Silent Sunday: Lines at Dusk

sunset along the Moray Firth with the tide rolling out
sunset along the Moray Firth with the tide rolling out

The above images feature the final sunset over the Moray Firth in 2019 seen from Nairn beach. The last image in this sequence was first published in the Nairnshire Telegraph on Tuesday 7th January 2020 to accompany an article by the editor titled Farewell to an Old Year – and Welcome to the New. A very big thank you to Iain Bain for putting this edition together.

Wishing you a peaceful Sunday and a wonderful week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/60 s – ISO 400, f/2.8 – 1/80 s – ISO 800 and f/2.8 – 1/50 s – ISO 400.

Silent Sunday

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #80: Leading Lines

Wordless Wednesday: A Special Place in the Sun

rock formations in the Moray Firth on a Winter's morning
close up shot of a pair of seagulls perched on a rock in the Moray Firth

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/4.5 – 1/500 s – ISO 125, f/5 – 1/400 s – ISO 100 and f/6.5 – 1/320 s – ISO 200.

Wordless Wednesday

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #78: Special Spot Shots

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #9

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

Haibun: Christmas Lights

Christmas lights tied to lampposts in Findochty

The Festive lights along the coast are often understated. There is something honest and refreshing seeing them unlit against a blue sky. In this small fishing village, a handful of squares with cables and light bulbs are tied to the main street’s lampposts. One has a leaping dolphin, another a sailing boat. There’s an anchor and a ship’s wheel too. The locals joined hands to pay for it all.

all year round
a spirit of community
Christmas lights

© Xenia Tran

a Christmas light in the shape of a ship's wheel tied to a lamppost

We are taking a short blogging break until 29th December and wish all of you who celebrate a very Happy Christmas!

Seasons greetings with love
from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5.6 – 1/500 s – ISO 200, f/5 – 1/1000 s – ISO 160 and f/5.6 – 1/1000 s – ISO 160.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #76: On Display

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #118: Christmas

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Seven Days Before Christmas (2): Light

Word of the Day Challenge: Guidance







Silent Sunday: Into Twilight

a driftwood wigwam on the beach at twilight
a large piece of driftwood on the tidal line at twilight

Wishing you all a peaceful Sunday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4 – 1/160 s – ISO 100, f/4 – 1/125 s – ISO 160 and f/3.5 – 1/125 s – ISO 160.

Silent Sunday

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #76: On Display

Wordless Wednesday: Fleeting Rainbows

a young Aberdeen Angus in a field with a rainbow coming out of the cloud behind him
a young Aberdeen Angus in a field with a rainbow coming out of the cloud behind him

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 – 1/400 s – ISO 160 and f/4 – 1/320 s – ISO 160.

Wordless Wednesday

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #75: Nostalgic

Silent Sunday: A Dashing Display

a flock of greenshank in full display above the sea and sandbar
a flock of greenshank flying in formation above the water
close up shot of a flock of greenshank wading towards the shore

Wishing you all a very happy December and a blissful Sunday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5 – 1/500 s – ISO 100, f/5 – 1/640 s – ISO 100 and f/6.5 – 1/320 s – ISO 100.

Silent Sunday

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #74: Abstract