Haiku: Lichen Light

lichen and moss on branches in a winter forest

lichen and moss
a small forest grows
along the branches

© Xenia Tran

macro shot of lichen and reindeer moss

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4 – 1/160 s – ISO 160, f/2.8 – 1/80 s – ISO 100 and f/4 – 1/640 s – ISO 160.

Sunshine’s Macro Monday #25

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Trees

Haiku: Heavenly Portal

Lochan Mor

a male mallard duck pecking at the ice on a frozen loch

iced-up loch
so many rainbows
resting here

© Xenia Tran

a male mallard duck standing on a frozen loch

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4 – 1/160 s – ISO 160, f/2.8 – 1/100 s – ISO 160 and f/2.8 – 1/100 s – ISO 200.

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Portal

Carpe Diem #1795: New Beginnings – Rainbow

Haibun: Making Lemonade

Her eyes filled with mist when she spoke about Zeeland. I was too young to understand her stories. The feeling in my heart when we made lemonade was real and true. She let me add a little sugar to warm water, while continuing to stir with her spoon.

the ring with the moonstone
still fits

© Xenia Tran

This haibun was inspired by a moment from my childhood when I visited my great-grandmother in Rustoord, the retirement home where she spent her final years. Zierikzee is a town in the province of Zeeland in The Netherlands.

The above poem is an interpretation in English of my haibun Rustoord, originally written in Dutch:


Haar ogen liepen vol met mist, als ze het over Zeeland had. Ik was te jong om haar geschiedenis te begrijpen. Het gevoel in mijn hart, als we samen citroenlimonade maakten, begreep ik wel. Ik mocht schepjes suiker aan het warme water toevoegen terwijl zij met een lepel bleef roeren.

het ringetje met de maansteen
past nog steeds

© Xenia Tran

I am delighted that Rustoord was first published in Vuursteen, Tijdschrift voor haiku, senryu en tanka, Winter 2019, the quarterly journal of Haiku Kring Nederland. A very big thank you to Marian Poyck and colleagues for putting this edition together.

The header photograph is the only photograph I have that features my great-grandmother. It was taken in 1941 by my late grandfather and features my late great-grandmother, my late grandmother and my father in his pram.

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Retrospective

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Realm

dVerse Poets: Open Link Night #257

Looking Back at 2019 – Thank you for the Magic

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.

Raven’s Call became our most popular wildlife post of the year. A few other popular posts featuring wildlife were Summer Cygnets and Autumn Equinox featuring the pond swans, Two Herons and Mountain Frog.

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.

Hoarfrost became our most popular post featuring macro photography, posted late November after our first overnight frost. Flowers in the Detail, Fuzzy Blue and Cuckoo Flower also feature in the top ten posts for this year.

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.

Our most popular post on the blog Fragrant Breeze was inspired by the wonderful landscape of Assynt in the Spring. Five other scenic posts feature in the top ten for the year, including Loch Broom, Forest Lake and Where Ducks Fly. We were delighted when our photographic post Castle in the Rain inspired a poem by a fellow blogger in Castle Ardvreck.

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.

macro shot of a painted lady butterfly on a purple lilac

You can see the 2019 highlights from our sister blog Whippet Wisdom in
2019: Favourite Moments Through the Seasons.

Wishing you all a Happy Hogmanay,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #77: Favorite Photos of 2019

Haibun: Christmas Lights

Christmas lights tied to lampposts in Findochty

The Festive lights along the coast are often understated. There is something honest and refreshing seeing them unlit against a blue sky. In this small fishing village, a handful of squares with cables and light bulbs are tied to the main street’s lampposts. One has a leaping dolphin, another a sailing boat. There’s an anchor and a ship’s wheel too. The locals joined hands to pay for it all.

all year round
a spirit of community
Christmas lights

© Xenia Tran

a Christmas light in the shape of a ship's wheel tied to a lamppost

We are taking a short blogging break until 29th December and wish all of you who celebrate a very Happy Christmas!

Seasons greetings with love
from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5.6 – 1/500 s – ISO 200, f/5 – 1/1000 s – ISO 160 and f/5.6 – 1/1000 s – ISO 160.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #76: On Display

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #118: Christmas

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Seven Days Before Christmas (2): Light

Word of the Day Challenge: Guidance

Haiku: Winter Solstice II

the day-moon in a blue sky over Findhorn Bay

snow on the peaks
a few more sleeps before

© Xenia Tran

a sailing boat anchored in Findhorn Bay

We wish you all a wonderful Wednesday and a blessed Winter Solstice.

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 100, f/5 – 1/320 s – ISO 100 and f/5 – 1/250 s – ISO 100.

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #117: Midwinter

Your Daily Word Prompt: Duration

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Common

Between Heather and Grass: #Poems and #Photographs Filled with Love, Hope and Whippets by Xenia Tran @WhippetHaiku

For those of you not familiar with Eivor and Pearl’s poetic adventures, Cathy Ryan shares a beautiful review of Between Heather and Grass on her blog today. Thank you so much for sharing this Cathy, we’re so happy you enjoy the book! xxx

Author: Xenia Tran

Published: November 2019 by Holistic Linguistics

Category: Creative Non Fiction, Poetry, Photography, Verse, Book Review


Welcome to Between Heather and Grass – Poems Filled with Love, Hope and Whippets, our beautiful, soulful sequel to Sharing Our Horizon and our second book for whippet lovers, dog lovers and lovers of nature. The book features poetry, breathtaking photographs of the Scottish Highlands, and our two adopted whippets Eivor and Pearl. The majority of the poems are haiku, haibun and tanka, written in rhythm with the seasons. The poems and photographs illuminate each other and are both calming and inspiring, inviting you to dip into this collection many times over.

Between Heather and Grass is Xenia Tran’s second book of verse, complete with photographs of the spectacular scenery of the Scottish Highlands and not forgetting her two gorgeous rescue whippets. The complementary poetry and photos capture the majesty of…

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