I just returned from a trip to Anchorage, Alaska. This pollen wasn't found outdoors, but on the flowers in my hotel room. Look at those STAMEN full of POLLEN. Simply beautiful!
I just returned to Boston, from a trip to Alaska, and what do I read?
Achoo! Birch pollen count in Fairbanks breaks record
FAIRBANKS—Laboratory technician Susan Harry knew the birch pollen count in Fairbanks was high. Her son suffers from allergies; all she had to do was look at his eyes.But when she looked through her microscope Monday morning and began counting the pollen, she was a bit stunned.
“This has been the highest single count that we have had,” she said.
Harry monitors the pollen counter located on the roof of the Tanana Valley Clinic on Noble Street and performs the necessary laboratory work to come up with a number, which doctors use for prescribing allergy remedies.
The birch pollen count for Monday was 4,290, breaking a record of 3,900 from two years ago.
People are suffering, said allergy doctor Tim Foote. But he said relief is on the way in an expected rain storm that should dampen the pollen explosion.
“It will knock it down significantly,” he said.
The surge of birch pollen has caused a run on allergy medication in Fairbanks.
“We got hit pretty hard,” said Kevin Menninger, assistant grocery manager at Fred Meyer on the Old Steese Highway.
Nearby, Walgreens also reportedly did a brisk business in allergy medication over the weekend.
Harry said birch pollen usually peaks a few days after the start of greenup.
The fine yellow powder is irritating to allergy sufferers’ eyes, causes cold-like symptoms, and can be dangerous to people with asthma.
Harry said Fairbanks was due for a high birch pollen year, but the dry spring has exacerbated it this season.
“It’s kind of cyclical,” Harry said, “but you put the perfect combination of weather in and it exploded.”
Tanana Valley Clinic has been performing the birch pollen count since 2000.
“I didn’t know it was going to be a record high,” Harry said.
Foote said over-the-counter allergy medication and lifestyle changes can ease the symptoms of allergy sufferers. Wearing a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeve shirt while outdoors helps, he said.
“When you come in from that environment, wash your eyewear, change your clothes into indoor clothing and just make a pact not to touch your eyes,” he said.
Foote said it can be hard to resist the temptation to touch itchy eyes.
“You want to grind them out. It’s very uncomfortable,” he said. “It can be a significant impact on quality of life.”
Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7587. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.
This big surprise envelope arrived today - filled with hundreds of thank yous from the students at the Pell Elementary in Newport, RI. As part of 2016 March into Reading on March 4&5, I did two school visits at the Pell Elementary and one at Melville Elementary in Portsmouth, RI. A humongous thank you to librarian Stacey Lyon for sending these to me. :-)
I am THRILLED to announce wonderful new news for Achoo! Why Pollen Counts.
Achoo! is a recommended publication for the American Farm Bureau FOUNDATION For Agriculture http://www.agfoundation.org/recommended-pubs/achoo-why-pollen-counts
Achiss! La Importancia del polen has been selected for the 2016-2017 Tejas Star Reading List
AND this fabulous news: Foreword Reviews' 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award Finalist Picture Books (Children's)
A warm, early spring means - it's coming to a tree near YOU. POLLEN. Here are some recent articles. http://www.wsaz.com/content/news/Tree-Pollen-Season-Early-This-Year-371467821.html
And on CBS News - http://www.cbsnews.com/news/spring-allergies-early-this-year/
Teach your children about the importance of pollen! Achoo! Why Pollen Counts has been selected to be a part of the National Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix as a Companion Resource. Chosen by National Agriculture in the Classroom, Achoo! Why Pollen Counts is a picture book teaching children about pollen, the pollination process, and bees. The story follows a baby bear who is allergic to pollen. He learns how pollen is used by other insects and animals such as spiders, butterflies, honey bees, hummingbirds, and more. This book can be added as an extension for lessons about flowers and pollination to help students see additional benefits and uses of pollen. For more information visit: www.agclassroom.org or
LET IT SNOW! Do you know what is at the heart of each snowflake? How about a small speck of pollen, or dust? ...and I bet you didn't think there was any pollen out in the winter! But don't take my word for it, I did my research for Achoo! Why Pollen Counts. Let's have NOAA - NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION 'United States Department of Commerce' explain it. Taken from: http://www.noaa.gov/features/02_monitoring/snowflakes_2013.html
How do snowflakes form?The science behind snow
Q: How are snowflakes formed?
