Thursday, 11 October 2012

Burning Bright

I'm finally getting to the last of my photos from our trip to the Highland wildlife park in August.

There are several sections you can walk through. There's a portion for the bigger animals, like the Amur Tigers as well as two more heavily wooded portions for the forest-loving creatures, like the Scottish wildcats, the wolves and forest reindeer.

The walk up to the animals was lovely, surrounded by heather with stunning views towards the mountains.

Then we went down through the trees and onto wooden walk ways to see the tigers.

The tigers are Amur tigers, from Russia. There is a female, Dominika, and a new young male, Marty.  Dominika was born at the wildlife park. When we got to the viewing window one of the tigers was  pacing up and down in front of the viewing window. I've never been that close to a Big Cat! 

It was walking past so close my first photo was this...

And my next attempt this...

You could see the claw scratches (and smears of licking or paws?) on the glass, which was a bit disconcerting... but they are such beautiful animals that everyone there just stood and watched in awe. It completely ignored us...

One tiger sat meekly amongst the thistles watching as the other kept pacing past us humans. It did try to get the other's attention once or twice and was acknowledged with a sneering snarl.

Not often you see a tiger posed with thistles!

The photos don't do justice to their colours. They seemed to glow. William Blake was right when he wrote...

TIGER, tiger, burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What immortal hand or eye 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 

In what distant deeps or skies 
Burnt the fire of thine eyes? 
On what wings dare he aspire? 
What the hand dare seize the fire? 

 And what shoulder and what art
 Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 
And when thy heart began to beat, 
What dread hand and what dread feet? 

What the hammer? what the chain? 
In what furnace was thy brain? 
What the anvil? What dread grasp 
Dare its deadly terrors clasp? 

When the stars threw down their spears, 
And water'd heaven with their tears, 
Did He smile His work to see? 
Did He who made the lamb make thee? 

Tiger, tiger, burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What immortal hand or eye 
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


  1. They're both GOOOORRGEOUUUUSSS! WOW WOW WOW!!! :-) THANKS for sharing, M!

  2. wow. just that. wow.

  3. (that was me, Hayden!)

  4. Thanks Amel. :-)))

    Hi Anonymous Hayden

    And yes, very wow and strangely disturbing too. I never before felt quite so... edible.

  5. Thanks for sharing those great photos and the poem - I only knew the first few lines. It was great to read the whole thing.

  6. Em

    I never knew all the poem verses either. I really enjoyed reading it and figured I might as well share the entire poem. :-) Glad you enjoyed it too.



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