Lens-Artists Challenge #11 – Small is Beautiful

“Even the smallest blessing on earth is enough reason to be thankful for your life.”

Edmond Mbiaka



Well as most of you know, this was quite a week here in the southeastern US. Hurricane Florence unleashed her fury on our friends in North Carolina and for most of the week threatened us here in South Carolina. Thankfully, our island was spared and our week brought nothing more than a bit of rain and some wind – and of course quite a bit of angst. 



“The smallest of action is better than the greatest of intentions.”

Mohammed Imran Uddin

As our fears were stoked by the weather forecasters and the continuously shifting hurricane models, my husband and I decided to “shelter in place” with a wait-and-see attitude. Ready to leave at a moment’s notice in response to our governor’s mandatory evacuation notice, we and many of our neighbors were fortunate that our decision turned out to be a good one as the storm never really impacted us. One thing it did do, however, was cause me to get out on a regular basis to check nature’s reaction to the atmospheric conditions. All of today’s images as well as my header were created as the threat of the storm hung over our heads.



“Big is only an accumulation of many smalls.”

Richelle E. Goodrich

Apparently the kayakers in the capture above had also decided to await the storm’s arrival while enjoying some of the glorious colors it created in our waters and across our skies. The light this week was quite glorious – almost as if nature was giving us a gift before bringing on the impending havoc. 



“An oak tree is just a small nut that persevered against the taunts of doubt and fear.”

Matshona Dhilwayo

As our waterways rose, high tide created beautiful scenes such as those above and below. Puffy clouds were reflected on unusually blue waters, and small blades of marsh grass replete with tiny snails poked through. River dolphins meandered through the streams, no doubt feeding on the bait fish which seemed as confused as we were. 



“It’s the little things that make big things happen.”

Anthony T. Hincks

The light was simply amazing, painting the grasses in shades of green and gold under colorful skies. Riding my bike was a bit more challenging than usual in view of the stronger winds, but the vistas made it very much worth the effort. Happily my X-T2 is light enough to accompany me as I ride about. Interestingly, at one point I stopped to shoot a mama deer and her fawn. As I sat motionless on my bike, the mama came right up to me and began licking the salt from my legs. Perhaps the storm threat had made her a bit more daring than usual!



“A house is never small or empty when filled with love.”

Anthony Liccione

Finally, a small roseate spoonbill seems to have lost its way and been adopted by a flock of egrets. I made this capture early today as the birds feasted on the bait fish exposed in our lowered lagoons. This particular pond is directly behind my home, and although we’re often visited by egrets and herons, and occasionally hawks and eagles, it’s the first time I’ve seen a spoonbill on it. He looks a bit envious of his larger brethren, don’t you think?  🙃.

Our thoughts are very much with our neighbors to the north as they continue to experience heavy rainfall and probable continued flooding. Here’s hoping Florence picks up her pace and heads off into the sunset soon.


Please visit Amy’s “Small is Beautiful” challenge, and should you decide to join in you can find more information on our challenges here.



113 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #11 – Small is Beautiful

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  3. The weather forecasters do seem to invite panic, Tina, but I can’t help but feel enormous relief that your lovely island escaped. All of nature seems to be hovering there, on the brink! 🙂 🙂

  4. Your photos are just incredible, Tina! I’m so glad you didn’t feel the impact and you were able to stay home. The media can whip up a frenzy but this storm was nothing to take lightly! We still have amazing sunsets due to lingering smoke in the air here in California from the fires, some of which are still burning. I guess nature puts on her show whenever she feels like it!

  5. This has been quite a week of nail biting for many of us on the East Coast. Glad to hear that Kiawah was spared and, hopefully, Charleston, didn’t flood too much. As a result of storm preparations, my porch has never looked cleaner! As usual, you gather the most gorgeous pictures from your environment and make me a bit homesick for the island….

  6. So glad your home and community were not impacted by Florence, Tina. How scary. My sister is in coastal Virginia and it missed her too. What gorgeous photos! You sure live in a beautiful place.