A: A snowflake begins to form when an extremely cold water droplet freezes onto a pollen or dust particle in the sky. This creates an ice crystal. As the ice crystal falls to the ground, water vapor freezes onto the primary crystal, building new crystals – the six arms of the snowflake.
That’s the short answer.
The more complex explanation is this:
These ice crystals that make up snowflakes are symmetrical (or patterned) because they reflect the internal order of the crystal’s water molecules as they arrange themselves in predetermined spaces (known as “crystallization”) to form a six-sided snowflake.
Ultimately, it is the temperature at which a crystal forms — and to a lesser extent the humidity of the air — that determines the basic shape of the ice crystal. Thus, we see long needle-like crystals at 23 degrees F and very flat plate-like crystals at 5 degrees F.
The intricate shape of a single arm of the snowflake is determined by the atmospheric conditions experienced by entire ice crystal as it falls. A crystal might begin to grow arms in one manner, and then minutes or even seconds later, slight changes in the surrounding temperature or humidity causes the crystal to grow in another way. Although the six-sided shape is always maintained, the ice crystal (and its six arms) may branch off in new directions. Because each arm experiences the same atmospheric conditions, the arms look identical.
Q: So, why are no two snowflakes exactly alike?
A: Well, that’s because individual snowflakes all follow slightly different paths from the sky to the ground —and thus encounter slightly different atmospheric conditions along the way. Therefore, they all tend to look unique, resembling everything from prisms and needles to the familiar lacy pattern. _______________________________________________________________________
Be snowstorm-ready! Read "Weathering the Winter Season" for our best tips, and visit weather.gov for your local winter forecast!
Posted Dec. 10, 2013
There you have it! There is pollen out there in that snow! This fact - and so much more - is packed into my book. Teach your children about the importance of pollen, Achoo! Why Pollen Counts, written and illustrated by Shennen Bersani.
Wouldn't it be nice to have Baby Bear keep you company while you are cuddled up on your couch reading Achoo! Why Pollen Counts to your toddlers? Ten framed Giclees are now on display - and available for purchase - at Wayland Home & Design, Wayland, MA. Each print is from a different page from one of my books. Wooden frames each measure 24"x30" in diameter.
Read all the exhibit details here at www.shennenbersani.com.
Some of the many books I have illustrated. New ones will be released in 2016 & 2017.
I would like to share a couple of recent posts to my blog, www.Shennen.com - they both give more insight on me and my creative work.
The first is a post on SERENDIPITY. I mention how serendipity has made my career and wove itself throughout my life. http://shennen.typepad.com/shennen_bersanis_weblog/2015/09/a-part-of-serendipity-.html I happen to be a contributing writer to a new book by the name SERENDIPITY, by Madonna Dries Christensen. http://www.amazon.com/Serendipity-Madonna-Dries-Christensen/dp/1491776412/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1443367963&sr=1-1&keywords=serendipity+madonna 100 % of the royalties for Serendipity go to Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia.
The second post regards a recent interview I had by the very talented Ashley Lucas www.ladylucas.com from the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of SCBWI. You can read the full interview here https://easternpennpoints.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/time-to-doodle-sketch-an-interview-with-shennen-bersani-by-ashley-lucas/
As always, if you have any questions contact me through my contact page and I will be happy to get back to you.
This forecast just in from Accuweather http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/fall-allergy-outlook-object-windowed-ragweed-season-northeast/52301346
Pollen isn't just for Spring; anyone with ragweed allergies knows this is true. Ragweed season is hitting HARD. Here are some links to articles.
And here's 10 Tips to Stop Sneezing:
My Top Tip is to pick up Achoo! Why Pollen Counts and teach your children about the importance of Pollen. The PERFECT bedtime story book! Just ask Kevin! Look how excited he is to learn about pollen!
Ryan Bersani and Paula Miller just returned from a trip to Europe on Monday and Ryan sent me this photo of a wasp he took last week for the http://www.achoowhypollencounts.com/photos-of-pollen-from-near-and-far.html page. The little pollinator was attracted to his beer mug in Wiesbaden, Germany. Apparently drunk and aggressive German wasps are getting around this summer - the Independent posted an article about them yesterday. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/angry-drunk-and-unemployed-german-wasps-are-invading-essex-10471608.html
Get ready to come see me! This is where I researched live bears for my illustrations! This place is fantastic! Here's the Press Release:
Clark's Trading Post Hosts Author/Illustrator Shennen Bersani for Full Day of Events
Saturday, July 11th, 2015, 10:00AM-5:00PM
Clarks Trading Post in Lincoln, New Hampshire presents the release of an important and beautifully illustrated new children's picture book, "Achoo! Why Pollen Counts" by Shennen Bersani, published by Arbordale Publishing. Shennen Bersani will present to children and adults how she wrote and created this book, do a book reading, and will lead children in a fun craft project related to the book. Between these events you may meet Shennen and have your book signed. There will also be a book launch party event. These events are taking place at Clark's Trading Post on Saturday, July 11th, 2015 from 10:00AM to 5:00PM (Address and Directions below).
