Surprise book of the month

New York Pigeon. Behind the feathers. By Andrew Garn

In our urban landscape, pigeons are scorned as feral, dirty pests. Dedicated pigeon fancier, author and photographer Andrew Garn sets out to destroy this misconception, presenting the noble pigeon as beautiful, intelligent and a friend to the human race. The population of pigeons in New York City exceeds one million. These are their stories…

New York Pigeon 2

This book is something different. Amazing and comprehensive, it is full of superb photographs which highlight the beauty of these birds, the luminosity of their feathers, jewel toned eyes and their majesty in flight.

In the first section of his book Andrew Garn examines the history behind the pigeon and how they have been an integral and valued part of human society – a bird whose remains have been discovered in archaeological digs dating back to the Ancient Egyptian and middle eastern civilisations “It might be surprising that a plump, multi-hued bird that wanders our sidewalks, perches on our buildings, and flutters all about, could have the bloodlines of a dinosaur, and be a gourmet food. Also used in religious sacrifices, this bird has been both a war hero and the focus of Charles Darwin’s experiments on natural selection.” (Page 17, Garn, Andrew, The New York Pigeon. Behind the feathers, 2018).

We have heard stories of homing pigeons carrying coded messages during World War II. But did you know, that using positive reinforcement, pigeons were trained to guide US Navy missiles with an accuracy surpassing human ability? Or that they also have much better sight than us. A pigeon can see five colour spectrums from infrared to ultraviolet.
Garn examines the physiology of the pigeon (Columba livia domestica) to explain how these birds are perfectly efficient flying machines with sustained speeds of around 50mph. They can outperform any other bird in aerial acrobatics and survive in a variety of environments. He also explains how pigeons hatch and grow.

3-pigeon_baby-walks_garn

Baby pigeon takes its first steps.  Image by Andrew Garn

Pigeons flying

In flight.  Image by Andrew Garn

The second section of this book features stories about birds who have been rescued and rehabilitated at the Wild Bird Fund in New York. It is easy to tell how much the author values pigeons, from his stunning portraiture that captures their individual expressions perfectly, to the accompanying captions which relate each bird’s name and courageous journey. Garn’s striking work is reminiscent of a photoshoot in a fashion magazine.

Humans are not left out. Garn volunteers at the shelter. He relates his experiences treating birds and the dangers that they face living among us. You will feel empathy for these creatures. “They are struck by cars and bicycles, attacked by our dogs and cats, removed from the nest when the air conditioner is cleaned, entangled in our litter, sickened by toxins, particularly lead, which we put in the environment, and suffer abuse at our hands,” Rita McMahon, executive director of the Wild Bird Fund. (Page 143, Garn, Andrew, The New York Pigeon. Behind the Feathers 2018).

Pigeon 3

Brooklyn. Image by Andrew Garn

 

Marilyn

Marilyn.  Image by Andrew Garn

pigeons

Apollo. Image by Andrew Garn

Elmer

Elmer.  Image by Andrew Garn

We also read about the dedicated staff and other volunteers who care for the sick or injured pigeons and other city birds. And there are also New Yorkers who keep pigeons as pets, with coops in the city neighbourhoods, even raising them in apartments.
Lastly the book features a series of photographs which centres on the daily lives of pigeons set against the backdrop of the buildings and skyline of New York City.

pigeons

Image by Andrew Garn

You can reserve The New York Pigeon. Behind the Feathers online. Or enquire next time you visit the Library.

Way back when, Wednesdays

Book drought makes history

The Tea Tree Gully Library service has always been popular! As featured in a previous Way back when, Wednesdays post the official opening of a new public library made front page news in the North East Leader, a Messenger newspaper, on 5 March 1969. The Library, which operated out of a mobile bus, had moved its service into the building which was formerly the Modbury Primary School and headmaster’s cottage, now designated as 561 Montague Road, Modbury. On page 3 of the edition dated 9 April 1969, the North East Leader reported on a possible book shortage after only one month, as the new library service had proved so popular with local residents.

