by Tina Kelly –
Some say a good book can change your life. Silken, one of our summer students, may be one of them. Growing up in the Okanagan, Silken was a nature nut: she explored during the hot arid summers and up in the cold wintery alpine looking for interesting plants and animals. This small window to the environment was flung wide open when, upon entering high school, her grandmother gifted her Looking for the Wild by Lyn Hancock. Silken was moved by its history, adventure, and wild North American nature, past and present. Loss of wilderness, ecological shifts and environmental concerns are a prime focus of this book and it didn’t go unnoticed. Fast forward to today – Silken is studying Geography and Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria with the goal of helping the earth become a little more wild.
Inspire someone you know this holiday season by gifting them with a book.
For the poetry enthusiast: Refugium: Poems for the Pacific. Victoria’s poet laureate Yvonne Blomer, concerned about the state of the ocean and the planet, called out for submissions from poets around the Pacific. The result – hot off the press – is a beautifully crafted anthology of ocean-inspired poetry.
For the budding naturalist: Whelks to Whales: Coastal Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest by Rick M. Harbo. This all around great field guide is a must for anyone interested in identifying and learning about local marine life. It covers common fauna large and small with a section on seaweed thrown in.
For the memoir/biography fan: Beckoned by the Sea: Women at Work on the Cascadia Coast. Author Sylvia Taylor tells the story of 24 women from all along the West Coast whose lives are intrinsically linked to the sea.
For the artist: Colour the British Columbia Coast. Artist Yvonne Maxichuk captures the coast with quintessential portraits of fishing villages, float homes, wildlife, rainforests and more, all ready for your creative input.
For the birder: At Sea with Marine Birds of the Raincoast. Local scientist Dr. Caroline Fox penned this book, blending natural and human history with conservation. It received the Lane Anderson Award for excellence in scientific writing in 2016.
For the kids: Wild About the West Coast Discovery Book by Adrienne Mason. Twenty-eight pages of mazes, word searches and colouring sheets woven with whimsical illustrations of coastal biodiversity. West Coast Sudoku anyone?
For the explorer or adventurer: Secret Beaches. Theo Dombrowski’s series of five books offers detailed directions to beaches up and down the Island combined with information on parking, accessibility, facilities, substrate and more; each edition focuses on a different geographic region (e.g., View Royal to Sidney). Careful: you may expose your own secret beach.
For the culinary inspired: Sea Salt: Recipes from the West Coast Galley, by Alison Malone Eathorne, Hillary Malone, Lorna Malone and Christina Symons. Gastronomic delights designed aboard a sailboat and inspired by a trip around Vancouver Island. This cookbook collection honours local delicacies and is accompanied by beautiful photography of places and food. Recipes are not just for a galley kitchen!
Books are presents that can be opened again and again and you never know where they will take someone.
Many of these titles are available at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea. All purchases made support marine education initiatives.