Wild Cortes: Birds, Flowers & Poetry

May 23 - 27, 2018

This program has been cancelled. 

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Come, explore poetry in nature and nature in poetry. Wild and beautiful Cortes Island lies in the focus of many habitats—the open Salish Sea, its foreshores, the temperate rainforest, as well as bluff fringed lakes and marshes. The Meeting of the Tides is the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw people’s name for these waters. The meeting of the minds is our intent for our time together.

We shall hike through some of the most treasured places on Cortes, including some secret haunts. We will identify flora and fauna and appreciate unique habitats — lagoon, lake, forest, marine islets, and Arbutus bluff vista. We will sit in the wild places, share nature poetry that we love, and ponder the interdependent relationships in nature and poetics. This season on Cortes offers peak bird migration and peak flower blooming, a stunning awakening of nature’s wonders.

This is the first time in 15 years that Rex and George have presented this extraordinary opportunity to immerse in nature, poetry, and community.

Rex Weyler is a writer and ecologist. His books include Blood of the Land, a history of indigenous American nations, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; Greenpeace: The Inside Story, a finalist for the BC Book Award and the Shaughnessy-Cohen Award for Political Writing; and The Jesus Sayings, a deconstruction of first century history, a finalist for the BC Book Award. In the 1970s, Weyler was a co-founder of Greenpeace International and editor of the Greenpeace Chronicles. He served on campaigns to preserve rivers and forests, and to stop whaling, sealing, and toxic dumping. In 1981, Weyler was a co-founder of Hollyhock, and director until 1996. He currently posts the Deep Green column at the Greenpeace International website.  greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/Rex-Weyler/

George Sirk is a naturalist and ornithologist. His refreshing perspective, enthusiasm, and passion for nature are contagious. These qualities have made him an exceptional naturalist guide, photographer, and film maker. A passion for creating slide, film, and video documentaries has evolved to collecting ‘images’ of nature through sound recording and sketching. This led to producing documentaries for ‘Spark’ and ‘Out Front’ on CBC Radio Canada, as well as regular appearances with ‘On the Island’, CBC Victoria, and hosting his radio show ‘Nature Boy” at the University of Victoria, BC. Most recently, he produced an audio-diary of his Arctic 2016 Northwest Passage expedition with Adventure Canada. For over 45 years he has guided for an array of leading travel companies, including Lindblad Expeditions, Adventure Canada, Cruise North Expeditions, Costa Rica Expeditions and Travel Wild. After an early specialization in birding expeditions to Australia, Papua New Guinea and Central America, George has broadened his scope to the high Arctic over the past ten seasons. From camping with Tapirs in Belize to spotting Narwhals in the frigid Arctic, his interpretative work is always suffused with humour and vivid story-telling. George pioneered the the naturalist program at Hollyhock. From Star talks to Tidepool Tours, from the creation of the ‘Harlequin’, and its early morning rowing program, to bird walks and Mitlenatch tours, George laid the foundation of the present naturalist program at Hollyhock.