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: 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

dVerse Poets Haibun Monday: Lost and Found – Nature’s Magic

Silent Sunday: Seat with a View II

Raven’s Rock Gorge

view down Raven's Rock Gorge in Spring with Alt Mor flowing through
a sculpted wooden seat with birch leaves carved in the wood and an otter resting

This wooden sculpted seat with the birch leaves and otter is at the second viewpoint above Raven’s Rock Gorge.

You can see the seat at the first viewpoint with carvings of oak leaves, acorns and an owl in last Sunday’s post A Seat with a View.

Wishing you all a peaceful Sunday,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2 – 1/160 s – ISO 100 and f/3.2 – 1/125 s – ISO 100.

Silent Sunday

XingfuMama’s Pull Up A Seat Challenge Week 22

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #48: Wild

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Sum

Wordless Wednesday: Castle in the Rain

Ardvreck Castle

The ruin of the tower of Ardvreck Castle in the Spring rain
The ruin of the tower of Ardvreck Castle in the Spring rain with the hills in the background
The ruin of the tower of Ardvreck Castle with Spring rain coming down over the hills beyond Loch Assynt

We are delighted to see that these images inspired a beautiful poem by fellow blogger Carol L Hatfield at In Other Words, entitled Castle Ardvreck. Please go check it out.

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, f/4 – 1/250 s – ISO 100 and f/4 – 1/640 s – ISO 160.

Wordless Wednesday

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Tower

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Island

Your Daily Word Prompt: Wherever

Wordless Wednesday: Plodda Falls

Glen Affric

a douglas fir tree see from below with exposed roots by a waterfall
a waterfall with a viewing platform overhanging the cliff and falls
view from the overhanging viewing platform above Plodda Falls

A spontaneous walk to the edge of the viewing platform overhanging the waterfall in the first two images gives you the view in the image above.

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/4 – 1/30 s – ISO 200, f/2.8 – 1/125 s – ISO 160 and f/2.8 – 1/60 s – ISO 125.

Wordless Wednesday

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Splash

Gerry’s Weekly Word Prompt: Spontaneity

Villanelle: Worth Waiting For

a male swan tidying the nest with trees in the background

here by the river, our world seems beautiful
a swan in spring feathers tidies the nest
it’s time for growth, birth and renewal

a male swan shuffles away from the nest with trees in the background

big webbed feet are beginning to shuffle
the swan feels happy the nest looks its best
here by the river, our world seems beautiful

a male swan shuffles down a grassy crest, looking at the ground and ahead

with a breeze from the east, still fairly cool
the swan walks through grass, feet pointing west
it’s time for growth, birth and renewal

a male swan shuffles down a grassy crest, looking at the ground and ahead

his neck stretched out, feathers unruffled
reflected in water, the swan knows his quest
here by the river, our world seems beautiful

a male swan approaching the edge of the riverbank and looking at the water below

moments like these feel deeply spiritual
he lands in the river assured, on his chest
it’s time for growth, birth and renewal

a male swan landing in the water, chest first, from a grassy island

loving, devoted and dutiful
the swan and his mate are equally blessed
here by the river, our world seems beautiful
as time brings us growth, birth and renewal

a male swan swimming in the river past a grassy island

This is my third contribution to the Villanelle prompt at dVerse Poets. You can read A Voice that Knows and Where Seasons Meet on our sister blog Whippet Wisdom.

A Villanelle is a French verse form consisting of five three-line stanzas and a final quatrain, with the first and third lines of the first stanza repeating alternately in the following stanzas. These two refrain lines form the final couplet in the quatrain (the Poetry Foundation)

Below is the complete version of the villanelle:

here by the river, our world seems beautiful
a swan in spring feathers tidies the nest
it’s time for growth, birth and renewal

big webbed feet are beginning to shuffle
the swan feels happy the nest looks its best
here by the river, our world seems beautiful

with a breeze from the east, still fairly cool
the swan walks through grass, feet pointing west
it’s time for growth, birth and renewal

his neck stretched out, feathers unruffled
reflected in water, the swan knows his quest
here by the river, our world seems beautiful

moments like these feel deeply spiritual
he lands in the river assured, on his chest
it’s time for growth, birth and renewal

loving, devoted and dutiful
the swan and his mate are equally blessed
here by the river, our world seems beautiful
as time brings us growth, birth and renewal

© Xenia Tran

The prompt at dVerse remains open if you want to participate and there are now more than seventy contributions for you to enjoy.

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

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/5.6 – 1/500 s – ISO 200, f/5.6 – 1/640 s – ISO 200, f/5.6 – 1/800 s – ISO 200 and f/5.6 – 1/400 s – ISO 200.

dVerse Poets Forms for All: The Villanelle

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Wait

Your Daily Prompt: Participate