Posted by: JulieAloha | April 28, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 118: Northern Trail

April 28, 2017

I’m grateful for the peace of my early morning walks through the Zoo, this morning I walked down and up the Northern Trail and visited the wolves, great gray owls, the river otters and Roosevelt elk, as well as the Stellar sea eagle, the snowy owls and the mountain goat. While there are a few staff here and there, prepping exhibits, adding enrichment activities and materials and maintaining the grounds, you can wander through paths and feel as if you are all alone in the stillness, surrounded by birdsong, the sound of the trees rustling and water running.

It’s wonderful to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of nature and to be still for a time, collecting your thoughts and soaking in some peace to take you through the day. The animals often react to us when they see us wandering about in our Zoo greens, they recognize our uniforms first and with interest…at least until they realize we aren’t their people. Nevertheless, it’s exciting to capture the attention of these wild creatures even for a moment.

​River otters – pure joy in motion

Forests of Norway Maples

Copyright © Sidney Beck | Year Posted 2011

Every day we reviewed them in parade attitude
Along the Snake River in the Tetons’ solitude,
Or at attention on the banks of the Volga
In the infinite taiga –

In neat ranks along river terraces
Warm dark firs mixed with yellow acer,
All with the wind slowly leaning,
Their branches across the river-ice signalling

To great endless squadrons of their fellows :
In spring with their full flowers – yellows :
An army in a gold and topaz uniform
Ready and waiting for orders to fall in and conform ;

And in fall with their rich golden foliage
Always polished and ready for duty with courage.
In poor soil, in tough climate, these were heroes
Prepared for all their tomorrows.

Each morning we watched “Reveille” parade
In the dawn’s early light; and the evening shade
Gave “taps” for that heroic multitude –
The taiga’s topaz army, in golden solitude.


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