Haiku: Sweet Balance

two whippets approaching a bend on a descending forest trail

forest walk
step by step we see the pine
in scattered cones

© Xenia Tran

two whippets standing together on a forest trail

Wishing you all a happy Thursday and a wonderful rest of the week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 -1/200 s – ISO 100, f/2.8 – 1/250 s – ISO 100 and f/2.8 – 1/320 s – ISO 100.

Carpe Diem The Beauty of Haiku #1828: Baransu (Balance)

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Space

Word of the Day Challenge: Sweet

Haibun: Nature’s Spirit

Cairngorms National Park

a blue and white whippet in a purple harness sniffing the bark of a pine tree on a forest trail

We’re walking through the forest at Easter, the sun is bright and warm. It’s the warmest Easter we’ve known since moving to the Highlands. Eivor walks beside us, touching my hand with his nose to let us know. To let us know, how good it feels to be here.

Pearl walks slightly ahead of us, sniffing the bark of a pine, touching a twig or leaf. Prints from paw and foot weave on behind us. Our eyes follow the movements between the trees across the water, where pairs of geese go quietly.

nature’s spirit
stars flicker through the temple
of this world

© Xenia Tran

a blue and white whippet in a purple harness beside a pine tree on a forest trail
two pairs of geese swimming across a lochan surrounded by trees and reeds

Wishing you all a beautiful Tuesday and a wonderful week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/3.2 – 1/400 s – ISO 100 and f/5 – 1/160 s – ISO 160.

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Connections

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week Challenge: Beauty

Sunday Stills: Spirit

dVerse Poets Open Link Night: Journey With Me!

This poem features in Between Heather and Grass. If you haven’t read the book yet, feel free to take a peek inside:

look inside feature for Between Heather and Grass
Look inside …

Haiku: Puddle Gazing

a blue and white whippet and a black whippet, both in black jackets, looking over their shoulder at the camera on a forest trail

pine trees float
in puddles of snow melt
the first green grass

© Xenia Tran

pine trees and sky reflected in a large puddle of snow-melt

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

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/2.8 – 1/320 s – ISO 100 and f/3.4 – 1/800 s – ISO 400.

Carpe Diem #1646: Puddles (Modern Kigo)

This poem features in Between Heather and Grass. If you haven’t read the book yet, feel free to take a peek inside:

look inside feature for Between Heather and Grass
Look inside …

Villanelle: Where Seasons Meet

Cairngorms National Park

a black whippet in a black jacket sniffing snow along a forest trail

it’s good to breathe the scent of pine
the freshness of our lingering snow
brings winter romance to our time

a blue whippet in a black jacket turning back along a forest trail beside the pine trees and heather

the snow-capped mountain turns to shrine
for seeking peace, a letting go
it’s good to breathe the scent of pine

a river flowing beside a forest trail with overhanging pine trees

our spring begins to bloom and shine
while snow-melt and the river’s flow
bring winter romance to our time

a blue whippet in a black jacket walking through a puddle of melted snow on a forest trail

the forest trail begins to climb
we pause to watch the mountain grow
it’s good to breathe the scent of pine

a blue whippet in a black jacket on her hind legs between the heather, watched by a black whippet in a black jacket from the forest trail

the air tastes pure, so sweet and fine
our woolly hats and ruddy glow
bring winter romance to our time

a black whippet in a black jacket walking towards a blue and white whippet in a black jacket on a forest trail

two seasons meet along fine lines
we cherish both and deeply know
it’s good to breathe the scent of pine
bring winter romance to our time

view across the heather and pine-clad hills towards the snow-capped mountains

This is our second contribution to this month’s Villanelle challenge at dVerse Poets. You can read our first contribution at A Voice that Knows and our third contribution Worth Waiting For has now been published on our sister blog Tranature.

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:

it’s good to breathe the scent of pine
the freshness of our lingering snow
brings winter romance to our time

the snow-capped mountain turns to shrine
for seeking peace, a letting go
it’s good to breathe the scent of pine

our spring begins to bloom and shine
while snow-melt and the river’s flow
bring winter romance to our time

the forest trail begins to climb
we pause to watch the mountain grow
it’s good to breathe the scent of pine

the air tastes pure, so sweet and fine
our woolly hats and ruddy glow
bring winter romance to our time

two seasons meet along fine lines
we cherish both and deeply know
it’s good to breathe the scent of pine
bring winter romance to our time

© 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.

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/2.8 – 1/320 s – ISO 100, f/2.8 – 1/1250 s – ISO 160, f/4.5 – 1/250 s – ISO 200, f/2.8 – 1/250 s – ISO 100, f/2.8 – 1/160 s – ISO 100, f/2.8 – 1/800 s – ISO 100 and f/4 – 1/800 s – ISO 160.

dVerse Poets Forms for All: The Villanelle

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Perspicatious

Friendly Friday: Photo Walk

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Walks, Trails, Sidewalks

Haiku: Dream World

Achany Forest

 

wooden sculpture of a hawk in Achany Forest

 

as if in a dream
connecting us all
nature’s love

© Xenia Tran

 

a blue whippet in a maroon and grey winter jacket beside a wooden hawk sculpture on a forest trail

 

a dreamy blurry image of two whippets in winter jackets on a frozen forest trail

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/100 s – ISO 100, f/2.8 – 1/80 s – ISO 100 and f/2.8, 1/200 s, ISO 100.

