Thursday, September 03, 2015

Poetry Friday--Emailing Trees

In Melbourne, Australia, the city assigned ID numbers to trees in its public parks. The trees were also given email addresses so that citizens could report tree damage.

The result is that the city began to receive messages of appreciation for the trees--essentially love letters.
It’s a dynamic that is playing out more broadly, too, in concert with a profound shift toward the ubiquity of interactive, cloud-connected technologies. Modern tools for communicating, publishing, and networking aren't just for connecting to other humans, but end up establishing relationships between people and anthropomorphized non-human objects, too.

The above quote is from an article found in July on The Atlantic magazine website.

Of course, when thinking of love letters to trees, it's hard not to think of Joyce Kilmer's poem, "Trees," which had been around for a hundred and two years, having first appeared in Poetry Magazine in August 1913.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

In our children's room, we have two books that are devoted to poems about trees, Old Elm Speaks: Tree Poems by Kristine O'Connell George [J 811 GEO] and Poetrees by Douglas Florian [J 811.54 FLO].

Many other tree poems are found within poetry collections, including this joyous haiku by Issa found in Today and Today (Poems by Issa, illustrated by G. Brian Karas) [895.6 KOB]:
Just being alive!
--miraculous to be in
cherry blossom shadows!

Start the Labor Day weekend right by stopping by Teacher Dance for the Poetry Friday Round-Up, and then go out and love some trees!

And the Best Celebration...

for the month of September is "Happy Cat Month!" Yes, it's happy cat month and if you have a cat, you can make your cat happy by starting with these six tips:
1. Leaving it alone and letting it sit where it needs to sit! (Borrow Feng Shui For You and Your Cat by Alison Daniels [133.3 DAN].)

2. Making GOOD treats instead of that crappy stuff you've been bringing home. Yes, your cat may have loved it yesterday, but, duh, it's a new day! Why aren't you psychic? (My advice, open a can of real-people tuna, and let your cat have one teensy-tinesy piece. However, it's not particularly healthy. If you're looking for "healthy" borrow Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat by Marion Nestle [636.7084 NES])

3. Turning off the air conditioner and opening the window wide for the best view of birds. (You may want to identify them, if so, we have a number of field guides in 598, but your cat just wants to eat them! Which is a possible solution to the crappy snack problem.)

4. Never, ever, ever, putting deely boppers or fake antlers or a bow on the cat! (You have no common sense--sorry, no book is going to help you with that!)

5. No kissing, unless cat indicates it's okay. (How are you supposed to know? See #2 and borrow The Complete Idiot's Guide to Being Psychic by Lynn A. Robinson [133.8 ROB].)

6. Give up any hope of training the cat! (DON'T borrow this book: Outsmarting Cats: How to Persuade the Felines in Your Life to Do What You Want by Wendy Christensen [636.8 CHR].)

Got a feeling that nothing you will do will make your cat happy? Psycho Kitty?: Understanding Your Cat's "Crazy" Behavior by Pam Johnson-Bennett [636.8 JOH] may help you to adjust your cat-owner-attitude!

One more piece of advice. If you can't make your cat happy, you can at least make yourself happy. If the spirit moves you, give your cat a kiss.

I also recommend The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons [741.5 NEW], or, spending the afternoon watching cat videos on YouTube.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

September Is Also...

"National Rice Month" sponsored by USA Rice Federation, which is a "global advocate for all segments of the U.S. rice industry with a mission to promote and protect the interests of producers, millers, merchants and allied businesses." This year is the 25th anniversary of the rice month celebration. provides nutrition information and recipes, if you need a reason to eat rice. The Library has two books in its cookbook collection devoted to rice recipes: The Top One Hundred Italian Rice Dishes: Including Over 50 Risotto Recipes by Diane Seed [641.5945 SEE] and Seductions of Rice: A Cookbook by Jeffrey Alford [641.6318 ALF].

According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations),
Rice is a major food crop for the people of the world in general and Asians in particular; nearly 90% of the world's rice is produced and consumed in this region. Furthermore, rice is a staple food for nearly 2.4 billion people in Asia, and except for Pakistan and some parts of India and China, rice provides two thirds of the calories for most Asians with rice-based diets.

Rice Is Life by Rita Goldman Gelman [JP GEL] explains to kids how people in Bali subsist on a diet that is almost exclusively rice. Not like the typical American diet!

Rice is universally cooked and served around the world, and Everybody Cooks Rice by Norah Dooley [JP DOO] explains how it is done and who does it.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

September Is...

Celebrate the end of summer in more ways than by shopping for school! September is "National Chicken Month"! Have you noticed an increase in the number of people in town who are raising chickens in their back yard? At the Library we've noticed it through the number of book requests we've received for books on chicken care.

