I have to admit, trees aren’t my strong point, so I wasn’t much help. It was actually pretty shameful how few I could actually identify. And Ian wasn’t afraid to point that out or express his disappointment, especially since he knows all of the trees that grow in Yellowknife. You know, all eight species.
Ian’s fascination with Kelowna’s trees didn’t waver, despite my lack of knowledge, so when we went to a used bookstore and my sister found a guide to identifying the trees of North America, Ian was all over it.
He actually carried it around with him the entire weekend. We went for dinner, the book was there. We went for a hike, the book was there. We went shopping, the book was there.
And with it in hand, we stopped every few feet, pulled off pine cones and examined needles and leaves. But that’s not where it ends, then it’s a matter of finding the right leaf, flower, bark and fruit in the book, and if all goes well, you determine what kind of tree is standing before you.
This should be easy, but the pocketbook was from 1979 and the sketches were poorly drawn, so in the end, we managed to name two of the 10 trees we attempted to identify. One was a weeping willow, and the other, a trembling aspen.
We couldn’t name them all, but it was satisfying to name a couple. Maybe that’s a sign that tree identification should become a new hobby. But if that’s the case, maybe it’s time for a better book. One made in the last decade, rather than 30 years ago.