Animals of Canada

ONE: I’ve started a podcast for 2017, and I hope you’ll join me over at Animals of Canada for some sweet & savoury & salty stories, straight into your ears.

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TWO: I’m writing articles now-and-again for the Girl’s Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse, so pop over there from time to time to brush up on your end-of-the-world skills. You’ll find me under codename “Skookum”.

THREE: I have a short story included in Hic Dragones’ upcoming anthology, Nothing, and from the looks of things, it’s going to be a wonderful collection. “Bleak and disturbing tales”… sign me up! ūüôā

FOUR: We’ve been busy over at Fox&Bee filming promotional and educational work for our clients, but the blizzard and power outages gave us a little time to slow down, write by candle light, and check out how well the camera films in low light. We hope you’re having a wonderful and creative winter!

Ancient Chinese Poetry & Bird Watching

In my humble opinion, it goes together like chocolate and peanut butter.

On Friday, I spent the afternoon with a camera, wandering along the beach and planning a short video to celebrate the poem ‘Travelling Again’ by Chinese poet Du Fu. You know, as one often does.

Winter is¬†a great time to view¬†migratory birds on Vancouver Island – ducks, geese, swans – ¬†and there’s even been a rare redwing spotted in the region, which has whipped up the birding community into a frenzy. By sheer coincidence, I recently discovered the poem ‘Travelling Again’ by Chinese poet Du Fu, (which was written in 761, so it I guess it only took me 1255 years to find it) and there was something in the placid nature of its words that reminded me of the feeling of birdwatching…. a sense of slow excitement, of patience and acceptance, of being simultaneously moving and resting. So we set it against Shawn’s serene song ‘Winter Chords’ and it came together rather harmoniously.

Yes, it’s an ancient poetry bird watching piano mashup. Awesome!

I don’t always put our Fox&Bee stuff up here, so if you’ve like it, why not come and join us? And if you have other ancient poets you’d like to recommend, I’d love to hear your suggestions. I’m always looking for new voices from the past, especially works about birds, nature, and the great outdoors.

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Video in the Round

Oh, we have been having fun!

A note about this video: it is¬†best viewed on hand-held devices like iPhones and Androids, but if you’re watching on a desktop computer, you can drag the image back and forth to explore. From what we can tell, it works in most browsers, except Safari, where it looks very weird.

There will be more of these. Oh yes, I have ALL sorts of crafty ideas and places to take you….

 

 

Sharing is Caring, My Friends

It’s been a rollicking sort of autumn, full of exciting twists and turns. And whenever it gets a little too exciting, I head into the woods, where the gentle sounds of ravens and rainwater and the wind in the trees¬†soothes my heart and calms my mind.

But what happens when hiking through nature is part of the job? Absolute bliss, that’s what.

Back in September, we filmed a new documentary-style video¬†for the Cumberland Community Forest Society, which is currently working hard to save a forest. With only 9 months left to raise $1.2 million required to purchase the land from the logging companies, this little village is gritting its teeth. It’s rolled up its sleeves. It’s doing all it can: parties, marathons, bike races, trivia nights, silent auctions, and a massive campaign to raise awareness. And while it’s doing all these things, the organization is building a lot of excitement and a strong sense of community, too. I’ve never been a part of such a vibrant, gutsy, close-knit, passionate and driven crowd of people.

We filmed a cross-section of the group, explaining what the Cumberland Community Forest Society is and what our goals are. Have a look, and please share widely, and if you’re looking for a fantastic spot to visit for an afternoon walk, come and join us in the woods.

Filming Perseverance: Reflections on a Creek

The water is as clear as glass. It splashes and sparkles in the brief sunshine that squeezes between low-slung clouds, and in those few summery moments, the creek appears as merry and graceful as a dancer.

To call it a ‘creek’ does it a disservice. That small word diminishes this waterway’s grandeur and power; its importance to the landscape; and its relevance to the discussion of conservation and quality of life. This waterway has danced and bubbled over these polished stones for thousands of years – it is ancient, but perpetually renewed. On all sides, trees reach down their thirsty roots and draw life from the water. As they have done for generations, ferns and moss snuggle along the banks, lush with moisture. ¬†Trout, salmon, otters, mink, bears, cougars, mice, squirrels, ravens, jays, crows, thrush, red-wing blackbirds, orb spiders, Pacific tree frogs, voles, newts, beetles… the list goes on and on and on, all of the creatures that rely on this water to survive.

And we are part of that list, too. We are part of that cycle, even though we try to forget it.

Accepting our role as part of the ecosystem hits us hard, reinforces our beautiful smallness and our mortality. The water moves forever down channels – whether creeks or rivers or stomachs or cells – but we have only a few precious moments to sit on the rocks and watch it flow by, and delight in the quiet determination of the creek.

This four-day walk of ours along the length of the creek, from source to mouth, has affected us deeply. Following its course is like watching a life, birth to death. But at the same time, the water always keeps flowing, day and night, an unstoppable spirit following the route outlined by the rocks. It is both a fragile and a powerful force; it is both fierce and nourishing to the complex web of life around it. The physical aspects that we see of the creek, the landscape and curves and depths and stones, are only a guide. The creek is more than just a blue line on a map. It reaches far under the soil, percolating into the roots, misting up into the air. The creek is a nurturing parent, far older than the oldest trees along its bank, and it has seen the rise and demise of civilizations.

To call it a ‘creek’ is an insult. It is not a creek. It is the heartbeat¬†of the world.

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