Haibun: River of Love

a smiling whippet in a yellow jacket standing in the shallows of a mountain stream

The rain has stopped and small drops twinkle on the pine and bare branches. We follow the trail as it winds down the hill, passing the place where a young hind once stood between the trees like a statue, without any of our dogs noticing.

Misty looks at me as I remember, sees the pictures I am making. She smiles her loving smile, and I treasure the new memories we make together.

feet in the shallows –
we feel the surge
of a deeper flow

© Xenia Tran

a mountain stream with shallows and currents flowing between the trees

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

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #162

Thursday’s Special: Pick a Word in January 2023 (Perspective)

Haibun: Natural Instinct

a brindle whippet in a red jacket walking through a tidal pool

The morning sun warms our faces and paints the rocks in amber and brown. After a cold, clear night, the sky’s pastel-blue is reflected in scattered tidal pools. Sea lettuce waves in the shallows, bladderwrack rests on rippled sand. Gutweed glitters between the barnacles stuck to exposed boulders. Misty walks through the water and even to us, it looks inviting. She slowly moves forward, careful not to make a sound. It is only then I realise, our twelve-and-a-half-year-old forever foster is stalking a crow.

instant recall
the bird with a crab
gets away

© Xenia Tran

a smiling brindle whippet in a red jacket running across rippled sand

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #152

Word of the Day Challenge: Invitation

Haibun: Northern Breeze

a brindle whippet in a red jacket turning away from marram grass

Most of the forecast rain blows over and we take a chance to head for the coast. Misty sniffs the marram grass, already turning gold in places. We navigate our way through the dunes, following a trail of boot and paw prints. Side by side we pause where the light bursts through the clouds, showing us a glimpse of blue.

fresh northerlies –
a pied wagtail chirrups
near the stones

© Xenia Tran

haikuKATHA Issue 14, December 2022

light breaking through low hanging clouds over the sea

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #224: Exposure

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #151

Haibun: Pulse of the Ancients

a brindle whippet sniffing the moss on the trunk of an ancient oak tree

September’s sun dapples through green and ochre leaves as the path meanders past a three-hundred-year-old sycamore, still standing strong. A few dog-less people make a fuss of Misty as she skips past them to the sunny side of the wood. A robin sings his heart out on a garden fence, where the path passes a few houses. We cross a small wooden bridge over the burn, one side of the water green with algae. Once we turn left, we see her.

Birnam Oak
six hundred years old and more
this autumn

close up of the bark and lichen of an ancient oak tree

One of the last living relics from a medieval forest that once grew here, her girth is around seven metres. The oak’s lower branches are so heavy they are supported by stilts and part of the trunk is hollow.

Shakespeare is said to have visited this area in 1589 when he was an actor and later immortalised the wood in his play Macbeth. This tree would have been mature when Shakespeare walked here. Touching the bark with my left hand, I feel a pulse that gets stronger and stronger the longer I leave it there, filling my palm with heat that travels down my arms and my spine, as if they are branches.

then and now
a mild south-easterly
tingles the leaves

© Xenia Tran

haikuKATHA, Issue 13, November 2022

Birnam Oak, lower section in the warm September sun

I am guest-hosting Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets tonight and the bar opens at 8pm GMT.

Wishing you all a happy Monday,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Frame

dVerse Poets: Haibun Monday – September Song

Haibun: They Walk Beside Us

Cairngorms National Park

a memorial plaque placed on the stump of a pine tree

The sky is grey above the hills and we set off with raincoats wrapped around our waists. We walked this trail so many times the last twelve years, in all weathers. With Seamus weaving through the trees, sniffing moss and lichen and Ruby, always by my side in rhythm with my stride. With Eivor, leaping across streams and puddles to keep his paws dry, and Pearl, walking into the same streams to cool her legs and have a drink. Their smiles still linger here, their paw prints are embedded in the soil.

Here we are with Misty, who is as wide-eyed and enchanted by the glen as all the others were. For a while it feels as if we are walking with them, including those who Misty knew.

forest trail
changed forever
we greet the sun

© Xenia Tran

the ruins of Castle Eilein in the loch

We saw this beautiful memorial plaque on the stump of an ancient pine and can imagine the young man’s spirit and his loved ones finding peace here too.

Wishing you all a blessed Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Mirror

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #139

dVerse Poets: Open Link Live #322 August Edition

Haibun: The Puppy Within

a picture of a blue and brindle whippet puppy

Misty’s family came over for a visit this weekend and it was lovely to see them again. After a walk on the beach we went back to our house and they gave us this beautiful picture of Misty as a puppy that had been hanging on her late owner’s wall.

Misty is still very playful. She loves flinging her toys around the room as well as my slippers. Showing her the picture, she sniffs it and looks thoughtfully at her younger self. Then she turns towards the wall with pictures of our other dogs, where she is happy for us to hang it.

fruits of summer –
between blackcurrant bushes
forget-me-nots bloom

© Xenia Tran

a smiling brindle senior whippet in a dog bed with a green toy

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

CFFC: Symbolizes an Act of Kindness

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Twin

dVerse Poets: It’s OLN Live

Haibun: Where Love Sails

a smiling brindle whippet walking across the shingle towards the dunes

It is almost a month ago when we first met Misty. The morning after she moved in we went on a short break to a small village further along the coast. She had been on day-trips with her family before, but never on holiday. It was a blessing to have this quiet time to get to know each other. And Misty loved it.

When we returned home there were vet visits and blood tests and since then, our bond has only strengthened. We admire Misty for her spirit, the way she seems to understand and read us, the way she fits into our lives so easily. The ripples can be felt when love walks where we walk, sails with all who sail beyond our sheltered bay.

flowing river
in tune with the moon
she finds the sea

© Xenia Tran

the moray firth seen from the dunes where the river meets the sea

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

with love from Misty and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekend Sky #67

Jez Braithwaite’s Water Water Everywhere #133

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Sail

Haibun: Earth’s Garden

a black whippet in a blue harness walking among wildflowers

Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of haste – Theodore Roethke

The sun warms our backs as we walk along a narrow trail between dandelion clocks and flowers. Rhododendron and lilac are in bloom and their scent seems extra sweet this morning. We feel at one with the wood, the bog lands and the meadow as if we have always been part of earth’s garden.

stirring the soul
goldfinches sing
in the alder

© Xenia Tran

a black whippet in a blue harness sniffing the grass in a woodland garden

In the spirit of Roethke’s quote, we are sharing some more treasured moments from our last walks with Eivor this week.

Wishing you all a blessed Monday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #201: Three of a Kind

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Lilac

Haibun: All the Long Season

Cairngorms National Park

a blue and white whippet and a black whippet in winter jackets approaching each other on a forest trail

A few snowflakes brush our faces and melt before touching the ground. We are not sure, where they came from. The patch of sky above us is translucent blue. Across the loch, clouds hover above the snow-capped peaks. Perhaps they travelled from there, on the wind.

crossing the bridge
the sound of spring
in flowing water

© Xenia Tran

driftwood sticking out of the loch near the shore with snow-capped peaks in the background

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Long

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Flake

Haibun: Waymarkers

two whippets on a trail through the dunes leading to the sea

After a frosty night, the sun warms the day. The light shines through leafless trees, glitters in the brown heather. A sandy trail meanders through gorse and pine towards the sea.

gentle breeze
a wagtail darts in and out
of the shadows

© Xenia Tran

a black whippet in a winter jacket on top of the dunes by the sea

Wishing you all a blessed Monday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Weekly Prompts Colour Challenge: Brown