We’re taking our time travelling the single track with here and there a passing place, used by many as a place to pause. People pause to take a photograph of highland cattle, their long horns glistening in the sun. Or photographs of ewes with lambs in tow, a fresh dot of red paint between their shoulders.
I pause to look at Canisp and Suilven. Towering above the landscape in the way only mountains do, they speak to me in the way only mountains can. In a soft and familiar voice they urge me to stay a little longer.
fragrant breeze gorse blooms between the rocks that call us home
Let me show you the turquoise sea, how deep and soft the sand can be. You’ll see the gulls glide on the wind and catch a fish. There will be people here on the nicer days. Some people are tall, some small. Some will bring a bucket and spade and build us a castle.
circle of life a lamb follows his mother at first light
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.
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.
The water is still very low at low tide after a long hot Summer. Mallards and ducklings swim in the remaining flow, others climb on to islands of stones in the river. A seagull chick on the opposite bank watches the ducks. His parents are higher up, keeping an eye on their offspring. The goosander, who normally likes her own space, joins the others when swans return.
a warm sky
salmon are waiting downstream
for rain to come
The early morning drizzle is full of promise. Scorched fields of grass and droopy gardens sigh with relief when the promise turns to rain. After a heatwave and hose-ban to preserve diminishing pools of water flowers raise their heads in gratitude, singing full of colour.
In the glen there is an age-old tradition of hanging squirrel feeders on tree branches and filling them with nuts and pieces of fruit. The squirrels raise the lid with their head, leaving their front paws free to gather the bounty. With free access to favourite foods they seem happy to leave nearby birdfeeders alone.
under a new moon
the simple joy of feeding
a forest life
Our garden changes colour after an early morning shower. Yellow poppies, primrose and pansies look vibrant and replenished. In years gone by, fishermen dried their nets here. Different guardians blessed with different times.
scent of lilac
ready to weave our home
in a raindrop