Our First Year in Review

 

As 2018 draws to a close we look back in gratitude for all the magic we found in nature.

 

 

We followed a pair of swans as they raised their first brood together, watched herring gulls dive for fish, were greeted by friendly mallards on our walks by the river. We saw squirrels and seals. We met oystercatchers, curlew, redshank, goosander, turnstones, wigeon and pigeons, sometimes as curious about us as we were about them.

 

 

 

We enjoyed the magic of macro, looking closely at blossoms, flowers, at ripening fruit. Raindrops captured the light and a reflection of our world. Ice crystals shimmered on the edge of an evergreen.

 

 

 

We saw clouds wandering across a pond, the first leaves of Spring, a mountain inside a stone by the river. The snow fields were slow to leave the higher ground, even when the water lilies were blooming. Our Autumn was glorious and the mist over the Kyle on Solstice day guided us into Winter.

A very big thank you to all our followers and fellow bloggers for their kind comments and support since we started this blog.

We really appreciate those fellow bloggers who host challenges too. A special thank you to Cee Neuner for hosting her Flower of the Day, Frank Jansen for his wonderful prompts at Dutch Goes the Photo, Patti, Amy, Tina and Ann-Christine for hosting the Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge, the team at the Rag Tag Daily Prompt for their Daily Writing and Photo Prompts, the team at dVerse for their poetry prompts, Frank J Tassone for his Weekly Haikai Challenge and last and certainly not least, Kristjaan Panneman at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai for hosting the haiku prompts and retreats that we have supported throughout the year.

Thank you again for all the love. We wish you and your loved ones a blessed and very happy New Year.

 

a cob swimming in the pond and the pen and two cygnets in the foreground

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

 

The annual review on our sister blog Whippet Wisdom can be found here.

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #26: Photographic Review of 2018

 

Haiku: Blue Geranium

 

macro shot of a blue geranium in bud with raindrops

 

still they flower
shades of blue with purple veins
a gentle gaze

© Xenia Tran

 

macro shot of a blue geranium flower with raindrops

We wish you all a peaceful weekend.

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4.5, 1/100 s, ISO 125 and f/4.5, 1/80 s, ISO 125 with DMW LC55 Lens.

 

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #11: Small is Beautiful

 

Tan Renga: Morning Sun

 

macro shot of raindrops on curved leaves

 

morning sun
the twinkle of stars
still in the dew                                         © Jane Reichhold

jewels on stems, leaves
see how far I’ve travelled                      © Xenia Tran

 

macro shot of rain drops on a stem and curled, thin leaves

Kristjaan at Carpe Diem has invited us to create a Tan Renga with the given haiku by Jane Reichhold (1937-2016). A Tan Renga is a short chained poem written by two poets. It looks very similar to a Tanka, but a Tanka is written by one poet.

I created the second stanza as if Jane is speaking from the other side.

 

We wish you all a blessed Monday and a magical new week.

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2, 1/100 s, ISO 100 with DMW-LC55 Lens.

 

Carpe Diem’s Tan Renga Challenge September 2018 – III (1): Morning Sun

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Backyard

 

Haiku: Echoes from the Moon

 

raindrops suspended in a spider's web within a conifer

 

so delicate
raindrops in a spider’s web
echoing the moon

© Xenia Tran

 

close up of raindrops suspended in a spider's web within a conifer

We wish you all a wonderful weekend!

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4.5, 1/80 s, ISO 100 and f/2.8, 1/160 s, ISO 100 with DMW-LC55 lens.

 

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week Challenge: Delicate

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #47: Quest for a (new) Masterpiece

 

Haiku: Blades of Grass

 

macro of raindrops on blades of grass

 

green grass
the light collects her patterns
in the rain

© Xenia Tran

 

macro shot of raindrops on blades of grass

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2, 1/500 s, ISO 100 and f/2.8, 1/2000 s, ISO 160 with DMW-LC55 Lens.

 

Carpe Diem Summer Retreat 2018: Finding the Way

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge: Patterns

 

Haiku: Raindrops Sparkle

 

macro image of raindrops on a flowering pink sweat pea

 

sweet pea
her fragrance sparkles
in the rain

© Xenia Tran

 

macro image of raindrops on a flowering white sweat pea

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/5.6, 1/320 s, ISO 100 and f/6.3, 1/500 s, ISO 100 with DMW-LC55 lens.

 

Carpe Diem Summer Retreat 2018: Finding the Way

Carpe Diem #1475: Raindrops Sparkle

Cee’s Flower of the Day

 

Haibun: Snapdragon Moon

 

macro shot of a raindrop hanging from pink and yellow snapdragon

 

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.

snapdragon
from the edge of satin
her own moon

© Xenia Tran

 

macro shot of a raindrop hanging from pink and yellow snapdragon

It is such a treat to have some rain again.

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4, 1/1000 s, ISO 100 and f/4, 1/640 s, ISO 100 with DMW-LC55 lens.

 

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Treat

Cee’s Flower of the Day: Bearded Iris

Twiglet #84: Satin Edge

dVerse Poets: Open Link Night #224