Sunday, April 29, 2012

Magnificent May

This is my monthly list of free and low cost events around the greater Portland area for the month of May 2012.  I compile this list for the homeschool group we belong to, which includes kids 9 and under, but many events are for all ages.  I look for events which have some educational or cultural value.  This month's guest proofreader is Wanda's pet weasel, and she really did a terrific job!  But still, it might be advisable to doublecheck any event you'd like to attend, in case of mistakes, typos, or cancellations.

May and June regularly feature some of the lowest tides of the year, ideal for tidepooling on the coast! The trick is to find a time when the low tide is a couple of feet below sea level which is also at a convenient daytime hour, and aim to leave the beach a bit before that. Some beaches are flatter than others, and as soon as the low tide mark has passed, the tide may come in surprisingly quickly. I generally consult the tide table of the Hatfield Marine Science Center:  (My pick is for the morning of May 8.) An excellent list of where to tidepool can be found here:

Children's Day, Book Day”, Tuesday, May 1, 4:30PM, Hillsboro Shute Park Library.  “Join us for stories, games and crafts which celebrate Children's Day/Book Day. Every child receives a free book!”

Legos and More", Tuesdays in May, 2PM, Vancouver Library, Children's Program Room, Level 3, 901 C Street, Vancouver, WA. Suggested for ages 5-11. "Drop in for creative construction with Legos, Clics, K’nex and other fun building toys." 

John Ferrel and Cal Scott”, Tuesday, May 1, 7PM, Lake Oswego Library. “John Ferrel and Cal Scott will be performing a mix of songs each has written, playing acoustic guitars and mandolin. Ferrel has been a songwriter for over 35 years. He has performed in the Portland area as a solo and also as a duo with Nancy Wilson, who later joined the rock group Heart. He has recorded with members of Portland's Trail Band. Cal Scott, a long-time friend, is the musical director of the Trail Band. Cal is a Portland area musical icon, a multi-instrumentalist who frequently performs with Irish fiddler Kevin Burke, as well as his duties with the Trail Band. Cal has also composed the musical score to over 40 PBS documentaries and specials.”

Mr. Ben”,  Mr. Ben plays regular gigs Mondays in May at 5PM at Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave.; Wednesdays at 10AM at Eco Baby Gear, 2122 SE Division St. (suggested donation $5 per family or $3 per person) and Thursdays at 11AM at E.A.T.,  850 NE 81st Ave., Pdx, (suggested donation of $3 per person or $10 per family). “Mr. Ben plays live music for kids and families in and around Portland, OR. His shows are the perfect blend of entertainment and education. Your child can participate as much or as little as they choose — they are free to explore new musical ideas and concepts at their own pace and in their own way.”

The Alphabeticians”, Friday, May 4, 11AM, Early Learning Fair, Sunset Park Community Church, 174 Sunset Blvd., St. Helens, OR; Saturday, May 5 at 4PM, at E.A.T., 850 NE 81st Ave., Pdx; Sunday May 6 and 20 at 10AM at Flying Cat Coffee, 3041 SE Division, Pdx ($5 donation per family); Friday, May 11, 5PM, at Jam on Hawthorne, 2239 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx ($10 suggested donation per family). Mr. Hoo will also be playing every Wednesday at 10:30AM at the Warehouse, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx ($5 suggested donation per family); every Wednesday at 12PM at Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave. ($5 donation per family); Wednesday, May 2, 16, and 30 at 3:30PM at Laurelhurst Café, 4611 E. Burnside Rd., Pdx ($5 suggested donation per family); every Thursday at 10AM at Flying Cat Coffee, 3041 SE Division, Pdx ($5 donation per family); and Friday  May 11, 18, and 25 at 11AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Ave., Pdx ($3 suggested donation per person). “The Alphabeticians, Mister Hoo and Mister E, have been best friends since their salad days in the mid 80s. They formed The Alphabeticians after they both became fathers, heard some of the music that was promoted as ‘Kid's’ music and thought, ‘We can do better than that.’ They combine humor, clever (mostly original) songs, interactive elements and an all around great stage show to entertain people of all ages. Adults have as much fun as kids at a typical show, where you're likely to hear songs about numbers, size, dads, metaphors, bags, monsters, extinct fish and multiple alphabet songs.”

