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Bowen 'special place' needs a name

A wild place like this needs a name that in one breath will suggest the magic of all that it is

The plant names sound like something from a fairy tale. From the plants that grow in the rich cool forest to ones that cling to the wind battered bluffs, they bear  names like ingredients in a magic potion. When spoken, the names evoke a place of bewitching biodiversity, of magic and fairy tales, from Witch grass and Hooded Ladies’ Tresses orchids to Sword ferns, Death camas, or Self-heal. If not magical sounding, the names are rich in reference to a wild array of animal species. There are animal references in names like hairy cat’s ear, rattail grass, monkey flower, rock frog lichen, birds-foot trefoil, sheep sorrel, sleepy catchfly and most importantly reindeer lichen. There can be no doubt that this place at the edge of the sea is one of enchantment.  

On the other hand, with a more gastronomic theme, there is oat grass, wild carrot, Oregon grape, huckleberry, honeysuckle, and snowberry. This place is also home to the elders, the trees that are two to three hundred years old. Some of the old trees are stunted, hiding their age behind their slow growing strategy. There are the rare trees, the ones gnarled and bent or an image of lone conical perfection. Once believed to be rare Rocky Mountain Junipers, those along the coastal bluffs are now known to be an uncommon species, the Seaside Junipers. These rare trees reach their branches out above the slow-growing, fragile and ethereal clouds of reindeer lichen.  

The chunky, rocks of the southern shores get battered by winds and waves and bake in the sun. And yet, here is where some of the most precious species have taken hold. The bluffs are home to fragile and rare reindeer lichen that slowly creep across the rock, with no capacity to ward off the careless deer hooves, dog paws and boots that rip it from its fragile hold. Water seeps up through cracks in the rock to nourish the rare Junipers and other plants that endure there in spite of the harsh conditions.   

Away from the sea is also a place with craggy rocks and ravines, where arching fountains of tall ferns grow along nurse logs covered in a velvety moss and frogs, salamanders, birds, beetles, millipedes, and banana slugs find nourishment and refuge.  

Humpback whales, orcas, seals and sea lions chase anchovies close to the land that drops steeply into the ocean. Eagles dip claws into the water to capture passing salmon and herons compete with river otters for a meal that swims into an emerging tide pool.   

This place is a refuge, a nature reserve, Bowen’s own Extinction Rebellion. It’s where we can hold something precious in our hands, and commit to honouring all that it means for both our, and future generations. A place like this needs a name that in one breath will suggest the magic of all that it is. What would you call this place?

Please send name suggestions to louise.loik@bowenislandconservancy.org

For more inspiration check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFuYuS8A4rg