Sara Naumann blog photo still winter

I suspect it’s still winter outside, although I’m not so keen to venture out much with our -11° temperature (that’s 12° Fahrenheit for my fellow Americans, which frankly doesn’t sound a whole lot better). This is a cold, cold winter here in Poland—the kind of cold that seems to seep up into every  coat sleeve and around every hat and scarf .

But yesterday I had to go out for some groceries. As I was hurrying down the street, I heard the rustle of feathers and the unmistakable call of birds. Not the sweet chirping of springtime birds, but the disgruntled crackling of a raven. Dozens sat in the bare branches of this tree, occasionally thudding to the street to peck at a discarded piece of bread. They cawed to each other and to no one, shifting from foot to foot and fluffing their feathers. They, too, seem to be waiting for anything approaching spring.

The only other thing that did approach was an elderly woman, who wore the uniform of all old Polish women in my neighborhood: Sturdy ankle-high black leather boots, knit stockings and a calf-length tweed skirt, along with a thick fur coat and fur hat. “Oh, kruk,” she said, squinting up to the ravens in the tree. Then she carried along down the sidewalk, seemingly impervious to the freezing temperature.

I love the image of bare tree branches, especially in black and white—for this Instagram photo, I just added a blurry edge and let the natural white of the winter sky act as the background. Now that I’m indoors, I can better appreciate the calm beauty of a snow-filled winter sky and the impatient shuffling and shifting of the only birds silly or stubborn enough to stick around in the Polish winter. Kruks.

Photo taken in Sopot, Poland.

Happy Friday!