Postscript: Images & Stories

by John F. Williams

Photos & video by John F. Williams except where noted

Postscript: Images & Stories

By John F. Williams, Summer 2019

Photos &  video by John F. Williams except where noted

This issue marks a full year of publishing for Salish Magazine!

I’ve learned a lot of lessons, and a major one was just how large this project turned out to be. I’ve also experimented with various magazine delivery platforms, and none of them was perfect, but our new one looks like it will offer the speed, stability, and room to grow that we need.

So this Summer 2019 issue is on the new platform, and Issue #1, also about low tide exploration, will follow very soon. Sometime after that, Issues #2 & #3 will be migrated to this new web site.

A HUGE thanks to all of you who are readers, content contributors, reviewers, donors, etc. It’s been incredibly rewarding to see so many people rally to help make this magazine a reality. It’s also heartening to notice that this is not just my ideas, but a community expression!

There are several core ideas that have guided the evolution of Salish Magazine. Here are some thoughts about one of them. I’ll save the others for future issues.

I have been using various kinds of field guides and other resources to learn about our local natural world. One of my first serious efforts was to become an underwater surveyor for the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF). That involved learning to identify many of our local marine creatures, and then counting them when I was SCUBA diving. I got pretty involved, and received the award shown here on REEF’s 10th anniversary.

One of the big things I learned from that project was that the single photo or drawing typically found in field guides or laminated identification pages just wasn’t enough for me. Much of the time, the creatures I saw were not perfectly posed in good light, the way ones in the photos and drawings were.

The creatures weren’t just sitting around waiting to be counted. They were engaged in their everyday lives, whether it was eating, resting, or pooping. And I had questions about everything. Maybe I never grew up, but I wanted to know “why is it doing that?” or “how does it ….?”

So if you ever wonder why there are just so many images in this magazine, chalk it up to my early experience being frustrated at how just one or two photos couldn’t tell very much of complex story surrounding these creatures.

I started to carry a video camera around, and the resulting videos I made allowed me to ask better questions and to share what I had learned.

The bottom line is: I found that learning the stories of these creatures added an immense amount of depth to my understanding of the environment through which I was swimming. And as time went on, that depth added to my understanding of the impacts of my own daily life on the rest of the ecosystem around me.

I’m trying to do that same thing with Salish Magazine, only on a broader scale: telling stories about all of the things that nature explorers, dog walkers, bikers, hikers, or anyone outdoors might see in our natural public spaces, here is the Salish Sea region.

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me.

I’d like to wrap up by heaping profuse thanks again on all of those who have contributed time, money, ideas, articles, media, poetry, etc. Without you this would have been impossible.

Here’s a list of people who deserve special thanks:

Jeff Adams
Holly Austin
Grant Blackinton
Georgia Browne
Linda Campbell
David Eisenhour
Lila Emmer
Mary Gibbs
John Gussman
Karen Hackenberg
Kathryn Keve
Jan Kocian
Adrianne Lauman
Amy Linhart
Cheryl Lowe
Susan Merrill
Sara Noland
Tom Noland
Dennis Paulson
Paul Pegany
Sharon Pegany
Adelia Richie
Amy Roszak
Nancy Sefton
Bob Simmons
Kathleen Thorne
Ann Welch
Neva Welton
Laurie Yamamura

…plus those not mentioned here who contributed to previous issues!

John Williams: Over decades of exploring underwater and in our forests and beaches, my experiences have been enriched by the insights of knowledgeable people — what I learned from them dramatically changed the way I see things. To share those visions, I produced numerous short, educational films as well as the TV series “SEA-Inside: Pacific Northwest”. Salish Magazine extends that notion of sharing insights by offering a wealth of articles that are keyed to the observable, but pull back the curtains to reveal the invisible.