World Galgo Day

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Today is World Galgo Day. Galgos or Spanish Greyhounds are gentle sighthounds who are used by ‘galgueros’ (hunters) in Spain during the hunting season which ends on 1st February. The number of galgos who are well cared for by their galgueros remains small. The majority of galgos are poorly treated during the hunting season and will be abandoned or killed as soon as the season is over.

A number of concerned and kind-hearted souls have begun to bring light into this shadow. They have created shelters where abandoned galgos can be cared for and rehomed into loving homes. They put pressure on governments to protect the galgos and have them recognised as sentient beings. When people come together in love and kindness miracles can happen. We pray that all galgos will be able to enjoy the kind of blessings that have come our way.

gentle hounds
deserve a soft landing
in loving homes

© Xenia Tran

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Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, setting: iA, 1/500 s.

Additional Information:

The campaign by Pet Levrieri resulted in the successful ban of greyhound and galgo racing in Argentina and they are now working towards similar bans in Chile and Uruguay. You can read their inspirational story when you follow the link.

Galgos del Sol is a galgo rescue organisation based in Spain that currently rehomes galgos in the UK, USA, Belgium, The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Greyhounds in Need (GIN) is a UK-based charity that supports galgo charities in Spain with veterinary care, blankets and coats for the dogs, renovation of shelter spaces, transport and education programmes. They rehome greyhounds and galgos in the UK and the rest of Europe.

Please note that if you Google ‘galgos’ or ‘world galgo day’ you may find some of the images you see very distressing.

In response to Discover Challenge: Speak Out

Dutch Goes The Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Land

Carpe Diem #1140 – Arriving At The Right Moment

dVerse Poets – Have a Heart

 

Haibun: Footprints Never Fade

 

 

I am seven years old and stand on the shores of Lake Siljan in Dalarna, Sweden, with my first camera strapped around my neck. It is my first holiday abroad and I immediately feel at home among the trees, mountains and fresh water lakes. My camera has two settings, ‘sunny’ and ‘cloudy’. Although there are a lot of clouds in the sky, I decide on ‘sunny’ and take the picture you see above on the right.

When I look at these images today I realise that no matter how cloudy the world and skies around me become, I always focus on the light. That first experience of spending time in nature made a lasting impression. Forty seven years later I am living in a place with fresh water lakes, mountains and forests where I capture the beauty around me with a camera strapped around my neck.

summer by the lake
leaves footprints that never fade
in the mist of time

© Xenia Tran

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Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera (Lake Siljan image): Kodak Instamatic 133, setting: Sunny
Camera (Eivor and Pearl at Loch Laggan): Panasonic Lumix FZ38, setting: iA.

Photograph of me as a seven year old girl taken by M Koning.

 

In response to dVerse Haibun Monday #28: Childhood Experiences

Discover Challenge: Transcript

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Old and New

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Discover Challenge: Finding Your Place

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In this week’s Discover Challenge we are invited to post about a place that means something special to us and we can interpret this any way we wish. This challenge coincides with my completion of ‘Carpe Diem Haiku First Winter Retreat 2016 – Find the Silence’ where we were invited to find the silence and create haiku, haiga or tanka every day for thirty days.

This is a beautiful time of year to write about silence and connect with that calm place within ourselves.

winter silence
so many boats asleep
on dry land

© Xenia Tran

 

More than half of my daily writings on ‘Finding the Silence’ were posted on twitter and I am sharing some of them here to show the many moments that inspired me to find the silence both outside and inside of myself.

the silent robin
awaits our return
eyes sparkle

© Xenia Tran

 

The haiku below were previously posted on twitter and made me reflect more deeply. I added prose and created a double haibun for the blog in Frozen Footsteps.

frost rests
in silent caress
of the dawn

© Xenia Tran

 

stillness
before the ski slopes
open to laughter

© Xenia Tran

 

One fellow blogger commented that I am carrying the silence with me. It feels that way and I believe the accumulative effect of focusing on silence every day AND writing about it helps you to carry the silence from one day to the next.

