Lens-Artists Challenge #179 – Serene

egrets, light vs dark, water, creek, birds
Into the Light

“Nature is the best medicine for serenity. Peace, calmness, stillness. It’s good for the heart.”

Karen Madewell

Well if ever there is a time to work toward serenity, in the western world at least, this is it. We’re a week away from Christmas, and in light of shipping issues, any gifts that need to be mailed had best be on their way! Last minute plans, travel logistics, food shopping and prep, gift wrapping and a thousand other things are consuming many of us. What better time to focus on that which brings us Serenity – as suggested in Patti’s challenge this week.

creek, marsh, nature, serenity
Marsh Magic

“Everything passes, nothing remains. Understand this, loosen your grip and find serenity.”

Surya Das

Here in coastal South Carolina, with a few exceptions, we are blessed with the ability to seek peace in communion with nature. I captured my opening image earlier this month about 15 minutes from my home. I was doing an annual photo shoot for a good friend and her family. We’ve done it most every year for 15 years now – what a fun experience to look back over those images and see the changes – yes, time DOES fly!

sweetgrass, sunset, light, pink, autumn
Sweetgrass in Bloom

“Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.”

Thomas Szasz

On the same day while scouting backgrounds for the family portraits, we came upon the colorful landscape shown in the image above. I’ve always tried to include our beautiful, ephemeral sweetgrass during my fall posts, but this year it arrived very late and was not nearly as vibrant as is its norm. Just as I’d about given up we came upon this scene, positively aglow in the fading sunlight. I cannot tell you how happy I was to finally get my sweetgrass fix for the year, and I’m happy Patti’s given me an opportunity to share it.

bridge, flowers, Middleton Place, green, spring
Bucolic Bridge

“Joy is everywhere; it is in the earth’s green covering of grass; in the blue serenity of the sky.”

Rabindranath Tagore

Nothing brings me peace as quickly as a bit of time surrounded by nature, and if I have a camera in hand, so much the better. My images this week offer a view of the natural beauty we are fortunate to have within reach in the Charleston area. Here’s hoping you too are able to find a bit of serenity wherever this week finds you. Please be sure to link your posts to Patti’s original post here.

We thank you for your responses last week which were especially fun for us, not knowing what subjects to expect! We’ve greatly appreciated your creativity and commitment throughout the past year and have enjoyed getting to know each of you a little bit better.

The Lens-Artists Team will be taking a short holiday next week but will return on January 1 with our annual “Favorite Images of the Year” challenge for 2021. Until then as always, please stay safe, be kind and for those who celebrate it, a Very Merry Christmas. Here’s to an amazing 2022 for us all!

109 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #179 – Serene

  1. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #179 – Serene – Great Feeling

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  3. Immersed in beauty. That is what you are, Tina. Bathing in the light and greens, forests and your beloved sweetgrass – today is Christmas Eve – what better start to have? As much as I love your images, I am lucky to wake up to falling snow and the pecking of my little birds on the window sill. The blue tits never forget to remind me that they are hungry. So, I’d better go out to them with more food. Extras today, red apples for the blackbirds and the thrushes too. I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year – a better year than 2021. Thank you for putting that golden touch to everything!

    • Many thanks my friend. Just for a few days I envy you your freshly-fallen snow and the winter wonderland that is Christmas. After next week however I’ll once again be happy to have sunshine and some warmth LOL. Returning your wish for a better 2021, and a wonderful Christmas which I hope you are sharing with your family.

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  5. Ah, your choice of quotes are like nuggets of gold, Tina. Serenity is reading your post and admiring your photos. ‘Bucolic bridge’ is like something out of ‘Neverland’. Simply magical!

  6. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #179 – Serene – Jackanori, (MPD)

  7. Serenity is not hard to find in your surroundings; I see it every week. I like all your photos, but the first one is one I went back to examine. I like the depth in that photo: the blue shadows in the foreground (great texture that bark has) changing to bright yellow sunlight in the distance, the colours of the two herons also changing from blue white to yellow white. Beautiful photo.

    • Thanks I.J., it was an amazing contrast in the effects of light created by Mother Nature. I was anxious to capture it before either of the birds moved away – as they are wont to do!

