Wordless Wednesday: Still Waters

close up of stones lining the loch shore
macro shot of stones on the edge of a stream

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #173

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #246: Still Life

Looking Back at 2022 – Thank you for the Love

First of all we want to say a warm-hearted thank you to all of you who visited, commented, inspired and prompted us with photo, word and poetry challenges.

During a year when we lost both our beloved adopted dogs within one week and three dear friends within a fortnight, friendship, community, kindness and the healing powers of nature wrapped us in a much-needed blanket of comfort.

longest night –
the moon shines on a raven
polishing its beak

© Xenia Tran

Autumn Moon Haiku Journal 6:1, Autumn-Winter 2022-2023

The sadness connected us with an even deeper level of gratitude for all the special souls who walk beside us on our journey in this life. With our heart broken open, we were more ready than ever to receive all the beauty life and nature have to offer.

We are grateful to share a collection of those posts, which resonated with you the most. As in previous years, they are organised season by season, each offering their own gifts and magic.

To enjoy the photo-galleries as they are intended, it is best to visit this post in website view.


The most popular posts this season were Beach ArtPeace Candle (first published in Haiku Dialogue), First SnowdropsLight FrostCrystal Leaves and Berries and Scintillating Sunrise.

Some of you may remember our Restoring Nature post on our sister blog where I introduced Cairngorms Connect, a bold conservation project with a 200-year vision.

In February 2022 I was offered the opportunity to take part in a series of writing workshops organised by Cairngorms Connect, which focused on our relationship with place. What I learned there has become an integral part of my writing throughout the rest of the year and I am very grateful to Elizabeth Reeder and Cairngorms Connect for their inspiration and guidance.


In March 2022 I took part in the Sit-Spot Challenge organised by An Darach Forest Croft, which involved sitting somewhere quiet in nature for at least twenty minutes each day. I sat in the sun, snow and rain and filled waterproof notebooks with haiku seeds, thoughts and reflections.

It is amazing what you notice when you stop walking and sit for a while in a landscape, especially during a colder time of year.

Warm thanks to Hugh Asher of An Darach Forest Croft for all the inspiration.

three forest bathing booklets on a table

I was deeply honoured and delighted to see ten haiku featured in the World Haiku Series with beautiful translations into Japanese by Mr Hidenori Hiruta.

The most popular posts in Spring were Morning CruiseFor Ancestors and Progeny, Here the Silenced (all three first published in The Asahi Shimbun), The Field of Everything, Colour Crochet and Urquhart Castle


The six cygnets that hatched in the middle of May on our river were thriving, as well as many ducklings and other young birds. The noisiest were the herring gull family on our roof. One of the chicks hurt her wings and was taken to the vets by an SSPCA inspector. The other one grew fast and learned to fly a week later.

close up of a herring gull chick

The most popular posts in Summer were Eastern Light, Cherry Blossom Moon (both published in haikuKATHA Issue 10, August 2022), Salmon Sky, The Lunar Codex (featuring my poem Grandma Alice from the anthology Chiaroscuro that is going to the moon), Riding the Waves and Clan Stones (first published in Presence #73, July 2022).

red berry tea
the birds just starting
to sing

© Xenia Tran

Presence Issue #73, July 2022


Autumn started off warm and offered some glorious walking days where the colours were just beginning to change. We spent some time in Perthshire, exploring new walks and historic sites, before the weather turned.

The most popular post in Autum was Coming Home (featuring a monoku published in haikuKATHA Issue 14, December2022), which also became the most popular post for the year. The other most popular posts during this season were Meet and Part (published in haikuKATHA, Issue 11, September 2022), Silent Treasures, Corbenic Circles and Curves, View from the Hide and Milestone (published in haikuKATHA, Issue 13, November 2022).

pilgrim’s way
slowly, slowly,
the pain eases

© Xenia Tran

Under the Basho, 16 November 2022

a boreen rolling downhill into the glen

Thank you for walking along with us here. We will now take a short break and will be back here on Wednesday 11 January 2023.

We send you our warmest wishes for a healthy and happy 2023 – may your year be filled with joy, peace and wellbeing!

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Fantastic

Sunday Stills: What Did YOU Do in 2022?

