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”

Bus Reads for May

Commuting to Seattle by bus five days a week gives me a lot of reading time.

Here’s what I read on the bus in May:

Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin
A nice little thriller, reminded me a bit of Josh Bazell’s book Beat the Reaper, which I also enjoyed. Rice Moore is seeking a hideout from the Mexican cartel he betrayed, he finds that in the Appalachian Mountains working on a nature preserve, but its not all peace and quiet. The bears protected on the preserve are found dead, while he searches for the poachers it brings him a little too close to the past he was running from.

Continue reading “Bus Reads for May”

Bus Reads for April

Commuting to Seattle by bus five days a week gives me a lot of reading time.

Here’s what I read on the bus in April:

Book cover image for FreshwaterFreshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. This book is so hard to put into words with its madness and dark tales of a person consumed by multiple identities. Born in Nigeria to parents who desperately wanted her, yet ultimately fail her, The Ada goes through life without the support system one usually has. As she travels to America for college, those selves evolve even more after she experiences a trauma. Her “identities” take her, guide her, and force her through her life – she at times fights against them, at times succumbs to their whims. Eventually as an adult it all comes to a breaking point. Such a beautiful and tragic read…I couldn’t put it down. The author does an amazing job of making the identities full-blown characters, and with the description of their world within The Ada and beyond. Continue reading “Bus Reads for April”

Taking Me Back

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day over our love of Spam. One year for her birthday her husband bought her a sampler pack of 12 different varieties! That was something new I learned – I had only ever known of the true blue original can. Growing up my mom used to mix spam, shredded cheese, and mayo together and place it on an English muffin then pop it in the oven where it got melty and crunchy. It was delicious!

That got me thinking about other recipes I enjoyed growing up – the ones my mom learned from her mom and on and on it goes. Here are a few books in our collection that highlight those recipes with a modern twist: Continue reading “Taking Me Back”

‘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”