Lens-Artists Challenge #144 – Taking Flight


“Birds are magical. Their flight alone can arouse a clever thought.”

Michael Bassey

Flying…how often have you thought about how amazing it would be to simply stretch your arms and soar? When you think about it, the number of flying “objects” is quite large. Yes, of course the birds. But beyond them, butterflies, bees and other insects, airplanes, balloons, bubbles, kites….well, you get the idea. So this week, although I’m focused on some of the beautiful birds of Kiawah, please feel free to be creative and choose whichever flying objects catch your imagination and your lens.

Roseate spoonbills, pink, birds

“The biggest favor you can do to yourself is fly freely like birds.”

Kuldeep Gera

Kiawah is home to an incredible abundance of birdlife. I captured the barred owl in my opening image two weeks ago very close to my home. As the old poem says, “A wise old owl sat on an oak”, and indeed he did. Roseate spoonbills such as those just above spend weeks here in the spring but leave to have their chicks in Florida. They return and can be seen here well into autumn. Their distinctive pink coloring and spoon-shaped bills are obvious elements of their name.


“What joy can compare with that of a bird that has just learned she can fly?”

Marty Rubin

A few weeks ago I posted an image of the eaglets above with one of their parents on the nest. On a return visit, big brother was apparently either teaching the next-born how to fly – or he was letting the little guy know who was really boss. We were fortunate to have four active eagle nests on the island this year and all of them had eaglets that successfully fledged. Does that mean next year we’ll have eight?!


“You are the only one that knows how high or how far you can fly.”

Theodore Volgoff

I’ve often posted images of the beautiful blue herons that are frequently seen around our lagoons and ponds.This is the first time however that I’ve shared an image of a juvenile such as the one above. It’s hard to believe his rather unimpressive brown feathers will soon become a beautiful blue-grey, and his little wings will expand to over 6 feet across.

Hooded merganser, pair, ducks

“A bird seldom depends on the strength of the breeze for its flight. It relies solely on its own wings to soar higher.”

Anurag Anand

The image above is one of my archived favorites. We’d had a “fish kill” here on Kiawah, which sometimes happens when the water in our more shallow lagoons gets too warm. I was shooting with a friend who’d shared her 600mm lens that fit my camera as well. Fortunately I was using a tripod that day as I could not have handheld something that heavy.


If you never dream of flying, then you’ll never wake up with wings.”

Natalie Kendall

Finally, I’ll admit the little hummingbird above is not a Kiawah Resident. I spent hours at my brother’s home in Colorado trying to capture these incredible creatures as they lined up for their turn at the feeder. Their speed and agility was amazing, although I was surprised by their aggressiveness toward each other. I could have watched them for days – and in fact, I did!

Thank you as always for your responses to last week’s Colorful April challenge – you shared some amazing examples of spring’s (as well as a few of autumn’s) incredible beauty. We very much appreciate your creativity and continued support of our challenge. We look forward to seeing your interpretation of this week’s Taking Flight challenge – please remember to link to my original post and to include the Lens-Artists Tag. Last but definitely not least, we hope you’ll join us next week when we welcome our Guest Host, Priscilla of Scillagrace . Be sure to check out her ever-thoughtful and interesting blog.


224 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #144 – Taking Flight

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  6. Tina, I really liked the images of the owl and the hummingbird. I’ve always been fascinated by the way owls “stare” in what seems to be their normal mode of looking; I wouldn’t want to mess with them, though. I liked how the very fast shutter speed got the hummingbird’s wing in flight without motion blur.

  7. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite among your photos here, although the hummingbird is definitely a prize winner 🙂 Since I rarely see spoonbills, I’ll pick that as my favorite. The detail of their feathers is such that I feel I can literally touch them through your photo.

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  11. Love this post! I especially love the Roseate Spoonbill at the tippy top of the post. Thanks for sharing, great topic for this time of year!

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  16. Dear Tina

    Birds are indeed magical, as your lead quote attests, and thank you for choosing a topic that is so near and dear to my heart. Your top image of the flying spoonbill is gorgeous, and I’m enamored of your owl. The focus on the eye in Bright Eyes is absolutely perfect – so sharp and clear.

    Here’s my submission this week, featuring – how could it be other than a heron of course.

    Beautiful Great Blue Heron Love on Earth Day

    Best, Babsje

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  18. Love your first quote: “Birds are magical.” But so is your photography. You are in your element photographing what you love, and it shows. So beautiful!
    We’re headed to Pawleys tomorrow, and I’m hoping we find time to go to Huntington Beach. I can sit for a long spell just watching the birds take flight!

    • Hi Rusha, and many thanks. We’re all a-flutter here on Kiawah with the PGA championship arriving in just two weeks. The island is looking its absolute best in preparation for the thousands of visitors 😱. All of the residents are stocking up on food as no one wants to even think of getting onto our roads (although there are serious restrictions against cars for visitors who must use a shuttle from off island). If you’re still around in late May it would be fun if you and Bert could spend a day with us down here.

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    • 😊I’d love to visit Tanzania! We’ve been to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana and loved the birds there which are so different from ours. I’m sure Tanzania would be equally wonderful!

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