Lens-Artists Challenge #93 – Morning



“I didn’t want normal until I didn’t have it anymore”

Maggie Stiefvater

Our challenge this week is to share aspects of our mornings as we adapt to the “new normal” of COVID-19. My response was inspired by one of our followers, who recently asked if I’m doing more photography in light of the extra time available under new curve-flattening regulations. When the question was asked, I realized that the answer was no, and I set about to change that.



“When it is becomes impossible to go back to normal ,we have to create a new normal and adjust to it.”

Sabine Shah

I decided to combine my morning exercise routine with my love of nature photography by taking my camera on some morning bike rides – a great way to enjoy our beautiful springtime weather while maintaining good health. Today’s images are some of my results. I began (of course) on our beautiful beach, where I found the lone sun seeker pictured in my opening image. Then, since several of our golf courses are closed, I rode the cart paths, a perfect place to catch our local creatures as they go through THEIR morning routines.

algae-covered alligator


“Life went back to normal after that, as it will do if you’re not careful.”

Michael Monture

There are certain areas of our island where one can be assured of creature-sightings. One of them is a lagoon on the first hole of a nearby course. It was there that I captured both the little blue heron and the alligator images above. I find it interesting that although alligators will often eat birds, for the most part they co-exist peacefully, albeit with a certain distance between them. The birds are ever-watchful of the seemingly docile gators, as well they should be!

alligator with fish


“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

Maya Angelou

The image above was not captured during the same ride. I actually shot it with my iPhone during a morning round of golf on a different course later in the week. My friends and I laughed at the little juvenile gator who was so proud of his catch, and was being very protective. They say the juveniles are actually more dangerous than full-grown alligators, as they don’t realize they can’t seriously hurt you. We are all agreed never to test that theory. As an aside, those of us on Kiawah are very happy that a few of our courses remain open for play. We follow social distancing rules carefully, carry or push our own golf bags and enjoy the ability to get some fresh air and socialize with friends.

deer, woods


“Do you really think this will be over someday and things will go back to normal?”

Jason Medina

My final image captures one of our many deer, who unfortunately decided to make her move just as I hit the shutter button. She’s included because she was a part of my ride, and because deer are definitely a part of Kiawah mornings.  In response to Mr. Medina’s quote above, yes, I do believe this will be over someday. But I’m not sure “back to normal” is either possible or desirable. Hopefully we have all learned some valuable lessons about what’s important in our lives and will be more focused on those things as we return to the new normal sooner rather than later.

Thanks to Ann-Christine for giving us the opportunity to share a key part of our lives. I chose to skip the part of my day when I lumber sleepy-eyed into our family room to join my husband, who always has coffee and the newspaper waiting for me. I am not now, nor have I ever been a morning person, so I’ll just leave that part to your imagination 😊. Thank you, as always, for your continuing support. We look forward to sharing what your mornings look like these days. Remember to link them to Ann-Christine’s original post here, and to use the Lens-Artists TAG. We hope you’ll join us next week when Amy presents us with our next challenge.

In closing, because Earth Day is celebrated this week on April 22, I’m including a link to a beautiful presentation by the NASA artist who designs their annual Earth Day celebration poster. It’s a truly beautiful piece, is quite short, and makes one feel good about life here on earth, COVID-19 notwithstanding. You can view it here – preferably full-screen. A big shout-out to my friend Diane who sent it to me.



129 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #93 – Morning

  1. Excellent photos, as always, Tina. Gators, positively prehistoric. Although I’ve read they are quite fast, in a straight line, I’m glad they don’t have the hind legs of Tyrannosaurus Rex!

    • Many thanks John. They really haven’t changed since prehistoric versions except, thank goodness, for size. And yes, I saw a huge gator chasing a juvenile across the grasses to get him out of his territory (or to eat him I guess) and they were really, really fast! Fortunately the little guy was a bit faster 😊


  2. Thank you for sharing your morning ride with us. That first shot is awesome – I’d love to be sitting there on a beach enjoying the peacefulness of listening to the waves crashing and feeling the warmth of the sun. Perhaps I’m beach deprived? Wow – alligators and deer interesting. We have deer by us, but no alligators. I agree with you – we’ll get back to a new normal, soon I hope! Our Governor opened up the golf courses, but not the shops, so people can get out and exercise. Now that the snow is off them, I suspect more and more people will take the opportunity to get out and enjoy spring. Take care and stay safe, and thank you for the smiles today, your pictures always make me smile!