Science Sleuths”, Wednesday, May 2, 3:30PM, Vancouver Library, 901 C St., Vancouver, WA. “Self-guided family science exploration for children ages 6-11 years; no younger children, please.”

What If My House Had Wheels?”, Wednesday, May 2, 3:30PM, Three Creeks Library, 800-C NE Tenney Rd., Vancouver, WA.  “Join us for a story time visit with picture book author Janet Bohm! She'll read her book, ‘What If My House Had Wheels?’ followed by other wheely fun.  Design your own house on wheels!”

Author Talk: Wayne Pacelle”, Wednesday, May 2, 7PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton.  Mr. Pacelle, the President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, reads from “The Bond:  Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them”. “As harsh as nature is for animals, cruelty comes only from human hands. We are the creature of conscience, aware of the wrongs we do and fully capable of making things right. Our best instincts will always tend in that direction, because there is a bond with animals that’s built into every one of us. That bond of kinship and fellow-feeling has been with us through the entire arc of human experience—from our first bare-footed steps on the planet through the era of the domestication of animals and into the modern age. For all that sets humanity apart, animals remain “our companions in Creation,” to borrow a phrase from Pope Benedict XVI, bound up with us in the story of life on earth. Every act of callousness toward an animal is a betrayal of that bond. In every act of kindness we keep faith with the bond. And broadly speaking, the whole mission of the animal welfare cause is to repair the bond—for their sake and for our own. In our day, there are stresses and fractures of the human-animal bond, and some forces at work that would sever it once and for all. They pull us in the wrong direction and away from the decent and honorable code that makes us care for creatures who are entirely at our mercy. Especially within the last 200 years, we’ve come to apply an industrial mindset to the use of animals, too often viewing them as if they were nothing but articles of commerce, the raw material of science, or mere obstacles in the path of our own progress. Here, as in other pursuits, human ingenuity has a way of outrunning human conscience, and some things we do only because we can—forgetting to ask whether we should.”

Mo Phillips”, Mo has regular gigs Thursdays in May, 10:30AM, at Milagros Boutique, 5429 NE 30th Ave., Pdx. ($3-5 suggested donation); Fridays at 10AM, at Soundroots, 3954 N. Williams Ave., Pdx. ($5 per walking kid); Saturday, May 12 and 26 at Jam on Hawthorne, 2239 SE Hawthorne Blvd., ($10 suggested donation per family); and Sunday, May 13  and 27 at 10AM, Flying Cat Coffee Co., 3041 SE Division, Pdx ($3-$5 suggested donation), and Thursday, May 10, 6PM, Mississippi Pizza. “Mo performs interactive shows of his own that respect the intelligence of young people with wit and irreverence, without being being strictly scatological. This is music built for kids and parents alike! Mo does not dumb down lyrics or melodies for kids to "understand", and therefore sings about things whole families can appreciate. A fine, distilled blend of Americana, Soul and Blues, while not being afraid of a poppy hook or straight rockin' out.”

28th Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta”,  Friday, May 4, Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6, Waterfront Park, Pdx.  Admission is free on Friday from 11AM-3PM,  otherwise admission is $8 for 13 and older, $5 for seniors and children 6-12, and free for kids under 6.  See website for complete schedule and more details:

Family Clay Nights”, Fridays in May, 6PM-8:30PM, Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx.  $20 a session per adult and child pair, $10 a session for each additional family member.  Pay at the MAC office.  Come as a family and play with clay! No preregistration required. Includes glazes, firings, and 5lbs. of clay.  Use of the potter’s wheel with instructor approval only.”

