Haiku: Summer Cygnets

stillness of summer
a swan’s love

© Xenia Tran

a three week old cygnet pulling up an underwater plant with his beak

gentle breeze
pulling up pond weed
the cygnet grows

© Xenia Tran

two three week old cygnets beside their mother, water splashing between them

two cygnets
between them the water
flies away

© Xenia Tran

a three week old cygnet with water droplets on her beak and crown and downy feathers

At the woodland pond, there are only three cygnets left.

They’ve grown a lot since we last saw them and are now pulling the smaller pond weeds up by themselves.

Sitting on the bank and watching them for a while, it was lovely to see them already develop their own, unique personalities.

Wishing you all a peaceful Sunday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/4 – 1/400 s – ISO 100, f/4 – 1/320 s – ISO 100, f/4, 1/640 s – ISO 160 and f/5.6 – 1/640 s – ISO 200.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #51: Unique

Word of the Day Challenge: Nurture

Sunday Stills: Stillness of Summer

Wordless Wednesday: Exploring a New World

a lamb following his mother across the beach towards the rocks and cliffs
a lamb climbing the rocks behind his mother
a lamb climbing the rocks behind his mother and looking over his right shoulder back to the ocean

This sequence follows on from our earlier post I’ll Show You the Sea.

Wishing you all a very happy Wednesday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4 – 1/800 s – ISO 100, f/4 – 1/1000 s – ISO 160 and f/4 – 1/250 s – ISO 100.

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday Stills: Veering off the Path

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Two Items or the Number Two

A Walk at Leitir Easaidh

Little Assynt

With a lot of rain forecast and only a light breeze, we’re braving the elements for a walk along the all-abilities path at Leitir Easaidh. The path is solid and even, free from slippery tree roots and stones that can be treacherous in wet weather.

fishing jetty at a lochan by Leitir Easaidh on a cloudy and damp morning

Several lochans sparkle among the heather and golden flowers of bog asphodel on brighter days. Loch Leitir Easaidh is the first one we come to, with a wooden fishing jetty and an adapted small boat, suitable for people with limited mobility.

stone and wood shelter with a grass roof by Loch Leitir Easaidh

On the other side of the jetty is a shelter, built with natural stone and local wood. It has a grass and heather roof and blends in beautifully with the natural environment. We pause here for a mug of tea during a heavy downpour. It’s a comfortable and soothing place to stay for a while. In nature and sheltered by nature.

a solar and wind powered wooden toilet building with a grass roof beside a loch

Beside the jetty and shelter is a small wooden building with a composting toilet. The building is wind- and solar-powered and has a grass roof for insulation. When we reach Loch na h-Innse Fraoich, we find a similar building, shelter, jetty and adapted small boat there for the visitor’s convenience.

The views beyond the gorse-covered hills across the water are obscured by cloud today, making it feel as if we’re walking in a small world of our own. A short, steep path on the left leads directly to a viewpoint. The other path takes you there via a slightly longer, more gentle route.

path at Leitir Easaidh climbing through the bog land and trees

The peaks and cliffs of Quinag are hidden above the clouds. It’s possible to continue deeper into this estate via a link path, which joins the Loch an t-Sabhail path. If the weather and visibility had improved, we would have been happy to combine these two walks.

view across Loch Leitir Easaidh, with Quinag's cliff barely visible in the distance through the heavy cloud

Despite the rain and poor visibility we enjoyed our walk here. It was very peaceful and the few walkers we met seemed to think we were on to a good thing too.

The Leitir Eiseadh paths are excellent and suitable for people of all abilities, including wheelchair users.

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

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

The Little Assynt Estate is owned and managed for the community of Assynt by the Culag Community Woodland Trust.

Jo’s Monday Walk

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Breeze

Your Daily Word Prompt: Sustain

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Trail

Silent Sunday: Special Times

a pen watching over six of her cygnets in a pond

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/6.3 – 1/500 s – ISO 200, f/6.3 – 1/320 s – ISO 200 and f/5.6 – 1/500 s – ISO 200.

Silent Sunday

Sue’s Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge: Display

Haibun: Fragrant Breeze


an undulating single track road in Assynt with a dry stone wall and mountain views beyond

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

© Xenia Tran

Views of mountains Canisp and Suilven from the Stoer road with gorse in bloom

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4 – 1/1250 s – ISO 160 and f/8 – 1/640 s – ISO 160.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #49: Favorite Things

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Road

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge: Fragrant Breeze

Silent Sunday: A Lovely Surprise

a pen and seven cygnets feeding in a pond
a pen feeding six of her cygnets with underwater plants in a pond

We are delighted to see seven cygnets have hatched by the pond and are lovingly cared for by their parents.

The eggs from the river swans didn’t hatch this year. The pen and cob have been mating again last week and there is a very small chance of more eggs to come.

In 2017 their eggs didn’t hatch either and they fostered a cygnet from another swan family. We will share photographs of the river swans throughout the year and follow the progress of the pond cygnets as they grow older.

Wishing you all a magical Sunday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5.6 – 1/250 s – ISO 200 and f/5.6 – 1/400 s – ISO 200.

Silent Sunday

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Surprise

Haibun: I’ll Show You the Sea

a ewe takes her lamb to the beach for a stroll

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

© Xenia Tran

a lamb following her woolly mother on the beach
a lamb trotting behind his mother on the beach

Here in the Highlands sheep will often be free to roam from pasture to cliff, from cliff to beach and back again. At this time of year the ewes will show their lambs where to go.

You can see more images of the ewe leading her lamb back up the rocks towards their pasture in our post Exploring a New World

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4 – 1/1250 s – ISO 100.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #48: Wild

Cee’s Fun Foto Challange: Smiles

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Line