The Complete Up North
Doug Bennett, Tim Tiner & Marta Lynne Scythes
McClelland & Stewart, 2010 (2010)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
he Complete Up North: A Guide to Ontario's Wilderness from Black Flies to the Northern Lights
by Doug Bennett and Tim Tiner (and filled with meticulous black and white sketches by Marta Lynne Scythes) is an excellent resource for anyone who lives in the area, enjoys its cottage country on a regular basis, or simply plans a visit. This newly updated and expanded edition combines
Up North Again
and includes '
new information on scores of species
he journalist authors tell us that their book is '
an attempt to answer, from a sense of wonder, a good number of the questions prompted by our experiences in the woods and wilderness when we go up north.
' Main sections address
Reptiles and Amphibians
, including a discussion of
love the lyrical tone of the topic summaries - '
Tiny Wonder Fuelled on Nectar
' for the
Spirit of the North Woods
' for the
Tying the Forest Together
; or '
Mother Nature's Kidneys
. Each entry has a sidebar of statistics such as
ut this delightful volume is not just filled with facts. Though it does provide an impressive reference to central Ontario's flora and fauna, I enjoyed it more for information like the fact that loons '
are sacred birds, bridging the material and spiritual worlds in a continuum of ancient lore from eastern North America all the way to central Siberia
' or a quote from an Alfred Tennyson poem on '
a newly emerged dragonfly
here's an intriguing entry on reports of
in the region; a historical summation of sociological impacts of changes in beaver trapping from the sustainable Native approach to the European market system; the story of how Winnie-the-Pooh's name came from Canadian bear cup Winnipeg, given to the London Zoo; and the fact that the '
lotus flowers sacred to Buddhists, Hindus, ancient Egyptians and Mayans are tropical relatives of Ontario's water lily.
he Complete Up North
is a lovely book, one that I'm very happy to have at hand as I watch the seasons change in the woods around me, catch glimpses of chipmunks and deer, herons and loons, and stroll out at night to stargaze. My copy will soon be well-thumbed.
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.
Find more Travel books on our
or in our book