A Gathering of the Guilds”, Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5, 10AM-9PM, an d Sunday, May 6, 10AM-5PM, Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE MLK Blvd., Pdx.  Free admission. Guilds represented in this show and sale will be The Oregon Potter’s Association and The Ceramic Showcase, Creative Metal Arts Guild, Oregon Glass Guild, Guild of Oregon Woodworkers, Northwest Fine Woodworkers Guild, Portland Bead Society and the Portland Handweavers Guild.  There will be over 350 booths, and a children’s clay play area.  The largest show of its kind in the nation!

Make a Carp Kite”, Friday, May 4, 4:30PM, Fairview-Columbia Library. “May 5 is Japanese Children's Day. Join Fairview Library's Teen Council in making traditional kites in the shape of carp fish. In Japanese culture the carp stands for strength and courage.”

Saturday, May 5: The Willamette Shore Trolley, which currently runs out of Lake Oswego, reopens today for the summer!  I don’t think it ran at all last year.  Check it out!

6th Annual All Day Singing Event”,  Saturday, May 5, The Little Church, 5138 NE 23rd Ave., Pdx.  Sponsored by Portland Sacred Harp.  Free, but donations will be accepted.  “The singing starts at 9:30am (doors open at 9am) and continues until 3:00pm. All are welcome! No experience is required at this social, community shape note singing event. We sing from The Sacred Harp, a songbook continuously in print and in use since 1844. This American folk tradition of unaccompanied 4-part harmony singing is spirited, exuberant, and LOUD. Come sing for yourself! Come and go as you please!  Songbooks available to borrow or buy!  All ages welcome! (childcare not provided) Potluck lunch at noon! Bring a dish to share as you are able.”

Portland Youth Spelling Bee”, Saturday, May 5, sign-ups at 12:45PM, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. “Are you a W-H-I-Z at spelling? Kids ages 5-18 are welcome to come strut their spelling stuff on the Mississippi Pizza stage. Three difficulty levels give everyone a chance to play. Winners take home fun prizes, and every speller gets a treat.” 

The 1975 Portland Timbers:  The Birth of Soccer City, USA”, Friday, May 4, 7PM, Tigard Library, Community Room.   “Are you a sports fan or history buff?  Sportwriter and author Michael Orr will discuss his recently released book about the early Portland Timbers soccer team.  Seventeen players and two coaches came from different clubs and different countries to form a team just days before their first game.  Orr will describe the Timbers' single-season journey from expansion team to championship contenders.  He will have his book for sale and signing after his presentation.”

Sutton Hoo:  Questions on an Unmarked Grave”, Friday, May 4, 7:30PM, Portland State University, Cramer Hall (SW Park Ave. and SW Mill St.), Room 171.  Free. Refreshments served in the Finnish Room Afterwards. “In 1939, as Europe teetered on the brink of war, the most significant and preciously intact Anglo-Saxon ship burial was discovered at Sutton Hoo in Britain’s East Anglia. Since its discovery, there have been archaeological campaigns on the site, each revealing more about the burial complex. However, the question of who is buried (or honored) in Mound 1 at Sutton Hoo, remains controversial. Was this a burial or a cenotaph? Who is honored here? This presentation will consider different theories concerning the identity of the Sutton Hoo burial, and the evidence supporting each claim. Investigating these competing interpretations raises a number of issues concerning royal burial rituals of the early pagan Anglo-Saxon period, questions of identification of cultural artifacts and interpretation of grave goods, and the genealogical, historical and archaeological evidence for Scandinavian influence in 7th century East Anglia. Teresa Taylor is the Program Coordinator for Peace Corps Master's International and teaches International Studies at Portland State University.”

Open Garden Days”, Saturdays and Sundays through May 20, 11AM- 4PM, Smith Garden, 5055 Ray Bell Road, St. Paul, OR. $3. “The native Douglas-fir create an ideal environment for the natural woodland garden of rare beauty, featuring superior forms of species and hybrid rhododendrons. Complimenting the rhododendron collection are choice trees, shrubs, wildflowers and bulbs. Each pathway reveals its own visual treat— a moss covered log with plants tucked in the bark crevices, plants thriving on tree stumps, drifts of wild flowers. Masses of Cyclamen, Narcissus, Erythronium and Trillium flourish here.”  This is a really gorgeous spot!

