Silent Sunday: Time to Rest

red shank roosting in the shallows
red shank roosting in the shallows

Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Silent Sunday

Word of the Day Challenge: Resting

Haiku: Window Feeder

window feeder
a robin people-watches
while he eats

© Xenia Tran

a robin looking in from the window feeder

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Window

Your Daily Word Prompt: Amenable

Wordless Wednesday: Step by Step

a black headed gull and a herring gull chick side by side in the shallows
a herring gull chick looking for food in the shallows
a herring gull chick catching a crab in the shallows of the tide

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge: Step by Step

Word of the Day Challenge: Discovery

Highlights of 2021 – Thank you for the Love

First of all we want to say a warm-hearted thank you to all of you who visited, commented, inspired and prompted us with photo and poetry challenges. It has been another extraordinary year with beauty and loss, where kindness and magic was still to be found when we were ready to see it.

As in previous years, I am delighted to share a gallery of the posts you liked the most, season by season.

Winter

The most popular posts this season were Sunlight on her Wings (a haiku later featured in EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2021), A Dash of Dazzle, Special Moments (featuring a tanka first published in Ribbons), Softly Softly, Happy Homecoming and Violet Ray.

Spring

Spring gave birth to many beautiful and creative initiatives where we could meet virtually and lift each other’s spirits.

In April 2021 Placing Poems invited poets to write about real or imagined journeys away from the stifling realities of the pandemic to create a poetic cartography of adventures for everyone to enjoy.

I am honoured and delighted that my poem Presence was selected for inclusion. You can find it on the map when you scroll north and click on the marker for the Cairngorms National Park. Presence was the most popular post in Spring and became the most popular post of the year.

Other popular posts in Spring were Natural Healing, Welcome to the World, Gold in the Shadows, Wonderful World (featuring haiku first published in the Asahi Shimbun, Autumn Moon Haiku Journal and Sharing Our Horizon) and Lily of the Valley.

Summer

Travel restrictions were lifted and tourists flooded into the Highlands. We decided to stay close to home to avoid the crowds and enjoy the magic of familiar places.

We also wanted to protect our area’s natural beauty for future generations and started the Tranature Grove with Trees for Life. The trees in our grove are carefully planted in protected sites in the Scottish Highlands where they will create homes for wildlife and forests for the future.

The most popular post in Summer was Caring for River Wildlife, featuring the calendar I contributed four photographs to in aid of our local wildlife trust. Other popular posts this season were Red Rose (featuring a tanka first published in Ribbons), The Changing Season, Dandelion Clock, Colours of the Setting Sun and A Postcard from the Country.

Autumn

Autumn started off warm and offered some glorious walking days where the colours were just beginning to change. A new calm had returned to the area and it was a joy to be out and about.

The most popular post in Autumn was Weathered Wood (featuring a haiku first published in Haiku Dialogue). Other popular posts were Garden Gold, A Serene View, Community Spirit, Stars on the River (featuring a haiku first published in The Bamboo Hut) and COP26 (featuring a haiku first published in the Asahi Shimbun).

Thank you for walking along with us here.

If you want to read more about our year, feel free to check out the 2021 highlights on our sister blog Whippet Wisdom.

We send you our warmest wishes for a healthy and happy 2022 – may your year be filled with joy, peace and wellbeing!

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #180: Favorite Images of 2021

Silent Sunday: Joining the Conversation

close up of a six-month old cygnet preening on the river
six cygnets looking towards their mother swan on the river

Wishing you all blessed Sunday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday: River Swans and Cygnets

swan parents and their cygnets feeding in the river
a swan parent with six cygnets in the shallows of the river
a swan parent and seven of his cygnets feeding in  the shallows of a tidal river

The swan family enjoy feeding on the plants in the river at high tide. The cygnets are now six months old and even the late developing cygnet is showing her first white feathers.

They’ve come a long way since their Welcome to the World.

The parents still seem content to have the cygnets around and they may not fledge until the new year.

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Silent Sunday

Weekly Prompts Colour Challenge: Winter’s Day

Word of the Day Challenge: Content

Wordless Wednesday: Pond Swans

It is the first time we have seen two pond cygnets this year and they are looking well, albeit less muscular than the seven river cygnets.

It is lovely to meet them as last year we did not see any cygnets on the pond.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

CMMC: September Color – Dark Greens

Silent Sunday: Safe Haven

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Silent Sunday

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Sanctuary

Caring for River Wildlife

It is an honour and a great pleasure to contribute four photographs to the 2022 Calendar for the River Nairn Swans & Waterfowl Trust that cares for our local river wildlife.

The river meets the sea here and we are blessed with the regular company of our resident swan family, mallard ducks, mandarin duck, goosander, oystercatcher, herring gull, heron and occasional visits by redshank, cormorant, wigeon and seals hunting for salmon.

Joe Telfer from the River Nairn Swans & Waterfowl Trust cares for injured birds and orphaned ducklings until they are ready to be released back into the wild and provides extra food when it is needed.

Our local wildlife is a great inspiration to me and I’m delighted to be able to give something back.

Copies of the 2022 Calendar are available from River Nairn Swans & Waterfowl Trust, Nairn Bookshop and Strachans.

A special thank you to Iona Gibson for putting this beautiful calendar together.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #160: Your Inspiration

CFFC: It’s a Small World

Silent Sunday: On a Bend in the River

The seven cygnets nesting on our river are ten weeks old today and the first white feathers are beginning to show.

You can see them at one week old in our earlier post Welcome to the World.

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Silent Sunday

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: The Bend