If you've been tossing around the idea I invite you to look for one of these before you invest your money and time:

The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals. [636 BAC]

Barnyard in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, and Cows. [636 BAR]

Damerow, Gail. Hatching & brooding your own chicks : chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl. [636.5 DAM]

Damerow, Gail. Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens: Care, Feeding, Facilities. [636.5 DAM]

Markham, Brett L. Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on a 1/4 Acre. [ebook]

Pangman, Judy. Chicken Coop : 45 Building Plans for Housing Your Flock. [636.5 PAN]

Enjoy "National Chicken Month" and maybe next year at this time, you'll be bringing us a dozen eggs!

Monday, August 31, 2015

On the Bestsellers List

One of the most unexpected titles to appear on the Publishers Weekly bestsellers list is a slim volume The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo [648 KON, also AB/CD 648 KON, and ebook]. The list, based on bookstore data through August 23, shows The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up at #10, and, the book has been on the list for 34 weeks!

It seems that Americans are starting to be overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they've been accumulating. We've become a "cheap-goods/throw-away" society, but many people can't seem to actually throw things away.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has a few reader names on the waiting list, but that doesn't mean we don't have scads of other titles that deal with "tidying up" your space. You'll find these titles in the 640s section. We also have a DVD, Organizing from the Inside Out [DVD 640 ORG]. If looking in our catalog, use these slightly unfamiliar subject terms: "Orderliness" and "Storage in the home." Or, do a simple keyword search using "clutter" as your search term.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Poetry Friday--"Talking to Little Birdies"

Even if you're not a big poetry fan, Charles Simic is an engaging speaker. I saw him a year ago, and I've been waiting for another opportunity to hear him again. That opportunity is here! Simic will be the featured reader at the first New Hampshire Poetry Festival. The festival will take place on Saturday, September 19, at the NH Institute of Art in Manchester. To learn more and/or to register, click here.

I'm surprised it has taken so long for New Hampshire to have its own poetry festival--NH is famous for its poets. Of course there's Robert Frost, who was also U. S. Consultant in Poetry 1958-59. Frost was followed by Richard Eberhart 1959-61, who also hailed from NH. Other NH poets who went on to achieve the national honor, which is now called the U. S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, are Maxine Kumin 1981-82, Donald Hall 2006-07, and today's poet, Charles Simic 2007-08.

Here's a poem from Charles Simic that tickles my funny-bone. It is from Walking the Black Cat: Poems [811 SIM].
Talking to Little Birdies

Not a peep out of you now
After the bedlam early this morning.
Are you begging pardon of me
Hidden up there among the leaves,
Or are your brains momentarily overtaxed?

You savvy a few things I don't:
The overlooked sunflower seed worth a holler;
The traffic of cats in the yard;
Strangers leaving the widow's house,
Tieless and wearing crooked grins.

Or have you got wind of the world's news?
Some new horror I haven't heard about yet?
Which one of you was so bold as to warn me,
Our sweet setup is in danger?

Kids are playing soldiers down the road,
Pointing their rifles and playing dead.
Little birdies, are you sneaking wary looks
In the thick foliage
As you hear me say this?

Poetry for Children will be hosting this week's Round-Up. The blog belongs to Sylvia Vardell, who if you didn't know, is the co-compiler and editor, with Janet Wong, of the "Poetry Friday" anthology series of books. The newest in the series is The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations: Holiday Poems for the Whole Year in English and Spanish [Teacher/librarian edition: 372.64 POE, children's edition: J 808.81 POE].

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Gone Fishin'

The summer's winding down, but there's still a lot of time to go fishing. Visit the New Hampshire Fish and Game website and click on "Fishing" at the top of the page. You'll find everything from learning how to fish, to fish fact sheets, to information on fish tournaments. If you click on "Fishing in NH" you'll find links to obtaining a fishing license, rules and regulations, and fishing news. There's also a link to locations you can fish. The list of locations is arranged by species! However, if you're a novice, you may be better off printing the "Take Me Fishing!: Southeast Region" guide, which is found here.

Before you go, visit the Library and pick up one of these:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


There will be an air crash happening today between 1:00 and 2:00. No, I'm not psychic! NASA is testing Emergency Locator Transmittors by staging a crash! Read the press release here. And, you can watch it happen live! Go to NASA TV.

Photo credits: NASA/David C. Bowman.

Air crashes or air disasters are often written about since they invite speculation about whether or not the accident could have been prevented, the instinct for survival, etc. Here are a few such titles:

Hylton, Wil S. Vanished: the sixty-year search for the missing men of World War II. [940.5426 HYL]

Leavitt, Amie Jane. Anatomy of a Plane Crash. [J 363.124 LEA]

Lineberry, Cate. The Secret Rescue An Untold Story of American Nurses and Medics Behind Nazi Lines. [ebook]

Pomerantz, Gary M. Nine Minutes, Twenty Seconds: The Tragedy and Triumph of ASA Flight 529. [363.12 POM]

Sullenberger, Chesley. Highest Duty: My Search For What Really Matters. [B SUL]

Zukoff, Mitchell. Lost in Shangri-la: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II. [940.548 ZUK]

There are even more works of fiction about aircraft accidents. A recent one, which is on the bestseller list, is In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume [F BLU, AB/CD BLU, also ebook and eaudio].