Lens-Artists Challenge #63 – Magical Mother Nature

“When Mother Nature speaks, even the Gods hold silence.”

Abhijit Naskar



As most of you know, last week the coastline of the eastern US, including SC and our beloved Kiawah Island, had a very close call with Hurricane Dorian.  My husband and I chose not to evacuate, having experienced several previous storms predicted to be of similar magnitude without issue. The day before the storm was due, I set out with my Fuji for some “before” images. My opening capture was made that day, as were the bird photos below. The beach image includes our highly vulnerable dunes, which had been battered by king tides all week.

Circle, tree, birds


“No one broods like Mother Nature”

Richelle E. Goodrich

It’s always interesting to me to watch the birds gather when storms approach. I loved the way they were perched around the circular configuration of branches above, almost like a circus trick. There seemed to be no discrimination among different species, with egrets, wood storks, ospreys, gulls and herons mixing freely.

wood storks with spread wings


“Storms are nature’s way of evening out the odds.”

Anthony T. Hincks

I had some terrific opportunities to capture our avian friends, and will surely find ways to include some of my results in future posts. I’ve chosen only two for today, as there are other elements of this past week I wanted to share.

WEST BEACH , kiawah, Dorian storm damage


“Always respect Mother Nature.”

James Rollins

Dorian hit our coast late in the day and unleashed her wrath throughout the night and into the following afternoon. It was well beyond anything we expected or had experienced in the past. The night was so dark you literally couldn’t tell if your eyes were open or closed.  When lightening lit the sky you could see the trees blowing so furiously it was hard to understand why they weren’t simply flying out of their roots into the maelstrom.  The roar of the winds made perfectly clear what was happening during those moments when the darkness was at its deepest. 

Hurricane Dorian tree damage


“Such was the hidden power of nature.”

Kenneth Eade

Once the storm quieted late the following day, I was able to walk a few blocks although the roads were still impassable with fallen trees and mountains of debris. Of the two images above, the first is at the corner of my street where it meets the main road onto the island. The second was about a half mile further onto the island, and was as far as I ventured that first day. Despite the close call, we were fortunate that none of the many trees surrounding our home were uprooted.

tree damage, Hurricane Dorian


“Mother nature is intentional….She will roar when she needs us to take a second look.”

Peta Kelly

On the second day my husband and I took a short ride around the island. There were quite a few huge trees that had been felled like matchsticks. The image above shows one of several that toppled across the entry to one of our golf courses. We were surprised that with so many trees down there was very little serious damage. Road crews were everywhere as were electrical repair teams. The island was without power for 3 days, some homes for a bit longer. Although we had a generator for necessities we very much missed creature comforts like hot water and our oven, and luxuries like television and a dishwasher. We used our gas stove to make coffee and boil water for dishwashing, and enjoyed several good books. Our generator kept our wireless alive, so we were able to follow storm updates on live-streaming local news. Through it all we realized how fortunate we were compared to the disaster in the Bahamas. 

KIAWAH beach


“If we’re good to Mother Nature, she will be good to us.”

Viola Shipman

After our ride, I walked up to see the impact of the storm tides on our beautiful beach. Thankfully there was little if any erosion due to the direction and timing of the winds at the hurricane’s peak. The day was one of Mother Nature’s finest, with bright sunshine, low humidity and a gentle breeze.  The shore birds had returned in abundance and were feasting on the many delectable items the storm had churned up. The tide was farther out than I’d ever seen it; the beach was virtually deserted since evacuees and visitors were not allowed on the island until the roads were clear.

Beach, starfish, seashells


“No one weaves the exquisite quite like Mother Nature.”

Foster Kinn

The beach was covered with starfish and seashells which had been delivered by the unusually violent storm surf. Although one might think I’d arranged the items in the image above, I simply shot the configuration exactly as Mother Nature created it. If there was one such combination, there were literally hundreds. It’s no wonder the birds were so plentiful.

