It has been my great honour to have contributed monthly nature photo essays to this newspaper for the past six years. It all started one beautiful late summer evening in 2010 when now retired Red Deer Advocate editor, Rick Zemanek, and I were watching the beavers at Ellis Bird Farm. Rick, who had kindly volunteered to feed our resident rodents, encouraged me to consider writing occasional articles for the Advocate. I was honoured when, a few weeks later, Rick extended an official invitation for me to contribute a monthly column.
Although I have travelled to tropical locales since starting these columns, I have heeded Rick’s sage advice to focus the essays on the beauty and diversity of Alberta, especially Central Alberta. In each column, I have tried to share my own stories as well as little-known, but interesting, facts about what makes our own backyard so fascinating. It has been an engaging challenge to come up with a new topic and supporting photos each month. I have learned there is no limit to what can be learned, and there is so much to see and enjoy in this, our sometimes under-celebrated part of the world.
I am pleased to announce that I have compiled five years’ worth of these columns into a book. Entitled Beauty Everywhere: Nature Photo Essays by Myrna Pearman, this book includes my columns from December 2010 to December 2015. The book has just been printed and is now (or will be) available at several local stores (Kerry Wood Nature Centre, Alix Home Hardware, Hannas Seeds, Holmehus Antiques, McBain Camera, Peavey Mart), through my online store (www.myrnapearman.com), and through the Ellis Bird Farm online store (www.ellisbirdfarm.ca).
We will be hosting an official book launch from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4, at Kerry Wood Nature Centre. Refreshments will be served, my good friend and mentor to whom I have dedicated the book — Fred Schutz —will be in attendance, and there will be a short presentation at 3 p.m.
I am very grateful to all readers of this column who have made the effort to let me know how much they have enjoyed the articles. I am pleased to know that columns have been mailed to points across North America as well as to various countries around the world.
It is my hope that this book will inspire readers to marvel at the many wonders of the natural world, to spend more time outside and — most importantly — to see beauty everywhere.
Myrna Pearman is the biologist/site services manager at Ellis Bird Farm. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.