  3. Pingback: Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #93 – Twenty Four

  4. Pingback: Lens-Artist-PC-93-Morning – WoollyMuses

  5. What a beautiful place to take morning bike rides! I could sit on the beach and watch the sun rise every morning!
    “See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me” – From the movie Moana

    • As an added bonus John, the sand on our beach is very hard-packed making it perfect for bike riding. We laugh at visitors flying along with the wind knowing their return will be VERY arduous. It’s a mistake we only make once LOL.

  6. The first quote you cited is so true, and so telling, “I didn’t want normal until I didn’t have it anymore.” When I was in the military, we often equated normal with freedom. Everyone back home didn’t realize why we were in country X. We were defending freedom. And, yes, giving a people who hadn’t experienced freedom, a taste of it. Unlike the enemy we can subdue with the force of arms, the normalcy we’ll return to will be much different. We’ll wonder about a sneeze, a cough, a runny nose – are they contagious? Do they have a mask?

    The morning I’d like to wake to is that this was all part of a very bad, nightmarish dream.

    I like the proud gator with his catch of the day. 🙂

    Stay well, stay safe.

    • Thanks David, I thought that quote very telling as well. I think we all share your sentiments about this having been a bad dream. Hopefully we’ll all learn a bit of something from it.

  7. I’m not a morning person either, but I have come to realise that often it is the best part of the day. I love all the wonderful wildlife you have on your doorstep. But that woman sunbathing would be asked to move on over here. Sunbathing is not considered to be exercise! Though I am sure a certain amount is beneficial to our health. I would certainly be keeping my distance from that alligator! Thank you for the link to that lovely video too.

    • I’ll admit we keep a careful distance as well Jude! (altho I did get a bit close to the juvie since I had only an iPhone for his photo) As for the sunbather, our only regulation here is to social distance and to be in groups of no more than 3 people so she is happily obeying all the rules during her contemplation of nature’s beauty. And yes, I’m sure it’s good for her health as well! We do treasure our ability to be outside and are careful to stay away from others lest the privilege be taken away.

  8. It’s wonderful to see the variety of wildlife on your bike ride Tina, I especially love your image of the little blue heron. Wishing you a peaceful week ahead and hope you continue to stay safe and well xxx

  9. Tina, the first image … I would love to have that morning activity after breakfast, with some great music in the earphones or just sit and listen to the waves. Beautiful and poetic as always.

      • Tina, you’re not allow .. I think we all need to consider many things during and after the virus. Because if we don’t do things better for ourselves and our surroundings – all this has been for nothing. We just have to change … take time for ourselves and for others. Take time and give time to to watch the waves.

  10. I’ve learned to appreciate mornings, Tina. The light is wonderful, it’s quiet and on days I don’t have to rush out the door, which are few, I can wake up at 7am, get my coffee and slowly wake up. Your mornings on Kiawah look wonderful and I’m happy your golf courses are open. Thanks for that link, I’ll go check it out.

  11. What a beautiful morning, Tina! I love your take on the challenge and how you’re adapting to the “new normal.” Like you, I realized I’m taking fewer photos. And like you, I’ve resolved to change that. Take care. I’m glad to see that you’re doing well despite the craziness that surrounds us!

    • Thanks Patti. Whatever restrictions we face, they are far fewer and easier to deal with than those of so many others. Thank goodness we still have access to Mother nature’s gifts.

  12. Pingback: Morning | What's (in) the Picture?

  13. “Life went back to normal after that, as it will do if you’re not careful.”

    Michael Monture

    A lovely morning ride, Tina! It really is a gift to be able to go outdoors. (And, I did not include pictures of myself either…) Love the juvenile and the beach guy especially. The quotes are all awesome and the Monture one is something to ponder. I hadn’t read that one before. Thank you also for the link to the video – very interesting. I read a book about these connections, and they are amazing. Something I intuitively always have felt to be a fact. Stay well and have a beautiful Sunday ♥

  14. Hehe, I’m not a morning person either and these non work mornings in isolation are lovely. I could be persuaded up to go to your beautiful beach though. What a great picture and the sun bather says it all.

