Floral notes: Late January 2018.

While putting away picture books at work this past week, I came across an illustrator I am now officially absolutely gaga over: Sonja Danowski.  You can see some of the work she did for Michael Rosen’s story Forever Flowers here, as well as a gallery of other art she has done. An incredible talent!

Despite its name, the site American Literature doesn’t feature strictly American authors; it’s actually a great source of public domain short fiction, novels, and poetry from writers from all over the world.  Enjoy!

Although I found it a bit late (the article was published in June of last year), this information about discovering rare plants in Hawai’i using drones is fascinating (and you have to watch the breathtaking video at the end!).

Have you ever come across a dead tree with an odd spiral shape?  I’ve found a few examples on our mountain hikes but unfortunately the only photograph I have of one was taken with a film camera way back in the early 2000’s and a printed copy that I can scan and post isn’t immediately at hand.  Although the title of this article is sort of misleading, the explanation it offers is accurate. Another interesting thing to watch for during those walks in the woods!

My fave “new” recipe of last week?  This sweet and sour chicken. (I didn’t make the fried rice; I just served it over hot cooked basmati. I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup, cut back the vinegar to about 1/3 cup, and used only one egg).  Easy and delicious!


  1. What interesting information about why the bark spirals! And in the attachment, the first tree — it’s a beauty. But then again, so are they all, especially the last two. (And don’t ask me whether I’ll take white bread, rye or whole grain, because I can’t make up my mind on that either….) Thanks for sharing the tidbits, Sheryl.

  2. Thanks for all these tidbits, Sheryl! I love Danowski’s artwork and the list of authors looks to be very useful indeed! The recipe looks good especially with your changes for a more healthy version! Both the link to the info on spiralling grain in trees and the one about using drones to find plants are both very interesting.

  3. Thanks so much for tipping me off to Sonja! I have just discovered a book that I want to order for my collection, to read to my “upcoming” granddaughter when she is old enough. I have several books illustrated by Kinuko Craft put aside for that purpose already, and The Night Cat will be a great addition. Many thanks. 🙂

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