This new book is almost as beautiful as its subject: the Red Lily in Saskatchewan. It is a wonderful centennial-year tribute to our province's floral emblem, a treat to browse through just for the pictures, and a goldmine of knowledge. Authors Bonnie Lawrence and Anna Leighton share their findings from a ten-year study of the lives of lilies at three Saskatchewan sites, as well as their wisdom from many more years of keen observation of nature. We meet not only the lilies, but also many other creatures, from meadow voles to lily bulb thrips. Bonnie and Anna's creativity shines from the pages: even charts and graphs are works of art. Far from a dry scientific study, this book is rich with stories and recollections of the lily in prairie life reaching back through generations to the first days of settlement. In the back of the book you will find a section on growing the Red Lily in your garden, and even instructions for making paper lilies.
There are local references: Doris Silcox's observations of yellow lilies amongst a patch of red-flowered lilies near Carlyle; my own photo of lilies in the hills north of Arcola; and Mom's photo on the back cover, showing where someone swathing hay in a highway ditch had left a patch of hay standing where a lily bloomed. I hope that person sees this book and smiles.
Mom has donated a copy to the Arcola Public Library. I will be showing my copy to some local retailers, and I'll let you know if it becomes available around here. In Regina, you can find it at the Book and Brier.
Update - you can order Prairie Phoenix online here. Thanks Harold for the tip.
A poem for today
1 week ago