Weekend Guided Tour”, Saturdays in May, 11AM- 12PM, Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Pdx.  Free.  Preregistration is only required for groups of 8 or more. “Join Gardener/Curator Courtney Vengarick on the 1st Saturday of each month for her seasonal exploration of the garden.  All other Saturdays join one of our volunteer guides for an informative guided tour of the garden. Weekly themes vary.”

Guided Nature Walks”, Saturdays  in May, 10AM-11:30AM, Tryon Creek State Park. “Join a park ranger for a free, guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Topics will vary from week to week but will be appropriate for all ages. Parents must accompany kids on all hikes.” May 5:  Plant and Wildflower Walk; May 12:  Nest Tour;  May 19:  Herp Hike- Amphibians and snakes!; May 26:  Beaver Investigation.

Grand Opening of Ping Pong’s Pint Size Puppet Museum”, Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6, 2PM-8PM, 906 SE Umatilla St., Pdx.  There will be special 30 minute guided tours at 3PM and 7PM. Free admission.  “Located in the historical Sellwood District of Portland, Oregon, Ping Pong's Pint Size Puppet Museum is your place to learn about all things Puppet and to let loose the inner kid in all of us. Fun for all ages!!! * The art of Puppet Animation * Hands on For Kids * Learn about our Land of Belvuria * Who's Who in Portland Puppetry Our first exhibit is: ‘Stars of Stage and Screen’
Featuring seldom seen puppets from TV, Movies  and Stage you might very well remember, including  the first puppet ever seen on the Howdy Doody show, Topo Gigio, from The Ed Sullivan Show, and Hermit Crab from Wee Sing Under the Sea.”

"Author Talk:  Brenda Peterson and Robin Lindsey",  Saturday, May 5, 11AM, Powell's 1--5 W. Burnside, Pdx.  The author and photographer of "Leopard and Silkie"  will read from their book.  "The true story of the friendship of seal pups Leopard and Silkie and the volunteers who protected them takes place in the fall of 2007 in the Pacific Northwest- only minutes from the heart of Seattle's bustling downtown.  In the Pacific Northwest, concerned volunteers become seal sitters, keeping vigil over the vulerable baby seals that are left on the shore while their mothers hunt for food.  Surviving in the animal kingdom is never easy and this informative picture book gives a first-hadn look at what baby seals are up against.  With its emphasis on human compassion, this true account teaches children to appreciate the natural world by helping in any way they can. The star of this book is six year old Miles, who organizes his own rescue mission to help the seals survive."

Lewisville Park Bird Walk”, Saturday, May 5, 8AM-11AM, meeting at the Backyard Bird Shop, 8101 NE Parkway Dr., Vancouver, WA.  Free.   Preregistration required; call 360-253-5771.  “Encounter old-growth Douglas firs and search for Belted Kingfishers and American Dippers along the banks of the Lewis River at Clark County’s oldest park. Expert birder and naturalist, Elaine Murphy, leads you through 154-acre Lewisville Park sharing her knowledge of the area’s wildlife and their habits.”

Faire in the Grove”, Saturday, May 5, 10AM- 6PM, and Sunday, May 6, 10AM- 4PM, McMenamins Grand Lodge, 3505 SW Pacific Ave., Forest Grove, OR. “Step back in time for a day of revels at the Faire In The Grove! Join Pacific University’s History Department, Medieval Re-enactors, Armored Fighters and History Buffs, who invite you to experience the Middle Ages and the Renaissance! Hosted on the vast front lawn of the Grand Lodge, come and be transported back to Fairegrove, a medieval village. Enjoy seeing and learning some of the history behind life in the middle ages and beyond into the Renaissance. Enjoy live heavy armored combat, rapier, dance, music, story telling, merchants, merchants, merchants, juggling, medieval cooking, and textile demos, book binding, leather working, strolling musicians, singers and dancers throughout the day.”  Lots more details including a complete schedule here:

