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

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

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

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

Haiku: Evergreen

macro shot of hebe sapphire head with frost

sparkling with frost
your second flowering
hebe sapphire

© Xenia Tran

macro shot of hebe sapphire mid-section with frost

Hebe Sapphire is an evergreen that flowers in Spring and in Autumn.

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4.5, 1/125 s, ISO 320 with DMW LC55 lens.

Carpe Diem’s Autumn Retreat 2018: Love Eternally

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Haiku: Blue Geranium

 

macro shot of a blue geranium in bud with raindrops

 

still they flower
shades of blue with purple veins
a gentle gaze

© Xenia Tran

 

macro shot of a blue geranium flower with raindrops

We wish you all a peaceful weekend.

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4.5, 1/100 s, ISO 125 and f/4.5, 1/80 s, ISO 125 with DMW LC55 Lens.

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #11: Small is Beautiful

 

Tan Renga: Temple Bells

 

purple heather and scabiosa in bloom among long grass and stones

 

a hoverfly
heather and scabiosa
in purple hues                                                          © Xenia Tran

the temple bell stops but I still hear
the sound coming out of the flowers                  © Matsuo Basho

 

close up shot of hoverfly on purple scabiosa flower

Wishing you all a very happy Friday and a wonderful weekend.
With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8, 1/800 s, ISO 160 and f/4, 1/500 s, ISO 100.

 

Kristjaan at Carpe Diem has invited us to create a hokku for this Tan Renga with the given second stanza lines by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694). A Tan Renga is a short chained poem written by two poets. It looks very similar to a Tanka, but a Tanka is written by one poet.

 

Carpe Diem’s Tan Renga Challenge September 2018 – III (5): The Temple Bell Stops

Paula’s Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word in September Y3 (extractable)

 

Haiku: Marsh Thistle

 

close up of a purple marsh thistle with a backdrop of large green stems and leaves

 

marsh thistle
shades of purple, blue and pink
touch her wings

© Xenia Tran

 

macro shot of a purple marsh thistle

 

macro shot of a purple marsh thistle

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8, 1/640 s, ISO 100 and f/2.8, 1/1000 s, ISO 100.

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #8: Colorful

 

Haiku: Orange Poppy

 

a single orange poppy flower in a field with long grass and wildflowers

 

all by herself
in this field of Summer
orange poppy

© Xenia Tran

 

close up of a single orange poppy flower in a field with long grass and wildflowers

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, f/6.5, 1/400 s, ISO 100 and f/6.5, 1/640 s, ISO 160.

 

Carpe Diem Summer Retreat 2018: Finding the Way

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Field

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Rag Tag Daily Prompt #64: Novel

 

Haiku: Raindrops Sparkle

 

macro image of raindrops on a flowering pink sweat pea

 

sweet pea
her fragrance sparkles
in the rain

© Xenia Tran

 

macro image of raindrops on a flowering white sweat pea

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/5.6, 1/320 s, ISO 100 and f/6.3, 1/500 s, ISO 100 with DMW-LC55 lens.

 

Carpe Diem Summer Retreat 2018: Finding the Way

Carpe Diem #1475: Raindrops Sparkle

Cee’s Flower of the Day