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

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Fuzzy Blue

Ceanothus

macro shot of blue ceanothus flowers
macro shot of blue ceanothus flowers

Some flowering ceanothus from earlier this Summer.

Wishing you all a wonderful Tuesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.5 – 1/800 s – ISO 100, f/3.5 – 1/1000 s – ISO 100 and f/4 – 1/800 s – ISO 100.

Sunshine’s Macro Monday

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Fuzzy

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Wordless Wednesday: Sea Pinks

sea pinks growing on the rocks
close up shot of a cluster of sea pinks in bloom

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 – 1/200 s – ISO 100, f/3.5 – 1/200 s – ISO 100 and f/3.5 – 1/250 s – ISO 100.

Wordless Wednesday

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Haiku: April Flower

macro shot of a yellow Doronicum Little Leo bud

yellow flower
sunlight rising
from the earth

© Xenia Tran

macro shot of a yellow Doronicum Little Leo bud with unfurling petals
macro shot of a yellow Doronicum Little Leo in full bloom

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.5 – 1/125 s – ISO 160, f/3.2 – 1/250 s – ISO 100 and f/3.5 – 1/250 s – ISO 100.

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: April

Haiku: Two-Tone Daffodil

macro shot of a two-tone daffodil bud partially opening

golden hearts
born again each spring
these flowers

© Xenia Tran

macro shot of a two-tone daffodil flower head

Wishing you all a blessed Monday and a wonderful new week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2 – 1/400 s – ISO 160 and f/3.2 – 1/400 s – ISO 100.

Sunday Stills: Spring

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Haiku: Spring of Life

three daffodils with rain drops

daffodils
wet with wind and rain
how they dazzle

© Xenia Tran

close up shot of a daffodil with raindrops resting around the edges
macro shot of raindrops resting on the side of a daffodil petal

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.5 – 1/80 s – ISO 160, f/3.5 – 1/125 s – ISO 100 and f/3.5 – 1/160 s – ISO 100.

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Round

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Silent Sunday: Awakening

macro shot of closed lilac crocus flower with raindrops
macro shot of lilac crocus bud slightly opening
close up shot of lilac crocus flower opening and one in the background slightly open

You can see more close-up shots of crocus flowers in our recent post Violet Flame.

Wishing you all a beautiful day!

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2 – 1/320 s – ISO 100, f/3.2 – 1/100 s – ISO 200 and f/3.2 – 1/200 s – ISO 160.

Silent Sunday

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #34: Close-Up

Cee’s Flower of the Day: Crocus