I have always been interested in birds, and learned a lot about them after moving to the country in 1974. The common redpoll, a colourful winter bird, was one I learned to identify fairly early on. My very favourite bird is the raven; I used to have to travel to see them, but recently they began breeding where I live. My two haiku in this book are based on bird encounters: one where I live, and one in Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands).
On opening the book, the first page you see is the colophon. Whenever possible I include a colophon in my books. I always look for them in other people’s books because I am interested in what fonts have been used and other information about how the book has been produced.
The next page contains a quotation about redpolls from The Catalogue of Canadian Birds, ed. John Macoun, Canada Department of Mines: Geological Survey Branch, 2nd edition, 1909.
Page three is a quotation about ravens from the same source.
The Breeding Notes section at the bottom of both pages records the “collection” of eggs and nests of the species, up to 150 eggs being taken from an area in one season.
Page four is the first haiku
and page 5 is the second one.
The book culminates in a triptych with a digitally produced graphic which includes life-sized scans of a redpoll feather and a raven feather.
The image was inkjet printed on ginwashi paper. Since the paper is relatively translucent, the centre image is increasingly visible as the reader progresses through the haiku pages to the final spread.
I found that printing on ginwashi without using a backing paper was possible, though tricky. (Another learning experience.) Each sheet had to go through the printer twice, and I wasted about one sheet in three because the paper started to collapse and crease or tear at some point. This was particularly frustrating when the failure happened on the second printing. (Have I mentioned that I hate learning experiences?!)