Stop and Smell The Magnolia!

Stop and Smell The Magnolia!

Magnolia grandiflora (also known as the Southern Magnolia) is the tree species growing outside of the Bowman Branch of the Handley Regional Library. Its large white flowers, which are blooming right now, have the most delightful aroma. I encourage you anytime you are passing by the library, to stop and smell the magnolia. We are fortunate that our magnolia has branches with blossoms that are low to the ground so we can enjoy this fabulous scent of summer.

Did you know that the olfactory system (sense of smell) is intricately linked to memory? The human brain is an incredible organ that scientists are researching, in order to unlock its mysteries. When “brain” is entered into the search bar on the Library’s webpage, and the results are filtered for “Book” and “Adult Non-fiction,” we get 355 results! The June Nature and Science Newsletter features several recently acquired books on the brain as well as other great reads.

Summer is a fine time to explore outside. Do you know what kind of trees you have in your yard or on your street? What about those wildflowers in the meadow or park? Check out some of our guides to help you find out. Books of fiction are shelved by author’s last name. Books of non-fiction are shelved using the Dewey Decimal Classification System, with numerical categories ranging from zero through the 900s. These number designations are known as call numbers and guide us to subjects and titles. Trees and wildflowers can be found around 582. I am a big fan of the Sibley Guide to Trees (call number 582.16097 Sib) and the book: Wildflowers and plant communities : of the southern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont, would get you started on enjoying wildflowers. (call number 582.13 Gup).

guide to trees


lives of the trees


Wildflowers and plant communities


the history and folklore of north american wildflowers


A great advantage of the Dewey Decimal Classification System is that books on a similar topic are shelved together. Another advantage is that the classification is the same in adult non-fiction and juvenile non-fiction. The tree and wildflower books in the children’s area will also be found around 582. If you have not used the “Browse Virtual Shelf” feature to browse books (similar to what you would do if you were physically in the library) then check out the June is National Pollinator Month blog for a brief overview.

The days are long and the nights short in summer (although the days are already getting shorter!) It is warm and pleasant to be outside at night. This is a good time to brush up on the constellations and other features of the night sky. The Backyard guide to the night sky by Andrew Fazekas is just one of ten titles that come up when using “guide to the night sky” as a search term, filtered for Adult Non-fiction. Six titles are listed under Juvenile or Young Adult non-fiction. This is another good place to browse the virtual shelf, as the stories associated with constellations and planets make stargazing more memorable. The summer months feature two great meteor showers the Delta Aquarid peaking around July 30th and the Perseid, peaking August 11th – 13th.

backyard night


a walk through the heavens


night sky with the naked eye


the star guide


Other non-fiction books you may want to check out involve our extensive collection on gardens and gardening (call numbers 635 and up) as well as food and cooking (call number 641 and up). We have monthly newsletters that feature new titles on these subjects and 23 other categories! You can view newsletters by clicking here and sign up by clicking here. Enjoy our books!