Lens-Artists Challenge #203 – Local Vistas

Kiawah, sunrise, sunset, moonlight
Kiawah From Start To Finish

“Sometimes – and it is of course a rarity – a landscape becomes in front of your eyes everything you ever hoped a landscape could be.”

Charlie Waite

There are moments, as Charlie Waite describes above, when the beauty of a vista we see every day becomes something extraordinary. This week, Anne’s Local Vistas challenge gives us an opportunity to invite others into those moments close to home and to our hearts. Here on Kiawah we are all about nature’s amazing gifts. There is much to be seen and savored, so my apologies in advance for what may become quite a lengthy post. ๐Ÿ˜Š I’ve opened with a triptych of 3 of my favorite Kiawah vistas taken over the years from 3 different locations on the island at sunrise, sunset and moonrise.

beach, tide pools, walking, Kiawah

“This is the gift of the landscape photograph, that the heart finds a place to stand.”

Emmet Gowin

One cannot appreciate Kiawah without observing the many moods of our 10-mile coastline. With tide changes that can range up to 7 feet (2 meters) visitors are often seen biking or walking the beach only to find it difficult to return due to changes in the tide or the wind. It’s a mistake most everyone (including yours truly) has made, but only once!

Kiawah, marsh, water
Marvelous Marsh

“Nature is a great artist.”

Brett Weston

Along with our coastline and inland forests, Kiawah’s marsh has a magic all its own. It is beautiful in each of its many seasonal colors and in every kind of weather. While I don’t have a favorite season I’ve chosen a vista from one of many beautiful spring days as winter golds transition to the bright greens of new growth.

golf, cassique, vista, marsh
Back Tees, #16, Cassique

“Art is not to be found by touring Egypt, China or Peru; if you cannot find it at your own door, you will never find it.”

Peter Henry Emerson

Having been amazed by the beauty I’ve found throughout our travels, I disagree a bit with Mr. Emerson’s quote above, however I certainly agree there is much beauty to be found in our own backyards. In the image above I’ve included one of the many amazing vistas around which our seven golf courses are designed. Although Kiawah’s Ocean Course is world-famous for having hosted national and international tournaments, each of our other courses also takes full advantage of the island’s natural surroundings. Today’s header and the image above are from two other Kiawah courses.

Kiawah, wildlife, gator, bobcat, dolphin, turtle
Wildlife Wonders

“Photographic composition is a means to show the strength and dignity of animals in nature.”

Frans Lanting

We humans are not the only ones enjoying Kiawah’s natural beauty. We are frequently gifted with glimpses of the other inhabitants of our island. Dolphins frolic and strand feed in our ocean and our rivers, gators prowl our ponds and their edges, bobcats can be seen strolling along our bridges and huge, endangered loggerhead mothers return annually to give birth to a tiny next generation in the warm sands of our beach. Those who follow me are already familiar with the amazing diversity of our avian residents so I’ve chosen not to include them today.

kiawah, activities, vistas
Spending Time on Kiawah

“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.”

Henri Matisse

The island is also a marvelous playground, enjoyed by people of all ages and interests. In the images above from top left – eventual champion Phil Michelson enjoys Ocean Course golf during last year’s PGA, kayaks (one of the best ways to enjoy our island and its resident dolphins) stand at the ready, a fisherman leaves one of our many fishing docks as a storm moves in, and paddle boarders cruise along one of our many creeks.

kiawah island, palmetto, snow
Almost Never

“The capture of a rare photograph becomes a real physical delight.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson

As Kiawah residents for over 20 years, we’ve seen one ice storm and two snow storms. In both cases the freeze was gone the following day; hence my delight when capturing a rare image such as the one above.

Kiawah, flowers, pond, yellow
Inland Beauty

“In nature, every bit of life is lovely.”

Roman Vishniac

The quote above perfectly expresses my thoughts on the natural beauty of Kiawah. Our 10-mile island includes the ocean and its beaches, a dense maritime forest, an ever-changing marsh, rivers and creeks, numerous natural and man-made ponds, and the accompanying flora and fauna prevalent in each. Other local vistas I could also have included (as I have in previous posts), include nearby downtown Charleston, Magnolia Gardens and Middleton Place, historic Fort Sumter or Sheldon Church to name a few – but I’d need far more space and you’d need far more patience ๐Ÿ˜Š. For now I’ll bring this one to a close with a sincere thank you to Anne for her challenge. We look forward to seeing your local vistas. Please remember to link your posts to Anne’s original here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you.

Next week’s challenge will be Guest-Hosted by Sylvia of My Colorful Expressions. Be sure to check out her interesting and beautiful blog. Until then as always, please stay safe and be kind.

Interested in participating in our challenge? Click here for more information.

120 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #203 – Local Vistas

  1. Hey Tina
    Wonderful posts and no avian friends needed today because you had lots of fun
    Like Phil Michelson – right on!
    And interesting about the change in tide across the ten miles of coast!
    And by the way – I am so glad you have a blog because we get to see your local area and
    So much more


  2. Absolutely beautiful photos, Tina! Looks like you live on an awesome stretch of the coast. I love your close-up shots of the dolphins and sea turtle. Also, I didn’t realize you ever got snow–that was a great shot of it. We had snow once this year–first time in thirty years. Really crazy!

