It’s early January, and I’m walking along the outskirts of a weather-worn castle high above an ancient European city. Hundreds of tourists walk in groups of two, three, four, snapping photos, walking with their phones. Laughing, smiling, staring out in awe. This morning there is a light fog pervading the air. Remnants of snow from previous days’ falls line the pathway. Across the river can be seen the outlines of historic buildings, houses, churches, and museums. They penetrate vaguely through the thin grey veil. It is cold this morning. An icy chill grasps my bones as a loose gust of air finds it’s way into my jacket. I tighten the chords on my shoulders. Don’t get a chest infection. Walking beside the spoiled sandstone, I spot a lone bird perched on the balcony. The bird stands silently, turning it’s head back and forth. The only one to be seen near the castle grounds. It’s dull grey feathers and beady black eyes remain unnoticed by passers-by. I stop to snap a shot of the bird. An elderly couple follow suit. They smile at the bird, where others do not. They walk on, I walk on, and the bird flies away.

Mid winter
A lone bird perched
over the city