With the arrival of spring after a cold, wet, dark winter, I catch myself eyeing the trees up here on the mountain, willing their branches to burst out in the electric green of early growth. Their textured canopy of chartreuse and Kelly green will inevitably darken to its summer shade, the heady colors of April quickly forgotten. But for those of us who live among trees, those first verdant weeks of spring are as thrilling as fireworks.
Two of the Moon Lake Library’s recent book purchases dig deep into the topic of trees: The Hidden Life of Trees, the Illustrated Edition by Peter Wohlleben (Greystone Books, 2018) and Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness by Dr. Qing Li (Viking, 2018).
The first is an abridged edition of Wohlleben’s international bestseller, The Hidden Life of Trees, first published in 2015. In it, the author describes the inner life of our leafy companions, maintaining that their anatomy and physiology suggest a more deeply social existence than we had believed. For example, German researchers at the Institute for Environmental Research in Aachen, Germany, found that beech trees in undisturbed forests equalize their rates of photosynthesis among themselves so that those trees growing in less than optimal conditions receive assistance via an underground network of fungus. Fungi in the root hairs of the beeches redistribute the beeches’ available sugar so that all the trees have equal chances of survival.
Throughout the book we learn how trees reach for the light, they eat and drink, they even scream. Wohlleben describes communities of trees engaging in constant communication with the world around them. The illustrations in this edition of the book are so rich and lush, they more than make up for the fact that this is an abridged version of the original text.
Forest Bathing by Dr. Qing Li tells how Japanese medicine in recent years has adopted the practice of advising shinrin-yoku or forest bathing to ease the stress of living in contemporary Japanese cities where overwork and constant technology use are the norm. Forest bathing is simply spending unstructured time in a forest. While activities such as reading, writing, or picnicking may be incorporated into shinrin-yoku, the intent is to be immersed in nature, not to have a particular goal or destination in mind.
Qing Li cites multiple research studies attesting to the value of forest bathing. One study found that hospital patients whose rooms offer a window with a view of nature need less medication and are discharged more quickly than those whose rooms lack windows. When access to an actual forest is limited, aromatherapy with an essential oil such as hinoki that evokes the smell of the woods can have beneficial results. Like The Hidden Life of Trees, this book includes beautiful photographs of trees and forests, relaxing the reader into a virtual forest bath.
The Hidden Life of Trees: The Illustrated Edition and Forest Bathing are both available for check out at the Moon Lake Community Library.
— Anne McLeod is the librarian at Moon Lake Elementary School.
She also serves on the board of Moon Lake Community Library.
Moon Lake Library is wearing a new coat…of paint, that is! Several volunteers painted the interior walls during Moon Lake’s spring break. They’re now shades of blue, rather than the more impersonal beige of years past. It sure feels fresh…and larger!
We enjoyed our Author Talk in March with Edwene Gaines, who gave the audience tips on being a writer. The “Point of the Pen” writer’s group meets at the library on the first Thursday of each month at 3:15 p.m. Everyone is welcome.
The library is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 until 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Check our Facebook page or web site (moonlakelibrary.org) for updates or to join our email list. The library is located at 4607 AL Hwy. 117 in Mentone.
--Kelly Leavitt, community librarian
What happens when you mix a serious love of books, artistry and whimsy? You get a miniature world where the words of a book are revealed in three dimensions. This is the world created by my sister, Alice Dudoich. Alice has a knack for seeing everyday objects as something of value, something that can be repurposed to fit into a small world. In so doing, she transforms a mundane gardening book into a fully equipped garden shed. Look closely and you'll realize that the nozzle on that water hose is a simple wood screw. But don’t ask her to look for a twist tie in your junk drawer.
She'll never be able to focus on the item you seek. The tiny snaps she finds will become the burners on a miniature stove; a loose bead might become a bowling ball. When there is no existing object that works just right, she just builds what she needs with her tiny woodworking tools or models them out of clay.
Alice is coming to Mentone in April and will share some of her miniature worlds with us. Come to the Moon Lake Library on Saturday, April 20, at 10:30 a.m. See a 50s-style kitchen made from a cookbook and Renoir’s studio made from his biography. You can ask her how she comes up with her ideas or how she makes a 2" by 4" Frigidaire. Come and share the tiny worlds she has created from the hearts of books.
— Tobey Miller
Join fellow book lovers on for a discussion of A Gentleman in Moscow, a best-selling historical novel by Kate Quinn. The book club will meet on Saturday, April 27, at 10:30 a.m. at Moon Lake Community Library in Mentone (where the book is available for check-out). Everyone is welcome to join the discussion. Organic coffee and hot tea will be served.
Friday, April 5
5872 AL Highway 117
Our deep gratitude goes to Mentone Market, who will generously donate $1 for every beer and wine sale on the evening of Friday, April 5.
Popular Mentone singer/songwriter Terry Hutcheson will be performing that evening.
We'll have a pop-up book sale at the market as well, starting at 4 p.m. Hardcovers $2, large paperbacks $1, small paperbacks $.25, DVDs and CDs $1.
Moon Lake Community Library is primarily funded by donations and book sales. This will be a fun evening! Come support your friendly library.