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Fellow blogger Mark Aldrich has written many posts about Egyptian photo-journalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, also known as Shawkan. He has been held in prison without charge for more than three years and he misses the sky. On ciluna27’s Blog you can read more background information about the #SkyforShawkan initiative that was created on twitter where fellow photographers can post photographs of the sky for Shawkan.

After posting several photographs of the sky at #SkyforShawkan I found silence here too. Silence in the beauty of the many photographs posted here, silence in the invisible space where people who care about human rights come together.

I began to create haiga in aid of the campaign for Shawkan’s release and some of them took me to a completely different dimension of silence.

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One year later Shawkan is still in prison. I have created more haiga for the campaign and shared them on twitter. ciluna’s27 blog created a new and beautiful post on 12th December 2017 featuring many new photographs for the #SkyforShawkan campaign which include five of these haiga. You can read this post and see the images here.

 

Silence was to be found in so many places, including indoors.

candle light
warms the imagination
of shorter days

© Xenia Tran

 

More than anything I became aware of the silent communication from something that is so much bigger than ourselves, the silent communication from nature and the silent communication and understanding between Eivor and Pearl. I could have written the haiku below every day for thirty days:

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silence
a quiet breath
of love

© Xenia Tran

 

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With love to you all,

Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, settings: Landscape and iA.

 

In response to Daily Post Discover Challenge: Finding Your Place

To see thirty days of contributions about silence from all participants please visit: Carpe Diem Haiku First Winter Retreat 2016 – Find the Silence

Daily Post: Silent

 

Tanka: Autumn’s Voice

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it is good
to rest and be warm
on the inside
when autumn speaks of leaving
the clouds hand a gift of snow

© Xenia Tran

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Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, settings: Indoor Scene and Landscape.

 

In response to Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #29 Autumn’s Voice

Daily Post Discover Challenge: Mind The Gap

Daily Prompt: Faded

dVerse Open Link Night #185

 

Tanka: Sincere Light

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We are walking through the forest to shelter from the arctic wind. Light rain and wet snow soften the earth and give the golden leaves some extra sparkle.

Sincere light
guides the snow
where mist
and cloud embrace
the sleeping mountain.

© Xenia Tran

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Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: iA.

It has been a while since we included a music video and today we heard a few people singing this song and thought it would be nice to include an old clip where the original band perform it live. The song is called ‘Chi Mi’n Geamhradh’ (I see Winter) and it is performed by Runrig, a band originally from the Isle of Skye.

With love,
Xenia xxx

Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #2 Mist

Discover Challenge: Song

Daily Prompt: Sincere

Pause Here On Your Journey

 

We are walking through the glen of a thousand whispers and the leaves rustle in the breeze. Their colours have begun the change and the rains have filled the loch.

I love the smells of Autumn, the smells of the here and now.

 

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We live in the moment, always. We have been teaching our companions to do the same and they like to follow our example.

 

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After climbing for a while we reach a clearing where we can see over Loch Beinn a’Mheadhoin.

Forestry Commission Scotland have placed a piece of bark here where they have carved the names of the mountains in view and the following words:

‘Pause here on your journey, don’t stir and you’ll see – an entire landscape in the bark of a tree.’

 

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after a climb
the views gather
in our hearts

© Xenia Tran

 

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With love from Eivor  xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, settings: Outdoor Action and Landscape.

 

Carpe Diem #1053 worship

Daily Post Discover Challenge: Here and Now

 

Discover Challenge: Open-Minded

Open-mindedness and mindfulness are themes which have been running through many of the stories, poems and haiku on this blog and today was another example of the blessings they can bring.

Those of you who saw my post ‘Haiku: Witness To The Magic‘ in response to the Daily Prompt ‘Witness’ will have read the following haiku:

mountain forest
mindfulness carries witness
to all the magic

© Xenia Tran

The haiku is accompanied by a photograph of Eivor and Pearl watching a bird of prey glide by. I did not mention in the original post what they were watching because I am not sure what kind of bird it was. Sighthounds have much better eyesight than humans and I was also partly blinded by the direction of the light. All I could see was a dark outline and to me it looked the size of a peregrine falcon. It was clear to me though, that it was a large bird of prey and that it had spotted potential prey.