Library fines

As stated in the Messenger article above, since the new library had opened, memberships had soared to over 4000 and nearly 10,000 books were on loan. Unfortunately many of the Library’s avid readers were not particularly conscientious when it came to returning their items and the Library’s book stock had become depleted.  Members had also failed to return 1,600 books which had been issued to them on the old mobile library.  When you think about it, for a building of its size, the Montague Road library actually had quite a substantial book stock.

The Librarian in charge, Mr. W. Bustelli thought that introducing a system of fines would motivate library members to return books on time. We don’t have information about whether library fine were introduced in 1969. We would love to hear about your experiences if you remember using the library on Montague Road!

Fortunately, in 2018 the City of Tea Tree Gully Library has considerably more items available for loan than in 1969. The Library holds approximately 64,000 books for adults, 25000 for children and adolescents, 4,500 magazines and 17,000 audio visual materials (this includes DVDs, CDs and audiobooks). You can now also access audio and e-books and take advantage of approximately 4 million items through the SA Public Libraries One Card Network. In 2017 the Library lent out an average of 73,210 items per month.

 

Boca Chica bar

The old schoolhouse building at 561 Montague Road, Modbury is now the home of Sfera’s ‘Boca Chica’, a Spanish inspired concept restaurant and bar.

 
#waybackwhenwednesdays

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: winter warmer veggie soup

 

soup 2

I don’t know about you, but this weather makes me crave soup: packed full of flavour and healthy veggies, served hot with a buttery piece of bread or a savoury scone… yum!

The cafe here at the Library, Bake & Brew, were kind enough to give us their recipe to share with you all. Happy soup-making!

Ingredients:

2 Turnips

2 Swedes

1 Pumpkin

2 Zucchini

1 Celery head

4 Carrots

6 Potatoes

Vegetable stock (the amount of stock will be the amount of soup liquid you get)

(This the Bake & Brew suggested veggie combination, but the great thing about soup is that you can chuck so many different ingredients in! Experiment with different veggies if you like)

Note: The veggie amounts in this recipe is for a big serve of soup, if you are cooking for a small group of people, adjust the recipe for less veggies and less stock.

 

Method:

1: Dice all veggies in even sizes.

2: Take pumpkin, swedes, carrots, potato, celery, turnips. In a large saucepan or pot big enough for your soup, saute off in a little butter.

3: Add stock. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tender. Add zucchinis in last few minutes.

4: Season with salt and pepper to taste, and top with fresh chopped parsley. Serve with savoury scone or bread with butter if you like.

5: Enjoy!

Soup 1

Library closure – Anzac Day

020641-slouch-hat beach

Lest we forget

The Library will be closed on Wednesday 25 April, for the Anzac Day public holiday. The chutes adjacent the car park will be open for return of items. The Library will reopen from 10am – 5pm on Thursday 26 April.

 

Way back when, Wednesdays

A leisurely Sunday at your library

Sunday at the Library

Bestselling author Amy Tan has been quoted as saying that “Libraries are the pride of the City.” http://www.azquotes.com/author/14434-Amy_Tan There is also a proverb that says that a Sunday well spent brings a week of content. Sundays can be a chance to relax, read, put on some music, spend time with family and just enjoy yourself. Which is why many people visit their local library. On 7 February 1979, the North East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper, printed an article that focused on the success of opening the City of Tea Tree Gully Library on Sunday. We also learn from the article about the popularity of the library at North East Road and how much it had to offer patrons.  The Messenger story provides modern readers with a snapshot of this era and we can see how some things have changed.

In 1979 the Library was situated at 1020 North East Road, which is now the site of the Tea Tree Plus shopping centre. The Library was housed in a modern building, which opened in 1975, adjacent to, and constructed in the same mid-century modern architectural style as the Tea Tree Gully Civic Centre. The Council building had opened in 1967.

 

PH03979 Facade of Library

The Library at 1020 North East Road Modbury. Image: Community History Photograph Collection, Tea Tree Gully Library. PH03979

 

Most public libraries in South Australia did not open on Sundays until the late 1980s/early 1990s. In the Messenger article the Chief Council Librarian Felicity Langeveldt stated that opening Sundays had been successful because it was a convenient days for residents to use the Library service but also that many of them took advantage of using the listening posts.

