In the past year, UTM has seen a fair share of growth in terms of campus infrastructure. The medical science building, and the new instructional centres, for better or worse, will make their mark on the campus and how students perceive it. However, in this quest for a greater student population, and a more concrete experience, students can miss out on the wealth of natural beauty the campus has to offer, which, some may say, truly defines distinguishes UTM from the other U of T campuses. In this article, written in the style of a photo-log, Gordon Freeman and Grant Daniels explore the UTM nature trail in the hopes of encouraging other students to enjoy the Credit River area that surrounds the campus.
Grant Daniels: And so our journey begins. The UTM nature trail loops around the campus, beginning near Lislehurst on the end of Principals Road, and continuing to the football fields near the South Building Parking lot. The air is crisp, the tumbling snowflakes feel like angel feathers, and the silence of the wilderness is incredible.
Gordon Freeman: Its cold. Also there arent any animals out here, are there? Deer dont eat people, right?
GD: The muted earth tones of the evergreens and the hibernating deciduous create a beautiful pallet, especially buried under the pure white snowfall. A truly poetic sight, worthy of a Basho haiku. The sound of rushing water pours up from the valley carved by the Credit River.
GF: Grant, that squirrel looks pretty freaky. Its just… staring at me.
GD: The Credit River, gateway to Lake Ontario and used historically by the French and Mississaugas in the fur trade. The nature trail runs along a cliff of sorts that follows the river and eventually leads here, a quiet, secluded riverbank.
GF: Its still cold. Theres also mud everywhere. And that squirrel is following me, I know it.
GD: This chimney, or possibly the remains of a wood stove, is probably a remnant of one of the old cottage structures on UTM. A vital part of our campus history and a sign of the interplay between civilization and the wilderness in the olden times of rural Canadian life. And yes, it is sort of creepy.
GF: Dude, have you ever seen the Blair Witch Project? Because this—
GD: Shut up!