Lens-Artists Challenge #185 – Change

King Tide, marsh, bridge, Kiawah
Spring Tides on the Marsh, Kiawah Island

“A marsh is a whole world within a world, a different world, with a life of its own, with its own permanent denizens, its passing visitors, its voices, its sounds, its own strange mystery.”

Guy de Maupassant

This week John Steiner brings us his first challenge as a member of our host team – and what an interesting topic he’s chosen! Among the many ways one might approach the subject of change, I’ve chosen a special element of life on our beloved island – the beautiful marshes. Ever-changing – with the seasons, the tides, the light, the elements – the marsh is critical to both our human inhabitants and our plentiful wildlife.

fog, marsh, kiawah
Fog on the Marsh, Kiawah Island

“The marsh snuggled in closer with a low fog, and she slept.”

Delia Owens

Our marsh appears in multiple places throughout the island and takes on a different personality depending on the time of day, the geographic orientation, the weather and the season. My opening image was captured at the very western edge of the island during an extremely high “King Tide”. The image just above is from a spot very close by but from a different direction during a thick fog.

Kiawah, marsh, autumn, landscape
Autumn on the Marsh, Kiawah Island

“What’s the need of visiting far-off mountains and bogs, if a half-hour’s walk will carry me into such wildness and novelty.”

Henry David Thoreau

Once again from the same western end of our island, the vista above looks across the marsh and a winding river that leads to the sea. The tall grasses provide a haven for deer, fox, bobcats, raccoons, birds, and yes, sometimes dolphin and our ever-popular alligators.

marsh, river, egrets, reflection, Kiawah
Summer’s Day on the Marsh, Kiawah Island

“The marsh, to him who enters it in a receptive mood, holds…..the mystery of unknown waters, and the sweetness of Nature undisturbed by man.”

William Beebe

Further east, the marsh is surrounded by a narrow river that leads to the sea. At high tide the dolphins can be seen swimming through small pathways traversing the grasses, while at low tide they can often be seen practicing their “stranding” teamwork, pushing local mullet up onto the mud for a quick meal.

marsh, Kiawah, light, grasses
After a Storm on the Marsh, Kiawah Island

“Midway between land and water, freshwater marshes are among the most highly productive ecosystems on earth, rivaling the tropical rainforest.”

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Near the center of the island, a large swath of marsh is crossed by a wooden bridge. On the far side once can see across the marsh to the ocean beyond. One afternoon as I was crossing the bridge I was gifted with the glorious sky in the image above. After a sudden storm, the sun had broken through the clouds and accented the golden marsh grasses with a warm glow. I had only my cellphone with which to capture it, but I simply could not pass by without at least an attempt.

great blue heron, marsh, grasses, water, kiawah
Great Blue Heron on the Marsh, Kiawah Island

“Keep your spirits up, hope for the best, and with a tremendous slice of luck you may come out one day and see the Long marshes lying below you.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

I found myself on the far eastern end of our island late one afternoon with camera in hand hoping to capture a beautiful sunset. I cannot remember the sunset, but I did come across the beautiful great blue heron shown above, seeking its evening meal as the sun began its slide into blue hour. I went home more than happy with nature’s gift for that day.

pine tree, pine cones, reflection, water
Overhanging Pine Tree on the Marsh, Kiawah

“Ye marshes, how candid and simple and nothing-withholding and free, Ye publish yourselves to the sky and offer yourselves to the sea.”

Sidney Lanier

Most of the visitors here on Kiawah are drawn to our beautiful beach. Many also appreciate our wildlife, especially the birds. For me, Kiawah’s most beautiful feature is the ever-changing, life-sustaining, light-reflecting marsh. I’ve seen deer loping through the grasses, multiple species of birds feeding together during low tide, dolphin swimming through the creeks, and incredible plants seeking nutrients from the rich pluff mud. I hope I’ve conveyed at least a bit of the beauty to be found in this ever-changing element of our island home.

Sincere thanks to John for the opportunity to share this favorite Kiawah feature. You can find his challenge here. Please be sure to link your responses to his original post. Thanks also to Amy for last week’s “Travel Has Taught Me” challenge. I had fun traveling down memory lane for my response and appreciated the many thoughtful and beautiful responses of our followers. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week when Sofia leads us on her Photographias blog. Until then, as always please stay safe and be kind.

98 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #185 – Change

  1. Really enjoyed your interpretation of the challenge, Tina. It’s amazing how the marsh can look different in different seasons and weather patterns. The After a Storm photo shot with your cellphone is stunning. Would not have guessed it was taken with a cellphone – very well composed shot by making the most of what you got. Through your photos, and throughout your blog, you’ve really shown us how a marsh especially Kiawah’s can look so stunning.

  2. How fortunate for all of us that you find inspiration in Kiawah! Lovely images as always. The area is a wonderful opportunity to observe a diverse ecosystem. Just fabulous images. I’m trying to imagine seeing dolphins up close! Amazing.

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  4. You live in a beautiful place Tina and marshes all over the world are threatened – this one is beautiful, love how you have captured it moods.

