Archive for October, 2013

Youth hostels back in time

The other day I came across my American Youth Hostel Membership card and stamp book from 1992-93. I also came across my pictures from my trip to Paris and Brussels back when I joined that year. It seems likes an eternity ago.

Anyway, I came across this great article entitled “Basecamp Bonn Young Hostel Turns Vintage Trailers and Railcars Into Quirky Accommodations” by Morgana Matus over at Inhabitat.

It made me wish that was around when I was over in Europe. Anyway, check it out if you get a chance. While I don’t know that I will, I do know that hostels are the best. I also got the chance to use them not only while I was in Paris and Brussels but also in Cape Cod, Boston and even in Copenhagen on my way to Latvia one summer.

Good Stuff!


Green Librarian

Missouri’s fall colors

As we approach the time to set our clocks back an hour, it seems as if the leaves on the trees didn’t get the notice. For the trees in our yard, mostly three large silver maples, the leaves are only beginning to change color. In fact, by now it seems like I’m doing nothing but raking and raking and raking.  I guess they’ve just “fallen” behind schedule a little bit.

The one sign I that always signals the coming of fall is when the tree (a big beautiful Sugar Maple) in the neighbors yard across the street has turned yellow. The last I checked, it was beginning to too. I’ll have to take a look tomorrow to see if it has reached it’s peak (and then post a picture).

Since that’s unclear at this point, then I should have known for sure this morning when I came across the article “Fall Color Forecast: Wishy-Washy with Pockets of Spectacular” by Susan Weich at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. If you want to read more about the leaves of Missouri, then check out “Why Leaves Change Color“, put out by the Missouri Department of Conservation. I just came across my copy of the brochure tonight.



Green Librarian

Home sweet home

So our home isn’t as green as I would like it to be. I do try however, to do what I can to take of our small part of the earth. This weekend I’ve spent most of my time trying to clean and recycling as much as possible.

Along the way, I came across the article “Home Green Home” by Tara Ballenger in Mizzou, the quarterly journal I receive from the University of Missouri at Columbia, where I got my Masters in Library Science.

Anyway, it’s about six students in one old house with a mission to use less and conserve more. It’s articles like this that keep me motivated to do more in our home.



Green Librarian

The lorax

One of the first books I started reading to my kids back when they were very little, The Lorax, is to many, an environmental classic. It turns out that  just this past week there was a story in the Wall Street Journal about a statue of the Lorax (owned by the widow of Theodor Seuss Geisel), that was stolen from her property.

Actually it was stolen last year but it seems that the story finally has a happy ending. It was found less than a mile from their home. The complete article is entitled “At the Hilltop Home of Dr. Seuss, A Mustachioed Statue on the Loose” by Miriam Jordan over at the Wall Street Journal. As the article starts out:


If you look deep enough you can still see, today,

Where the Lorax once stood

Just as long as it could

Before somebody lifted the Lorax away.



Green Librarian

Kids & nature

This being the weekend I don’t see my kids has led me to do a lot of reflection on our time spent together. In fact, just this week I was going through my Conservation Connections Newsletter (for nature events in the St. Louis area) that I get online from the Missouri Department of Conservation and I recognized one of the events,  the Owl Prowl, which the kids and I have done several times over the years.

Something else I recently came across, the article “The Frog Who Fell Through Time” by Richard Louv, also took me back but to my childhood instead of theirs and the times I spent in my neighborhood woods with my friends. We spent hours out there and I have some of my best memories of my childhood from my time out in the woods.

So imagine my surprise when I saw this article, “Four in Five Children Are Not ‘Connected to Nature’“. I was troubled to say the least , granted that this study was done in the U.K., it’s still worrisome.  Just a couple of weeks ago though, the kids and I spent the best time at one of our local favorites, Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center, where we’ve done some of our Owl Prowls.

Chow for now!


Green Librarian

African elephants, come on down!