Japanese Children’s Day”, Saturday, May 5, 10:30 AM, Sellwood-Moreland Library; Saturday, May 5, 2PM, Gresham Library; Saturday, May 5,  4PM, Rockwood Library; and Saturday, May 12, 2PM, Holgate Library. “May 5th is "Children's Day" in Japan, a special day that is all about celebrating children! Find out how this Japanese national holiday is observed by making fun paper crafts. Artist Yuki Martin will show you how to create all sorts of fun projects including a mini origami carp streamer and a wearable paper samurai helmet.”

Something Fishy at Your Library”, Saturday, May 5, 2PM, Battle Ground Library, 1207 SE 8th Way, Battle Ground, WA.  “Do you LOVE fish and all things to do with fishing? Or maybe you have always wanted to try nabbing a big one! Well come learn the basics from the Washington Fish and Wildlife Dept. We will be raffling off a fishing rod, donated by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Dept. Afterwards everyone can try their hand at "Gyotaku" - a traditional form of Japanese fish printing.”

Spring Things”, Saturday, May 5, 2:30PM, Northwest Library.  “Get in the mood for spring by folding paper into butterflies, lady bugs, frogs and flowers. Learn the challenging (and non-messy) art of paper folding under the instruction of experienced artist, art therapist and art educator Eileen Holzman.”

Free Comic Book Day”, Saturday, May 5, 2PM, Tualatin Library.  “Enjoy comics? The first Saturday in May every year is Free Comic Book Day. Comic Book Retailers across the nation give away free comics and this year, the library is joining in on the fun! Come into the library to get your free comic! Graphic artist Dylan Meconis will be here to share her art.”

The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night”, Saturday, May 5, 12:30AM, Albina Library.  “’The Fox’ is an old English folk song that has been illustrated into an award-winning book by Peter Spier called ‘The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night’. Join Norman Hamilton as he performs this singable picture book on his banjo and invites the audience to sing along, act out the song verses and dance the roles of the characters during this highly interactive program.”

Founders Day”, Saturday, May 5, 1PM- 4PM, Champoeg State Park.  Free with $5 day use fee per vehicle.  “Oregon State history started on May 2, 1843 at Champoeg with the historic vote to create a government and territory. Celebrate this milestone where it all began at the Pioneer Memorial Pavilion, with speakers, music and refreshments.” Living history events at Champoeg are excellent!  Don’t forget to visit the nearby Smith Garden.

Birding Hike with Friends of the Gorge”, Sunday, May 6, Saturday, May 12, Saturday, May 19, Sunday, May 20, and Sunday, May 27, 8AM-12PM, Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Washougal, WA.  Preregistration required; call Eric Anderson at 360-887-4106. “This is an excellent opportunity to sharpen your birding skills while enjoying Refuge trails.”

Animal Tracking Workshop at Oxbow”, Sunday, May 6, 10AM- 1:30PM, Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Parkway, Gresham, OR.  $11 for one or two adults per family, kids under 18 are free, plus a $5 day use fee per vehicle. Preregistration required; register online “Oxbow Regional Park is a tracker's paradise in spring when beaver, otter, fox, mink, mouse and deer leave their stories in the sand. With practice, beginners can learn to read the ground like a book. Tracker Terry Kem introduces participants to the basics of track identification and interpretation along with the awareness skills needed to watch wildlife at close range. Suitable for adults and families. Bring a snack and meet at the floodplain parking area.”

Honoring Our Rivers Student Anthology Reading”, Sunday, May 6, 4PM, Powell’s, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx.  “Each year, students and teachers throughout the watersheds of Oregon and beyond submit poems, essays, or artwork to be featured in the annual collection Honoring Our Rivers. In celebration of the 12th year of publication, students from across the state will be honored and have the opportunity to present their work alongside professional authors and artists.”

