Feature Shadow in Asylum

Scary Halloween Book a Uniquely Creepy Read

I didn’t go looking for a scary Halloween book this year. It found me. I was rummaging through a stack of  AdventureKEEN titles, and I came across an unfamiliar one: Shadows in the Asylum by D.A. Stern. I’ve written ghost stories in the past, and I like a good horror story as much as the next person. I was pleasantly surprised by this one, to say the least. In fact, over the next several days, I brought it with me wherever I went, squeezing in a page or two whenever I had a moment to spare. This is not your typical novel; it’s not a series of chapters or paragraph after paragraph of narrative. It’s a scary Halloween book with imagination to spare! Here, the book cover looks like a folder, and the pages within appear as “The Case Files of Dr. Charles Marsh:” a collection of newspaper articles, emails, interview...

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Picking a Favorite Bird is Hard to Do

I’m often asked which bird is my favorite. This is much like asking a parent to choose a favorite child. I often answer this question by stating that whatever bird I am studying or photographing at the time is my favorite. The truth is, I’ve yet to meet a bird or animal that I didn’t find fascinating and super cool. However, if push comes to shove, I’ll admit that I have a great fondness for hummingbirds. They are an amazing group of birds that are unlike any others. There are more than 320 species of hummingbirds. This is the second largest family of birds in the world. It is huge. What is even more interesting is that hummingbirds are only found in the New World (the Americas). They don’t have hummingbirds in Europe, Africa, Asia, or any other place on the planet. Hummingbirds are one of the most easily recognized birds. They...

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Ghost Stories Are Fun Books for Kids

When we think of Halloween books for our children to enjoy, real ghost stories might not spring to mind. These Ghostly Tales are intended for adults, right? While, yes, spooky collections are typically written for grown-ups, they can also be appropriate for young readers—at least for those with an interest in things that go bump in the night. If your children are fascinated with the frightful, AdventureKEEN’s horror offerings might be excellent October titles to get them reading. Still not sure? Continue on to learn more about these popular books. The Stories are Reportedly True The Ghostly Tales series (and AdventureKEEN’s other spooky titles) are grounded in reality. They are dramatic retellings, based on interviews and research. The Halloween books don’t resort to supernatural violence or murder to freak out the audience. They don’t have to. The horror lies in the fact that these are supposed to be true stories. The events...

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Trumpeter Swans Are Back in the Wild

In today’s post, Stan Tekiela celebrates the return of Trumpeter Swans, who at one time were nearly wiped out in the lower 48 states. My-oh-my, how times have changed. Over the last 35-plus years, I have witnessed a few amazing changes in nature. It usually takes hundreds (if not thousands) of years to effect change. But when you throw in human activity, everything seems to be accelerated. Recently, I have been spending a lot of time photographing a Trumpeter Swan nest with cygnets. When I first started studying, photographing, and writing about nature, there were no Trumpeter Swans around. They were locally extinct, a term called extirpated. We humans did a great job at eliminating so many species, including the Trumpeter Swans. The swans were wiped out of nearly all regions in the lower 48 states. From the time of settlement until very recently, Trumpeter Swans were hunted for their meat and feathers. They are...

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Food Chain Book Entertains and Educates

The new food chain book by Ryan Jacobson and Stan Tekiela, What Eats That?, has arrived, and it’s as fun to read as it is informative. Ryan provides interactive text that literally keeps readers guessing with every turn of the page, while Stan supplies amazing photography that brings one of Adventure Publications’ best picture books to life. The concept captivates readers from the start. Children are shown eating their favorite foods, and the text explains what a food chain is, while suggesting that we are all part of a food chain every time we eat. From there, the food chain book takes off. A species is introduced on every page, with fascinating information given about how its members eat or hunt. Then the question is asked: What Eats That? Of course, there are any number of possible answers to what eats a given critter, so guessing could be tricky. But there’s a reason...

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Great Lakes Ships and Stories

The gigantic, awe-inspiring Great Lakes ships are a big reason why people are drawn to visit the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world. There’s something magical about watching a freighter steam by. It fills spectators, young and old, with a sense of wonder. Where has the ship been? What’s its cargo? What adventures has it seen? In his new book Sea Stories, retired freighter captain Richard Metz answers these questions. He shares the triumphs, struggles, and secrets of a captain’s life in an autobiography that’s divided into 26 short stories. From the Duluth port in Lake Superior all the way to the Atlantic Ocean and beyond, Richard captained a variety of Great Lakes ships for 20 years. He experienced wild weather, close calls, near misses, and events that can only be described as “unimaginable.” He has incredible stories to tell about life as a crewmate and captain. Here he shares...

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Cookbook Recipes and a Minnesota Tradition

When people think of the North Star State, their first thoughts probably relate to lakes or winter, but the cookbook recipes in The Great Minnesota Hot Dish introduce another of the state’s staples: the one-dish-complete-meal system. Called a casserole in most parts of the country, the hot dish is simple, practical, and delicious. The first edition of this popular book, written by Theresa Millang, dates back to 1999. For 18 years, it brought a variety of hot dishes—from traditional to Cajun, Creole, Tex-Mex, Southern, and Chinese—to dinner tables everywhere. Now, by popular demand, the title has been revised and updated into a second edition. Local cook Karen Corbett, who has spent her life preparing meals for children and grandchildren, as well as students at a school and young campers at a camp, puts her own spin on the Minnesota cookbook recipes, creating a perfect blend of old favorites and new flavors...

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The Indian Pipe, One of Nature’s Many Wonders

In today’s post, Stan Tekelia explains the Indian Pipe, also known as the Ghost Flower, one of nature’s weirdest plants. There is nothing better than spending a late summer morning walking the woods in search of whatever interesting items you can find. Lately I’ve been out wandering the thick, cool forests on the lookout for familiar natural objects such as squirrels’ nests, various mushrooms, migrating birds, colorful wildflowers, all of which I consider to be old friends. One of the more interesting things in the woods at this time of year is the unusual Indian Pipe (Monotropa unifora). Also called the Ghost Plant or Corpse Plant, the Indian Pipe grows late in the summer season and is found on the forest floor. Standing only 4-9 inches tall, you might overlook this unique plant. But what sets the Indian Pipe apart from all other plants in the forest is that it is pure white...

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