    • Thanks Dawn, glad you enjoyed these. Yes, the snow is incredibly rare for us so when it happens it’s a real treat. I always head out with my camera just because it’s so special (although I despise the cold). Because we have no large equipment for clearing the roads or the paths everything stays really pristine – and then it melts in a day or two at most and we’re back to normal! I’m sure it’s the same for you out there, no?

      • It didnโ€™t even stick longer than 10 minutes. Iโ€™m at about 1800โ€™ elevation, but the surrounding mountains get a ton of snow. No one would know what to do down here in the valley of the snow stayed. ๐Ÿคฃ And I also was out with my camera and about froze. ๐Ÿค“

  3. As you know, I have always enjoyed your local vistas. And I am with you on the Emerson quote. While I do think it is important to love where you live and appreciate what surrounds you. There are lots of corners in the world to explore. I do loved the way you organized your local visits. Enjoy your week, Tina. Donna

    • Many thanks Donna. Like you we’ve seen much of the world and know there is beauty everywhere. Sadly there are places we’ll never get to that I’m sure are equally beautiful! Appreciate your visit and comment.

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  5. Wowww. Great photos, all. I’ve never seen a dolphin frolic, or a bobcat on the beach. Good gator shot, and I love that snow scene. One year I flew into Atlanta on my way to Hilton Head for Christmas and flights were cancelled because of snow. Several of us rented a car and drove. Doesn’t happen often!

    • Ah Frank – wouldn’t that be nice?! Truth be told I’ve been published from time to time in Kiawah publications. A great example of big fish/small pond LOL. It’s hard NOT to have wonderful images of a place with so much beauty honestly. Not surprisingly there are a number of excellent photographers on Kiawah who share my love of the place.

  6. Beautiful views of your hunting ground. That opening triptych is lovely. I was thrown for a loop by that photo of snow. I’d thought it was white sand dunes until I read the text. Beautiful wet lands and their denizens too. I can see why you love this place.

  7. Pingback: Local Vistas–Lens-Artists Challenge – that little voice

  8. Beautiful photography and a beautiful post, Tina. It is obvious that you love your island home, and it comes through in your photos. It’s like you’ve gathered parts of the island in your arms and proudly brought them to us to show us in person – similar to the way a child would bring shells or rocks or the other treasures they’ve gathered. I am not comparing you personally to a child, but your work is definitely a treasure. I (Kellye) particularly love the snow shot. Not ever having been to Kiawah Island, I thought it was sand at first – with me the photos come first, then the words. You have inspired me to visit. Dolphins? Yes, please! Thank you for sharing the beauty of your home with us.

    • Thanks so much for the lovely comment, much appreciated. I hesitated to include the snow as it is really such a rarity but when it DOES happen it is so very pristine it’s hard to resist! As for the dolphins, they are definitely a highlight. national Geographic came to film them Strand feeding which is extremely rare but happens here every day. They gather in a pack and push the bait fish up onto the shore and grab them there. It’s amazing. If you do a search on my blog for “strand feeding” there are several posts about it.

  9. Your Kiawah is 10 miles of magnificence, Tina! Truly a magical place. How nice to see Anne as the host for the challenge (she lives in Sacramento, my former hometown). Kiawah seems to have it all: ocean views, gorgeous colors, interesting animals and birds, well you know… Giggling a little at the shot of the paddleboarders. Their fins are turned upward, likely to avoid catching the weeds under the water. Have a great week!

    • LOL, as a non-paddleboarder I’d never have noticed that Terri! So glad you saw that. The kids are the grandkids of a good friend and I coincidentally saw them from our golf course. I’ll ask her about the fins! Thanks for the lovely comment.

  10. I’ve already seen from previous posts that you live in a truly beautiful place, and this selection of shots confirms that ๐Ÿ™‚ All are lovely, but that image of snow and palm trees is amazing!

  11. What a gorgeous post, Tina! Your love for Kiawah shines through in every image. Your images do it justice, highlighting the beauty and scope of the landscape. Enjoy your sojourn this weekend! Take care.

    • Thanks Patti, we love our little piece of heaven but for us a getaway, especially during the hot and humid southeastern summers, is a must! Unfortunately it looks like our choice for this week will be hit by unseasonable heat! Who knew?!?!

  12. It seems to me you truly live in paradise: every view local to you that you’ve shown here and in the past seems lovely. Surely there must be downsides somewhere?

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  14. Easy to see why you love it, Tina, and there are similarities with my own shoreline. Rather meanly we’ve sometimes stood on the clifftop at Cacela Velha and watched to see if the walkers would make it across to the ilha without swimming as the tide turns. Happy Sunday to you!

  15. Tina, thanks for the memories! Be careful thoughโ€ฆyou donโ€™t want Kiawah to become overcrowded because of your tempting photos!

  16. Amazing photos, Tina! Iโ€™ll agree with you on Emerson, but Kiawah would be on the list of top destinations if youโ€™re not a resident. Itโ€™s wonderful that you have shared this unique perspective to your readers. Iโ€™m sure the golf courses are great, but you have shown that the island is more than the courses. Where you are is โ€œa great place to stand.โ€ Just watch out for those gators! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • Many thanks Nes – I love golf but honestly there are beautiful courses all over the world. The thing that makes Kiawah so wonderful is that the REST of the island is so wonderful. Appreciate your lovely comment.

    • Agree wholeheartedly Laurel. Your note reminds me I should have mentioned Seabrook as one of the other local places I could have featured! One of my favorite posts ever included the vistas Diane Allen took me to visit one day on SB. thanks so much

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