Full Moon Hike”, Sunday, May 6, 8PM- 9:30PM, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Oaks to Wetlands Trail on the Carty Unit, Ridgefield, WA.  Free.  Preregistration required; call Sarah HIll at 360-887-4106 or email “A trail which is unfamiliar by day becomes a whole new experience at night!  Our trail guides will lead you on an adventure in which owls hooting, coyotes howling, bats flying, and rustling in the brush are all wonderful possibilities.”

What’s Blooming on the Refuge?”  Sunday, May 6, 10AM-12PM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, 19255 SW Pacific Hwy., Sherwood, OR.  Preregistration required; call 503-626-5944 x222. “A free flower walk for plant enthusiasts of all ages at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Join refuge volunteer botanist Ginny Maffitt for spring flower walks. Discover what's blooming and how native plants are vital to healthy wildlife habitats. Be prepared to be outside. Bring cameras, plant identification guides if you have them, and nature journals if you like. Binoculars are always handy for those watchable wildlife moments.”

Portland Opera Preview: Candide”, Sunday, May 6, 2PM, Central Library, Collins Gallery.  “Lecture/concert covers historical background, composer information and musical selections.  Leonard Bernstein's Candide ventures out into the big wide world expecting to find truth, beauty and wonder. He finds instead pestilence, plague and pox! Some 40 fast-paced scenes whisk our hero around the globe — and us along with him — in a galloping, humorous and touching trip.”

Virginia Lake, Sauvie Island Bird Walk”, Sunday, May 6, 8AM- 11AM, meeting at the Backyard Bird Shop, 1419 NE Fremont Ave., Pdx. Free. Preregistration required; call 503-445-2699.  “Stroll the Virginia Lake Loop Trail on a free expert-guided walk with naturalist Elaine Murphy. Situated on Sauvie Island near the Multnomah Channel, this marshy riparian habitat offers stellar birding opportunities. Expect to see grassland, upland, and riparian species.”

Audubon Bird Song Walks”, Mondays in May, 7AM, Tryon Creek State Park.  “From beginners to advanced birders, anyone who is fascinated by the sounds of birds should take advantage of these guided walks through the Tryon Creek upland forest and riparian areas. By starting with the earliest trips you can learn the songs of the common resident species and then when the migrants arrive you’ll be able to sort them out during the morning chorus. Walks are led by Audubon volunteer Rick Wagner and meet at the Tryon Creek Nature Center.”

Epigenetics: The Merger of Nature and Nurture”, Monday, May 7, 7PM, Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx.  $5 suggested donation. All Ages. “Can genes learn by experience? Every cell in your body has the same set of genes, but they don’t work in every cell in the same way. For example, your tongue cells don’t grow hair and the cells in your eye don’t digest food. Your cells are programmed to modify genes based on their function in the body, and some of those modifications occur in response to the environment: genes that cause the production of pigment in your skin are activated when your skin is exposed to sunlight, and genes that caused your fingers and toes to develop before you were born are inactivated for the rest of your life. It has been thought that only mutations in the DNA could be passed on to the next generation and that traits acquired during a parent’s life are not passed to their offspring (e.g., weight lifters don’t produce babies with big muscles). However, recent research suggests that some genetic changes that happen over a lifetime are heritable. That is, while it may be true that ‘you are what you eat,’ it may also be true that ‘you are what your mother ate.’ Epigenetics is the study of genetic changes that are based on mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA and it is changing the way scientists look at disease risk and treatment. At this Science Pub, come find out about new discoveries in genetics and how they might affect you or your kids. Lisa Sardinia, PhD, JD, is associate professor of biology at Pacific University and associate director of the Pacific Institute for Ethics and Social Policy.”

The Southern Sky from Namibia”, Monday, May 7, 7PM and 8:15 PM, Mt. Hood Community College Planetarium, 26000 SE Stark St., Gresham, OR. $2. “All shows are presented under a realistic representation of the night sky, featuring the latest galactic, stellar and planetary images.”