Reviewers have described "Achoo! Why Pollen Counts" as "magical", "beautiful" and as having "bedtime story art". Beekeepers described it as "a great way to teach children about bees and pollen", "full of great information about pollen allergies" and "helps children learn about pollinators and the importance of bees". Allergy groups and doctors have described it as "a terrific way to explain why children have pollen allergies and why pollen is so important".
Please obtain a schedule of these events at the park entrance. Announcements of the events will be made throughout the park throughout the day. You may also learn more by going to Achoowhypollencounts.com, Clarkstradingpost.com, or Arbordalepublishing.com.
Clark's Trading Post and Clark's Trained Bears are a favorite destination for many visitors from the U.S. and around the world. Besides the world famous Trained Bear Show, Circus Acts, and a full size Steam Engine Train Ride, the expanded park offers a Climbing Wall, Segway rides, Blaster Boats, and a brand new Water Coaster ride. They also offer the frightening Merlin's Mansion, Tuttle's Rustic House, a dance hall size Ice Cream Parlor, Snack Bars, and several of the best gift shops in N.H. There's something for everyone at Clark's Trading Post. Meet Author Shennen Bersani, have your children attend these great educational book events, and have the author sign your copy of the book.
The section in the back of the book provides further important facts, teaching aids, and quizzes. You can also have access to 47 pages of lesson plans, tests, puzzles, coloring pages, and much more online. Follow Shennen Bersani, "Like" the book's Facebook Page, and go to Achoowhypollencounts.com for information about other events and books.
Clarks Trading Post Shennen Bersani Schedule:
- Presentation, Author Reading, and Drawing/Craft Project 10:00 AM Mountain Room
- Book Sale and Signings 11:00 AM Main Gift Shop
- Presentation, Author Reading, and Drawing/Craft Project 12:00 PM Mountain Room
- Book Sale and Signings 1:00 PM Main Gift Shop
- Presentation, Author Reading, and Drawing/Craft Project 2:00 PM Mountain Room
- Book Sale and Signings 3:00 PM Main Gift Shop
- Book Launch Party 4:00 PM Outside (or Inside, weather permitting)
Each event will be announced throughout the park 15 minutes before the event. Author biography, schedule of "Achoo! Why Pollen Counts" July 11th events, and details of other Arbordale Publishing books can be found at the Clark's Trading Post Entrance Building. Details can also be found at AchooWhyPollenCounts.com, Arbordalepublishing.com or clarkstradingpost.com. For more information call 617-893-3311.
Clark's Trading Post, Clark's Trained Bears, and Clark's White Mountain Central Railroad
110 Daniel Webster Highway (US Route 3)
Lincoln, NH 03251
Route 93 North to exit 33, on to Route 3 south. Go south for 1 mile.
Where would we be without our little, hard working pollinators! Without food! Read Arbordale Kids blogpost:
My daughter Kerrin just returned home from three weeks of volunteering in Haiti. I've uploaded her pollen photos on the Photos of Pollen From Near and Far page. As soon as I saw this ground cover with small yellow flowers I thought it looked just like the clover in our New England front yard - but different. They both have similar small yellow flowers, but the leaves are shaped differently. I love seeing that, just like people are - so similar, yet all of us so uniquely different. All adaptable to our surroundings.
Achoo!s busy day started with my first school visit as an AUTHOR. I have done 100s of school visits as an illustrator, but being an author/illustrator takes presenting to star status. The kids were FANTASTIC! I visited the Roger Clap Innovation School in Dorchester, MA. Quite a few of the children were suffering from pollen allergies; not all realized that the yellow dust all over their parents' cars, their swing sets, and anything left outside, was pollen - the culprit to their runny noses and itchy watery eyes. A Big Shout Out to the staff and students at RCIS.
At 1pm Agy Wilson gave her review of Achoo! Why Pollen Counts on JD Holiday's It's Storytime on BTR.
You can also check out Agy's review on Amazon:
All of the creatures are clear and beautifully realized. This isn't only a book for explaining ...