Starfish in sand


“Mother Nature is always one step ahead when it comes to beauty. She’s quite the artist.”

Giovanna Fletcher

Sincere thanks to Ann-Christine for the opportunity to illustrate Mother Nature’s magical ability to create, destroy and create anew. Her storms make room for new life and help us to appreciate the beauty of all that we are putting at risk. She reminds us of her power lest we forget or take undue advantage of all she has given us. I will not preach about humankind’s disregard for her gifts except to say this: take heed – during times such as the week just passed it becomes ever more apparent that zero hour is fast approaching.

Ann-Christine, Patti and I look forward to seeing what is magical in your world. Be sure to use the Lens-Artists tag, and to link your post back to Ann-Christine’s original.  Wishing everyone a wonderful week; be sure to join us next week when Amy posts Challenge #64 on her Share and Connect site.










138 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #63 – Magical Mother Nature

  1. Again very beautiful photos. The broken trees broke my hard a little. We had the problem here as well with winds breaking down trees, making it difficult to walk through the woods.

  2. Soooo glad you ‘weathered’ the storm. When my parents lived in Hilton Head they evacuated inland one time, and were heavily rained on there. Your account was very informative. Nice to have the ‘local’ insight. Your photos? As usual, ho hum, they are absolute top of the line, highly professional, and always a pleasure to view.

    • You are most kind John, many thanks. Yes that happens for sure. I guess the difference is serious inconvenience vs life-threatening. Sometimes the storms teeter on the edge as this one did. It was our toughest call so far and we hope not to face another one any time soon!

  3. I am glad that you and Kiawah were not badly damaged and that you managed to get such wonderful before and after images. The starfish are amazing. I suppose this won’t be the last storm / hurricane to hit your shores though. Let’s hope they are all so relatively harmless as they pass by. What with the hurricanes and drought and bush fires you have to wonder if Mother Nature is trying to tell us humans that there are some places where we should not be inhabiting.

  4. Magical images of Nature’s forces, Tina! Love your beach! Glad you made it through, but how do you get used to these ? Or maybe you don’t. I would have been terribly afraid and shaky. Strolling the beach after Dorian must be rewarding though, so many magical treasures to be found.

    • No, not a good idea to get used to
      Them A-C. Best to consider every one of them dangerous until proven otherwise. Cut it a bit too close on this one and for lucky thank goodness True tho, if we’d evacuated the starfish would have been gone before we returned.

  5. Oh, your photos and commentary are exquisite and remind me of my growing up years in Florida. I have also been through hurricanes and experienced the before and after images. It is amazing to see first hand what mother nature can do. But then you have captured the beauty of nature’s artwork after the storm as well. I love the final picture of a star fish shining on the beach.

    • Thanks Dor, yes Fla gets more
      Than their fair share for sure! It’s always a Judgement call to
      Stay or go. Thankfully this time it worked out and I got to enjoy the beautiful aspects of the aftermath. Wouldn’t cut it so close if I had it to do over tho!

  6. I’m so glad to read you were safe and unharmed and that you got 3 books read to boot, too. Your photos are intriguing and stunning despite the destruction. The starfish one is amazing – it does look like it could’ve been staged, but I agree – it is simply a magical creation. Thank you for sharing your world with us. Hope the love bugs depart soon!

    • Thanks Shelley, funny I usually read online but a friend had just given me 3 books she’d just finished. Her timing was perfect and I loved all 3 tho they were very different. As for the love bugs, still going strong 😫

      • So nice you were able to find comfort in the books while you waited for things to get back to ‘normal’.
        Dang bugs – this year has been a year with lots of them. Grr!

  7. I’m soooooo glad you stayed safe even among the destruction in your area, Tina! I would have done the same as you to record the event prior. Gorgeous pics, you can see Mother Nature brooding with the light play and varieties of birds canoodling together. 😁

  8. The last photos of the sea shells and starfish were like Mother Nature’s signature…. with love, reminding us of restoration and renewal. Thanks for letting me see Dorian through your lens..l I prefer it that way!

