The World Wildlife Fund's WildFinder is a nifty little tool to find out about species native to areas all over the earth, with several different ways to explore. It has 284 species for the Vancouver area. As you might expect, it's mostly birds and small mammals, with a couple amphibians and reptiles. I also learned that the scientific name for the American Beaver is Castor canadensis, which in yet another display of my massive geekery I find amusing.
July 2005 Archives
Like an indulgent father offering extra helpings of dessert, Dahl was eager to give children more of what they craved: more pictures; more fantasies of mastery; more sly mockery of grouchy, boring adults; more visions of dizzying enjoyment. Recently, a nine-year-old friend of my son's wrote me a letter about why he likes Dahl: "His writing is imaginative and exciting, and after I read 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,' I felt like tasting all the candy in the world." It was an excellent way of evoking the delights of Dahl, whose best stories do what G. K. Chesterton, in his essay "The Ethic of Elfland," said that fairy tales did: inspire in children a sense that life "is not only a pleasure but an eccentric privilege." Dahl's purse-lipped critics fail to recognize that his stories don't merely indulge a child's fantasies--they replenish them.