Looking back at our tenth year in the Scottish Highlands we are once more so humbled by the beauty of nature and grateful to share a few favourite moments from the places we love.
We have enjoyed our walks along the river, the pond and the shores along the Moray Coast. It was early January, when the last grown up cygnets flew the river nest and began the next stage of their journey. The pond swans were fortunate to have cygnets again this year, with one them surviving into adulthood. The river has been abundant with wildlife, with merganser, heron, redshank, goosander, and a record number of ducks. The mild Autumn brought a second wave of ducklings, who are still thriving today. We’ve seen many migrating birds pass our shores, especially geese, greenshank and dunlin. In the forests, we enjoyed peaceful encounters with raven, each of them inspiring a poem.
With our mild Winter and plenty of rain during the Spring and Summer, 2019 was a good year for flowers, bumblebees and butterflies. The mild Autumn that followed saw many flowers bloom for a second time.
With the weather so much kinder than in 2018, we were able to travel North and West a few times. The beautiful landscape inspired many poems. In addition to haiku, haibun and tanka I revisited the villanelle and experimented with the lai nouveau and rubaiyat.
We want to say a very big thank you to all of you who take the time to visit and comment on our blog and to those of you who share your experiences through your own posts, photographs and poems. You are all an enormous inspiration and help make this world a better place.
A very big thank you too to all the lovely bloggers who host regular prompts and challenges. With so many photographs and impressions to chose from it’s a great help in finding a focus or different angle from which to approach a subject.
We look forward to what 2020 holds in store and wish you all a great start to the New Year. May this new decade bring new understanding and greater care for our natural world with increased compassion and peace among human beings.
Let me show you the turquoise sea, how deep and soft the sand can be. You’ll see the gulls glide on the wind and catch a fish. There will be people here on the nicer days. Some people are tall, some small. Some will bring a bucket and spade and build us a castle.
circle of life a lamb follows his mother at first light
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.
The annual review on our sister blog Whippet Wisdom can be found here.