Celebrate pollinators in June!

Learn more about pollinators, how to attract them into your garden, and reflect on what can be done to protect them and the work they do in our ecosystems. Of course it’s a subject always of interest, but June 17-23, 2019 is National Pollinator Week, designated by the U.S. Senate as a celebration of pollinators such as bees, butterflies, bats, and more. Here are some books and resources on bees and other pollinators.

Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them by Paige Embry
Organized by bee, Embry provides an overview of the various native bee species in the U.S, covering the nesting, foraging and mating habits of each bee. Embry visits the owners of almond groves, cherry orchards, blueberry fields and more to better understand different bees. Written in a chatty, folksy tone with many high-quality photos, this is a lovely book to dip in and out of.

Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees
by Thor Hanson
Providing a more comprehensive history of bees, including both honeybees and wild bees, Hanson describes what is known about bee evolution; their role in human evolution; and human fascination with bees, from hunter-gatherer groups to Shakespeare. Taking it up to the modern day, Hanson details bee population decline, Colony Collapse Disorder, and ways that farmers and home gardeners can support bee populations.

The Secret Lives of Bats by Merlin Tuttle
Tuttle, founder of Bat Conservation International, has spent a lifetime studying bats across the world. From their significant role in pest control (able to catch thousands of insects in one hour), as pollinators and as dispersers of seeds, Tuttle describes the roles bats play in human economies such as agriculture, and across ecosystems. He also delves into their sophisticated hunting practices, community living, and complex social relationships.

100 Plants to Feed the Bees
Experts offer their favorite 100 plants that support bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds. Organized by type, flowers, herbs, shrubs and trees are listed with information on growing zones, bloom times, types of pollinators attracted, and other plant requirements. The format of this book is highly visual with large, full-color images and minimal text, enough to get you interested and started.

Pollinator Friendly Gardening
by Rhonda Fleming Hayes
This informative guide identifies pollinators from bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to ants, wasps and beetles and then suggests plants, ways to enhance habitats, nesting site creation, and methods for providing water to give pollinators their best chance in the garden. This book is a bit more text heavy, and includes lists of tips and interviews with expert gardeners.

Storey’s Guide to Keeping Honey Bees
by Malcolm Sanford
If you’re ready to jump all the way in and become a beekeeper, this handbook covers everything from planning hives and installing a colony to preventing disease and managing hives.

Discover more about Pollinator Week at Pollinator Partnership.

~ posted by Andrea G.

Birds, Bees, and Butterflies

The first Spring in our new house was spent figuring out where we wanted things and tackling the things we didn’t – I battled sticker bushes and morning glory, we moved garden beds, and got a patio poured. This year all that hard work started coming together. I planted vegetables, we got patio furniture, and got some flower beds organized – but like all good library nerds I had to do research first.

I’ve always wanted my yard to be habitat friendly so when I weeded I didn’t just take out everything that’s considered a weed. I kept clover and bachelor’s button despite their bad reputation. I also let things happen naturally with random plants that popped up on their own like lupine, hyacinths, daffodils, and a calla lilly! We added lavender, rosemary, borage, and mint for bees. I also, made little rain gardens and added bird feeders and from last year we have foxgloves and crocosmia for the hummingbirds.

I’ve seen so much new wildlife come into our yard lately; looking forward to what each year brings! Here are a few books in our collection that helped me out: Continue reading “Birds, Bees, and Butterflies”

If You Liked Yuval Harari’s Sapiens

Book cover image for SapiensWho are we? What are we? Why are we here? Where will we wind up? These are just a few of the questions asked – and answered – in Yuval Harari’s Sapiens, a thought-provoking and opinionated international bestseller about nothing less than the humanity, start to finish.

I’ve long been intrigued with human origins, fascinated by the staggeringly brief history of our remarkable and problematic species. Our diminutive presence across both the vast reaches of outer space, and aeons of earth’s history, provides a salutary humbling perspective to our often ego- and anthropocentric lives. Then there are all of our curious hominid siblings, outlasted by only us – unless you believe in Bigfoot. With this keen interest in the rapidly evolving field of paleoanthropology, I was thrilled to suddenly find so many of our patrons enjoying Harari’s book, and wanting to learn more. Continue reading “If You Liked Yuval Harari’s Sapiens”

‘Tis the Season for Hanami

Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest and the cherry trees are putting on quite a show! One of the more popular attractions in Seattle for cherry blossom viewing, also known as Hanami, is our cherry trees located at the University of Washington Quad.

Although the origin of the trees is debated, according to The Daily:

“In 1912, Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki donated cherry trees to the United States, which marked the growth in friendship between the United States and Japan. The trees were distributed around the country, with 34 of them planted in the Washington Park Arboretum. Because of construction [of State Route 520], the trees had to be relocated, and 31 of them were relocated to the UW, where they are now planted in the Quad.” –The Daily of the University of Washington

Photograph of blossoming cherry trees on the University of Washington Quad.
The Daily – Takae Goto

They just reached peak viewing on March 29th. However, there is still time to celebrate! ParentMap has a list of other locations in Seattle and nearby to enjoy cherry blossom viewing.

Continue reading “‘Tis the Season for Hanami”

The World is Your Oyster

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest the winter season wasn’t something that stopped us from doing what we enjoyed as a family. Sure cuddling by the fireplace and reading books was one way to enjoy it since we are a family of readers, but this is also the season of crabbing, clam digging, grilling oysters, and taking advantage of non-peak camping rates!

Here are a few items in our collection to get you started on your Winter adventures:

Continue reading “The World is Your Oyster”