Sunday, 21 August 2016

Sunday August 21, 2016 Nurturing Natural @ Your Library

Have you ever been out in the wilderness and found a bug or a bird or some kind of living creature and wondered what it was? Or maybe you’ve stumbled across an interesting rock or shell and wanted to know more about it and where it came from. The Thunder Bay Public Library offers plenty of opportunities to help you identify all the beautiful living and/or created things that surround us in Northwestern Ontario.

Let’s begin with those tiny insects. Bugs of Ontario by John Acorn is a great place to start; it is a fun filled guide to the coolest 125 species of bugs that our province has to offer. Kids of any age who are fascinated with bugs may enjoy flipping the pages of Ultimate Bugopedia: The Most Complete Bug Reference Ever by Darlyne Murawski and Nancy Honovich. This edition within the National Geographic family is full of fun facts and colorful, sometimes creepy pictures of popular bugs.

Speaking of popular insects will always lead to a discussion about bees. The unfortunate and frightening decline in this vital population has inspired a surge in publishing. Learn more about the different bee species in our area and how we can support the bee populations in The Bees in your Backyard: A Guide to North America's Bees by Joseph Wilson. Developing a bee-friendly space with the help of The Bee-Friendly Garden by Kate Frey might not seem like much but if one person does it chances are another will follow suit, and another and another.

Butterfly enthusiasts will enjoy perusing The ROM Field Guide to Butterflies of Ontario. This book will help in identification of these beautiful creatures, including colored photos and information about caterpillar and butterfly varieties. Anyone who has spent time catching tadpoles and frogs with a net will be interested in the National Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians by John Behler and Wayne King. Originally published in 1979, this updated edition provides answers to important questions such as why some frogs are able to freeze solid and still survive. For a look closer to home, try the Familiar Amphibians and Reptiles of Ontario by Bob Johnson.

Lions, and tigers and bears, oh my! Well not exactly. You will find bears in Northern Ontario but the closest to a lion and tiger would be a cougar, lynx and bobcat. In Bear: Spirit of the Wild, Paul Nicklen showcases his photography of several species of bear including the familiar black bear. Another familiar sight around here is deer and moose. In 2012 Dr. Jerry Haigh wrote his third autobiographical book, called Of Moose and Men: A Wildlife Vet’s Pursuit of the World’s Largest Deer. This handbook contains a wealth of information about this unique animal from all corners of the world. An overview of moose biology is featured, along with the history of moose on earth and the marked fluctuations in populations that have occurred over time.

As always, there is even more information to be found amongst the online database collection with collections geared towards all ages and interest levels.

For discoveries of a more inanimate nature, check out the Northern Nature Trading program located at the Mary J. L. Black Branch Library. Northern Nature Trading is a special kind of swap shop!  You can bring in the natural things you've found and trade them for things in our collection. You can trade things made by nature -- like rocks, shells, fossils and pine cones.  Trading is based on points.  We award you points for what you know about your item, what makes it different from similar ones and the quality (clean, good condition). Additional details about this program are available online at

Lindsey Long

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