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The book also contains Interlake locations, and he says one Interlake spot featured in the book is a good example of its premise.
A new book, released by a man who spent many years living in the Interlake, offers a glimpse into some hidden Manitoban locales which may not be familiar to many readers.
"Even though I know them, I've gone back to them repeatedly to verify that the information I've got is right, checking the distances, making sure nothing has changed, and doing the photography."
Along with the photos is written text describing the portrayed locales, along with maps to the locations seen in the book, right down to detailed written directions on how to get there and GPS coordinates. The extra direction might be helpful, too, since he says some places shown in the book may not be familiar to everyone.
"I'm extremely happy, the feedback is so positive," he says.
Bill Stilwell, who was a contributor to the The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times as well as the Interlake Spectator for many years in the mid 1980s, has recently released Manitoba Wild, published by William Street Publishing out of Neepawa. This is his third nature book, the first being Scenic Secrets of Manitoba and the second Manitoba Naturally. He's also written other publications for the Manitoba government.
When people open up a copy of Manitoba Wild, readers will find photography by Stilwell himself, with few exceptions.
"Anything I write about is a first hand experience. It's a rural person talking about rural areas, with first hand knowledge. Not somebody from far away talking about something they've heard about from someone else."
"I took them all but about eight, eight were contributed by friends of mine just to round out the selection."
"It was brutal," he laughs.
"No one who reads this book is going to know about all the places in this book, I guarantee that."
Manitoba Wild, which Stilwell began around three years ago, showcases beautiful but lesser known spots in the province. Stilwell says he's had an opportunity to travel to all areas of the province and now tends to go off the beaten path in his travels.
But now that it's all said and done, Stilwell says he's happy with the finished product.
"I started it shortly after my last book came out, which is just over three years ago now. I worked on it quite hard for the first year, and then I worked on it, I'm sure for 40 hour weeks for the last few years."
"They'll find written text that describes a lot of places that are not always household words. Some of the places they might have heard of, but I've put them in a different context," he says.
"All of the photos in this book were taken, with the exception of two or three, all the photos were taken for this book, and there's several hundred photos in there," he says.
Stilwell spent a lot of time travelling the province during his career as a natural resource officer, which also included duties as Discount Women Canada Goose Solaris Parka Black Australia a supervisor to the wild turkey hunting season in the Pembina Valley. He also acted as a natural resource officer in charge of Oak Hammock Marsh. He travelled the Interlake extensively during his years living in Clandeboye, Hodgson as well as further south in the region.
Much of the work, he said, involved research in the field, even though he had some knowledge of the areas already.
"Whenever you do anything, there's little things you'd like to change, or you think you could do better. But doing this book gives me such faith in human kindness and the generosity of people. People are finding nice things to say about this book, and I'm getting a lot of compliments, a lot of praise. Nothing's perfect, I'm doing my best, but the support of the people is just astounding.
"If you're in the Interlake, and you've heard of Lundar beach, you might say 'I've already heard about that' but not a lot of people realize that there's a really, really high quality, high class nature trail that's just been developed to the east of the beach, and it's worth the trip alone. The beach is amazing, but if you go to the east, you're going to find an excellent interpretive trail, and if you go to the south you're going to find the Marshy Point Canada Goose Refuge. that's kind of the premise. On top of freelance writing, he does corporate communications for some crown corporations, as well as non profit conservation agencies. Though this isn't his first time penning a nature book, his busy schedule and the time it required to finish it meant it was no easy endeavour.
"A lot of the work involved research in the field," he said.
A glimpse of the wild
"I always take my holidays and travel in Manitoba, and I get off the beaten path when I travel," he says.
The book's official release was scheduled to take place yesterday in Neepawa, though the book was put on shelves at McNally Robinson in Winnipeg last week. The book has been in the process of being distributed for the past several weeks, including to a number of Interlake locations, with further distribution planned for the area yet.