Travel,  Nature,  Naturalization,  Philosophy,  Poetry, Photography, Website Development
 

Who is Walter Muma?
A brief biography

  

Hello, and welcome to my website!
This page will tell you a little bit about me and my life so far.

 

Lake Superior region, Ontario

Overview

I was born in Toronto, Ontario (Canada). My parents are Robert Muma (who passed away in February 1993) and Dorothy Muma. My father was a well-known bookbinder and restorationist. Some of his work is featured on the Mumart website. I have one sister, Alice Rutherford, who lives in Nova Scotia with her husband, David.

I grew up in downtown Toronto, in the Yorkville area. I attended Jesse Ketchum Public School and Northern Secondary School, completing grade 13 in 1974. I have lived in various cities throughout southern Ontario (Canada).

  

Mount Robson area, Alberta

  

Travel

In June of 1974, just three days after I finished high school, I hit the road. I was 17 years old. I rode my bicycle up to northern Ontario (800 miles) and spent the rest of the summer and part of the fall hitchhiking out to British Columbia, Yukon, and Alaska, and back east across the country to Nova Scotia. I returned to Toronto after 4 months on the road.

I made many other hitchhiking trips, mostly "down east" to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to visit friends.

In 1975 I bought a moped and started my moped travels. I wanted to see the country up close, and not simply whiz by it all in a car. That year and the next I toured almost everywhere in Ontario on my moped, as well as parts of the US. In the summer of 1977 I explored the eastern provinces by moped, including Newfoundland, as well as the eastern parts of Quebec. 1978 was the year of my big moped trip out west to the Yukon, Alaska, and up the Dempster Highway to Inuvik, NWT. I covered 11,500 miles (18,660 km) in 3 months that summer. This trip is the longest moped journey ever made, and is documented on the Moped Trip website (www.mopedtrip.com)

After 11,500 miles on a moped to Alaska, Yukon & NWT

Over the years I have made numerous trips down east (13 times), out west (6 times), and toured the eastern United States a number of times. Plus many other trips and places too numerous to mention here.

In 1998 & 2001 I toured around the US Southwest (Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and California). Spectacular desert country! 

In 2000 I made a trip "to the ends of the roads", driving to the end of the road in Labrador (Goose Bay), in the lower east north shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, and north to the top of the James Bay Road, also in Quebec. Remote, silent, empty country! This trip is documented on this website. I have returned to the James Bay area four times since then (see the James Bay Road website - www.jamesbayroad.com). In particular I love the empty wild places of the Earth. See also the Rupert River website (www.rupertriver.com)

Internationally, aside from traveling in the USA, I have visited Australia for two weeks and India for six months.

Over the years I have also spent a lot of time hiking, backpacking and canoeing in the country's wild places. 

  

  

Employment

I have worked in a variety of jobs, ranging from office work to factory work to driving. I worked in the post office a few times. Eventually I settled on teaching defensive driving for 5 years in Toronto. After that I went back to school for an accounting and finance course at Seneca College in Toronto. I chose this because I wanted a career that would always be in demand, paid reasonably well, and was something that I was good at. I worked as an accountant in a small accounting firm for about 8 years, achieving my CGA accounting designation during that time.

I then switched to doing computer work fulltime, and dropped the accounting. I have focussed on computer networks & servers, accounting software, programming, and just about every other aspect of computers. I have recently become self-employed, running a computer consulting business supplemented with some income from photography, nature, and the Internet.

 

My life as a driving instructor

My life as a driving instructor

 

Nature and the Environment

I have been very interested in the natural world ever since I could walk. My father, who was an avid naturalist, encouraged my interest and I spent a lot of time as a young boy out in the backyard observing the insects, birds, animals, plants and weather. This interest carried on throughout my life, expressing itself in various ways. I have had a lifetime interest in living on the land, wilderness survival, tracking, and all aspects of the natural world.

This interest led me to the books by Tom Brown Jr, and to his Tracker School, in New Jersey USA, where I have taken 11 courses, and helped out as volunteer instructor at three. The courses I have taken cover wilderness survival, tracking, caring for and healing the Earth, awareness, nature study, healing, and more. (For those of you who are reading this who are familiar with the Tracker School, I have taken the following courses: Standard, Advanced Standard, Advanced Tracking, Expert Tracking, Philosophy 1, 2, 3, & 4, Advanced Awareness, Nature, and Caretaker; I have helped out as a volunteer at Standard, Philosophy 3, and Caretaker classes). However, just because I have taken all these courses doesn't mean that I am some sort of great wilderness survival expert, tracker, shaman, or whatever! Life is a never-ending journey of learning, and of subsequently transforming that learning into knowing and doing.

 

 

During 1995 I co-produced a monthly environmental series called Enviroscapes on cable TV in Brantford.

This website, as well as the Wildwood Survival and Earth Caretaker websites and others (see list at the bottom of every page of my websites) are one expression of these interests, as is the Wildwood Trackers Club.

I have been on the Board of Directors of both the Hamilton Naturalists Club and the Kitchener-Waterloo Field Naturalists Club.

After learning a lot about bird-watching over the past few years, lately I have been pursuing a comprehensive self-study program of trees, shrubs, wildflowers and plants. I have been trying to learn as many of these that are native to Ontario as possible, and have taken thousands of digital photographs of them. This interest has (of course!) expressed itself in my websites: Ontario Trees & Shrubs, Ontario Wildflowers, Ontario Ferns, Ontario Grasses, The World of Mosses, and more. I continue a strong interest in wilderness survival and tracking.

 

contenplation

  

Spiritual Journeys

I have had a long-standing interest in the non-physical realms of life. My family were members of the Religious Society of Friends, otherwise known as Quakers. Quakers believe in that of god in every person, pacifism, silent waiting upon the spirit, and so on. This gave me a fertile environment from which to explore other spiritual paths. In 1985 this exploration led me to India, where I spent 6 months studying and practicing spiritual topics at Tiruvanamalai, southwest of Madras. I spent most of that time on a mountain there called Arunachala. This was a life-changing experience for me. For more about this, please visit the Spiritual Journeys section of this website.
I have also become familiar with some Native American spiritual ways.

During my life I have sought to blend the essential elements of all of my spiritual experiences into a unified whole. Nature and the Earth also play key roles in my spiritual life.

 

Stupendous rapids on the Rupert River in far northern Quebec!

 

More...

When I was 16 I spent three months in the northern Ontario town of Hornepayne working on an Opportunities For Youth project in the Native Indian community there. I found myself making a lot of friends amongst these people. I have also traveled to and stayed at reserves in other parts of Ontario and northern Manitoba. I find that Native ways resonate with me.

I have had an interest in photography for many years, particularly in photographs of the natural world. I am currently very much interested in digital photography. I love reading, particularly travel adventure books (no surprise there!).

I have written some poetry of various types, at various times in my life. Some of it is featured on this website.

 

 

Today

I currently live in southern Ontario. I have naturalized the backyard, replacing the lawn with native plants. And I continue my strong interests in nature, wilderness survival, tracking, travel, photography and the spiritual realms. I am now self-employed, running a computer consulting business supplemented with some income from photography, nature, and the Internet.

I invite you to take some time to explore my websites. The links are at the bottom of every page.

 

The material on this page is copyright © by the original author/artist/photographer. This website is created, maintained & copyright © by Walter Muma
Please respect this copyright and ask permission before using or saving any of the content of this page for any purpose

Thank you for visiting!