Peacefulness and Pigeons in the Courtyard at the Museum of Edinburgh

January 26, 2020

Peacefulness and Pigeons in the Courtyard at the Museum of Edinburgh


On a solo visit to the wonderful Museum of Edinburgh last year, I spent some time out in the courtyard. Quite a bit of time. One of the things I like about traveling alone is the opportunity to sit, and watch, and think—and just BE.

Courtyard at the Museum of Edinburgh
A long narrow courtyard draws you in

I was drawn to the wilder, abandoned-looking far end of the courtyard. It looked mysterious and provocative.

Wild-looking courtyard

Mysterious, indeed! There was a plaque telling me that Sir Arthur Canon Doyle was born right there. Imagine that! So I sat and thought about Sherlock for a while, and mysteries, and writers, and enduring stories.

There was an abundance of gorgeous foliage, and flowers. So I thought about spring, rejuvenation and redemption.


And there were pigeons. Fascinating pigeons. Busy with each other, they paid no attention to me and put on quite a show. I think I was privy to a courting ritual, so I thought about love.

Puffed up and looking fine, perhaps hoping to attract a partner?
It worked, as you can see – they are sharing a seed (or kissing?)
A close-up of another kiss; perhaps this should be their engagement photo?

I don’t have the right words to describe the peace and serenity that comes from the quiet observation of other creatures as they go about business that is surely as important to them as our rituals are to us. These pigeons were lovely, and definitely not deserving of the scorn and contempt humans have for their species.

Haiku: Pigeon Appreciation

nicknamed "flying rats,"
pigeons can be beautiful—
they're iridescent
Colorful Pigeons Kissing

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