  5. There is something about the extremes of tides to create opportunities to see things a bit rare, whether high our low, it is a chance to see how great a scene can change, a different type of beauty. Your “Spring Tides on the Marsh” you open with is beautiful ~ and of all tides, I like the high/king tides the best, maybe it is seeing the uncontrollable power of nature so effortlessly reminding us who is in charge. Also, love the cellphone shot ~ many years ago there is no way I would have thought to put one in a post and these days with the incredible quality cellphone photos produce I use quite a few of them 🙂

    • Thanks Randall, yes I agree, the King Tides are amazing and beautiful and that particular tide was one of the most extreme we’ve seen. Nature will have her way won’t she?! And while I’d have loved to have had my camera the day of the image I made w the iPhone, as always the best camera is the one you have with you😊. I upgraded to the 12 pro max from my 8+ and the camera difference is incredible. I too have started using them here since upgrading.

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  7. Tina, what a great tribute to our beautiful marsh and the wildlife it supports! Through pictures you have conveyed its everchanging moods. My favorites are the Spring Tide and After the Storm.

  8. I have only read about marshes in novels and they all came attached with the mystery element. So you can imagine how delighted I am to see your set of pictures. Just thinking of how far it stretches and no people in sight! The latter is something you will never find lacking, wherever you go in India.😀 Great post, Tina!

    • Thanks very much Sheetal. There was a wonderful book not long ago called “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. I loved it and as you say, it also has an air of mystery about it. I loved it as did my friends who also read it.

      • Tina, your recommendation was the final nudge I needed to read this book. I’ve been only reading amazing reviews for it, yet I dithered. (I have it in my pile of ‘to read’.)
        Thanks, will start before a tv/ movie adaptation arrives.

      • I suspect you’re probably right about a movie adaptation Sheetal. Usually the books are so much better. IMHO the exception is the Harry Potter series – loved both the books and the movies 😊

  9. Well Tina, nature’s changes are the only changes I really love – and divinely captured with your lens at such a heavenly beautiful place as Kiawah, makes my day. Ahhhhh, thank you for taking me again to your dreamland!

  10. Peaceful

    On Sunday, February 6, 2022, Travels and Trifles wrote:

    > Tina Schell posted: ” Spring Tides on the Marsh, Kiawah Island “A marsh is > a whole world within a world, a different world, with a life of its own, > with its own permanent denizens, its passing visitors, its voices, its > sounds, its own strange mystery.”Guy de Maupassant ” >

  11. I can totally understand why you love the marshes so much Tina, they are stunning and so full of life! Your image of the blue heron is especially gorgeous 💜

  12. Pingback: Sunday Stills: Are You a #Bird Feeder? – Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

  13. You really show the spectacular variety of light and change on Kiawah Island, Tina! The blue heron is stunning along with the first image of the feeding birds which works nicely for this week’s Sunday Stills theme “Feed the birds,” feel free to link to my post! The image after the storm is so compelling–what light! Did you all get ice and some snow there? I think about you there when I saw the crazy East coast weather.

    • Many thanks Terri – fortunately the recent storms have completely missed us but it’s been a much colder winter here than normal. Nothing compared to real north but we’re just not used to it down here!! My “after the storm” image doesn’t come close to what it looked like first-hand but it was so beautiful I just had to try! Off to visit your Stills, thanks.

  14. The blue heron is the star of the show for me. I can never capture decent bird shots and that is spectacular! Love the autumnal one too, and that last is a pretty shot. n Have a great week, Tina. Off to visit John.

  15. Tina, your choice of showing the changing marsh is perfect for this challenge. Your images are marvelous! We live in different states but we are both surrounded by beautiful, ever changing salt marsh.

  16. These all are just stunning! Big smile when I came across “Fog on the Marsh”. Perfect example of Analogus colors. The blue heron is outstanding!!

  17. We truly are blessed with the incredible natural beauty of our marshes…thanks for capturing their beauty in so many ways and sharing.

  18. Now, more than ever, I am enticed to visit your beautiful island paradise and capture some of the beauty of the marsh for myself… not that vicariously enjoying the views through your camera’s eye isn’t good enough. >grin<

  19. Tina, thank you for sharing your love affair with your Kiawah marsh with us. Your blue hour capture is beautiful and I can feel your happiness with that day. Also, the Thoreau quote is so true. Lovely close-to-home post.

  20. This is the loveliest .. reminding me the marsh convert I became after first being drawn to the ocean… there is nothing quite like all the interests the marsh shares with us… thanks for the smorgasbord…..

  21. Love that morning fog. With the KIng Tides seemingly increasing each year, is there much concern about flooding? I assume you have a little time to prepare versus a flash flood situation. Very nice. Babsje is going to like your photo of the GBH fishing. 🙂

    • Thanks David. We’ve not really had any flooding other than at king tides when we might get a bit of water on the roads in low lying areas, but our infrastructure has been built up to accommodate it and to prepare for future sea level rise. The GBH was very intent on his fishing and paid no attention to me whatsoever LOL.

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