Our First Year in Review

 

As 2018 draws to a close we look back in gratitude for all the magic we found in nature.

 

 

We followed a pair of swans as they raised their first brood together, watched herring gulls dive for fish, were greeted by friendly mallards on our walks by the river. We saw squirrels and seals. We met oystercatchers, curlew, redshank, goosander, turnstones, wigeon and pigeons, sometimes as curious about us as we were about them.

 

 

 

We enjoyed the magic of macro, looking closely at blossoms, flowers, at ripening fruit. Raindrops captured the light and a reflection of our world. Ice crystals shimmered on the edge of an evergreen.

 

 

 

We saw clouds wandering across a pond, the first leaves of Spring, a mountain inside a stone by the river. The snow fields were slow to leave the higher ground, even when the water lilies were blooming. Our Autumn was glorious and the mist over the Kyle on Solstice day guided us into Winter.

A very big thank you to all our followers and fellow bloggers for their kind comments and support since we started this blog.

We really appreciate those fellow bloggers who host challenges too. A special thank you to Cee Neuner for hosting her Flower of the Day, Frank Jansen for his wonderful prompts at Dutch Goes the Photo, Patti, Amy, Tina and Ann-Christine for hosting the Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge, the team at the Rag Tag Daily Prompt for their Daily Writing and Photo Prompts, the team at dVerse for their poetry prompts, Frank J Tassone for his Weekly Haikai Challenge and last and certainly not least, Kristjaan Panneman at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai for hosting the haiku prompts and retreats that we have supported throughout the year.

Thank you again for all the love. We wish you and your loved ones a blessed and very happy New Year.

 

a cob swimming in the pond and the pen and two cygnets in the foreground

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

 

The annual review on our sister blog Whippet Wisdom can be found here.

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #26: Photographic Review of 2018

 

Haiku: Winter Solstice

 

leafless trees, a pile of ancient stones and a stone bench silhouetted in morning mist with a hazy sun

 

in mist
twice the sunlight
on solstice day

© Xenia Tran

 

sun breaking through morning mist and low cloud above the river Shin in Sutherland

 

sun breaking through morning mist and low cloud above the river Shin in Sutherland

Wishing everyone in the Northern Hemisphere a Happy Winter Solstice, everyone in the Southern Hemisphere a Happy Summer Solstice and everyone who celebrates Christmas happy Holidays!

We are taking a short blogging break and will be back next week.

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/6.3, 1/1000 s, ISO 200, f/5, 1/1000 s, ISO 160 and f/4, 1/1000 s, ISO 125.

 

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #65: Solstice II

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Solstice

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #25: Reflections

 

Wordless Wednesday: Anticipation

 

close up shot of a swan from behind, his head and neck under water

 

close up shot of a swan from behind, his head and neck emerging from the water

 

close up shot of a cob (male swan) from behind, his head and neck freshly emerged from the water

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/6.5, 1/320 s, ISO 800 and f/6.5, 1/320 s, ISO 1250.

 

Wordless Wednesday

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Anticipation

 

Haiku: Winter Greeting

 

close up shot of icicles handing from fallen branches across the flowing burn

 

icicles bow
towards the tumbling burn
namasté

© Xenia Tran

 

close up shot of icicles hanging from fallen branches across the flowing burn

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2, 1/160 s, ISO 100 and f/3.2, 1/200 s, ISO 100.

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #24: Seasonal

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #63: Quest for a New Masterpiece – Winter

 

Wordless Wednesday: Watching the Pond

 

a black-headed gull balancing on a weathered post beside a pond

 

a black-headed gull balancing on a weathered post beside a pond

 

a black-headed gull balancing on a weathered post beside a pond

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/6.3, 1/320 s, ISO 640 and f/6.3, 1/320 s, ISO 1000.

 

Wordless Wednesday

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Challenge

 

Silent Sunday: Relaxing Afternoon

 

a pen and two of her cygnets sleeping on a small island

 

a pen and two of her cygnets resting on a small island in the pond

 

a cob preening in the background with brown grass in the foreground

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5.6, 1/250 s, ISO 800, f/6.3, 1/250 s, ISO 800 and f/6.5, 1-320 s, ISO 1250.

 

Silent Sunday

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Dream

 

Haiku: Pigeon Greeting

 

close up shot of a blue pigeon in evening light

 

evening light
a pigeon greets us
by the river

© Xenia Tran

 

close up shot of a blue pigeon leaning forward in evening light

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5.6, 1/320 s, ISO 800.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Close Up or Macro