  8. What a wonderful post, Tina. Your images are always outstanding, but this week….that sweetgrass image stole my heart. What a lovely rosy glow from the sunset and the sweetgrass. I’m sure you were so happy to discover it. Have a very happy holiday and plenty of good health, happiness, and satisfaction in the new year. ❤️😀

  9. Beautiful serene images from your paradise Tina! Wishing you and your family Happy Holidays too! 🧡 xxx

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  11. Oh, I loved all of these, but especially that first shot with the two herons – beautiful light and colours, and the framing of the far bird in the square formed by the bridge is just perfect!

    • Thanks very much Sarah. I wish I could take credit for that composition but it was purely Mother Nature’s work. I held my breath that they’d stay in place long enough for me me to capture the scene!

  12. I can’t even… No, I can’t pick a favorite. They are all so fitting for the challenge. I am glad that you had the opportunity to share that sweetgrass image. The sky in that photo reflects the beauty of the sweetgrass in color and shade. Beautiful.

    • Many thanks John – just choosing the images brought me a bit of serenity this week – much needed I might add. As for the sweetgrass image, I must admit it was one of the family members I was photographing who spotted the scene and I was concerned it wouldn’t translate because sunset was quite far along. I was so pleased that it worked out after all.

  13. I’m so glad you found the sweet grass, it is so beautiful. Thank you Tina for all your inspirational photography this year, it is a joy following you. Have a lovely time and let’s hope for a much better year ahead 🎉❤️🥂

  14. That opener is a stunning shot, Tina. The light and shade just mesmerising. I want to stand there and hold my breath, just watching the birds. And the water under the bridge, pure serenity for me. Thank you for all the lovely thoughts and images this year. Wishing you peace and joy this Christmastime and happy days to come.

  15. Thank you. I feel more serene already..
    I was also glad/ not glad to hear sweetgrass more sparse this year as I thought I did something really wrong with ours . Thank you for a year of lovely photos and prose.

    • Your comment gave me a big smile this evening Lee Anne – I so appreciate your feedback and comments – it definitely helps me to keep going. Wishing you and Bob a lovely Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

  16. Your lovely photos are like a realization of serenity. And so needed at the moment. We have all sorts of disruptions up here due to Covid. Panics! New restrictions! ad infinitum ad nauseaum! So your photos and quotes bring beautiful sense of calm and peace .

    • Thanks so much Anne. So sorry to hear of the new disruptions. I suppose we all hoped that was behind us, but it was not to be. My hope is that the new variant is a mild as they say it is for those who have been vaccinate and boosted. That said, we are still being very, very careful. Honestly we in SC wish there were more restrictions put in place. Our governor doesn’t take the virus very seriously unfortunately. There must be a happy medium there somewhere!

  17. Nice choices Tina and I guess today is “super Saturday” because of all the stress and silliness as people slush around surging into hokdaiy mode even more !!

    And this line right here:

    “Just as I’d about given up we came upon this scene, positively aglow in the fading sunlight…”
    Felt like “hope flew in” and had some metaphor for life – sometimes waiting leads to nada – other times – ahhh – so sweet’n

    • Thanks Sharon – we had a pretty meager crop this year so I was thrilled when I came upon this scene. It was over at Briars and I was doing the photo shoot for Eve and her family. Always a fun outing!

    • Many thanks Judy – I’ll carry that scene with me for a long time. I couldn’t possibly have posed the image that way no matter how long I’d have tried. Only Mother Nature can work that kind of magic!

  18. Your first photo fascinates me, Tina. Is that a mirror the egret is looking into? No, can’t be! But isn’t that the most wonderful photo?! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

    • Thanks so much Lois – I thought the natural juxtaposition of the egrets set in darkness and light was one of the most beautiful scenes I’d ever encountered. It was really quite magical. It was challenging to capture the quality of the light but the moment is one I won’t soon forget. I love that you were visually captivated by the scene, as was I ! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well.

  19. Your area is such a perfect place to show serenity with your lens, Tina! I think this theme will work for my Sunday Stills theme tomorrow (Light the night). You know I love being surrounded by nature, and the peace and quiet it invokes. Your annual photoshoot sounds like so much fun and how cool to lend your skills to your friends! Every time I see your sweetgrass images, I literally smile as I enjoy all that PINK! Enjoy your serene week before Christmas and beyond, my friend as well as the holiday celebrations!

  20. Serenity … what a peaceful joy filled state of being …. Your scenes captured that feel exactly…. The sweet grasses always have a way of blowing me in that direction.

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