In an era where listening to your favourite songs was not simply a matter of downloading music from iTunes or Google Play, the residents of the City of Tea Tree Gully congregated at the Library to put on headphones and sit around a listening station. It would be interesting to find out if you played vinyl records or audio cassettes. Now we can borrow CDs to play at home or in the car. Or you can login to a computer at the Library to play CDs or listen to UTube.

 

 

PH01012 Official opening of the Library at North East Road.

Opening of the Library on North East Road, Modbury in 1975,
photograph PH01012.

 

Sundays continue to be a popular time to visit the Library. In 2017 there was an average of 521 people coming through the door each Sunday (door counts varied from 395 to 625). Our members still love reading and using the City of Tea Tree Gully Library service. The Library remains a community hub and our collections have grown considerably in size and type since 1979! We have approximately 64,000 books for adults, 25000 for children and adolescents, 4,500 magazines and 17,000 audio visual materials (this includes DVDs, CDs and audiobooks). You can now also access audio and ebooks and take advantage of approximately 4 million items through the SA Public Libraries One Card Network.

In 2017 the Library lent out an average of 73,210 items per month. In December loans totalled 53,273, December being our quietest month and the Civic Centre was closed over the Christmas holiday period. Today, most people search for information online as well as going to a public library. Or they can stream web based entertainment.
Thirty-nine years have elapsed since the date of the Messenger article. So if you think about it, the Tea Tree Gully Library must have been a very busy place, lending out 46,624 items way back in December 1979!
#waybackwhenwednesdays

 

Recipe: Pumpkin, Haloumi, & Chickpea Fritters

IMG_6938

Meatless Mondays just got a whole lot more exciting thanks to these easy, healthy (but more importantly) tasty Pumpkin, Haloumi, & Chickpea fritters! The cafe here at the Library, Bake & Brew, were kind enough to give us their recipe to share with you all. Happy cooking!

 

Ingredients:

1/4 Pumpkin, grated

200g Haloumi, grated

1/2 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup self-raising flour

 

Method:

1: Combine pumpkin, haloumi, chickpeas, flour, and egg in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper if you like.

2: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.

3: In batches of 3, spoon a heaped tablespoon of pumpkin mixture into the pan. Flatten slightly with a spatula. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side, until golden.

4: Serve with garden salad and capsicum mayo*, and drizzle patties with balsamic vinegar if you like.

*Capsicum mayo is a mix of capsicum puree and mayonnaise: you can buy capsicum puree and mayonnaise from groceries, or you can make them yourself.

Gully Arts Show: First and Second Prizes

It’s that time of year, again: when the Library walls get a little bit more colourful, and we host beautiful and unique artwork from artists across South Australia. The Gully Arts Show always attracts great crowds, and it’s proof that art can bring a community together! The Gully Arts Show is run by the Lions Club of Tea Tree Gully, and we appreciate all of their effort and support.

If you were unable to view the artwork in person, or if you would just like another look at the cream of the crop, here is a list of the first prize and second prize winners for each category, and pictures of their art:

Paintings A:

First Prize: “Forty Niner” by Gerhard Ritter (below)

Forty Niner Gerhard Ritter

Second Place: “Under the Canopy” by Pauline Miller (below)

Under the Canopy Pauline Miller.JPG

 

Paintings B:

First Prize: “Reflections at the Pines” by Alan Ramachandran (below)

Reflections at the Pines Alan Ramachandran

Second Place: “Red Panda” by Glenda Parker (below)

Red Panda Glenda Parker

 

Ceramics A:

First Prize: “Mood Indicator” by Belinda Martin (below)

Mood Indicator Belinda Martin

Mood Indicator Belinda Martin 2Second Place: “Evening Bath” by Gerhard Ritter (below)

Evening Bath Gerhard Ritter

 

Ceramics B:

First Prize: “Hidden Treasures” by Joe Dennis (below)

Hidden Treasures Joe Dennis

Second Place: “Blue Bowl” by Anita Taylor (below)

Blue Bowl Anita TaylorBlue Bowl Anita Taylor 2

Porcelain: 

First Prize: “An Asian Experience: 1” by Kay Pope (below)

An Asian Experience 1 Kay Pope.JPG

Second Place: “Delightful Poppies” by Betty Hermel (below)

Delightful Poppies Betty Hermel