  7. Couldn’t not think of you this week with all the news about Florence. I was wondering how your island would fare. Glad to know Florence didn’t have much effect on you, only to produce this wonderful light and glad you got out there to capture it. The (3) small grasses/kayakers on the water are stunning shots – the water gleams. And to have a deer lick your leg must have been incredible! Stay safe Tina 🙂

  8. Beautiful as always. Such peace on Kiawah in spite of weather. Thank you. Toni

    On Sat, Sep 15, 2018 at 2:57 PM Travels and Trifles wrote:

    > Tina Schell posted: ““Even the smallest blessing on earth is enough reason > to be thankful for your life.” Edmond Mbiaka Well as most of you know, this > was quite a week here in the southeastern US. Hurricane Florence unleashed > her fury on our friends in North Carolin” >

  9. Peaceful and beautiful photos, Tina, and a relief that all is well in SC. The past few days has been a strange mix of hurricane watching, with Florence and Mangkhut in Hong Kong…the power (and beauty) of Mother Nature never ceases to amaze.

  10. Heard about the hurricane on the news here in Australia, Tina. Good to hear you are okay. It sounds like a ferocious storm. The calm before the storm did look calm indeed. No guessing how bad a storm will be until it actually hits.

    Love that last shot of the spoonbill and the egret. He does look a little bit lost 😁 He actually looks like he got a nice coat of feathers on…maybe he has a flock somewhere not far off and he was sent to suss out new waters. Not sure if the egrets look welcoming. They seem to be keepomv their distance 😁😂

  11. Stunning, pics, I love the cloud reflections & reeds – the hurricane really did bring you some beautiful lighting. Glad to hear you are ok, have been thinking of you this week.

  12. Beautiful photos Tina. I’ve been thinking about you and wondering if you were impacted – so glad you dodged this one. Both my girls and family live in Nags Head and we were so worried. They did the same as you – stayed and ready to leave at a moment’s notice. So glad they came through safely. Take care!!

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  14. I want to come back home!!!! We came to Charlotte and now are waiting for the rain to come through here and Columbia – don’t want to drive through heavy rain coming back! Thank heavens Kiawah is in good shape, however it is a guilty feeling when we see the destruction elsewhere. The little spoonbill looks like a little kid wanting to play with the cool kids. They appear to be overlooking him! Loved the story of the mother deer. one of my neighbors told me one deer comes to play with his dog! I got lost in Myers Park yesterday somewhere near where that enormous tree they keep showing came down. Too bad GPS doesn’t include”Watch out for falling trees!” Great pictures and light!

    • Thanks ML. I suspect as nervous as those who evacuated were, it was a bit more tense for those who stayed. We were glued to the news and weather reports which of course focused on worst case scenarios. (But they did do a great job of keeping us updated, especially the local stations) Thankfully it all worked out for us but we are so sad for those who were not so fortunate.

      Sent from my iPhone


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  16. Thanks for taking on the role of Journalist. Nothing like seeing wonderful real time photos to reassure those of us who were away that everything is indeed fine. The spoonbill’s location at the base of your lowered pond was the best sight, best image-puffy clouds!!

  17. Nice to see our beautiful island intact and as beautiful as I remember. I think the little spoonbill looks a tad intimidated by those larger egrets…but it looks like they are ‘coming in peace’ 🙂

  18. So glad to hear you are all safe Tina and your images are beautiful – the calmness of the wildlife is very reassuring in times like these 💜 xxx

  19. enjoyed your take on small – and this quote ““It’s the little things that make big things happen.” is in line with my life mision – something I really believe.
    and isn’t interesting how there is the calm before the storm – makes me every grateful to have technology to warn us.
    glad SC and other areas were not hit hard –

    oh and cool how the egrets adopted the spoonbill – heart-warming.
    and did you hear the recent news story about
    the pod of beluga whales that adopted a lonely narwhal ( in the sSt Lawrence river)?

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