IMAX Film Festival”,  May 8-July 1., OMSI. Eight weeks of  28 of the best IMAX films available.  Run times are generally around an hour.  Seeing them on the big screen is really wonderful, and can be a great way to introduce little ones to movie theatres. Why?  All stadium seating, short run times, super engaging topics, and the big, big, big screen.   Learn more here:

Birdsong and Birdbrains”, Tuesday, May 8, 7PM, Audubon Society of Portland, 5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx.  Free. “It’s spring at last! The songbirds are singing! Do you ever wonder why? Or how they learn their songs? Did you know that birds are among the very few animals that are capable of learning to vocalize? Renowned neuroscientist and animal behaviorist Dr. Claudio Mello will talk about the singing behavior of songbirds – which is often very complex – and the way birds’ brains control their song production and learning. His research provides not only fascinating insight into songbird behavior, but also has many implications for understanding the origins and function of brain areas that control speech in the human brain. Dr. Mello will augment his presentation (and illuminate his audience) with audio recordings of birdsong, and photos and video of songbird behavior.”

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster”, Wednesday, May 9, 7PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. “Critically acclaimed nonfiction author Deborah Hopkinson pieces together the story of the Titanic and that fateful April night, drawing on the voices of survivors and archival photographs. Scheduled to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the Titanic, a topic that continues to haunt and thrill readers to this day, this book by critically acclaimed author Deborah Hopkinson weaves together the voices and stories of real Titanic survivors and witnesses to the disaster -- from the stewardess Violet Jessop to Captain Arthur Rostron of the Carpathia, who came to the rescue of the sinking ship. Packed with heartstopping action, devastating drama, fascinating historical details, loads of archival photographs on almost every page, and quotes from primary sources, this gripping story, which follows the Titanic and its passengers from the ship's celebrated launch at Belfast to its cataclysmic icy end, is sure to thrill and move readers.”

Stretch, Dance, Play!”, Wednesday, May 9, 10:30AM, Hollywood Library. Free tickets will be given out at 10AM.  “Jumping, spinning, leaping, soaring – so many ways to move. Join Growing Arts movement educator Iris Nason for an engaging creative dance experience. Children learn body awareness and creative self expression while connecting with their friends and families as they sing, sign, stretch, dance and play!”

Burrowing Owls”, Wednesday, May 9, reception at 6PM, presentation at 6:30PM, Ecotrust Building, Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center, 721 NW 9th Ave., Pdx.  Free. Preregistration required; register online “Burrowing owls are the only North American owl to live underground. It is found in dry, open areas with low vegetation where prairie dogs, ground squirrels, or other underground dwellers often reside. It was once broadly distributed throughout western North America but its numbers have declined steeply over the last thirty years.  Please join us on Wednesday, May 9th, for a presentation on  burrowing owls in NE Oregon.  Nick Myatt, Wildlife Biologist with ODFW, will discuss the owl and its life history, factors influencing the decline of the owl, and research currently underway to better understand the owl's migration using geolocators.  We hope you will join us to learn more about this fascinating animal.”

Henrik Bothe”, Wednesday, May 9, 1PM, Lake Oswego Library.  “He walks on ladders, spins ropes, juggles without using his hands, manipulates fancy hats, rides a super high unicycle, and escapes from straightjackets! Henrik Bothe performs hilarious and clean physical comedy with gentle humor, physical agility, and entertaining appeal for all ages. A native of Denmark, Henrik Bothe began entertaining at the early age of three when he drove the family VW bug into the sea. With fortune on his side, he made a quick escape and was soon mesmerized by plate-spinning acts on The Ed Sullivan Show. Now working almost exclusively in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, Bothe has performed in four languages, 50 states, and 22 countries since 1984. When not performing in the Pacific NW, Henrik has appeared on The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno, at Ceasar’s Palace in Vegas, and even did a guest spot on Garison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion… yes a juggler on a radio show.”

