Garden Problem Solver

Spring is here, and we’ve had a few warm days finally, so let’s talk gardening. I know you’ve got seeds ordered and sprouting indoors! We’ve got a new and pretty little book called Garden Problem Solver that has suggestions for just that. It has wonderful illustrations of images of disease and damage with possible solutions to bring the foliage back to health and get rid of pests. It talks about various problems encountered by a variety of ornamentals, vegetables, fruit, and weeds.

The library has a plethora of great books on gardening. Everything from what to plant when and where, to how to take care of it. Happy gardening! Think spring!

Bats of the World

Tuesday, April 2 | 7 - 8 pm | Downtown | Grade 6 - Adult

Discover the truth about bats and how they live at this multi-media presentation by the Cranbrook Institute's Organization for Bat Conservation.

Learn how bats use sound wave (echolocation) to navigate in the dark; the bat's role in the food web; and about conservation and ecosystems from Michigan and around the world. Meet bats from North and South America and Africa - some with a 3-foot wingspan!

Check out these video clips of the Organization for Bat Conservation on Ellen, The Tonight Show, Conan, and more. Also, learn more about bats with these books from the AADL.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

Travel the entire perimeter of the British Isles

In Coast, hosted by the charming Scot, Neil Oliver, who is an archaeologist, author and adventurer and an expert on the history of Celtic Britain, the BBC presents an in-depth excursion around the coast of England. Not just England either - the adventure includes exploring the adjacent coastlines of Britain’s neighbors: France, Ireland, the Faroe Islands, Norway and Denmark. It is an ingenious way of learning about these countries. The coastline of the British Isles is long and beautiful with a unique natural, geological and social history. There is, however, a common flavor to the histories and lifestyles of coastal peoples, from all of these countries and islands, which makes for a unified, though diverse, story.

Each of the fifteen episodes includes 4-5 chapters of exploration, conducted by regular ‘guest stars’ who happen to be scientists, naturalists and historians. Aerial filming provides sweeping vistas of every segment of the coasts, from the white cliffs of Dover to John-o-Groats, and back again. On the ground we visit beaches, marshes, caves and cliffs and many of the creatures that make their homes there, as well as famous ports, castles, lighthouses, resorts, and other human habitations which have sprung up over millennia where the ocean meets the land. Full of curiosities, strange and marvelous stories, beauty and intrigue this series leaves no stone unturned in seeking the heritage and natural wonder of Britain's coast.

For other resources about the habitats and histories of coastal areas look here.

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee is a very touching look into the complexities of a community of chimpanzees living in the jungles of West Africa. Surely we have been fascinated with chimps partly because of their similarities to humans and this documentary highlights those similarities more than most. The choice of Tim Allen for narration was a pleasant surprise and he did a wonderful job of bringing his own personality to the production, while not detracting from the overarching story. There are even a couple hints to his previous acting work as Tim “the Toolman Taylor” in the popular 90’s TV sitcom Home Improvement.

The cinematography was one of my favorite aspects of the film. There is one scene in particular of it raining that struck me as extraordinarily beautiful. This film however, does come with a warning, there are moments where you may tear up because you have so completely entered their world that the losses and difficulties their community faces feel like your own. Overall, this is a very touching story and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys beautiful scenery and learning more about the society of chimpanzees.

To see what else the library has to offer regarding the magestic chimpanzee, click here.

Learn about Controlled Burns in Ann Arbor’s Natural Areas

Tuesday, February 26 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Malletts Creek Branch - Program Room

Prescribed or controlled burning is a technique sometimes used in forest management, farming, or prairie restoration. Fire is a natural part of both forest and grassland ecology and controlled fire can be a tool for foresters. Controlled burning also stimulates the germination of some desirable forest trees, thus renewing the forest.

The 2013 Spring Burn Season is upon us! The City of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Preservation staff will discuss what controlled burns are and why they are used in Ann Arbor's natural areas. This presentation is recommended for anyone interested in helping with burns, as well as anyone simply interested in learning more about why and how they are conducted.

