Sunday, January 6, 2013

In Search of the Spirit Bear

My piece about a visit I made in August to the village of Klemtu, British Columbia has appeared in Escape as "Moved by the spirit of nature in Canada," (Escape 6 January 2013, pp 4-7). The story is available for free here.

The title alludes to one of the main subjects of the story, the spirit bear - a type of black bear which, because of a recessive gene carried by 10% of the local population, is born with a white coat.

The piece relies very heavily on narration. This was because I thought the experience (of searching and ultimately finding a spirit bear) was probably enough to carry the piece. The encounter was such a beautiful one that it didn't need to be framed by a broader angle or theme.

That said, a motif of the forest's seeming impenetrability is developed alongside the main story, in order to recognise an important environmental campaign being conducted by the indigenous communities of the area.

The piece has been published alongside photographs I took in Klemtu and the islands around the village. A few more here:

The spirit bear I saw on my last day in Klemtu

Salmon berries 

A grizzly and her cub

Lead guide and regional leader, Doug Neasloss

Fishing pots, Klemtu village

The Big House, Klemtu

Black bear at Korich river, BC