Haibun: Sanctuary

 

swans, grown up cygnets and mallard ducks in the snow-flanked river

 

The river bank and leafless trees are heavy with snow. Mallards, swans and cygnets mingle in the shallows. The sun is higher in the sky, her glow a little warmer. For nine months, this part of the river has been the cygnets’ home, their sanctuary. First there were seven. One of them, bright and brave, flew the nest nine weeks ago. Soon the remaining six will spread their wings to begin their own adventure.

winter wind
a flock of geese
stretches the sky

© Xenia Tran

 

swan parents with their cygnets by the snow-covered bank of the river

 

close up shot of three fully grown cygnets by a snow-covered river bank

These are the last images I have from the remaining cygnets. They were chased away by their parents the following day and encouraged to make their own way in the world. It’s been a joy watching them hatch, grow and develop. We wish them all a healthy and happy long life in the Highlands.

You can read about the first cygnet leaving the nest in last year’s post Into the World.

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5 – 1/250 s – ISO 200, f/5.6 – 1/800 – ISO 400 and f/6.5 – 1/400 s – ISO 400.

 

Friendly Friday: Stay in Your Comfort Zone

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Sanctuary

 

Haiku: Delightful Company

 

a maturing cygnet with pink bill on the river with a female mallard duck

 

cygnets and ducks
delightful company
on the river

© Xenia Tran

 

one mature cygnet looks up at the camera whilst his sibling feeds below water

 

three mature cygnets swimming against the tide on the river

We wish you all a very happy Monday and a wonderful new week!

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, SettingsL f/6.5 – 1/320 s – ISO 640, f/5.6 – 1/320 s – ISO 100 and f/5 – 1/125 s – ISO 100.

 

Carpe Diem #1588: Delight in Company

 

Our First Year in Review

 

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.

 

a cob swimming in the pond and the pen and two cygnets in the foreground

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

 

The annual review on our sister blog Whippet Wisdom can be found here.

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #26: Photographic Review of 2018

 

Silent Sunday: Relaxing Afternoon

 

a pen and two of her cygnets sleeping on a small island

 

a pen and two of her cygnets resting on a small island in the pond

 

a cob preening in the background with brown grass in the foreground

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5.6, 1/250 s, ISO 800, f/6.3, 1/250 s, ISO 800 and f/6.5, 1-320 s, ISO 1250.

 

Silent Sunday

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Dream

 

Tanka: Into the World

 

 

newly hatched
brimming with a lust for life
a cygnet
swimming beside his father
spring’s first hello

© Xenia Tran

 

 

at home
in the water, on land
a cygnet grows
strong wings, white feathers
autumn’s first farewell

© Xenia Tran

 

 

The most spirited and independent of the seven cygnets has flown the nest and we wish him well on his new journey.

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/4.5, 1/1000 s, ISO 160; f/5.6, 1/800 s, ISO 100; f/5.6, 1/250 s, ISO 320; f/5.6, 1/400 s, ISO 100; f/5.6, 1/250 s, ISO 125 and f/6.3, 1/160 s, ISO 400.

 

Carpe Diem #1556: Fleeting Autumn (yuki aki)

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week Challenge: Things with Wings

 

Silent Sunday: River Party

 

swan parents with four cygnets and several mallard ducks on the river

 

close up shot of three fully grown cygnets in the river

 

three cygnets with their father in the foreground and a few mallards on the river

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5.6, 1/160 s, ISO 1600 and f/6.3, 1/200 s, ISO 1600.

 

Silent Sunday

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Trio

 

Haiku: Fading Light

 

a swan family feeding and preening on and beside a sand bar

 

tucked in
with the fading light
resting swans

© Xenia Tran

 

a swan family preening on a sand bar

 

swan family asleep on a sandbar with their heads tucked into their feathers

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/5.6, 1/250 s, ISO 100, f/5, 1/320 s, ISO 200.

 

Carpe Diem’s Autumn Retreat 2018: Love Eternally

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Comfort