Lens-Artists Challenge #87 – Reflections

cormorant, turtles, perch


“One cannot reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.”

Lao Tzu

There are very few photographers who do not appreciate a beautiful reflection. As I considered my response to this week’s Reflections challenge I thought about the many amazing species of birds here in Coastal South Carolina and the number of times I’ve captured their reflections. It seemed only natural to approach this week’s challenge with a combination of the two. Above, a cormorant and three lazy turtles are reflected in the pond below as they catch some sun at beautiful Magnolia Gardens.

seagull feeding


“The more peace we have within our own lives, the more we can reflect into the outer world.”

Senora Roy

There are more than 200 species of birds on Kiawah – way too many to include here. Birds of prey like hawks, eagles and ospreys, shorebirds such as gulls (like the one above), terns and plovers, and wading birds like herons, spoonbills and egrets all share our little world.  For more information on our avian population, click here.

roseate spoonbill, reflection, golf ball


“Words are chameleons, they reflect the color of their environment.”

Learned Hand

There are times when we interact a bit more closely than usual with our birds. I had to laugh at the roseate spoonbill above as it stared at the golf ball nestled in the nearby mud. Perhaps the bird is wondering what bizarre creature would lay such a strange, dappled egg, and further, was it the same species that left similar eggs just visible beneath the waters beyond?!

great blue heron, spread wings, marsh, Kiawah


“Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Above, I’ve included a favorite image I shot one evening several years ago along Kiawah’s marsh. I found the graceful elegance of the bird’s wings reflected in the waters to be simply exquisite. If a moment like that doesn’t cause one to reflect on nature’s blessings, I cannot begin to imagine what else possibly could.

Hooded Mergasner


“The way we experience the world around us is a direct reflection of the world within us.”

Ritu Ghatourey

Finally, as a verb rather than a noun, we reflect on the wonders with which Mother Nature surrounds us. Here on Kiawah we are vigilant stewards of our natural environment. Plastics are not allowed on our beaches. Lights out at 9 along our oceanfront insures that sea turtles will visit to lay their eggs. Situating buildings within native landscape buffers provides cover and shade during intense summer heat. Small inconveniences for our residents deliver important protections for all of our wildlife.

Sincere thanks to our Guest Host Miriam for joining us this week. Please be sure to link your response to her challenge which can be found here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to appear in our Reader section.

As always, we very much appreciate the continuing support of our followers –  you are the best! We hope you’ll join us again next week when Ann-Christine returns with Challenge # 88.




103 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #87 – Reflections

  1. WOW…how peaceful & soothing is this post in light of all going on……priceless!!! just gorgeous shots!!

  2. Beautiful reflections Tina, it’s lovely to see the cormorant and the turtles catching the sun’s rays again! xxx

  3. I think beautiful blue is also admiring the reflection he sees Tina 🙂
    Wonderful you have such a rich source of bird life on your doorstep so to speak . The Spoonbill is yes .. very puzzled I’m sure .. I can imagine you smiling as you lifted your camera to eye 😉

  4. Wonderful photos; I love waterbirds. I’ve seen herons open their wings like that while feeding, helps them to kill reflections off the surface as they search for food. Great photo that one.

    • Yes John, a Great Blue Heron. They are beautiful birds that remind me of pterodactyls when they fly by squawking (or at least what I assume pterodactyls sounded like back in their day). Thanks so much for your lovely comment.

  5. nature is so majestic elegant and graceful.Tina Ji you excel in capturing the exquisite style moment and the miraculous.Love all the reflections specially the last one.

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    • Thanks very much Suzanne – yes I remember that moment very vividly. It’s not often that everything comes together at just the right moment and you’re lucky to have a camera in hand!

  7. I love these! Birds are such fun! Miss them very much. All we have in Mt. Pleasant are geese which I have discovered are truly gross and irritating and I found that in Mt. Pleasant they have rights! After my dog knocked me down when we first moved in and I went to complain they have more rights than I do !

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  9. Such beauty all around you, Tina. So beautifully photographed and – what a great society taking good care of their natural friends! I wish that would be the case everywhere in the world. If I must chose favorites, they are the spoonbill and the graceful, beautiful blue. A wonderful post.

  10. Wonderful that the community makes these concessions to allow the wildlife to live their natural lives. I love the way the cormorant and the turtles are sharing a roost, comfortable neighbours just like the humans and birds and animals of Kiawah.

    • I agree wendy, and so does the wildlife :-). I do think the world would be a better place if more communities were mindful of the non-human residents but I guess it’s not so easy in other places. Thanks for your visit and comment.

  11. Your images are beautiful Tina, and it gives me such joy to read about the human stewardship of your local environment. I wish more communities would do this.

  12. Wonderful captures, Tina. I love birds and was delighted to have birds laid eggs and nurtured their young in my garden. It’s wonderful that you get to see so many bird species in South Carolina. The cormorant and three turtles are so cute, the roseate spoonbill starring at the golf ball made me think and it was a timely capture of the bird’s wings reflected in the waters. I’m grateful for the awareness of protecting Mother Earth.

    • 🙂 Thanks Jo, so glad this one caught your eye. The spoonbill does have an advantage with those beautiful pink feathers but it’s hard to beat the herons when their wings are stretched.

  13. Amazing wildlife you have down there Tina. Love your opening shot of the turtles and the shot of the spoonbill along with your wording on what he’s thinking about the golf ball egg…lol. Very nice 🙂

  14. Beautiful reflections, Tina. I’m not surprised that you are highlighting these amazing creatures, some of which we saw during our visit to Kiawah. You truly live in an avian paradise. The spoonbills astound me with their marvelous coloration. I have never seen a merganser before. Fascinating!

  15. Tina, just amazing … love the top image with the 3 turtles. Well spotted. The beautiful blue is a magic image. You always deliver with such grace and harmony.

    • Thanks Amy. The mergansers are notoriously difficult to shoot as they flirt around in their dark and white colors!! Let’s just say I had a few throwaways before that one😊

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