Earlier today Denis from Haiku Hound commented on the post and after I told him what kind of bird I thought the whippets were watching he replied: ‘Hunters watching a hunter, there may be a haiku there Xenia?’

I looked at the photograph again and remembered I had taken two others at the same time. I had not used them for the original post but thankfully not deleted them either.

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This is the first photograph in the sequence. We are energetically connected as a pack and when the whippets notice something I notice them noticing, even though I may not be able to see what they can see.

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This is the second photograph in the sequence. Eivor is still watching the bird of prey and Pearl has now hardened her stance and her stare and is looking further down to see what potential prey the bird has spotted. This is when the haiku, encouraged by Denis and prompted by revisiting the moment, came:

awoken falcon
gliding on a promise
hunters understand

© Xenia Tran

The third photograph in the sequence is the photograph I posted four days ago with the first haiku.

two whippets in mountain forest.

They are now both watching the bird again.

I am very grateful for Denis and his encouragement to capture another part of this moment in a new haiku.

I am very grateful for all the comments and feedback I receive from fellow bloggers and followers and for all the wonderful photographs, poems and stories they share. Fresh perspectives are always a doorway to new understandings and deeper knowing and for that I thank you all.

Earlier this month I posted ‘Haiku: A Change In The Wind‘ and perhaps this is a nice haiku to end this post with:

a change in the wind
can carry many blessings
to an open mind

© Xenia Tran

With much love to you all,

Xenia xxx

Photographs taken by Xenia Tran, unedited.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: Outdoor Action.

Daily Post Discover Challenge: Open-Minded

Discover Challenge: Designed For You

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Sweet Pearl, I love the way you curl your tail and howl like a wolf in your dreams when the moon is full.

I love how you catch a ball and skip over the sand as if you have wings.

I love how we smiled at each other that first time we met at the shelter. You made the noise and the fear disappear.

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Sweet Eivor, I love the way you flick your paw when you stride over the sands and how your tail is made for writing poems in the sky when you fly.

I love the way you roll and carry the smell of the forest to make us feel as if we belong there.

I love how we smiled at each other the first time we met at the shelter. You made the noise and fear disappear.

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our bond weaves the path
our love creates the motion
learning to fly

© Xenia Tran

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perfectly designed
to love each other
dancing in light

© Xenia Tran

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With love from Eivor and Pearl xxx

Photographs taken by Xenia Tran, edited in windows photo editor.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: Outdoor Action.

Daily Post Discover Challenge: Designed For You

Discover Challenge: The Poetry Of List Making

breathing clean air
sharing the peace within
this heavenly landscape

© Xenia Tran

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I had never been taken for a walk before I ended up at the shelter. I had no idea what the world looked like outside of my home at the time.

I did not know that three years later, I would have so many wonderful walks to choose from. The list continues to grow. All these special places in nature to explore in different seasons.

I love running on the beach, catching balls. I enjoy splashing in the sea when the weather gets warm. The magic of the forest, with quiet deer’s eyes watching us from behind the trees, the smells of earth and leaves, the sound of eagles calling.

The snows left the mountains in July and now the heather is in bloom.

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The air is fresh in the mountains when the glens grow warm in Summer. It is rare that we meet anyone up here. When we do, hikers are deep in thought, connecting with the wisdom from the mountains.

We greet each other the Highland way, the deep look into each other’s soul, the instant connection. The conversation without words.

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It is a special place for Pearl and me. Our humans love it too. They smile and go quiet. Our companion sits down on a large stone and writes another poem:

the mountain watches
the loch and glen below
fill with the sound of fiddles,
laughter and the clink of a glass
that never empties

© Xenia Tran

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I am so grateful for the long list of all the good things that come from spending time in nature where we can be who we were born to be.

I wish every shelter animal and every human in need will get to experience the love and peace that nature brings.

We have a video today where Aly Bain, John McCusker, Mike McGoldrick, John Doyle and friends are playing a set of traditional reels. The music played by the people here captures the spirit of the mountains so well.

I am sending you all so much love,

Eivor xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, unedited.

Camera: Lumix Panasonic FZ38, setting: iA.

Daily Post Discover Challenge: The Poetry Of List Making