Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hike with Students

Back near the beginning of May I led a hike with some students from the University of Guelph, along one of my favourite sections of the Bruce Trail.  It was mostly through the woods, and early spring was just underway.  And it was mostly downhill, my own choice!

It was a cool morning, with rain threatening, but it held off for our hike.  These students are on a course that takes them off campus doing practical things and learning on their own for two weeks.  It's a course I invented originally 20 years ago, and has no final exam.  It's entirely up to the students how much they learn - but consistently they say they've learned more in this course than any other.  I like to think that once you hand them responsibility for their own learning, they step up and it works.

The trail went past one of the largest dry sinkholes in this area,

and past my favourite stand of big old Sugar Maples.

The Wild Leek were bright green,

the Red Trilliums were in bloom, and

the White Trilliums were just coming out.

Perhaps a bit hard to make out, but these are about a billion tiny Sugar Maple seedlings carpeting the forest floor.

And a nice waterfall tumbling down a mossy slope.

We found these tiny tracks, and wondered what they were.  The larger track in the upper left appeared to be a Raccoon track, but what are those two tiny tracks?  This is one we didn't figure out.

The students all posed on the trail bridge for me.  A great morning; helps keep me young at heart!


  1. How true! Young people keep us young too. How great to be able to influence their lives like you did.

  2. What a great class for those young people. I agree --they probably learn more in a class like this than they do most anything else they take.... You picked a great trail for the group....


  3. How fun to hang out with a group of young people!

  4. What a grand undertaking! Truly the best way to learn is by taking responsibility---you are very thoughtful.

  5. A great day together, lovely group in the last photo, and above the tiny sugar maples, a pretend something that looks to me like a trout, with an eye facing your way!!! Our grandson has been on 2 one week geology university field trips, and judging by the photos posted onto Facebook, they also had a most wonderful time.A course still as relevant today as 20 years ago, wonderful kudos to you.

  6. Good morning from sunny Portugal. Well done you, for organizing these field trips, and I can well believe that experiencing nature first hand is more stimulating and exciting than learning about it in a class room. The group photo is lovely....long may you be able to keep dong this,...and staying young at heart.:)

  7. What a nice thing you do, I'm sure those students love that. First hand is the way to learn about nature. Beauty of a group shot!

  8. Sounds like a great day for you and the kids. : ) Like the shot of all on the bridge.

  9. downhill is nice...also my favorite!!! it's nice to see young adults outside and enjoying the trails. how nice of you to put this together!!! and such a pretty waterfall!!!

  10. So very nice to have a college course in the outdoors like this! I have never seen a red trillium in the wild, so that is my favorite picture, but I enjoyed them all. :-)

  11. Wildflowers and a waterfall!
    But tell me, how do you find a downhill trail that does not have to go back uphill to the starting point?

  12. That looks to be a wonderful hike to take.