Beavers from Forgotten Sudovia. Wigry National Park (in Polish)
Author (text and photographs): Jan Walencik
Album concept: Jan Walencik
Consultation on the merits: Maciej Kamiński, Ph.D.
Graphic design: Maciej Sadowski, Jan Walencik
Cartography: Teresa Wieczerzyńska-Nering
Editors: Urszula Lewandowska, Anna Witak
Additional text: Zdzisław Szkiruć
Proofreading: Anna Płachta
Volume: 308 pages (including 5 double-fold wing spreads)
Format: 31, 5 x 23, 5 cm
Maps on the liners: 2
Binding: hard full-paper with printed together with printed wrapper
Prepared for print: JML s. c., Warsaw
Print: ZRINSKI, Čakovec (Croatia)
Publisher: Sport i Turystyka – MUZA S.A., Warsaw
Year of release: 2001
QUOTE. Album front cover – Jan Walencik: Beavers from Forgotten Sudovia. Wigry National Park. Sport i Turystyka – MUZA S.A., 2001.
In former times, beavers were common animals. People were happy to hunt them. The Sudovians (pagan Baltic tribe lived in the area southwest from the upper Nemunas River) and their ancestors probably did too. The magnificent fur, the tasty meat, especially the delicate tail, and also the beaver fat and the beaver castoreum, a secretion of the scent glands, always aroused desire. Beavers unfortunately paid for this with their lives. Already more than 700 years ago there was a ban on hunting them. As royal property, they were protected by special beaver guards. Despite this, they were dying out. While in the early Middle Ages, beavers lived throughout Europe, by the middle of the 20th century they were already threatened with complete extinction. In the 1940s, only a few families survived in Poland, just in the Suwałki region (north-eastern Poland). In 1959 and 1962, two reserves were created on the shores of Wigry Lake: A beaver refuge Stary Folwark (at the mouth of Czarna Hańcza River into Wigry Lake ) and A beaver refuge Zakąty (near Klonek Lake). For almost half a century, the native Wigry beavers grew in strength, quickly conquering new territories. At the same time, a group of Biebrza River beavers spread, originating from a few individuals brought to the canals of the Osowiec fortress from the vicinity of Voronezh (Soviet Union), back in the 1940s. Fortunately, thanks to the work of enlightened people, thanks to species protection, reserve protection, breeding and resettlement, today (2001) there are more than 10,000 beavers in Poland, including about 3,000 in the Suwałki region, where they are considered a common species. For the second time, they have found their roots in the forgotten Sudovia…
QUOTE. Excerpt of album – Jan Walencik: Beavers from Forgotten Sudovia. Wigry National Park. Page 60 (verso) with the wing folded out, and page 61 (recto). 2001. Source: Sport i Turystyka – MUZA S.A.
QUOTE. Excerpt of album – Jan Walencik: Beavers from Forgotten Sudovia. Wigry National Park Page 128 (verso) with the wing folded out, and page 129 (recto). 2001. Source: Sport i Turystyka – MUZA S.A.
QUOTE. Excerpt of album – Jan Walencik: Beavers from Forgotten Sudovia. Wigry National Park. Page 134 (verso) and 135 (recto). 2001. Source: Sport i Turystyka – MUZA S.A.
QUOTE. Excerpt of album – Jan Walencik: Beavers from Forgotten Sudovia. Wigry National Park. Page 214 (verso) and 215 (recto). 2001. Source: Sport i Turystyka – MUZA S.A.
The album Beavers from Forgotten Sudovia. Wigry National Park is an original idea and work of Jan Walencik, including the concept of layout and graphic solutions. As with his first album Heartbeat of the Primeval Forest. Białowieża National Park, and the next in the MUZA S.A. series – Wild River Valley. Biebrza National Park it can be said to be a kind of specific photo exhibition with hints from a knowledgeable narrator – a show to which the Reader is invited. Characteristic and at the same time innovative in this book is the weaving of a photographic and verbal story and the use for this purpose not of captions, but of extensive comments on the photographs, as well as a complex, but also very clear pagination, in the form of three-level titles (chapter – subsection – description), clearly and consistently leading the Reader from the first to the last page. Thus, he not only has a feast for the eyes in the form of the author’s original photographs from from the vicinity of the Wigry Lake – sophisticated color images, but also receives a huge portion of natural knowledge in the form of engaging storytelling by the same author. An additional attraction is the 5 spreads with fold-out wings on the outside of the book – forming a kind of panoramic galleries, an eye-catching long horizontal collage of photographs on a specific topic. This complexity of the 5-part album and the readability of the successive issues presented is well reflected in the table of contents of Beavers… below:
IN THE HEART OF SUDOVIA
Land of the ancestors
BLACK HAŃCZA RIVER
Between Hańcza and Wigry
Happy river – in a land of hills and deep lakes
Wounded river – may it not be too black the Black Hańcza
Through meadows and forest
Still alive – one or two rivers?
A tamed river – a canal
Lakes on the edge of the forest
Wingris, that is, winding
In the emerald deep
The legend of pure water
Near the shore
SUCHARY – MID-FOREST LAKES
Sausas means dry
A paradise of sundews
Kamionka River, Wiatrołuża River, Maniówka River
Rushing or lazy water
Built by teeth and paws
BEAVER, WHAT’S NEXT?
A prolific clan
Who’s at whose place?
Towards new spaces
Beaver, a migratory animal
And a word from the author at the beginning of the album – about the Wigry Lake backwoods and beavers: