Wizard Island

This isn’t a post about elves or unicorns (or hobbits) – phew – but how about some magic? I will, due to being rather tired, be very brief this week, and I promise to write something a bit more detailed next week.

Leaving Bamfield, and we’re off to Wizard Island

I was on Wizard Island – yes, really – earlier this week, learning alongside a small group of students, splashing about in the intertidal zone, slipping on seaweed and scraping hands and knees on barnacles. We were being scientists, uncovering then sharing our discoveries, beaming our explorations live to students at UVic, and generally having a fine old time in the middle of Barkley Sound.

As far as these students were concerned, we were in (on?) the best possible classroom, transported there in a small aluminum boat, past bald eagles, basking seals, foraging bears, and with the prospect of a humpback whale sighting. We were lucky enough to spot three humpbacks spouting on our trip back, and I wish you could have seen the students when this happened! Such excitement, because we were relatively close, and this excitement from young ones quite used to spotting whales from the shore.

Barkley brilliance

All this and their first ever media appearance before 10 o’clock in the morning. Not that I couldn’t keep up – I did, just about – but I am mighty tired in the best possible way after three full days of marine activity. I will sign off this week with a few more photographs from Wizard Island. I don’t know about magic, but I do believe there are magical places…

More to follow. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

“We’re media stars!”

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

11 thoughts on “Wizard Island”

  1. Like the dark shadows and the bright sunlit buildings on the first and the leading lines from the log and shore in the second. I have never seen starfish in the water so that is a highlight for me and it all sound like fun to me. Magical indeed.


    1. Thanks, Jane! It really was magical, and having a sunny morning for that particular activity made all the difference – the previous day, we got the rainy part of rainforest!
      Seeing the starfish in the water, so close to shore and in a clean marine environment was a highlight. I often see them on the wooden pilings around the harbour and docks, but I always think they’d rather be in cleaner water.
      I hope your week is off to a good start!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful work in every way! The work of science is the way of truth, and here it seems to go farther– the work presents some poetic beauty, as well, for an end result that is magical. That last photo is absolutely stellar!


    1. Walt, you’re right once again! Science can be beautiful, and I find delight in the vocabulary of science – but beyond “scientific” descriptions and labels, reaching for the right words to capture the nature of nature (as you do so well) is an art form.
      In a more traditional art way, students had a go with Japanese nature printing, making paintings of fish that were really lovely. My little efforts looked more like a 1950s mad scientist and aquatic atomic experiment gone wrong, but there was some fun in the trying…
      Yes, those stellar creatures were something special!


  3. Truly exciting, pc, to have three days of marine experiences, sharing your discoveries, opening up the world for your students. Each photo is crystal clear, and Wizard Island looks delightful. I loved seeing the crab on the wrist, and the two starfish through the sparkling water. And three spouting humpbacks — oh how very thrilling!


    1. Thanks, Jet! There were little moments on the island when I was tearing up – maybe it was sea spray? – it was so beautiful out there. Barkley Sound is dotted with islands of all sizes, and being out there has me giving serious thought to acquiring a little boat so we can explore more of them. In the meantime, I know how lucky I am to be involved in the “work” I do – if you’d have told me a few years back I’d be working in the environment I am, I wouldn’t have believed it.
      Thanks again, and I hope your week is off to a good start!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. With the beautiful scenery you share with us each week, it does appear there is something magical about West Coast living! Love the “Media Stars” and “Leaving Bamfield” photos and the outdoor classroom! I vaguely remember staring out the classroom windows wishing I was outdoors and would have loved these excursions. After a dismal sports day yesterday, I may have to change my future weekend plans and turn off the games and go outdoors exploring. Thanks for sharing more wonderful scenery and another wonderful learning experience for the kids and hope you’re enjoying a relaxing weekend!


    1. Thank you! The weekend was relaxing once I moved past the disappointing football. My brother has a season ticket for Everton, and every season is going to be the season when things go right, so he’s looking forward to next season already!
      Students spend too much time cooped up in classrooms, even if the (indoor) lessons and learning is engaging them – there is a time and place for the schoolroom – however, the best classrooms are in the real world, and I know I’m biased, but the very best are in natural environments!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Right as rain is…right! Plenty of precipitation, and about time too. Yes, your prescription for post field trip recovery is about spot on. Might even have found a five eagle beer. Needs further research…


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