Silent Sunday: Choices

a female swan and cygnet feeding with another cygnet looking on
two downy cygnets watching their mother pull up pond weed from the water

To celebrate Lens-Artists’ first anniversary, we’re invited to submit our own choice for this week’s challenge.

We decided to share a few more pictures of the cygnets before they begin to grow their feathers. You can see more images of the remaining three cygnets in our earlier post Summer Cygnets.

Thank you dear Amy, Ann-Christine, Patti and Tina for hosting this lovely challenge over the past year – here’s to many more happy anniversaries to come!

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/2.8 – 1/640 s – ISO 100, f/5.6 – 1/500 s – ISO 200 and f/5.6 – 1/400 s – ISO 200.

Silent Sunday

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #53: Your Choice

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

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: Sanctuary

swans, grown up cygnets and mallard ducks in the snow-flanked river

The river bank and leafless trees are heavy with snow. Mallards, swans and cygnets mingle in the shallows. The sun is higher in the sky, her glow a little warmer. For nine months, this part of the river has been the cygnets’ home, their sanctuary. First there were seven. One of them, bright and brave, flew the nest nine weeks ago. Soon the remaining six will spread their wings to begin their own adventure.

winter wind
a flock of geese
stretches the sky

© Xenia Tran

swan parents with their cygnets by the snow-covered bank of the river
close up shot of three fully grown cygnets by a snow-covered river bank

These are the last images I have from the remaining cygnets. They were chased away by their parents the following day and encouraged to make their own way in the world. It’s been a joy watching them hatch, grow and develop. We wish them all a healthy and happy long life in the Highlands.

You can read about the first cygnet leaving the nest in last year’s post Into the World.

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5 – 1/250 s – ISO 200, f/5.6 – 1/800 – ISO 400 and f/6.5 – 1/400 s – ISO 400.

Friendly Friday: Stay in Your Comfort Zone

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Sanctuary

Silent Sunday: The Look of Love

a pen (female swan) swimming in the river in evening light
a pen and cob swimming past each other on the river
swan parents swimming closely past each other on the river

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/6.5 – 1/320 s – ISO 400, f/6.3 – 1/320 s – ISO 500 and f/6.3 – 1/320 s – ISO 400.

Silent Sunday

Paula’s Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word in January Y4 – Scintillating

Haiku: Delightful Company

a maturing cygnet with pink bill on the river with a female mallard duck

cygnets and ducks
delightful company
on the river

© Xenia Tran

one mature cygnet looks up at the camera whilst his sibling feeds below water
three mature cygnets swimming against the tide on the river

We wish you all a very happy Monday and a wonderful new week!

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, SettingsL f/6.5 – 1/320 s – ISO 640, f/5.6 – 1/320 s – ISO 100 and f/5 – 1/125 s – ISO 100.

Carpe Diem #1588: Delight in Company

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

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

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

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