Many people were disappointed last year when local photographer, author, and publisher, Mike Yip, declared that Vancouver Island Birds, Volume 3 was going to be his last book.
Since 2005, Yip had photographed, written, and self-published three popular bird books featuring his marvellous bird photography, and over 8,000 copies were sold to many satisfied customers.
It was time to get back to his other passion on the golf links. Unfortunately for him but fortunately for his fans, he never made it to the golf course. Instead, he discovered Denman and Hornby islands.
Yip’s diversion to Denman and Hornby began innocently in the spring of 2010 when he photographed bald eagles on Denman.
On one of his trips he was befriended by local biologist and conservationist, Jenny Balke. Balke invited Yip on several bushwhacking tours to discover some of the sensitive ecosystems and uncommon flora and fauna of the two islands.
He was smitten by the abundance of natural beauty like the old-growth forests, coastal grassy plains, and seaside sandstone sculptures as well as the endless bounty of biodiversity. It wasn’t long before the ideas of a new book were percolating in his mind. The golf course could wait another year.
In a departure from his first three books, Denman & Hornby NATURE is more than just birds.
Yip has expanded his repertoire to include magnificent landscapes like the grassy coastal plain at Helliwell Provincial Park; exquisite butterflies like the endangered Taylor’s Checkerspot and the blue-listed Propertius Duskywing; and exotic wildflowers like the rare yellow sand verbena and the uncommon brittle prickly pear cactus.
Another departure is the inclusion of photographs by other photographers. He has supplemented his butterfly section with additional images by Balke, and he has added a section featuring the remarkable undersea photography of local scuba diver Amanda Zielinski.
Yip’s new book follows the same format as his previous publications. It is hard cover, full colour, and 128 pages.
It will be available in most bookstores, but it is also being used as a fundraiser by the Denman Conservancy Association (250-335-0253), Conservancy Hornby Island (250-335-0988), and the Comox Valley Naturalist Society (250-337-5909)