Lens-Artists Challenge #51 – UNIQUE

“It never fails to amaze me how the most ordinary day can be catapulted into the extraordinary in the blink of an eye.”

Jodi Picoult

deer in forest

OH DEER

This week Amy invites us to talk about uniqueness. You may be thinking, what’s so unique about a deer?  Here on our little island one of the most unique (and special) things is the frequency with which one can encounter some of nature’s most beautiful creatures. Exhibit A of course, the sweet face of the little deer peering at me one day last week from the woods that border my running path.  

alligator

FEARSOME

“Extraordinary magic is woven through ordinary life. Look around!”

Amy Leigh Mercree

Speaking of encounters, perhaps a bit less beautiful (except maybe to another alligator) but equally extraordinary, the fearsome fellow above was just on the other side of my running path the same day I encountered the deer.  They’re amazing creatures really – relatively unchanged from prehistoric times although happily somewhat smaller. This fellow was probably 5 or 6 feet long and couldn’t have cared less about the presence of yours truly and my trusty Fuji.  Look closely at his neck just behind his head and you’ll see a metal tag, which is part of a study currently underway on the health and habits of these amazing reptiles.

YOUNG BOBCAT

PRETTY KITTY

“Every snowflake is unique, yet they are each perfect.”

Donald L. Hicks

Another example of the unique nature of our island is the welcome presence of our wild bobcats. I captured this image some time ago on the famed Ocean Course – known to golfers worldwide. Our bobcats are well-studied and fervently protected. They are our primary means of controlling the deer population on the island, as well as the pesky marsh rats that lurk in our dense grasses. One never knows when a bobcat will appear, so it’s best to be camera-ready at all times. Although they are typically deeply hidden in the marsh grasses, they can also be found crossing our boardwalks and roads to travel throughout the island.

tryptic of bobcat, turtle, dolphin on kiawah

KIAWAH CREATURES

“Uniqueness is the highest gift of existence.”

Amit Ray

Above, a tryptic of some of the other iconic creatures we see here on Kiawah. First, our dolphins – caught in the act of strand feeding. This is a unique behavior practiced by the dolphins of coastal South Carolina. They form teams to herd baitfish (typically mullet) onto the beach. They follow the fish out of the water and feast on them, leaving many to be devoured by watching seagulls. This amazing act of nature has been studied and filmed by National Geographic as evidence of the dolphins’ ability to communicate, work as a team and teach their young.  Next to the dolphins is a newly-hatched loggerhead turtle. Here on our protected barrier island, 300+ pound mother turtles crawl onto the beach in the dead of night to dig nests and lay eggs. The hatchlings emerge some 2-3 months later, usually right around dawn, and make their way to the ocean water beyond. Happily, this season there are already some 300 nests, promising a record year for these special creatures. My image was captured just as a nest’s last hatchling crawled to the ocean one pre-dawn morning. Last but not least, one of our iconic bobcats crossing a boardwalk between the Ocean Course and the marsh beyond.

roseate spoonbills in a pond

THE BIRDS, THE BIRDS

“It’s the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.”

Darren Hardy

I’ve posted quite a few images of our beautiful birds of late but honestly I never tire of seeing and shooting them. I was driving home from the golf course one day and happily had my camera and a long lens in my car. Fortunately no one was tailgating me because when I spotted these colorful creatures sharing a shallow pond I slammed on my brakes and yanked my car to the side of the road as fast as you can say Roseate Spoonbill!

 

Cute little puppy

LITTLE CUTIE

“Each creature is a unique piece of art to be respected and believed in.”

Sameh Elsayed

OK, I’ll admit it, the adorable creature above is NOT one that is found in the wild here on Kiawah.  Last month I donated my time to photograph a charity tennis event to which one of the contestants brought this little cutie. I’d never seen one like it, and have since forgotten what breed it is, but I couldn’t resist including it as a truly unique creature. Feel free to respond with the name of the breed if you know it!

We look forward to seeing what’s unique about your world in your responses this week, and hope to see you next week right here on Travels and Trifles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

96 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #51 – UNIQUE

  1. Those are unique deer ears. My sister has deer that transits through her neighborhood. It appears her house is on the “deer trail”. Nice bobcat photo. 🙂

    PS – I hope your granddaughter is doing well with her summer horse-riding season.

      • May I ask which show and what level she’ll be riding. Deborah and Elizabeth rode in Vermont when they were newly-minted novices. Trish, their coach/instructor, also rode in Vermont as a beginner, novice and junior from her home barn in NC. Practically every major rider has rode in Vermont, so your granddaughter is in good company. Make sure she enjoys herself and have a little fun. It is part of the experience too. 🙂

      • Deborah and Elizabeth rode that one, 2007(?). They enjoyed that one since it was their first big show on the road. 🙂

  2. That deer is anything but ordinary to me, Tina. Fantastic to be able to record such an image so sensitively. 🙂 🙂 It’s a lovely home you’ve got yourself.

  3. all truly UNIQUE shots Tina….great EYE!!! couldn’t take my eye off that little doggie…truly unique as i too have NEVER seen ….darling!!!

  4. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #51 : Unique | nowathome

  5. Hi Tina,
    I LOVE the ears on that sweet looking deer. I just want to say Awwww to it and the adorable lil puppy.
    Nice selection for the unique topic. I had to smile while viewing the baby turtle trying to make its way to safe waters.
    Have a super week …
    Isadora 😎

  6. I totally get your urge to pull off the road to get that shot, Tina! Love all the unique images and the quotes to go with them. I will say that the deer’s ears look somewhat unique. The spoonbills are amazingly pink and unique!

  7. Pingback: Lens-Artist-PC-51-Unique – WoollyMuses

  8. Wonderful images and elegantly presented, as usual! I love all creatures except spiders and cockroaches – and your creatures in Kiawah are truly astounding. Unique and beautiful – even the gator. But I would not go too close – not even a long lens might help…

  9. Beautiful images Tina, every creature is so unique in its own right,and I especially love your capture of the deer 🤗💖 xxx

  10. Pingback: lens-artists challenge #51 – unique | myguiltypleasures

  11. Tina, what a fabulous gallery and post. You are a fantastic author and photographer.
    Yes, our nature and all its gifts to us and creatures are very unique. So is our body … and I would love to do a post about our body and how it works and heals, but the problem is lack of images. So I had to go in another direction. https://wp.me/p293Pw-hHh

  12. OK, I read every comment so far being curious as to the breed of that puppy. I don’t know either but it’s sure a darling photograph. Makes me want to get another dog. Only saving me from that is our condo rules against pets. >grin<

  13. Thank you Tina. Beautiful reminders of our love for Kiawah.

    Jim plugging along. Thanks for the card and encouragement. ♥️

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  14. As always, your photography is amazing, but I’ll stick with the gorgeous birds, wonderful turtles and dolphins. I’ll leave the alligators and bobcats to those not as chicken as me. 🙂 The pink feathers on those birds and the faces of the dolphins were wonderful shots.

  15. You make a very convincing argument for the uniqueness of Kiawah! Beautiful shots, as always, Tina. I am just astounded how you co-exist with alligators–even on the golf course! I keep returning to the color of the bobcat’s eyes. Gorgeous.

  16. Pingback: (You Got To) Roll With It – Proscenium

  17. Just love all of our beautiful creatures with whom we share our beautiful islands!

    Could the puppy be a teddy bear Pomeranian?
    I will send you a screenshot via email.

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