Haibun: Earthly Paradise

two whippets climbing a hilly forest trail in autumn

After the rain the river is in spate and we hear her gurgle through the glen from a higher, drier trail. Every now and then we see her glitter through the trees. The birch are scattering golden leaves, the heather is turning brown. The autumn air feels both earthly and spiritual when we hear the elements speak.

mountain trail
the prayer beads
she left me

© Xenia Tran

close up of water flowing in a peaty river in spate

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.

The above haiku (without the prose) was first published in Troutswirl – The Haiku Foundation Blog, Haiku Dialogue: Finding Peace and Contemplation – in the Great Outdoors – among mountains, 18 August 2021. A warm-hearted thank you to guest-editor Marietta McGregor for selecting my poem and the team at Troutswirl for putting this beautiful edition together.

PI Poetry Prompt: Dante

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #169: The Ordinary

Haibun: Thistledown

a blue and white whippet pausing on a sandy trail through the dunes

The temperature has dipped this morning. We keep the wind behind us while we navigate the dunes towards the headland. Most of the tourists have gone. This time is a gift to revisit the places we love, when they shift back from ‘must see’ to ordinary.

thistledown
thousands of seeds fly off
for new flowers

© Xenia Tran

close up of thistle flower and seed heads

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.

PI Poetry Prompt: Prickly

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Ordinary

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Melancholy

Haibun: The Season Keeps on Walking

Ground-nesting birds have fledged and it is safe to return to the wetlands. The lack of rain in Summer shows itself in scattered leaves and dried out bushes. A hint of gold begins to glitter in the reeds, offering us an early glimpse where Autumn’s cloak will fall.

earth to sky
the pond holds the lines
of the mother tree

© Xenia Tran

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.

PI Poetry Prompt: Fall

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #163: Keep Walking

Word of the Day Challenge: Indicative

Haibun: Heritage

We notice how much the sands have drifted, since we last walked here. A small dredger is keeping the channel clear for boats that sail in and out of the bay. Young herring gulls learn to fly, encouraged by their elders, with fresh bars for landing and take-off. We are grateful to be back in this special place. Holding a stone with the light bouncing off, I realise how much we missed it.

seals bark
they too are part of
our world

© Xenia Tran

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

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

PI Poetry Prompt: Heritage

Sunday Stills: Walking in a Burlywood World

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Luminosity

Haibun: Table-top Rock

Summer is in full swing and tourists bring a bit of buzz to the beach. There are kites in the air and paddle boarders on the water. Wild-swimmers wade through the shallows with orange inflatables. We slip away to where nature makes the only sound. The gentle lapping of waves, the chant of oystercatchers piping.

table-top rock
our dogs invite us
to dinner

© Xenia Tran

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

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

PI Prompt: Table

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #157: Getting Away

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Whirlwind

Haibun: Lifting the Spirit

Cairngorms National Park

Deep in the glen we meet a cheerful group of hikers in short sleeves and sun hats. We’re so happy to feel the warm on our skin after one of our longest Winters. The swallows are here, sweeping across the meadow. Buttercups and cowslip sparkle in the light.

wild orchids
a green-veined white
darts away

© Xenia Tran

a smiling blue and white whippet running down a forest trail

We are taking a short blogging break to make the most of the fine weather and will be back on Monday 14th June.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/1.8 – 1/3200 s – ISO 100, f/4.5 – 1/250 s – ISO 100 and f/1.8 – 1/1250 s – ISO 100.

PI Poetry Prompt: Hat

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Elevate

Carpe Diem #1844: Returning Back to Normal

Haibun: Flower Moon

For Martina

a black whippet in a raincoat on a wooden platform by a loch

Walking through the glens and hills, we meet other walkers who love being here. The purity, the solitude, the wind moving through the pine. It’s as if their branches are opening wide to greet us with a warm welcome.

