The train’s headlights pierce this nearly shortest day of the year, sounding its horn as it corners the bend into Rannoch station. The sound echoes off the hill in agreement. Snow on the ground, footprints of wellies, dogs, deer, mice, a lopsided snowman with twiggy arms. A forleg of a deer on the track. The ice creaks, snaps in the loch with the slightest of breezes. I sit on the moor, next to a lone rowan tree for company. Wind sings on the high plateau to the east. I sit and wait and look and listen. All the while the sky is darkening. A heron flies overhead, the first living thing I have seen on the moor, its cry fills the silence as it slowly skirts the shoreline of the loch. The sound of ice breaking increases as the wind picks up. I make a quick drawing and have a cup of coffee from a flask that I remembered to make before leaving this morning in the dark. Snow might be coming and my thoughts turn to the long drive home. Time to leave. I pick up a small pebble from the loch, a speckled birds egg of a stone, a thing stolen from this heart land of ghosts and beauty, to remind me as I write this.