The Lives of Wolves, Coyotes and Foxes

Author and wildlife expert Stan Tekiela presents a fascinating look at some of the most intriguing animals in the wild, based on his book “The Lives of Wolves, Coyotes and Foxes” at Victoria Library 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8. Hundreds of award-winning images and packed with fun and entertaining information this presentation is a visual feast and fun. You will never look at a wolf, coyote or fox without a new sense of wonder and amazement.

The following are some additional books that explore observations on nature.

Beyond Words


“Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel” by Carl Safina. In “Beyond Words,” readers travel to Amboseli National Park in the threatened landscape of Kenya and witness struggling elephant families work out how to survive poaching and drought; then to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves sort out the aftermath of one pack's personal tragedy; and finally plunge into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in the crystalline waters of the Pacific Northwest. Safina shares insight into the unique personalities of animals through extraordinary stories of animal joy, grief, jealousy, anger and love. The similarity between human and nonhuman consciousness and empathy challenges us to re-evaluate how we interact with animals. This book is a wise and eye-opening examination of humanity's place in the world.



“Raptors: Portraits of Birds of Prey” by Traer Scott. This delightful and dramatic collection of portraits reveals birds of prey as we never experience them: intimate and up close, photographed in Scott's signature style. The color photos present 25 different species, from the familiar to the exotic and endangered: hawks, owls, falcons, a bald eagle, kestrels, a Mississippi Kite and a turkey vulture. The birds in this remarkable collection are revealed as personalities: wise, graceful, enigmatic, serene or fiercely self-possessed. A personal introduction from Scott describes her process and connection to the birds.

Nature at Our Doorstep


"Nature at Our Doorstep: Observing Plants, Birds, Mammals, and Other Natural Phenomena Throughout the Year," by Matt Schuth, University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum naturalist. The author provides solid information about birds, trees, insects and other aspects of the natural world, enlivened by personal experience, homespun humor, myth and folklore, and deep respect for the rural past. Schuth has worked in various capacities at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum since 1982, and reading the book is like going on a walk with a good friend who happens to be an expert observer of the natural world.


Android 101: 6:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 6. iPhones and iPads seem to get most of the headlines, but what about Android phones and tablets? Join us to learn more about your Android phone or tablet. We’ll cover basic settings, adding and removing apps, plus some simple tips and tricks to make using your Android device a little easier. Please bring your own device. Registration required.

Chaska Friends of the Library Book Sale: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, Feb 9; and 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10. Stock up on good reads for all ages at the annual February Friends of the Chaska Library book sale.


The Chanhassen Library art exhibit for February will feature botanical works by Gretchen Wagner Burau, a professional artist, curator, and art history instructor at the University of St. Thomas and Crown College. Burau explored abstraction in her early work, but has recently found inspiration at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum where she has been a longtime employee.

Akebono tulip

“Akebono tulip,” by Gretchen Wagner Burau.


Her new colored pencil drawings were created in response to the energy and allure of natural forms. She strives to illustrate the unexpected ways in which balance is achieved through the inherent tension and rhythmic elements found in plants.

The depictions are set on neutral backgrounds to enhance the physicality of the subjects, which consequently allows viewers to recognize the individual characteristics of specific varieties.

This process, along with recording the location, date, genus, species, and variety, allows her to create vibrant works that serve as documentation of plants that grew at the Arboretum during a particular time period.

She hopes to share her love of nature and the Arboretum as she creates this visual archive. More info at

Protect Your Privacy: Staying Safe Online, Part I: 6-8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 1. From email to social media and e-commerce, modern life leaves digital footprints everywhere we go. How can you ensure that your internet browsing, purchases, email, and other online activity is safe and secure? This class will offer an overview of online security basics, anonymous browsing, maintaining devices, reading URLs, better passwords, and avoiding phishing. Discover the tools and techniques you need to protect your online information. Presented by Twin Cities Media Alliance and funded by MELSA. Registration required.

Tails for Reading: 10:30 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Feb. 3. Preschool and elementary school age children are welcome to read books aloud to specially trained therapy dogs to encourage confidence in reading. Presented by North Star Therapy Animals. Children read for a 15-minute session on a first-come, first-served basis.


Minecraft: 4-5 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 7. For ages 8 and up. Explore, build together or participate in a challenge on our MinecraftEdu server. Playing time is split into two 25-minute sessions and may vary based on the number of participants. Registration upon arrival, first come, first served.


Toddler Storytimes recommended for ages 18-36 months. Toddlers and their caregivers are welcome to join us for 20 minutes of action-packed fun with stories, rhymes, finger-plays, and music and movement. No registration required. Chanhassen Library: 10:30 a.m. Monday; Chaska Library: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday; Victoria Library: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Family Storytimes for all ages with a focus on children ages 2 and up. Children and their caregivers are invited to come and share 30 minutes of stories, music and movement that encourages the development of early literacy skills. No registration required. Chanhassen Library: 10:30 a.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, 3:30 p.m., Sunday; Chaska Library: 6:30 p.m. Monday, 10:30 a.m. Tuesday; Victoria Library: 10:30 a.m. Monday.

Lapsit Storytime for ages birth to 18 months. Babies and their caregivers share quality time in a 20-minute session designed to encourage language development through board books and movement activities, followed by time for visiting and play. No registration required. Chanhassen Library: 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Maren Wilbur is the Adult Services Librarian of the Chanhassen Library, Carver County Library. She can be reached at

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.