  9. What a stunning set of images, Tina, and wise words about respecting the power and majesty of Mother Nature. Although you had to endure a terrible storm, your images are a wonderful “silver lining.” Thank you for sharing your experience and I’m relieved that you’ve come through this with little damage to the island and that you are safe.

  10. I did think of you so thanks for the before-and-after photos. So glad you got through it ok and your photos are awesome. Specially like the two photos of birds – they’re really sweet!

  11. We’ve been reading a bit about the devastation caused by the hurricane in our part of the world so I’m happy you escaped the brunt of it . Your eyewitness account was fascinating and the morning after photographs were great. Interesting post Tina.

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  13. I do suspect the birds somehow sensed a storm of great magnitude was approaching. They were gathering together. Your photo journal – and description – of the hurricane from a first person perspective is both stunning and memorable. Interspersed with those quotes too! So glad you and your home emerged safe to be our “reporter on the scene.” My favorite is the starfish collage on the sand.

  14. I must admit when Nature unleashes its power, I find it fascinating. There is much beauty on the before and after of your shots. Growing up in the Philippines, we are constantly bombarded with storm. Here, Dorian passed by at the east cost that I was planning to visit that did not pan out. Must be nice to have a generator, Tina.

    • Well truth be told Perpetua, we were loaned the generator by a friend who evacuated so were were just lucky. Mother Nature gave us a pass this time but who knows what the future holds!

  15. Where to begin with these…Absolutely captivating.. I absolutely love that first beach photo, and I would not mind at all having all roads keep me from leaving the beach 😛

  16. Dear Tina Ji Touched to the depths of my soul and spirit,truth strikingly captured reflected in the severity of natures actions and manifestation of its force, a close warning for those who understand the signs…your faith shines through your work, you have a pure heart and I may say without doubt after reading through this wonderful in depth capture that you have the spirit of a true believer, with strength courage and patience. The camera hand needs tremendous energy and calmness which your work this week specially displays.

      • Tina Ji, welcome, your work manifests the special gift that the Almighty has blessed you with…’Stay close to nature and thou shalt not err’ wrote Alexander Pope in his mock epic poem Rape of the Lock…you are close to nature and merge with it beautifully with your lens eye talent. Wish you well stay blessed amen.

  17. Tina. Great as usual. Photos and descriptive Prose Sent this post to all our kids. Fun to play today, although my game wasn’t so fun!!! Anne

    Sent from my iPhone


  18. Storm are scary and I am glad that you and your family are safe. The starfish are so beautiful.I hope the coming months will not see any more hurricanes or storms for you.

  19. Thank you for showing us how your beautiful island looked after the storm. So glad there wasn’t more damage. After seeing your photos and reading your description it reminded me of how my neighborhood looked after Hurricane Matthew in 2017.

  20. It was a scary time for many people, Tina. The power of nature, in a rage, should make us all tremble. How lucky we are that most of the time she smiles benignly at us, like your beautiful sunny skies shot. I always find that glimmer of sun on water magical. 🙂 🙂

  21. Wonderful photos capturing the before and the after. I am glad the devastation was not worse on you island. We had a thunderstorm of considerable sound and illumination last week, Usually they move off quite quickly but this one stuck overhead for just over an hour! I thought that it must have been horrendous to have been in the Bahamas with that catastrophic hurricane powering over them for two days.

    • I agree Anne. Having lived through a night and half of a day of a Cat 3 that never came ashore, I cannot imagine being in the heart of 5 days of a Cat 5. What a horror it must have been.

  22. Tina, this is a wonderful compilation of photos expressing all elements of the storm. Some frightening…some beautiful, and some peaceful.

  23. Hurricanes are like nothing else I have ever been through, Tina. Toppled trees, no electricity–I can so relate. Only redeeming factor: we have a gas hot water heater, so ‘Hello, hot shower.’ Gorgeous photos, as always.

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