  15. More gators Tina…lol. I don’t think I could ever get used to just seeing those guys hanging around. Glad to hear you have a few courses open…still waiting up here. Good point about getting out and shooting more during this mess. Haven’t been either but going to make it a point to do that now.

    • LOL, we like to think of them as a lovely addition to our game Andy. If the golf is going badly there’s always a bit of nature to enjoy :-). Last week we saw a huge gator running after a small one who obviously had infringed on his territory. It was truly frightening to see how fast they moved as they’re normally very docile. Let’s just say if our balls go into the lagoon-side weeds we don’t go looking for it!

    • Thanks Nora, I agree wholeheartedly! Sadly our governor has decided it’s time to reopen the beaches to the public. Hoping against hope there is a responsible approach to his gift!

  16. I’m so glad you are taking your camera on your morning outings.These are wonderful images . Gators! and Deer! And nice quotes about normal and not so normal. I think we will have a “new” normal. Before 911 we could take water bottles and scissors and knives on planes and never have to be patted down. But now we don’t even think about the security before getting on a plane. i wonder what we will get used to after CV19?

    • You’re so right Anne – I hadn’t thought of that. Let’s just hope we doni’t have to get used to wearing masks for very long! They say we may abandon the handshake for good, which wouldn’t bother me at all!!

  17. Wonderful opening quote. Back to normal… So much we take for granted. Catch of the day is an awesome shot. Something most of us have never seen on Kiawah!!

    • Thanks Kathy – yes we really laughed at the little gator and his big fish. I also got a shot of him with the fish in his mouth but preferred the one I used. He was definitely guarding his hard-fought treasure!

    • I guess the secret is photograph first, then focus on the ride Brian. I’ll admit I don’t normally feature distractions but now and then it’s a lovely break 🙂

  18. I love your beautiful nature photos you took while taking your morning exercise routine. That juvenile gator was happy with his catch.
    Lovely image of the Blue Heron.

    • Thanks Amy, mornings around here are definitely creature-filled. If only I were willing to be out and about a few hours earlier ! I’m still working on catching our resident eagles as they nest nearby.

  19. Love shots and quotes, Tina. I evidently missed the part of the challenge that was our mornings during the C-19 crisis and just did mornings. Ah, well, the Lens-Artists police probably won’t come after me. 😉. Stay healthy.


    • LOL, lucky for you the L-A police are confined to their homes so couldn’t come after you whatever “rules” you might be breaking!! Always happy to see you joining the fun.

    • Oh they’re quite docile if we keep our distance Su. Altho I must admit every now and then we are shocked and scared when one we didn’t see jumps out of our range!

    • Thanks Hannah, so glad you enjoyed them. The little blues are a bit harder to find here as well – not sure if we have fewer of them or they’re just a bit more shy. Their coloring is just so beautiful, don’t you think?

  20. I’m not really normal as most people want me to be, not a morning person, not a lover of sun tanning. However, I am more comfortable watching these creatures. We all could learn how simple really life is.

  21. We can’t all be morning people. 🙂 🙂 Are you a night owl, Tina? I like both ends of the day, but that’s maybe because I can’t stay in bed once the sun comes up. Have a safe and happy week in your beautiful place.

    • I am indeed a night owl Jo – and always have been! I literally set an alarm to go to bed as well as to wake up otherwise I’d NEVER get any sleep. I also leave the window uncovered in our bedroom. It’s the best antidote to my morning malaise! Fortunately we’re far enough from our neighbors that we’ve not had any complaints yet 🙂

  22. All I’ve managed to do is take a gazillion photos of my cats and record every item in my kitchen. In case someone breaks in and steals my Lavazza coffee cans. But, hey, I am getting really good with a macro lens! Stay safe, Tina! 😀

    • LOL, never been much good at macro shooting myself Lois. I look forward to your finding humor in your kitchen recordings. I can only imagine the smiles you’ll find in the coffee cans 🙂

  23. Tina – your photos this week captured the essence of ‘’social distancing’’!!! We are so lucky to live on Kiawah among Mother Nature’s awesome creations. I particularly liked the photo of the baby alligator, jealously guarding his/her dinner!!! Thanks for always bringing a smile to my face.

Please Tell Me What You Think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: