Haiku: Lone Hiker

a snow-capped mountain above a stream full of snow-melt

lone hiker
his red scarf flaps
in the wind

© Xenia Tran

haikuKATHA Issue 15, January 2023

blue sky appearing above a bend on a hillside trail

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Recharge

Looking Back at 2022 – 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, word and poetry challenges.

During a year when we lost both our beloved adopted dogs within one week and three dear friends within a fortnight, friendship, community, kindness and the healing powers of nature wrapped us in a much-needed blanket of comfort.

longest night –
the moon shines on a raven
polishing its beak

© Xenia Tran

Autumn Moon Haiku Journal 6:1, Autumn-Winter 2022-2023

The sadness connected us with an even deeper level of gratitude for all the special souls who walk beside us on our journey in this life. With our heart broken open, we were more ready than ever to receive all the beauty life and nature have to offer.

We are grateful to share a collection of those posts, which resonated with you the most. As in previous years, they are organised season by season, each offering their own gifts and magic.

To enjoy the photo-galleries as they are intended, it is best to visit this post in website view.

Winter

The most popular posts this season were Beach ArtPeace Candle (first published in Haiku Dialogue), First SnowdropsLight FrostCrystal Leaves and Berries and Scintillating Sunrise.

Some of you may remember our Restoring Nature post on our sister blog where I introduced Cairngorms Connect, a bold conservation project with a 200-year vision.

In February 2022 I was offered the opportunity to take part in a series of writing workshops organised by Cairngorms Connect, which focused on our relationship with place. What I learned there has become an integral part of my writing throughout the rest of the year and I am very grateful to Elizabeth Reeder and Cairngorms Connect for their inspiration and guidance.

Spring

In March 2022 I took part in the Sit-Spot Challenge organised by An Darach Forest Croft, which involved sitting somewhere quiet in nature for at least twenty minutes each day. I sat in the sun, snow and rain and filled waterproof notebooks with haiku seeds, thoughts and reflections.

It is amazing what you notice when you stop walking and sit for a while in a landscape, especially during a colder time of year.

Warm thanks to Hugh Asher of An Darach Forest Croft for all the inspiration.

three forest bathing booklets on a table

I was deeply honoured and delighted to see ten haiku featured in the World Haiku Series with beautiful translations into Japanese by Mr Hidenori Hiruta.

The most popular posts in Spring were Morning CruiseFor Ancestors and Progeny, Here the Silenced (all three first published in The Asahi Shimbun), The Field of Everything, Colour Crochet and Urquhart Castle

Summer

The six cygnets that hatched in the middle of May on our river were thriving, as well as many ducklings and other young birds. The noisiest were the herring gull family on our roof. One of the chicks hurt her wings and was taken to the vets by an SSPCA inspector. The other one grew fast and learned to fly a week later.

close up of a herring gull chick

The most popular posts in Summer were Eastern Light, Cherry Blossom Moon (both published in haikuKATHA Issue 10, August 2022), Salmon Sky, The Lunar Codex (featuring my poem Grandma Alice from the anthology Chiaroscuro that is going to the moon), Riding the Waves and Clan Stones (first published in Presence #73, July 2022).

red berry tea
the birds just starting
to sing

© Xenia Tran

Presence Issue #73, July 2022

Autumn

Autumn started off warm and offered some glorious walking days where the colours were just beginning to change. We spent some time in Perthshire, exploring new walks and historic sites, before the weather turned.

The most popular post in Autum was Coming Home (featuring a monoku published in haikuKATHA Issue 14, December2022), which also became the most popular post for the year. The other most popular posts during this season were Meet and Part (published in haikuKATHA, Issue 11, September 2022), Silent Treasures, Corbenic Circles and Curves, View from the Hide and Milestone (published in haikuKATHA, Issue 13, November 2022).

pilgrim’s way
slowly, slowly,
the pain eases

© Xenia Tran

Under the Basho, 16 November 2022

a boreen rolling downhill into the glen

Thank you for walking along with us here. We will now take a short break and will be back here on Wednesday 11 January 2023.

We send you our warmest wishes for a healthy and happy 2023 – may your year be filled with joy, peace and wellbeing!

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Fantastic

Sunday Stills: What Did YOU Do in 2022?

Wordless Wednesday: White River Mallards

three white mallard ducks on the tidal river bank
two white mallard ducks snuggled together among tall grass on the riverbank

Tina, at Lens-Artists, invites us to post some images we did not get a chance to share earlier in the year.

These white mallard ducks may be offspring from escaped domestic ducks or hybrids. They have made themselves at home on the river and seem very friendly.

We wish our friends in the Northern Hemisphere a Happy Winter Solstice, and our friends in the Southern Hemisphere a Happy Summer Solstice.

We wish all of you who celebrate Christmas and Happy Christmas too.

We will return on Wednesday 28 December with a special post where we look back at 2022 and all the treasures it brought us.

a white mallard duck swimming in the river

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday and peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #230: Last Chance

CFFC: Salt White Colors

Wordless Wednesday: Forest Lace

macro capture of bearded lichen and monkshood lichen growing on a dead branch
macro capture of monk's hood and beard lichen

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

CMMC: December Close Up or Macro

Haiku: Milestone

a triangle carved in stone with an arrow and the words 'where are we really going? Always Home'

autumn moon
my first sixty years
of wandering

© Xenia Tran

haikuKATHA, Issue 13, November 2022

a pond surrounded by reeds with a pine forest and mountain in the background

I wrote this poem just after my 60th birthday (end of September) and am delighted it was published yesterday in haikuKATHA. Warm thanks to the editorial team and congratulations to all the other poets featured in this issue.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday and to our friends in the US, a happy Thanksgiving too.

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #226: Textures

CMMC: November Alphabet – T in the Middle or at the End of a Word

Haiku: Kindness

close up of a red postbox in front of a wooden building

bumpy road
a postman helps inflate
the tyres

© Xenia Tran

Under the Basho, 16 November 2022

sun breaking through clouds above autumnal mountains

With warm-hearted thanks to the kind postman in Cannich who helped us continue on our journey.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

CMMC: Pick a Topic from my Photo (buildings, houses, trees)

Wordless Wednesday: Cargill’s Leap

Cargill's Leap seen from above
Information Board at the Cargill's Leap viewpoint

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #151

Word of the Day Challenge: Memorial

Wordless Wednesday: View from the Hide

a juvenile mallard duck preening on top of a log

We visited the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve in September, where you can observe the wildlife from a variety of hides, without disturbing the animals.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

CFFC: Animals Unaware – Domestic or Wild

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Visitor

Wordless Wednesday: Etched by Distant Lives

remaining stones of an abandoned croft in a field
a boreen rolling downhill into the glen

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

Weekend Sky #76

Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge: Displays

Haiku: Meet and Part

a small burn flowing through the forest

forest trail
a frog meets and parts
with its shadow

© Xenia Tran

haikuKATHA, Issue 11, September 2022

an upturned tree stump on the banks of a burn

The above haiku is a variation on Trust, as the frog’s movements reminded me of a moment when Eivor and Pearl were meeting and parting with their shadows on a forest trail two years ago.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Sunday Stills: Life is Made Up of Fleeting Moments

CMMC: October Pick a Topic from My Photo (Path, Grass, Shadow)