I used to run the forest paths while listening to the music of Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance. It was a great place to dream out loud, make business decisions, practice presentations, and rehearse speeches. There’s that Irish reference again — Michael Flatley — an undeniable pull toward my heritage.

Today it’s all about hiking instead of running, with nothing in my ears but the sound of the birds in the trees. Or an elk, usually a female, on duty and guarding the rest of the herd. The elk cow chirps when a threat is seen or heard, and an elk bull bugles when he’s rutting and raring to fight over “the harem.” The horns smack and crack, sounding like a tree branch breaking. Witnessing it reminds me of a quote from John Muir:

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than they seek.”