Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Another book for the shelf

I have a special spot on top of a bookcase where I keep the books that I've either written (2), illustrated (1), or contributed to in some way (3, with art work and photos).  On Monday I added a new book to the shelf, and now there are seven of them!  And this is a very special book indeed:

The Seattle Audubon Society  has had a huge influence on my life over the past eight years, and I was incredibly honored to have a part in the production of their centennial book.   The editor, Connie, did an amazing amount of work to put this together --  hundreds of hours of research, interviews, writing, editing, layout, production -- she pretty much disappeared from the outside world for over a year to get this done on time.  My small part in helping her out involved research in the society archives that probably amounted to only 40 hours or so.

Here I am at the Seattle Audubon Nature Shop picking up my free contributor copy:

I was also able to contribute two photos to the book -- here's one of a Marsh Wren.  It was part of a story about adult education classes -- one of which, on beginning birding, got me started on this passion.  The fellow who taught it, Jack Stephens, mentioned me in the story.

Here's my second photo, perfectly illustrating the rear of the book!

The research I did all went into the appendices -- one was a timeline:

I read through all of the society's extant board minutes from 1924 to the present, and also looked through newsletters and correspondence to put together this information as well as the list in this appendix (for which I wrote the intro):

This appendix lists all of the natural areas that Seattle Audubon lent their assistance to in one way or another, both within the state and without, and I diligently sought confirmation that the Board actually did something (not just talked about it) before adding anything to this list, and also checked up on the history of each place to ensure it was still a natural area.  I probably spent an additional forty hours or so just on this one page, and it was all worth it when I got this email from Connie:

Dear Alex, you were essential to the book! I truly do not know how it could have happened without you, not just for the proofreading, but all the research you did regarding...all the open spaces SAS affected. By the way, the list of all the parks, wildlife refuges, etc. that SAS helped has made a *tremendous* impresson on everyone and is being heavily promoted by SAS to donors and potential members. I think the staff use it every day for some purpose or other. I'm sure it will continue to be important whenever SAS weighs in on an open space that is newly threatened.

Wow.  I am so proud and pleased to have actually done something worthwhile for this organization that has helped me so much over the years.  Live long and prosper, Seattle Audubon!


  1. You definitely should be very proud of yourself. That's an impressive bunch of work that you did and a great organization you assisted. I keep telling everyone that my sister got all the talent and I truly mean it. Good job!!!!

    1. Thank you! It meant a lot to me to be able to help with this project (and to be able to give poor overworked Connie a hand). It's a beautiful book.

      But hey, which sister got the higher college GPA? YOU did!!

    2. I didn't realize I had the higher college GPA. Hmmmm. Maybe I'm not so think as I dumb I am. Ha!