Lens-Artists Challenge #180 – Favorite Images of 2021

forest, red, mist
Forest Magic

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.”

Vern McLellan

First and foremost, let me begin by wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year. As always, the turn of the calendar page to January 1st brings with it an opportunity to begin anew – having learned lessons, accomplished some of our goals, or perhaps having simply survived to start a new day. Whatever our thoughts about the year just passed, we once again have a chance to make the new one even better.

garden, path, steps, impressionist
Path to Perfection

“We are the authors of our destinies. No one can see the vision any clearer, believe in and work any harder to make it a reality more than the visionary.”

Nike Campbell-Fatoki

Here at Lens-Artists, we have some exciting changes to announce. Beginning in 2022, our team is expanding with the addition of three new members. In addition to those of us with whom you are all familiar, we’ll be joined this year by

Those of you who have followed us for some time will be familiar with them as they have all been regular participants and each has Guest-Hosted for us in the past. We know they will bring their marvelous photography, extensive travel experiences, stay-at-home adventures and fresh insight into our weekly challenges. We are very much looking forward to having them with us. Please be sure to follow their blogs to be sure you don’t miss any of our upcoming Lens-Artists challenges.

stairs, white, climb
The Long Climb

“We all get the exact same 365 days. The only difference is what we do with them.”

Hillary DePiano

For this week’s challenge, we’re inviting you to share your favorite images of 2021. I must admit I’ve been a bit uninspired this past year, and was surprised by the number of images that were special to me. Several were from our travels to the west coast, and for probably the first time ever were created using an iPhone, including the image above and the one that follows. My long overdue upgrade to a 12 Pro Max made a big difference on that front.

white, flowers
Blooming Beauty

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

Michael Altshuler

Because of Covid we decided against foreign travel again last year, and unless things change dramatically, the same will be true in 2022. As such, my images from faraway places were found only in my archives. On the other hand, the pandemic caused me to focus (pun intended) more closely on the beauty that surrounds me. As ever, Mother Nature did not disappoint!

green, curly, nature, plant
Natural Curls

“You are never too old to reinvent yourself.”

Steve Harvey

For several reasons, 2021 was a difficult year for me, which gives me an extra dose of happiness to see the year end. That said, it also taught me the importance of perseverance and allowed me to understand my own strength in the face of adversity. There is always something to be learned from our greatest challenges, not the least of which an appreciation for the gift of “normal”!

Glossy Ibis, bird, color
Glorious Glossy Ibis

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

C.S. Lewis

This year, perhaps as one of the few benefits of the continuing pandemic, the bird life that surrounded us was incredible (or did I just notice it more?!) I was thrilled to capture the glossy ibis pictured above, a very rare sighting indeed. Kiawah was blessed with several active bald eagle nests, one of which I captured with two juveniles and an adult present. I also posted my images of an adorable little owl as well as my first-ever, beautifully multi-colored Painted Bunting. Our many egrets and herons also found their way into my lens and onto my posts.

forest, dreamy, green, spanish moss
Ethereal Spanish Moss

“Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous New Year by believing.”

Sarah Ban Breathnach

I also took more than my usual time exploring the beauty of nature in places like our forests – filled with live oaks and Spanish moss as shown above. Beyond the obvious, I learned to see beauty in less conspicuous places, such as the fallen leaves that litter the forest floor. Several professional photographers led sessions for our local photography club via zoom, and inspired us in ways we wouldn’t otherwise have imagined – including the presentation that resulted in the image of fallen leaves below. Coincidentally, that would be my advice to my teenage self as asked by the WP hosts of Bloganuary – notice the little things and the beauty of the world around you. It’s there if only you take the time to see it.

leaves, dead, new life
What’s Old Is New Again

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Finally, in my last post of 2021 I included two images that are also among last year’s favorites – “Into the Light” and “Sweetgrass in Bloom”. Since I just published them I won’t repeat them here.

As always, our sincere thanks to all of those who follow, visit, participate in and comment on our weekly challenges. Even in the most difficult times, you bring us a smile and help us to keep going. My personal thanks also to my Lens-Artists team partners Patti, Ann-Christine and Amy; your friendship, talent and commitment has been a true blessing these past few years. Last but definitely not least, a warm welcome to Sofia, Anne and John – we very much look forward to having you with us as the Lens-Artists adventure continues.

Once again, my best wishes to all for a happy, healthy and rewarding 2022. We’ll be back next week right here on Travels and Trifles with our January 8 challenge. Until then, as always please stay safe and be kind.


194 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #180 – Favorite Images of 2021

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  6. Tina, these are all lovely images. I wish you the very best in 2022 including more inspiration, some rest, a chance to get back to the traveling you love, and many wonderful surprises that the year can bring. Lots of love to you and yours. Thanks for being part of my life this year.

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