Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Being Caribou

Credit: Being Caribou

Being Caribou: Five Months on Foot With a Caribou Herd, by Karsten Heuer.  (pub. by Walker & Co, New York, 2007, 48pp.)

REI decided to close all its stores and internet shopping site for Black Friday.  They felt that being outside was too important, and the best way to be thankful for what we have is to go outside and experience nature.  So instead of shopping, they are promoting the day as a nature day.  Now that is a non-capitalistic statement worth celebrating.

Well, this is the second time this has happened, but I actually don’t mind.  While preparing this post, I looked up the book shown above only to find it is listed as a children’s book.  I may be on Medicare, but it seems I still enjoy an occasional children’s book.  It was a coffee-table style book with a lot of wonderful photography.  I now see there are more mature editions in paperback, presumably with more words and fewer pictures, but either way you go, it is a great story about a wonderful experience shared by the authors.

Karsten Heuer and Leanne Allison decided to live the lives that many of us only dream of.  Wanting to learn more about caribou, and wanting others to share their fear that oil exploitation may destroy the caribou calving grounds and perhaps even the lives of the caribou herds, they decided to follow the caribou into the Arctic and along their annual migration to produce both a book and film on the migration life cycle of the Porcupine caribou herd.  Their trip was made with 60-80 pound packs as they walked 1,000 miles over five months, following the roughly 127,000 caribou.  The book I read is only 48 pages, but is filled with beautiful color photography.  Please also watch the 72 minute film on the trip at:

Another film done by Heuer and Allison , that you will greatly enjoy, is about a cross-Canada trip in search of Farley Mowat.  Mowat was a prolific Canadian writer and environmentalist who died last year.  He had produced two movies and wrote five books, which were translated into 52 different languages, which have sold over 17-million copies.  This video can be found at:

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