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Insights into Island’s natural wonders

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The creators of new pocketbook, Bermuda's Top 10, hope to teach visitors and locals about the Island's breathtaking flora and fauna.

The guide book's genesis came from the Bridge House Art Gallery in St George, opened by watercolour artist Jill Amos Raine in 1975.

“Most of my customers were tourists,” said Mrs Raine, who moved to Bermuda from Britain as a child in 1954.

“They were always asking questions like, ‘What's that bird that sings at night?', referring to the tree frog.

“I realised that most people didn't know what they were seeing and were curious. I thought of producing a book for them, so if they were only here for a few days they could make some sense of what they were seeing and hearing.”

Compiling the book was a family affair — Mrs Raine was joined by elder son Andre, a doctor of ornithology in Hawaii; younger son Jason, an art director in Toronto; and daughter-in-law Helen, a conservationist.

The publication's title comes from its structure. It is broken into ten chapters: “Habitats”, “Birds”, “Amphibians, Reptiles & Mammals”, “Creepy Crawlies”, “Fish”, “Sea Creatures”, “Shells & More”, “Flowers”, “Trees & Shrubs” and “Natural Places”.

Each chapter suggests ten possible things one might find while exploring the Island's natural habitat, as well as a few rarer sights. “Andre is particularly interested in endangered species in Bermuda, so we've included some of those,” Mrs Raine said. “The cahow is in there. It's unlikely anyone will be able to spot it, but he felt it should be recorded in any book of Bermudian wildlife.”

By cramming a glut of information on the natural world into one portable source, Mrs Amos is hoping the title will also appeal to schoolchildren and house guests, as well as making the perfect stocking stuffer for Christmas.

Meanwhile, her sons are already planning to replicate the Top 10 formula as far afield as Kauai and Malta.

“It's a book I've always wanted when I travel,” Mrs Raine said. “I've had the idea for it for 30 years, and I've finally put it into practice.”

• Priced at $17.95, Bermuda's Top 10 is available from The Book Mart, The Bermuda Book Store, Flying Colours, Bermuda Memories, Robertson's, BUEI, the Bermuda Arts Centre and the Bermuda Craft Market. See www.toptenwildlife.com for more details

Nature lesson: the green turtle and hawksbill turtle feature in the book (Photograph courtesy of Bermuda's Top 10)
Fun facts: Bermuda's Top 10 offers information about the Island's flora and fauna

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Published December 12, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 12, 2015 at 2:38 am)

Insights into Island’s natural wonders

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