Thursday, November 26, 2020

Come Walk With Us Calendars and Cards for the Holidays!



Still looking for that perfect gift for the nature lover, birder, or hiker on your holiday list? Check out the new items in our online store (link in bio)! We are excited to offer two different 9" x 12" coil-bound 12 month hanging wall calendars for 2021 (yes, both are for 2021). The first one features a colourful bird image for each month that was hand-picked to reflect the diversity of birds in Canada. Images were taken during our #hike4birds along Canada's 27,000 km Great Trail, and each one is accompanied by a short description. The second calendar features a different trail image for each month that was specially selected to reflect the season. Statutory holidays and other important celebrations in Canada are denoted in small print within the appropriate date squares. We also still have a few sets of 6 Folded Note Cards showing professional-quality photos of birds, animals, landscapes, and hiking-related images, as well as t-shirts available. All proceeds go towards supporting our hike, and helping us reach out to more classrooms, youth, and nature clubs to inspire people to experience the many benefits of time in nature and the joys of birding! Check out our website to see full descriptions of these limited edition calendars!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Come Walk With Us : New Store and Cards!


As we exist and continue west without Sponsorship we are trying some new ways this year to help cover the expense of our trek in 2020.  Best of all ordering any of these card sets means one less trip to the busy malls and stores this season!

New items for Come Walk With Us have arrived! This means that there are new ways for people to sponsor our ongoing #hike4birds across Canada!

Today we are releasing 4 sets of cards! Each set contains 6 cards! Choose from our Hiking Set (signs and inspiration for trekkers), our Birding set (avian sightings and photographs taken along The Great Trail), our Wildlife set (including porcupines, black bears, deer, and insets along the Great Trail), and our Landscape series  (with settings from Newfoundland to Manitoba!)

Check out examples below and check out our website for other cards !


Saturday, November 21, 2020

Huge Announcement! Dr. Sonya Richmond has just become a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society!!!

I am honoured and hugely excited to have been accepted as a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society!  The Royal Canadian Geographical Society was founded in 1929 with the goal of making Canada better known to Canadians and the world.  It is also active in building and supporting geographic education throughout the country through Can Geo Education. Speakers at this year's Annual College of Fellows Dinner included explorer Mario Rigby, author and fellow birder Margaret Atwood, survivor man Les Stroud, traveller, actor, and comedian Michael Palin,  and Justin Trudeau, Canada's 23rd Prime Minister.   It is an incredible honour to join the ranks of Canada's explorers - both old and new!  As we continue our #hike4birds across Canada on the 27,000 km long The Great Trail in the coming years, we will do our best to continue inspiring people of all ages, cultural backgrounds, abilities, genders, orientations, and identities to get outside, explore this beautiful and amazing country for themselves, learn about birds and nature, and become the next generation of citizen scientists and explorers!


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Possibilities to support Come Walk With Us !!

Looking for a gift for friends and family?  Looking for a way to support a trek and #hike4birds across Canada? All without having to venture into a store or mall.

After a challenging – and financially crippling year which has included Covid, the destruction of a camera, a wide angle lens, and other unexpected costs.  

To this end we have revised our website and, in an effort to pay off the year’s debts and have some savings to enable us to continue or venture to the Pacific along Canada’s 24,000 km Great trail.

This year we are offering a number of items like T-Shirts, sets of Gift Cards featuring photographs from along The Great Trail and larger printings of images of our trek in exchange for a donation.

Today we are releasing another set of our well received shirts which include our trek logo!

These are available for a $30.00 Canadian donation and come in a variety if of sizes! 

We would invite you to give these a consideration, and become part of this adventure!

Over the coming days we will be releasing our sets of Gift Cards, including wildlife, birds, trails, and hiking all of which were taken on our first two years adventuring from Cape Spear Newfoundland to Winnipeg Manitoba! 

