Natural history & science

#593 Wilderness campaigns & cultures

At the Wilderness Edge: The Rise of the Antidevelopment Movement on Canada’s West Coast by J.I. (Jack) Little Montréal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019 $29.95 / 9780773556409 Reviewed by John Douglas Belshaw * Bear with me, please. Shouldn’t “Wilderness” be in the possessive? At the Wilderness’s Edge maybe? If so, this is a shocking…
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#552 The three sisters of Bute Inlet

Cougar Companions: Bute Inlet Country and the Legendary Schnarrs Raincoast Chronicles no. 24 by Judith Williams Madeira Park: Harbour Pubishing, 2019 $26.95 / 9781550178623 Reviewed by Valerie Green * In her introduction to Cougar Companions, Judith Williams states that, “Of the settlers, prospectors, trappers, mountaineers and loggers who came to British Columbia’s remote Bute Inlet between…
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#536 A bird man named Adrian

The Birds of Vancouver Island’s West Coast by Adrian Dorst Vancouver: UBC Press, 2018 $39.95 / 9780774890106 Reviewed by Caroline Fox First published April 24, 2019 * With a cover adorned by a stunning Short-tailed Albatross — a deep-sea wanderer and visitor to British Columbia’s rich coastal waters — The Birds of Vancouver Island’s West…
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#534 Geological splendours of Yoho

Rocks, Ridges, and Rivers: Geological Wonders of Banff, Yoho, and Jasper National Parks. A Roadside Tour Guide by Dale Leckie Calgary: Broken Poplars Press, 2017 Distributed by Sandhill Book Marketing, Kelowna $27.95 / 9780995908208 Reviewed by Syd Cannings * Dale Leckie’s Rocks, Ridges, and Rivers was a 2018 finalist in the High Plains Book Awards…
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#500 A tall tale from Port Renfrew

Big Lonely Doug: The Story of One of Canada’s Last Great Trees by Harley Rustad Toronto: House of Anansi Press (Walrus Books), 2018 $22.95 / 9781487003111 Reviewed by Mark Forsythe * An immense, solitary Douglas fir stands inside a vast clear-cut. Sun-bleached slash stretches in all directions; the tree’s shadow reaches for a nearby second…
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#480 Witness to wolves and wilderness

Return of the Wolf: Conflict and Coexistence by Paula Wild Madeira Park: Douglas and McIntyre, 2018 $32.95 / 9781771622066 Reviewed by Loys Maingon First published Feb. 7, 2019 * As mankind changes the planet’s ecosystems, imperceptibly it also changes the distribution of animals and their genetics. Evolution never stops. So it is with members of…
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#471 The bard and the bees

Listening to the Bees by Mark L. Winston and Renée Sarojini Saklikar Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2018 $24.95 / 9780889713468 Reviewed by Michael Picard First published January 24, 2019 * This is a book about bees, so the title does not disappoint. But it is also a personal memoir of a life in science by an eminent…
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#459 Skylark: old friend in a new land

ESSAY: Old Friend in a New Land: English Songbirds in British Columbia by Richard Mackie * Because the road is rough and long Shall we despise the skylark’s song? — Charlotte Bronte[1] * Introduced from England in 1903 and 1913, Eurasian skylarks took hold in Vancouver Island’s older agricultural districts, to which they were well…
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#450 Classifying British Columbia

The Collectors: A History of the Royal British Columbia Museum and Archives by Patricia E. Roy Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum, 2018. $39.95 / 9780772672001 Reviewed by Chad Reimer First published Dec. 18, 2018 * In The Collectors: A History of the Royal British Columbia Museum and Archives, Patricia Roy sets herself a daunting task:…
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#376 Gulf Islands parks and predators

First published Sept. 17, 2018. Fat Cats by George Mercer North Saanich: George Mercer, 2018 $19.99 / 9780987975461 Reviewed by Ron Dart * Born in Gander, Newfoundland, George Mercer worked for 35 years as a park warden, starting in 1979 at Newfoundland’s Terra Nova National Park and ending in 2012 as monitoring ecologist at the…
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#373 Olav’s love of landscape

Landscapes and Landforms of Western Canada by Olav Slaymaker (editor) Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2017 $149 (U.S.) / 9783319445953 Reviewed by Syd Cannings First published September 13th, 2018 * Thirty-four leading specialists contribute to Landscapes and Landforms of Western Canada, a collection of essays edited by Olav Slaymaker, professor emeritus of geography at UBC. “Wherever you are in western…
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#338 Julia, graphically yours

First published Jul. 8, 2018. Julia by Michael Kluckner Vancouver: Midtown Press, 2018. $19.95  /  9781988242200 Reviewed by Yvonne Van Ruskenveld Julia Henshaw is possibly the first woman in B.C. to have published a novel. She remains almost entirely unknown, although she was accorded an extensive entry in Alan Twigg’s Vancouver and Its Writers (Harbour:…
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#324 We all bleed the same

First published June 18, 2018. Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator by Jason M. Colby Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2018. $32.95  /  9780190673093 Reviewed by Anna Hall * According to reviewer Anna Hall, a zoologist, Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator by UVic’s…
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#284 Field Guide to Insects

First published April 7, 2018. A Field Guide to Insects of the Pacific Northwest by Robert Cannings Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2018. $7.95  /  9781550178340 Reviewed by Norma Kerby * One of the major gaps for the enthusiastic amateur naturalist has been an approachable guide to insects. Robert Cannings’ new field guide goes some distance…
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#282 Sea creatures as teachers

Pacific Reef and Shore: A Photo Guide to Northwest Marine Life from Alaska to Northern California (Revised Second Edition) (First published by Harbour in 2003 as Pacific Reef and Shore: A Photo Guide to Northwest Marine Life) by Rick Harbo Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2017 $12.95  /  9781550177862 Reviewed by Cathy Carolsfeld First published April…
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