Scenic Walks

Are you a walker and love beautiful scenery? Then this video is for you! Check out our Scenic Walks of the World:Romance With Nature DVD. This DVD will take you around the world and show you first hand the beautiful scenery that can be taken in when walking some of the most amazing walks in the world. Although not as gorgeous as being there in person, it comes a close second when you cannot be there!

First Woman to Row Alone Across an Ocean

Tori Murden McClure has an AB from Smith College, a master’s in divinity from Harvard, a JD from the University of Louisville, and an MFA from Spalding University. Very impressive -- as is her new book, A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean. Currently vice president at Spalding, McClure is the first woman to row alone across an ocean. This beautifully written memoir offers readers a spectacular blend of adventure, romance, and self discovery.

Earth Day in Ann Arbor

earth dayearth day

Wednesday, April 22, is Earth Day in Tree Town. Catch the Recycled Materials Art Show at the ReUse Center or drink a toast to Project Grow at Arbor Brewing Company.

The Leslie Science and Nature Center will celebrate Earth Day on Sunday, April 26, with educational displays, hands-on activities, live animal presentations, storytelling and sing-alongs. Join the All Species Parade dressed as your favorite endangered plant or animal. Call 997-1553 or visit the Leslie Science Center's website for more information.

Time to Climb Everest

While we enjoy a spring afternoon, Mt. Everest expedition teams are sleeping somewhere near or on the mountain. Depending on the approach they staked their tents in Tibet or Nepal.

Keep on top of the latest Everest expedition news:

Ann Arbor: 256 m (840 ft) What's the highest point in Ann Arbor?
Nepal-side base camp: 5,380 m (17,700 ft)
Tibet-side base camp: 5,180 m (16,990 ft)
Mt. Everest peak: 8,844.43 m ± 0.21 m (29,017.16 ± 0.69 ft)

Everest books:
1996 climb
2006 climb

Everest DVDs:
1996 climb
Everest: beyond the limit

Vacations to Enrich Your Life

On our new book shelf here at the AADL you can pick up a copy of The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life, written by Pam Grout & published by National Geographic. The author's intent, as she states in the introduction, is to alter your idea of what vacation is meant to be and offer you the potential to change your life. The experiences are divided into four categories: arts and crafts getaways, learning retreats, volunteer vacations, and wellness escapes. Even if you can't afford some of the fabulous ideas set forth in this book, it's still enjoyable to read about them. Consider a three-day mahout (elephant wrangler) training course in Thailand. Spend a month working for African Impact, a lion rehabilitation center in Zimbabwe. Master the art of blending scotch at the Glengoyne Distillery in the Scottish highlands. Ride horses to Machu Picchu's sacred sister city, Choquequirao, Peru.
The trip that caught my attention is run by COBATI (Community-Based Tourism Initiatives) in Kampala, Uganda. Instead of a typical African safari package that does little to benefit the locals, COBATI homestays offer the amazing opportunity to stay in small, rural villages and learn about the real Uganda. Visit banana plantations, stay with midwives, learn beekeeping & mushroom growing, attend community weddings, visit flower farms and see homesteads with Ankole longhorn cattle (indigenous to Uganda for at least seven centuries). Interested? Visit or head to the library for a copy of this unique travel guide.

Keeping an eye on the ‘nesting boxes’ at the Pittsfield

bird housebird house

My son, Bill, led the construction and installation of a dozen “nesting boxes” for birds and bats on the east side of the Pittsfield branch last summer as one of the requirements to become an Eagle Scout. Library director Josie Parker supported the project as a reflection of the AADL’s commitment to capitalize on environmental operate more in harmony with the ecosystem. I'm keeping an eye on the project now that Bill’s off at college, and with spring coming, I hope other library patrons would post a comment if they see birds (or bats) actually occupying the boxes.

Sap to Syrup -- Doing it Yourself

You can't beat the taste of real maple syrup on hot, crispy Belgian waffles, especially on a cold winter morning. If you've ever wanted to give your mouth that Vermont-fresh taste without the store-bought price then the Saturday, February 28 program, Sap to Syrup -- Doing it Yourself, at the Field Operations Building of Ann Arbor's County Farm Park is just what you've been waiting for. From 1-2:30 pm, Faye Stoner will be discussing methods of identifying maple trees, tapping the trees, and boiling the sap into syrup. The program requires registration beforehand, so be sure to let them know if you're planning to go. Can't make the event but still want to tap that delicious drizzle? Check out some AADL items on all things syrup: The Maple Syrup Book, Sugaring Season: Making Maple Syrup, or the Newbery Honor book, Sugaring Time.

Celebrate our national parks

On February 26, 1919, Congress enacted legislation to establish two national parks. One was Lafayette National Park on the coast of Maine which was later renamed Acadia National Park. The other was Grand Canyon National Park in northwestern Arizona which covers over a million acres. The Library has a wonderful collection of books and dvds on all the national parks. So if you're planning a trip to any this summer, come check them out.

Six more weeks of winter? Boo! Hiss!

Well. Punxsutawney Phil has done it again. Casting his ominous shadow, Phil has predicted six more weeks of winter. February 2 is the official Groundhog Day when men in tall hats in a small town in rural Pennsylvania hold up the fat furry creature for all to see. It is also a "cross-quarter" day in the solar calendar, a day that falls exactly between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Groundhog Day originated with the Germans who emigrated to Pennsylvania. They wanted to use a badger but couldn't find too many, so settled on our beloved groundhog.


Pulp Tree

Project Budburst: Tracking Climate Change In The Garden
Organic Gardening Magazine February/March 2009 Page 47
In the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Reads book "Seeing in the Dark: How Amateur Astronomers are Discovering the Wonders of the Universe" we learned about how amateur astronomers help professional astronomers. Similarly, gardeners can help scientists track climate change. Project Budburst is "a citizen's research program developed to monitor the ways in which climate change is impacting the leafing and flowering of hundres of plant species nation-wide."
Climate change : what it means for us, our children, and our grandchildren
Cool it : the skeptical environmentalist's guide to global warming
The Michigan gardener's companion : an insider's guide to gardening in the Great Lakes State

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