Wordless Wednesday: Silent Treasures

close up of a meditation carved in slate and attached to wooden logs
close up of the word 'silence' carved in slate

This is our second lovely find while walking the trails near the Corbenic Camphill Community, a home for people with social, emotional, intellectual and learning disabilities in the heart of Scotland.

You can see a beautiful selection of stones, painted and embedded in benches by members of the community, in my Corbenic Circles and Curves post.

Wishing you all a peaceful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #219: Treasure Hunt

Haiku: Salmon Sky

rocks and rockpools on the beach at sunrise

salmon sky –
poppies lean the past
into the half light

© Xenia Tran

poppies and wildflowers in the foreground at sunrise over the sea

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #131

CFFC: Landscapes or Waterscapes

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Half Light

Tanka Prose: The Field of Everything

the cairn at Culloden Battlefield with fresh wreaths and flowers

The first gorse is in bloom and its warm scent of coconut and vanilla greets us as we follow the path across the moor. The rookery at Leanach Cottage is full of rooks and hooded crows. I wonder about the music the men who rest here would have danced to and all their loved ones, who wanted to keep them safe.

ancient battleground –
the place where men fell
brimming with life
pilgrims and progeny
hear a skylark sing

© Xenia Tran

a path meandering through shrubs, moorland and trees with a blue flag on the right

This is another poem from a series I wrote at Culloden Battlefield during my visits in February and April. You can read two earlier poems here and here.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Your Daily Word Prompt: Elude

Kindness Glitters, poetry by Xenia Tran at Spillwords.com

Spillwords.com presents: Kindness Glitters, poetry by Xenia Tran, artist & photographer who lives and works in the Scottish Highlands.

Source: Kindness Glitters, poetry by Xenia Tran at Spillwords.com

I am deeply honoured and delighted that my poem Kindness Glitters was published on Spillwords earlier today.

A warm-hearted thank you to Dagmara K and the Spillwords team for selecting and featuring my poem here.

Wishing you all a happy Saturday and a wonderful weekend,

with love from Xenia xxx

Wordless Wednesday: Into Peace

wooden bridge, shrine and blossom in a Japanese garden
a buddha statue on a plinth under a wooden roof of a garden shrine
two wooden bridges connecting an island to either side of the garden around the pond

Wishing you all a peaceful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

CFFC: Edges and Ledges

Silent Sunday: Quiet Spaces

a small waterfall flowing into a natural pond with floating autumn leaves
a red fly agaric mushroom growing between stones and moss in the forest

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Silent Sunday

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #172: A Day of my Week

Haiku: Falling Petals

detail from a piece of pastel art featuring a woman

falling petals
he finds his mother
behind the rain

© Xenia Tran

pastel art of a woman appearing through a rain of cherry blossom

Working with pastels has been a hobby for many years and in my younger years my pieces were on display in cafés, art centres and at a local hospital.

My poems are mostly inspired by real-life experiences and sometimes by a dream or meditation. The above haiku was inspired by a dream and I tried to re-create the moment that sparked the poem in this painting.

I am deeply honoured and delighted that this poem was awarded an Honourable Mention in the International Section of the 2020 Haiku Invitational at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. A big thank you to judges Agnes Savich, Beth Skala and Gary Hotham for selecting my poem and many congratulations to all the winners.

The above haiku was subsequently featured in the World Haiku Series 2020, facilitated by the Akita International Haiku Network with a beautiful Japanese translation by Mr Hidenori Hiruta. A warm-hearted thank you to Mr Hiruta for including this poem in respect of the 326th anniversary of Matsuo Bashõ’s passing and all the souls of those who lost their lives to COVID-19.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs and original art (soft pastel on glass paper) by Xenia Tran.

Word of the Day Challenge: Hobby

Haiku: A Small Fish

a grey heron stalking fish in a tidal lagoon

in the heron’s mouth
a small fish

© Xenia Tran

a grey heron with a freshly caught fish in his mouth while wading through a tidal lagoon

It is a treat to see how patient herons are when using these trusted old methods to catch a new meal every day.

At the same I felt for the small fish and said a few prayers for him and his family.

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2 – 1/2000 s – ISO 100.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #99: Old and New

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: For Our Good