Wild Nova Scotia.


86 pages
ISBN 978-1-55109-613-1
DDC 508.716022'2





Photos by Len Wagg
Reviewed by Richard Wilbur

Randall White is the author of Voice of Region: On the Long Journey to
Senate Reform in Canada, Too Good to Be True: Toronto in the 1920s, and
Global Spin: Probing the Globalization Debate.


The writer-photographer team responsible for this magnificent example of Nova Scotia’s natural scenery surely will succeed in their primary objective: entice native Bluenosers and countless others to see these sights for themselves. Depicting Nova Scotia’s wilderness wonders, it is your typical coffee-table example with a few distinctive and welcome twists. Skilled photographer Len Wagg is also a veteran purveyor and explorer of the wilderness, as he tells us in his short preface about the many hiking expeditions he made to the 80 pages of striking scenes stretching from the Cape Breton highlands to the province’s largest wilderness area in the southwestern corner.


His colleague, biologist Bob Bancroft, used his extensive background as a frequent spokesman on environmental issues to provide a concise word picture to accompany each photograph. They divided their material into four geographical divisions—the highlands, the coast, the uplands, and the interior—and to guide we readers and prospective explorers, they added a map with 33 “wilderness areas” coded in green, 15 “other sites” coded in red, and two “heritage rivers” in blue. As well, each full-page photograph had its specific location spelled out with its compass coordinates in the appropriate colour code. It made for constant flipping back to the map to locate each, but it added to this reviewer’s enjoyment.


My only disappointment was in Bancroft’s somewhat overly scientific and rather arid descriptive prose; at times he overwhelmed me with the names of all the different types of trees found in each of the four regions. And while the authors indicated their concerns about preserving this splendid landscape, I wondered whether how much the specific coordinates would encourage less environmentally sensitive ATVers from tearing through the woods and trails and despoiling the existing near pristine state. In summary, they have reproduced a fascinating vista.


Bancroft, Bob., “Wild Nova Scotia.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/29054.