By Agy Wilson on May 12, 2015
Baby Bear awakes to a warm gold-covered spring day and the sniffles. He's allergic to pollen and hates it! But as the vole, mama bear, zebra butterfly, spiderling and other forest creatures explain how pollen works and why it's important, Baby's irritation turns to understanding.
Bersani explains a complex subject straightforwardly and accompanies it with magical illustrations. All of the creatures are clear and beautifully realized.
This isn't only a book for explaining the way flowers and animals work together to sustain each other. There's also a wonderful section with activities for children guided by adults on flower parts, what allergies are, the pollination process, and the importance of bees as pollinators, and what kids can do to help them along. The author/illustrator has paintstakingly vetted the book with expert input, and combined it kid-friendly devices like alliteration and onomatopoeia. A wonderful resource that beautifully encourages children to care for the world around them, and casts participating adults in the expert role with the help and resources of this well sourced book.
Thank you Agy for reviewing Achoo! Why Pollen Counts. :-)
Yes, the Pollen Tsunami is taking over, right above us, raining down on us! All over everything - making us SNEEZE - ACHOO! Check out these articles:
New York Allergy Experts Warn Of ‘Pollen Tsunami’
New Jersey 'Pollen tsunami' only getting worse in New Jersey http://www.nj.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2015/05/pollen_tsunami_only_getting_worse_in_new_jersey.html
Chicago CHICAGO WEATHER: NEW HIGHEST TREE POLLEN COUNT RECORDED FOR MIDWEST
HELP TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT POLLEN! Achoo! Why Pollen Counts, available from Arbordale Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online outlets. Or ask your local bookstore to order you a copy!
Historic conditions in Chicago! New Jersey is washed over, New York is under siege, how are YOU fairing this year's POLLEN TSUNAMI? Well, do I have the PERFECT book to teach your children about POLLEN and why it is important. No, it is nothing to sneeze at! It is important to the pollination process and our environment.
In Achoo! Why Pollen Counts Baby Bear has an allergy problem. He's allergic to pollen and wishes it was GONE! But with help from Momma Bear and his forest friends he learns the importance of pollen to the forest - and himself. Maybe pollen isn't so bad after all!
Now available from Arbordale Publishing, Amazon in English or Spanish, Powell's, and many other online outlets.
Here are some square "spots" of art from the book. You can pre-order the book now from Arbordale Publishing or Amazon.
Did you know we Achoo in English, but other languages make a different word? How about deaf people? This is an interesting article on the subject of social acceptance.
I came across two great articles today where college students in Massachusetts are making a big difference learning how to help our bees. The first is at my daughter's school, The College of Natural Sciences, UMass Amherst. Lynn Adler, Biology, with co-authors former Darwin Scholar Anne Leonard, Karly Regan '15, Winston Anthony '13, and colleagues from Dartmouth College, have found that bees infected with a common intestinal parasite had reduced parasite levels in their guts after seven days if the bees also consumed natural toxins present in plant nectar.
Adler's study finds natural plant chemicals reduce bee parasites
The second article has Heather Mattila at Wellesley College showing the importance of nutrition on honey bee development.
Honey Bee Workers That Are Pollen Stressed as Larvae Become Poor Foragers and Waggle Dancers as Adults
One of the easiest and best things we can do to help our bees is to simply plant more diverse flowers in our gardens. Not only do we aid the little pollinators, we also make our environment cheerier!
I do extensive research before I write, or illustrate a book. If at all possible, I try to do "hands on" research and travel to view things up close. In order to illustrate the Lepidoptera art for Butterfly Counting, written by Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by Shennen Bersani (me), Charlesbridge 2015, AND my Achoo! Why Pollen Counts character, Zoe Zebra Butterfly, I visited four "butterfly gardens". All four are in Massachusetts:
The Franklin Park Zoo Butterfly Landing, Boston, MA
The Butterfly Place, Westford, MA
Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens, South Deerfield, MA
Museum of Science Butterfly Garden, Boston, MA
All four are similar, but unique. I do not have a favorite! All of them are amazingly peaceful and calming. I will say the two in Boston are smaller spaces, exhibits tucked into their parent organization - the Zoo and the MOS. The other two are larger facilities where you can commune with the gentlest creatures of nature in an enclosed environment. I have visited all four too many times to recall.
The first time I visited The Butterfly Place I went with my good friend, and fellow artist, Donna Berger. Outside of the entrance in the parking lot I snapped these photos of pollinators - a bumble bee and an ant - moving pollen about from one flower to another.
Shennen Bersani, author and illustrator of Achoo! Why Pollen Counts; the illustrator of 31 children's picture books.