Check our our webpage and shop:

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Life is full of change ... and reflection

Life is full of change – it is what makes it wondrous, full of the unexpected and at times heartbreaking. For a few days I have worked to draft a humorous post about the ‘frustrations’ of trekking with and sometimes living with a presidential historian. In my world (and I suppose yours) the past year and the last several few weeks have been a non-stop flurry of historical factoids, statistics and analysis delivered with the professionalism of a university lecture hall from my hiking companion. His love of American History and Presidential facts is fascinating at the best of times, fills the hours while trekking, and becomes exasperating every 4 years during election season. Few people can daily read polling statistics, county by county and state by state, for months and still be excited with each new update. While we all have opinions and views of what is taking place the reality is - for our cousins and families south of the Canadian border - that today is their day to reaffirm their sacred oath to those ideals at the heart of their nation, to those who fought to uphold and defend those ideals, and to future generations who rely on the voice of the people to guide us onward.

For us however this morning began differently and has heartbreakingly fostered reflection.

Few people likely know, but Sean, who despite having a unique career path which culminated in him lecturing in the humanities had originally sought to be in the sciences. This is best evidenced in that he spent several years in university studying biology and chemistry (and of course hiking for Citizen Science). While many people have an underlying passion for particular subjects, Sean’s true interest of the sciences came from the patient, calm, and inspiring example of a single teacher. Today Sean found out – that the science teacher he most admired in high school, Mr. Gerard Bayley (1934 - October 29, 2020) has recently passed away. 

Sean met Mr. Bayley in the mid 1990s as a repeat participant of the London District Science Fair and as one of those fortunate enough to go to the Canada Wide Science Fair several times. Mr. Bayley was a high school teacher in London Ontario with the Catholic School Board who organized the London District Science Fair, and who volunteered and fundraised to ensure that future students could participate in the Canada Wide Science Fair. Owing to his example and demeanour Sean would go on to volunteer with the London Science Fair for years.

I met Mr. Bayley (thought I am sure he would not remember) only once in a mall here in London. Sean had recently taken on the responsibility of raising a younger relative and was carrying him at the time. Mr. Bayley, an individual who exuded gentleness walked up to him, hugged him, and asked him if everything was ok. Then for many minutes, regardless of his own obligations, Gerard Bayley’s whole attention was focused on Sean and the moment. What I remember most from this brief encounter was that so few people are able to openly listen, and honestly want to know about you. Such individuals ensure that the person they are addressing knows that they are the centre of someone's attention - and at important moments that can mean the world.

Sean best remembers that Mr. Bayley sat with him – though he was not a student of his at the time – throughout the entire flight to the Canada Wide Science Fair from London Ontario to Whitehorse Yukon – quietly talking him, patiently listening to him, and helping him through the chaos of his family’s situation at the time. Weeks later when Sean’s father left the family to pursue the most recent of young ladies in his life and his mother further drinking to excess, it was Mr. Bayley who sat for hours with him to help him – mostly by simply listening.

Later as Sean sought simply to get through high school he had Mr. Bayley as an instructor, and discovered what so many seem to be expressing, that Gerard was a dedicated teacher and wonderful friend to all of his students who improved those around him with his quiet voice, and patient manner making everyone around him a better person.

While neither of us might say it well or concisely – but your passing is a loss to those who will not be able to know you or learn from your example. In moments like this, there is so much that could be said and so much that can never be adequately expressed.

Save for the fact that, perhaps in this moment and today it is important to realize that the world needs more examples of how to live well like Mr. Bayley. Our days need not be determined by the loud cacophony on the TV or internet, but instead would be much better served by emulating the quiet, patient, humble, and compassionate examples of those who the world far too often does not raise up publicly in esteem. Too often amid the noise of the modern world we forget that we are successful and that we are able to achieve our goals because of the simple kindness, the humble sacrifices, and wonderful examples set for us by parents, teachers, priests, and strangers who never asked for attention for themselves but who instead set their goal of making others excel and achieve.

So while today is one of opinions, frenzy and excitement for many, we wanted to take a minute to put out our thanks to Mr. Bayley and all of those persons who make the world better one example at a time.