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

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

Haiku: COP26

Cairngorms National Park

autumn in the Cairngorms with low cloud between the mountains

COP26…
small seeds are sown
to save the forests

© Xenia Tran

pine trees reflected in a lochan in autumn

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

COP26 was first published in The Asahi Shimbun, 19 November 2021. A warm thank you to David McMurray for including my poem and putting this beautiful edition together.

CFFC: Reflections or Shadows

Haiku: Crabapples

close up of crab apples with yellowing leaves

crabapples
rinsed by rain she gathers
the windfall

© Xenia Tran

a crab apple tree heavy with fruit

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

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Crab Apples was first published in The Asahi Shimbun, 5 November 2021. A warm thank you to David McMurray for including my poem and putting this beautiful edition together.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Forty Shades of Red

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Haiku: Stars on the River

rowan berries on the bank high above a fast-flowing river

lighting the stove
a salmon follows the stars
on the river

© Xenia Tran

a fast-flowing river seen from above through the trees

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

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Stars on the River was first published in The Bamboo Hut, Number 3, 2021. A warm-hearted thank you to Steve Wilkinson for featuring my poem and putting this beautiful edition together.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Home

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #169: The Ordinary

Haiku: Weathered Wood

a memorial bench plaque with a poem by Linda-Anne Campbell

weathered wood
the memorial bench
still holds her poem

© Xenia Tran

weathered wooden memorial bench

Thank you again for all your good wishes before we went on our blogging break!

We had a relaxing time with beautiful walks in quiet areas (without a phone signal and limited internet) and hope you had a peaceful week too.

Wishing you a blessed Sunday and a happy week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weathered Wood was first published in Troutswirl – The Haiku Foundation Blog, Haiku Dialogue: Finding Peace and Contemplation … in worn, imperfect and transient things … rusty hitching iron, 22 September 2021. A warm-hearted thank you to guest-editor Marietta MacGregor and The Haiku Foundation for featuring my poem and putting this beautiful edition together.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #168: Seen Better Days

Wordless Wednesday: Garden Gold

Corn Marigold (Glebionis Segetum)

macro shot of a leafcutter bee on corn marigold
macro shot of a leafcutter bee on corn marigold
macro shot of a leafcutter bee on corn marigold

I am deeply honoured to share Haiku and Photo Haiku as part of the World Haiku Series 2020, in respect of the 326th anniversary of Matsuo Bashõ’s passing and in respect of all the souls who lost their lives to COVID-19. A warm-hearted thank you to Mr Hidenori Hiruta for his beautiful Japanese translations and for creating this wonderful series.

The haiku and photo haiku I offered were all created during the pandemic. Please visit Akita International Haiku Network for the full post.

We are now taking a short blogging break and will be back on Sunday 3 October 2021.

Wishing you all a sparkling Wednesday and a great week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday Stills: All That Is Gold

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Word of the Day Challenge: Sparkling

Haiku: Moonlight

lost and found
the barn key glitters
in the moonlight

© Xenia Tran

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

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Moonlight was first published in The Asahi Shimbun, 17 September 2021. A warm thank you to David McMurray for including my poem and putting this beautiful edition together.

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word September 2021 (Reachable, Linkage)

Weekend Sky #42

Haiku: A Helping Hand

blown off-course
the coastguard gathers
at the boat slip

© Xenia Tran

I wrote this haiku in honour of the volunteers from the RNLI who will go out in all weathers to rescue people from our seas, lakes, rivers and floods.

If you want to find out more about what they do, are interested in volunteering or wish to support them in other ways please visit their website here.

Wishing you all safe harbour,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

A Helping Hand was first published in The Asahi Shimbun, 4 June 2021. A warm thank you to David McMurray for including my poem and putting this beautiful edition together.

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Question

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word – Flow, Tidal

CFFC: Blue

Tanka: Red Rose

a red rose
how grandmother blushes
when she sees him
after all these years his voice
the longest in her mind

© Xenia Tran

When my grandmother moved into a retirement home she met her first True Love (from High School) at the breakfast counter and it felt as if they’d never been apart.

He placed a red rose on her breakfast plate each morning and they had one blissful, love-filled year together before he passed away.

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

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Red Rose was first published in Ribbons, Spring/Summer 2021: Volume 17, Number 2. A very big thank you to Michael McClintock and the team at Ribbons for featuring my poem and putting this wonderful edition together.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #154: One Photo Two Ways

Cee’s Flower of the Day