"Yellow, and filled with boredom, the winter days were here. A threadbare and patchy, too-short mantle of snow was spread over the reddened earth. It was too meagre for so many roofs, which stood out black or rust coloured, shingled roofs like arks and thatched cottages, concealing within them the smoke-blackened expanses of attics: charred-black cathedrals bristling with ribs of rafters, purlins, and joists - dark lungs of the winter gales. Each dawn uncovered new vent pipes and chimney stacks, sprung up in the night, blown out by the nocturnal gale - black pipes of the Devil's organs. The chimney sweeps could not drive away the crows that perched in the evenings, like living black leaves, on the branches of the trees by the church; that rose up again, flapping, finally to cling once more, each to its own place on its own branch, and took to the air in great flocks at daybreak - clouds of soot, flecks of lampblack, undulating and fantastic, smearing the dull-yellow streaks of the dawn with their twinkling cawing. The days hardened in the cold and boredom, like last year's bread loaves; they were cut with blunt knives, without appetite, in idle sleepiness."
– from "The Birds" in The Cinnamon Shops