Okay, so it’s a little corny to use that old Price is Right phrase but since my the original story leads into a video and story on three African Elephants that recently found a new home in San Andreas, California courtesy of the man himself, Bob Barker, then I think it’s okay.

I had already planned to do a post on elephants when I saw an article this afternoon entitled “Zoo Elephants: How Big is Too Big” by David Hunn in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Then while looking for that article online, I came across another article on the St. Louis Zoo and the elephants entitled “St. Louis Zoo Continues to Breed Elephants Despite Protests” by Diane Toroian Keaggy from back in March of this year and that lead me to this article, “3 Elephants from Canada Make Journey to CA Thanks to Game Show Host” over at KCRA television via Yahoo!

Now it’s true that I stated in an earlier post, Nature & the zoo, that my perspective is changing, it’s not changing that much. I still prefer seeing animals out in nature because that’s where they’re home is. In fact, the only reason I wrote the aforementioned post was because of the work those zoos were doing in relation to helping the Hellbender population increase out in the wild.



Green Librarian

A river runs through it

Now I have to admit I haven’t seen that movie in a long time (I did however, just request it), it’s a title that comes to mind when I think of the rivers up in the northwest. In fact, rivers and dams have been one of my passions for quite some time and it all started with rivers like the Elwha river up in the state of Washington.

So when I saw this article, “Freeing the Elwha!” by Robin Blackstone over at the Environmental News Network, it took me back to that time. I’m not sure but I think the book that started it all was “Deep Water: The Epic Struggle Over Dams, Displaced People and the Environment” by Jacques Leslie. I’ll do some more checking this week as I just requested this book tonight as well from my local library.

Meanwhile, there’s another great article on the Elwha river entitled “The Ambitious Restoration of an Undammed Western River” by Caroline Fraser over at the Yale Environment 360 website.



Green Librarian

Nature & the zoo

So the kids and I have been watching We Bought a Zoo a lot lately. Personally I was never a huge fan of zoo’s but it seems lately that maybe my perspective is changing. I’ve recent written a couple of posts on one of my kids favorite amphibian’s, the hellbender. Both posts, Those other Hellbenders and Hell(bender) of a day  talked quite a bit on how the St. Louis Zoo and Bronx Zoo played an important role in the conservation of both the Ozark  the Eastern Hellbender, respectively.

Which leads to a more somber story on zoo’s. It seems that the zoo in Springfield, Missouri lost one of their elephant zookeepers,  John Bradford, 62 last week when he was crush by Patience, a 41 year old female elephant at the zoo. The story talks about how passionate John was about elephants, working at both the national and international level on elephant managment. The article is entitled “Zookeeper in Southwest Missouri Killed by Elephant” at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Rest in Peace!


Green Librarian

Going to the dogs

My daughter has been begging me to get a dog. Unfortunately I’m gone too long during the week to get a dog. The best I can do right now is a cat and his name is Oreo. Just hanging out with the dogs!


One day I do hope to get a dog, such as a greyhound or Newfoundland but until then, he’ll have to do. Meanwhile, here are some amazing dogs that I know my daughter is probably already familiar with. Check out the article entitled “11 of the Bravest Dogs in History” over at the Mother News Network.

Bow Wow!


Green Librarian



I got this e-mail the other day from my youngest son’s 2nd grade teacher  about how they need to bring a rock to class this week. It seems that they’re going to use if for their geology project.  Despite all the rocks (but no geodes) we have in our house from our walks in nature and our summer vacations up north, it looks like he’s going to take one that my mom has.

It’s one that my dad found one summer and that to me is special because my kids never met their grandpa. Maybe we’ll go find some more rocks this weekend as grandpa’s birthday is this Sunday, October 13th.

So when I came this  article about rocks while cleaning out my backpack tonight, I thought okay, here’s a good idea. The article is actually entitled “Weathering” by Michael Pidwirny over at The Encyclopedia of Earth.

Happy Birthday Dad!


Green Librarian


Yes, it’s also the title of another amazing song, this one by Carrie Newcomer entitled Geodes .