Lens-Artists Challenge #9 – ACTION

“We can’t act until we know who we are and what we believe.”

Marian Deegan

Egret fishing and fish in beak


This week Patti has invited us to think about action – often a challenge for those who’ve not experimented with it. While I might not attempt a race car or a rocket launch 😀 I’ve had some success with the Blue Angels in flight, which was great fun. I’m also happy shooting the actions of many of nature’s creatures, some of which I’ve chosen  for today’s response.

I’m the first to admit that in addition to skill with the camera, it’s also important to get lucky. Such was the case in the photo-set above. The egret’s timing was perfect as it successfully speared a small fish; mine was pretty good too considering the speed of the attack. More importantly, I was lucky to have followed a successful hunt considering the number of times the birds miss!

orange carp with duck


“A dream without an action is like a fish without gills. It can’t survive.”

Israelmore Ayivor

In the set above we see an obvious infringement on the territory of some brightly-colored carp. Do you suppose his intentions are simply to share the waters, or perhaps he is lonely and looking for a friend.  Then again he may be thinking about his next meal – although some of those carp look like they might not go down without a fight! In any case the waters are so clear we can see our feathered friend paddling below the surface as the fish swim lazily by.

strand feeding dolphins, loggerhead hatchling


“Your actions today define tomorrow.”

Lailah Gifty Akita

In the images above I’ve shared some of Kiawah’s most iconic beach creatures in action. The left side of the set shows a bicyclist observing our river dolphins in the midst of strand-feeding. This behavior is unique to South Carolina and northern Georgia. The dolphin hunt in teams to herd baitfish onto the shore where both they and the most clever birds feast upon them. On the right, a newly-hatched loggerhead turtle struggles to make its way to the ocean, leaving a trail of flipper prints in its wake. Sadly, despite extensive conservation efforts, only 1 in 100 will make it to adulthood. Not surprisingly, since 1978 they have been on the endangered species list.

elephant and wildebeest


“Dream a little harder; now act with wonder.”

Debasish Mridha

One of my most treasured memories is the African safari we were fortunate to make several years ago.  I’ve combined two of Africa’s majestic creatures in their most fearsome postures. On the left, the mighty elephant. For the most part the many elephants we saw were gentle, loving and/or playful, but this particular bull was a bit off-put by our jeep and decided to let us know he was not happy. His display included swaying, flapping his ears and lowering his trunk, all classic signs of aggression. Let’s just say we didn’t hang around to see what would happen next! On the right two male wildebeests are having a go at each other, perhaps competing for leadership of the herd or for the attention of a nearby female. Happily, in this case we were not the objects of their ire.

owl flying and close-up


“Action is the bridge between thought and reality.”

Richie Norton

Among nature’s most amazing creatures, the Great Horned Owl is a study of poetry in motion. They are fierce and agile birds with incredibly strong talons, allowing them to deal effectively with prey of much larger size. They’ve adapted to most of the environments in North America as well as other areas throughout the world.

Kiawah's ocean and sea birds


“Action speaks louder than words, but not nearly as often.”

Mark Twain

Finally, a view of the motion of Kiawah’s ocean – which seems only appropriate as we turn the calendar page to September, and head from summer into fall. Those of us fortunate enough to be residents bid farewell to the island’s summer visitors and along with our beloved sea birds can once again enjoy the peace and quiet of our beautiful beach.

Thanks to Patti for her challenge this week (which you can find here), and a warm welcome to those of you who choose to participate. To see more information on how to join in the fun, click here.



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