 

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Intimate

 

Wordless Wednesday: Into the Wild

Achany Forest

 

a black whippet in a maroon and grey winter jacket on a forest trail

 

two whippets in maroon winter jackets on a frosty forest trail with hills in the background

 

a frozen pond in Achany Forest with pine and fir trees in the foreground

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/2.8 – 1/100 s – ISO 100, f/2.8 – 1/200 s – ISO 160 and f/4 – 1/160 s – ISO 160.

 

Wordless Wednesday

Friendly Friday: Stay in Your Comfort Zone

Sunday Stills: Unexpectedly Frozen

 

Haiku: After the Storm

Rosehall Forest

two whippets in maroon winter jackets on a forest trail, looking to their left

fallen trees
finding their balance
after the storm

© Xenia Tran

a black whippet in a maroon winter jacket walking underneath a fallen pine tree straddling the trail
a blue whippet in a maroon winter jacket running along the forest trail beneath the fallen pine

Returning to Rosehall Forest after the gales we were surprised to see so many fallen trees perfectly balanced across the trail. In time the Forestry Commission will decide what will be done with them. The wood from windfall has been used for signage, seating, bridges and the building of the visitor log cabin, while other logs are left for moss and lichen to grow and form new wildlife habitats.

Wishing you all a very happy Tuesday and a wonderful rest of the week!

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.5 – 1/30 s – ISO 200 and f/3.5 – 1/50 s – ISO 200.

Carpe Diem #1592: Storm

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Balance

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Challenge: Rose

Haibun: Winter Comfort

a black whippet in a maroon and grey winter jacket looking over his left shoulder on a winter forest trail

The air is crisp and cools down as the sun slides around the mountains. The faint smell of wood smoke mingles with pine and brown leaves. It’s time to head out of the forest, before the light goes.

after the walk
grandma’s bean soup
the first star

© Xenia Tran

a blue whippet in a winter jacket walking towards the camera and a black whippet in a winter jacket sniffing the grass on a forest trail

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.2 – 1/80 s – ISO 200 and f/3.2 – 1/80 s – ISO 200.

Carpe Diem #1590: Bean Soup

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week Challenge: Contrasting Colours

A Walk in Rosehall Forest

On days with forecast showers we love to walk in the forests. To avoid the crowds in the National Park, we headed for Rosehall Forest in Sutherland. With a mixture of pine, spruce, firs and beech, there is always some tree-cover close by when we need it.

The log cabin that welcomes us by the car park was built by community volunteers. It has a few chairs and tables and information boards which tell you about the history of the forest. Since most of the nearby cafes are closed for Winter, this is a good spot for a picnic when it rains.

two whippets in black winter jackets on a forest trail beside young trees and brown grass

A former deer park, Rosehall Forest is now owned by the forestry commission. Horse-drawn carriages used to travel along these wider tracks. Today the track is used as a logging road and part of a sustainable working forest.

a blue whippet in a black winter jacket running on a narrow forest trail

There are several narrow paths off the main track, which are great for whippet zoomies. You can walk in a loop or follow these paths deeper into one section of the forest and link up with other paths later. The suggested trails combine into a 9km/5.5 mile walk and you can extend this further if you want to.

view of a flowing stream from the forest trail above in Winter

The main path continues to climb and crosses a flowing burn with moss-covered banks. The sound of water tumbling over the stones follows us into the forest.

a sign with a poem about the otter on the bank of a flowing stream in Rosehall Forest

On the banks of the burn that flows through the forest we find a sign designed by pupils from the local primary school. It has a picture of an otter and a poem that reads:

I catch only a glimmer
as you shine and shimmer
for a second in the sunlit water
I wish I could dive and slide and play
and share your world for just one day

two whippets in black winter jackets walking side by side down a narrow forest trail

The paths between the trees are soft underfoot and very kind on the pads of dogs too. The banks on either side are covered in pale grass, moss and winter heather.

lr-1530474 ww

At the highest point of the trail the light is bright, even in the drizzle. Green grass grows among the gold. Climbing over the brow we catch a glimpse of Strath Oykel.

a black whippet in a black winter jacket climbing onto a bank beside a forest trail

The forest is home to sika deer and other wildlife. Although Eivor is curious about deer, he won’t chase them. If you’re walking here with dogs with a strong instinct for hunting, this is a good place to keep them close or put them on the lead before descending back into the deeper forest.

a black whippet in a black winter jacket looking between the trees from a forest trail

The path winds further down to join the main path where we started our walk. Some of the mosses and lichens that grow on the lower ground are very similar to those found in the Celtic rainforests of the West.

close up shot of raindrops hanging of the branch of a fir tree

We hope you enjoyed our little stroll in the rain. There will be a few more images from the trail in tomorrow’s post Part of Our World.

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Jo’s Monday Walk

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Angle

Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge: Bank

Tanka: Moonlight Lingers

waterfall flowing over rocks, a face appears in the tumbling flow

winter moon
reflected in waterfalls
her spirit
familiar and soothing
beyond her sweep of sky

© Xenia Tran

action shot of a blue whippet in a winter jacket running over a brow towards the camera, followed by a black whippet
action shot of a blue whippet in a winter jacket running up a hill towards the camera, followed by a black whippet

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/3.5, 1/30 s, ISO 200 and f/3.5, 1/100 s, ISO 200.

Carpe Diem #1580: Moonlight

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week Challenge: The Great Outdoors

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Partner