to the wood storks, herons soared overhead, perhaps looking for a safe place to avoid the 50 mph winds that were to come. I was in photographer heaven following the birds as they passed me by from every direction.



“In the midst of the storm, our anchor is hope.”

Lailah Gifty Akita

I’ve chosen to close with a capture that made me smile as I went through my results for the day. A wood stork seems almost to be playing like a child, spitting water like a feathered fountain. Perhaps he, like the rest of us, is simply celebrating the fact that the storm, at least this time, has passed us by. May you too find joy in the calm that follows the storm.


WPC: Layered












124 thoughts on “All About Irma

  1. Tina – these are amazing! I am fascinated to see – through your terrific photos – the wildlife reaction to Irma. We ended up going to Charlotte where two of our children live as my older brother and his caregiver had evacuated here from Delray Beach. We were worried about the possibility of loss of power and flooding should there have been an medical emergency for him. In the end it was the correct decision. It was hard, however, to stay glued to the Weather Channel and see the water cascading over the Battery wall downtown. Once again, the power of water and wind cannot be under-estimated. K


    • Hey there Kath – thanks for stopping by! We also had reservations in Charlotte but cancelled when the forecast improved. In the end we were very glad we stayed despite the 23 hours without power. Downtown was terribly flooded, and many marsh-front homes here had water issues but overall we were really lucky. Re the water/wind power – you got that right!!

  2. nice take on this layered from the southern east coast, Tina.

    the wood storks are beautiful….
    and nature continues to show us “one man’s pleasure is another man’s pain.”

      • hunger trumps many things = for birds and us humans – eh?
        there are many things I will not do if hunger pangs are there…. lol
        and I have enjoyed your posts a couple times over this week –

  3. Ah, you find beauty and share it with us, even when most are focused on the destruction and damage. of course you were gawking skyward and taking inventory on the birdlife!

    I’ve been following the storms from afar, getting glimpses when possible and word of mouth from a neighbor… It’s been a challenging year, and it’s good to see your smoke signal.

    Lovely images…

    • Thanks very much Lisa – it’s been a very “interesting” season so far – between hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, nuclear threats and heaven knows what else! Here’s hoping the worst is behind us all.

  4. I’m glad you were spared, but I am still trying to get my head around how they drain the lagoons? All I can visualise is a giant plughole! Love the wood storks photos and the one at the end with him spitting out the water – beautifully captured Tina. Let’s hope the rest of the hurricanes pass you by.

    • LOL, thanks Jude -and your lips to God’s ears on the remaining hurricanes! As for the lagoons, they are all manmade and are interconnected via an underground network of giant pipes. It’s actually quite simple to adjust the water levels. They are only drained in extreme circumstances such as a major storm like Irma. The draining prevents the flooding that would otherwise occur.

    • Thanks Lex. Yes, they do regularly drain the lagoons if a bad storm is coming. If they didn’t the lagoons would overflow and flood the surrounding homes and golf courses. All are interconnected with a drainage system so it’s not a difficult exercise but the fish are not very happy with the process!

  5. Great news from your corner of the world, Tina. Good to read that you are all fine. Your take on the challenge is outstanding and your reflections the highlight of today. x

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  7. lovely pictures, Tina! Especially that last one of the heron playing in the water and the first one of the clouds over the sand dunes covered with twigs. I didn’t realize Irma came so close to you too… I’m glad to read it only grazed South Carolina and your home and you are fine; besides, you were able to take quite impressive photos while Irma passed nearby. Not everyone had the same pleasure.

    Take care and happy photographing!

  8. It’s so encouraging to read a post like this after what Irma did. Your breathtaking pictures and awe-inspiring quotes show joy in the calm that follows the storm. My favorite: feathered fountain 🙂

  9. Such beautiful words and photos as always. We will be beginning serious boxing and packing in anticipation of the move in about 2 weeks Love to u Toni

    • Thanks PJB – it’s difficult to capture the roar of the seas when a hurricane is nearby – the photo doesn’t come close but it does help my memory of the sea’s power that day.

    • Indeed, the birds are great harbingers of what’s coming. The wood storks all ended up flying WAAAY up into the tallest tree and stayed there for the rest of the storm. I’d have thought ground level would be smarter but they were all here the next day so I guess they know what they’re doing! Thanks for your visit and comment Terri.

  10. Tina, I’m happy to read that you and the area survived so well. Your photos certainly didn’t suffer! Among Harvey, Irma, and now Jose, plus the earthquake, it’s difficult to imagine all the destruction and suffering going on.


  11. Love the last quote – our anchor is hope. It’s something each of us can create. Sad to hear about the fish but things come and go, and change is a part of life. Good to hear you are safe and hope rebuilding goes well.

    • Thanks Mabel – fortunately most of our island’s issues were minor and have already been resolved. Now we just have to hope there’s no other weather event lurking around the next corner!

  12. There is always such beauty with storms, beauty most people miss because of the dangers and negativity storms bring. However, I’m one who is always fascinated by storms and their beauty and you bring those out so well in your photos. I hope all will continue to be well, and that Maria ends up missing you as well. Take care ~

    • Thanks Randall – I agree. I love to watch the storms roll in and especially love the way the light changes along the way. Fingers crossed I think Maria is headed out to sea. What a season it’s been though – yikes!

  13. Tina, those were just wonderful shots! What a treat to see all that nature around you…and not be blown away. Glad you had no trouble from the storm.

  14. So glad for you that Kiawah was spared. Charleston was not so lucky. Strange that these locations are so close and yet affected so differently.
    Amazing bird pictures, especially the “fountain” bird but also the one in flight.

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  16. I’m glad that hurricane Irma did not affect your State of SC. We are in North West GA and we got a bit of the taste of rain and wind. Also the uncertain feeling of anticipation, because you could not do anything but worry of the” what if?” questions. Fortunately, everything turned out well in our favor.
    Great photos Tina! 🙂

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