Wildlife Congregations: A Priest's Year of Gaggles, Colonies and Murders by the Salish Sea

Book, 2023, 231 pp
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A naturalist-priest documents a year of spiritual encounters with large gatherings of wild creatures in the lower Fraser watershed. These local low-tech adventures with a run of spawning salmon, a siege of nesting herons, a colony of bats in a heritage house, a gaggle of geese, a murder of crows, 1000 sea lions with bad breath and more are an antidote to interspecies loneliness in this age of extinction. A moving testament to both the fragility and resilience of a bioregion impacted by our current climate crisis, the book offers entry points for all kinds of readers. Dykstra twines together accessible natural history, love of language, the history of saints and clerics in the natural sciences, and gratuitous detours into the weird and wonderful: gay bat sex, exploding caterpillars, and the colonization history of bird poop. Each chapter includes a wealth of resources, from field guides to fiction, for nature enthusiasts of all ages.

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