Nature diary now available in Houston

The Bulkley Valley has a new a nature diary that is now available at Country-wide Printing & Stationary in Houston.

The book, which was a collaboration between Bulkley Valley Naturalists and the Smithers Art Gallery, contains a description of whatever nature is doing in the valley for each week of the year. For example, bird arrival dates, the timing of frogs spawning, or the emergence of specific plants, mushrooms and insects.

Each week has been illustrated by an artist, mostly from the around the area with the exception of one artist from Quebec. Thirty-six different artists contributed to the book.

Bulkley Valley Naturalists director Mel Coulson is happy with the diary that has been over a year in the making.

“Originally we were only going to print 250 but there was a fellow on one of the grant committees, we had applied for several grants, and he thought it should be more widely available and he asked how much more it would be to print 500,” he said. “I did a quick mental calculation and he asked, ‘if I send you a personal cheque in the mail, will you print 500?’

“This was a complete stranger in Vancouver. So we did the 500 and thought we’d be storing them under our beds for the next 10 years and yet already we’ve sold or distributed 400. That was in less than three weeks.”

There were a couple of reasons the BV Naturalists came up with the idea but one of them was to promote their club and Coulson said there has been an increase in interest.

“It was the perfect project for a number of reasons: it showcases the Bulkley Valley, we’ve got so many birds, animals, every type of landscape; it showcases the artists, it promotes our club and promotes conservation efforts,” said Couslon.

He added another reason for the diary was to be a fundraiser for the Smithers Art Gallery.

The diary will be on display at the art gallery from Jan. 23-26 with a reception to be held on the Friday evening. Most of the original illustrations will be up for auction with some of the artists donating their work to raise money for the gallery.