It is the day after the funeral of our much loved vet. The family asked anyone who wants to say goodbye to wear something blue.

flower moon
her spirit rises
from the mountains

© Xenia Tran

the southern shore of Lochan Uaine in Spring

We were very sad to learn one of our local vets has died in an accident while hiking in Glencoe, a place she dearly loved.

We thank her for her care and kindness and our thoughts are with her family, her friends and her colleagues at this difficult time.

Wishing you all a peaceful Thursday and may you all stay safe.

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/1.8 – 1/1250 s – ISO 500, f/1.8 – 1/1250 s – ISO 450 and f/1.8 – 1250 s – ISO 125.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #149: Blue and Green

Frank J Tassone’s Weekly Haikai Challenge #192: Flower Moon

dVerse Poets Haibun Monday: Flower Moon

Haibun: Faery Spotting

a black whippet in a blue harness on a narrow woodland trail

The rains have stopped and the glen is full of bird song. It’s good to smell pine and freshly watered earth after the dry spell. A faint path is covered in paw prints from furry folk who walk here in the night. The more we journey here, the more we feel two worlds connecting.

linked lives
ribbons of white bells
glitter in the sun

© Xenia Tran

close up of spring heather growing on the forest floor

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

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/3.5 – 1/1250 s – ISO 320, f/3.5 – 1/1250 s – ISO 200 and f/1.8 – 1/1250 s – ISO 180.

Earthweal: Voyage to the Otherworld

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #148: Spots and Dots

Word of the Day Challenge: Gorgeous

Haibun: Ancient Harmonies

a blue and white whippet in pink fleece sniffing a baglama saz

Our Hoopa has been filling our home with music during lockdown and today he received his baglama saz, all the way from Istanbul. There is lots to sniff and discover.

The saz is played in many countries and the tradition is thousands of years old. It made its way from Persia via Azerbaijan, Anatolia, Istanbul, Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Berlin to the rest of Europe and across the Atlantic and is played in the rest of Asia too.

People play the saz to accompany poems, songs and stories that are handed down from generation to generation. Ali Ulutaş, a musician, says the saz is a door of secrets. When people play it, listen to it, they get to know the essence within themselves and from that place, they can understand the other.

southern wind
warm notes and harmonies
fill the room

© Xenia Tran

a black whippet in red fleece listening to a man playing the baglama saz

A warm-hearted thank you to Veysel and his colleagues at Sala Muzik in Istanbul for sending the saz safely to the Highlands.

Wishing you all a blessed day and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/4 – 1/1000 s – ISO 1600, f/2.2 – 1/640 s – ISO 1600 and f/3.5 – 1/250 s – ISO 400.

Below is a video of Ayşe Şewaqî performing Şîr Û Kef from the beautiful Saz Film:

… and for an instrumental performance by Bangladeshi artist Emon Chowdhury you can listen to his beautiful rendition of Tri Bhubon below:

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #145: Getting to Know You

CFFC: Natural Light vs Man-Made Light

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Curious

Earthweal Open Link Weekend #67


Haibun: Restoring Nature

Cairngorms National Park

two whippets in winter jackets on a mountain trail

We are so grateful to hike in the National Park and breathe the mountain air. The higher ground is covered in snow, adding to the freshness. Ground-nesting birds rest on cushions of grass and moss, beneath the heather. We stick to the trails and pace ourselves.

Further ahead, young trees and seedlings are slowly re-greening the hills. For the first time since we moved here, neighbouring land managers and conservation groups are working together to create one seamless, natural landscape. A landscape for the wildlife, and for the people who live and walk here too.

a cuckoo’s call
flowing in and out
of the forest

© Xenia Tran

a blue and white whippet in a winter jacket on a mountain trail

We are very excited to see the beginnings of Cairngorms Connect, the biggest and boldest conservation project in this area so far.

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.

Settings: f/4.5 – 1/1250 s – ISO 500, f/5 – 1/1250 s – ISO 400 and f/5.6 – 1/1600 s – ISO 400.

PI Poetry Prompt: Cushion

Earthweal: Restore Our Earth