Recently, Jan and I were visited by Don McIlraith at our home in Kitchener. He presented me with one of his exquisitely crafted walking sticks. Such a gift from the PBTC is very much appreciated and quite close to my heart.
The working portion of my career was in a secondary school where I had the honour of teaching fantastic young people. They, too, taught me many things. For several years, I took grade 13 biology students for a three-day, ecology-focused trip to the group campground at Pinery Provincial Park. Although sand dune succession was the focus, time was spent on trails, learning about trees, geography and much more. Those were rewarding times.
My love of trees is evident to hikers who join me on group walks. I wondered if the stick Don crafted was one of the ironwoods. He tells me ironwood is much too hard to work and that my gift is ash wood (xylem). It is beautiful and
the natural curve to the grip at the top fits my hand perfectly.
It was great to see Don again and I truly wish Jan and I could find more time to visit the Bruce Peninsula like we used to do. We both extend a big thank you to all of you for the Bruce Trail volunteer work you do. Jan and I have
walked the entire Bruce Trail almost twice now. It is a national and international treasure thanks to the generosity of so many donors and volunteers like you!