AADL Talks to Terence Dickinson

Terence Dickinson, editor of Canada's SkyNews magazine and author of the internationally bestselling Nighwatch: A Practical Guide to the Universe and The Backyard Astronomer's Guide, was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1995—that nation's highest civilian achievement award—for his commitment in popularizing the wonders of astronomy. During his visit in November 2012, Terence sat down to talk with me and Clay Kessler of Telescope Support Systems.

Terence discusses his long career communicating the wonders of the night sky to the public and the importance of discovering and pursuing his childhood passion. He also talks about the loss of dark skies; how to pick a telescope; and he recalls the moment he saw his first full-blown Hubble image of a galaxy.

Dickinson's latest book is 2012's Hubble's Universe: Greatest Discoveries and Latest Images.

Attachment Size
AADL_Talks_To-Terence_Dickinson.mp3 26.3 MB

Hoot, Hiss, Grunt and Growl

What's all that noise?? It's the new online database featuring amazing wildlife sounds from the Macaulay Library. Explore the world’s largest natural sound archive in one amazing digital database! Listen and view audio and video recordings compiled by naturalists that are dedicated to documenting nature in its true habitat.

Oh and HEY, in case you didn't know.....YOU can have a great time exploring the Birds of North America! How? With the Birds of North America Online Database! This online database opens the world of birds to all patrons with a click of the mouse. View amazing full color photos complete with comprehensive life histories, for over 700 species of birds found in the USA and Canada. This website is perfect for a research paper, self instruction, and entertainment. Just go to the AADL homepage, click on the RESEARCH tab at the top of the page, Browse Databases by Subject A-C, and click on the orange link Birds of North America Online. Get to know our feathered friends in flight, the beasts of the forest, and our aquatic chums under the sea!

Sanctuary: Global Oases of Innocence

What do cheetahs in South Africa, wolves in Portugal, bears in the Netherlands, butterflies in Malaysia and the old growth forests of Poland have in common? Someone is trying to protect them. This absolutely lovely and awe-inspiring book, Sanctuary, tells and shows how in 24 places around the world, nature and animal reserves have been created for “the love and protection of innocence”.

You will be amazed at the photographs: lots of animals and people that I find I could study and stare at for long stretches, this is a book to get lost in and share with your family, to inspire gratitude for the complexity and beauty of the planet we share and the people who are attempting to preserve even small pieces of it.

Teen Stuff: Young Naturalist Awards Offer Cash Prizes

The Young Naturalist Awards is an annual contest put on by the American Museum of Natural History that encourages scientists in grades 7 - 12 to explore a natural science question by making observations and reporting their findings. It is an essay contest that is designed like a scientific study, focusing on the fields of Biology, Ecology, Earth Science and/or Astronomy.

Entries may be submitted on the AMNH website from December 1, 2012 to March 1, 2013. Twelve cash awards, two for each grade level, will be awarded to the authors of the winning essays. The winning entries will be published on the Museum's website. Up to 36 finalists will receive a cash award of $50 and a certificate of recognition. Up to 200 semifinalists will receive a non-cash award and a certificate of recognition. The teachers of the top twelve winners will receive classroom resources and a free Seminars on Science course.

The AADL has many resources for those looking to enter the contest, including books on studying nature and exploring space and astronomy. We also have the Academic OneFile database available at all of our branches and available remotely to AADL cardholders, where you can find articles from many peer-reviewed journals in science, social science, and the arts for in-depth, scholarly research. The Stapp Nature Area is a great place to observe nature and it is adjacent to our Traverwood Branch.

For more information about the Young Naturalist Awards, including Rules & Regulations, How to Get Started and much more, please visit their website.

Parent's Corner: Get Outside!

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from phonics to tantrums to potty training to diet. These books are available for checkout, and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf,” if you’d like to have one sent to a branch of your choice.

This also includes some books on nature and the great outdoors, geared towards parents and children. Be sure to check out Sharing Nature With Children, Get Out! 150 Ways For Kids & Grown-Ups to Get Into Nature and Build a Greener Future, Nature’s Playground: Activities, Crafts, and Games to Encourage Children to Get Outdoors, or perhaps I love Dirt!: 52 Activities To Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature. Any time of year is perfect for a nature walk, a chance to stop and smell the fresh air and see what wondrous things are around us.

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