Snip, Snap, Snout:  The Tale Is Out!”, Wednesday, May 9, 4PM, Hillsdale Library, free tickets will be given out at 3:30PM.  “Come hear Portland’s own national award-winning storyteller Christopher Leebrick! Let your imagination soar as he weaves spellbinding tales of adventure, daring deeds, and heroes and heroines. Summer fun for young and old and everyone in between.”

Brick and Little Builders”, Thursday, May 10, 4PM, Beaverton Library. Suggested for ages 3-8; no preregistration required. “Come and play with LEGO and Duplo blocks.” 

National Public Garden Day”, Friday, May 11, 9AM- 7PM, Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Pdx.  Free.  “This annual celebration of the nation’s public gardens takes place the Friday before Mother’s Day every year. In honor of the event, Leach Botanical Garden will be open extended hours. Enjoy this opportunity to stroll in the Garden and take a peek inside the Stone Cabin, which will be open all day. Volunteers will be on hand to share stories about the Garden and its colorful founders, John and Lilla Leach. Garden Curator Courtney Vengarick will offer special guided garden tours at 11 am, 2 pm and 5pm.”

All Creatures Now are Merry Minded”, Friday, May 11, 7:30PM, Walters Cultural Arts Center,  527 E. Main St., Hillsboro, OR.  $15 advance, $17 day of show.   “The Oregon Renaissance Band will be playing ‘All creatures now are merry minded’ consisting of songs about animals by Banchieri, Bartlet, Bennet, Le Jeune, Praetorius, and many others for voices, violin, 6 recorders, 4 sackbutts, cornamusen, krummhorn, harp, spinettino, 4 racketts, tartold, 3 alphorns, percussion, and some new extreme early instruments including zuffolo (or "Picco pipe," the 3-inch-long smallest member of the recorder family) and violone (the contrabass member of the viola da gamba family.)  The 13 person ensemble will perform "Contrapunto bestiale,"  "Den besten Vogel," "Une puce," "Ein seltzam newe abentheür," "A pretty duck there was," and many more.  Musicians: Laura Zaerr, David Bryan, Andy Harris, Daphne Clifton, Lori Fitch, Cindy Markham, Ben Fitch, Kathryn Richer, Hideki Yamaya, Kathy Langley, Sharon Cheney, directed by Phil and Gayle Neuman.” A chance to hear real Renaissance music and instruments!

Night Walk”, Friday, May 11, 7PM- 9:30PM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, 19255 SW Pacific Hwy., Sherwood, OR. Preregistration required, contact Jenna Mendenhall; 503-625-5944 x222.   “One of the best times to experience nature is when the sun goes down. Come learn about the adaptations animals have which allow them to be most active at night and discover the sights and sounds for yourself on a guided walk through one of the few urban refuges in the country. This event is family friendly.”

Ezra Weiss Jazz Ensemble”, Friday, May 11, 7:15PM, Community Music Center,  3350 SE Francis Street, Pdx.  Suggested donation of $5 per person or $15 per family. “Jazz composer/pianist Ezra Weiss will lead his jazz ensemble in an evening of discovering the musical world of progressive jazz standards.  As a leader, Ezra has released five CD's all of which have received national and international acclaim from press and radio.  In addition to playing in well-known jazz clubs around the country and arranging and composing for jazz greats, he has also composed music and lyrics to two children’s musicals with the intention of introducing young people to jazz. His effortless approach has garnered him the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award three times.  He will be joined by Renato Caranto on saxophone, Andre St. James on bass, and Chaz Mortimer on drums.”

Sheep to Shawl Festival”, Saturday, May 12, 10AM-4PM, Willamette Heritage Center ant The Mill, 1313 Mill St. SE, Salem, OR.  Free. Willamette Heritage Center is pleased to announce its 28th Annual Sheep to Shawl Family Fun Festival!  Bring your friends and family to Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill and explore Salem’s rich heritage!  Enjoy live music and storytelling!  Journey through the historic mill building as guides introduces you the sights, sounds, smell, and stories of the 19th century factory. Learn about the complex machinery.  Learn from a blacksmith demonstration. Watch fascinating demonstrations of spinning, weaving, quilting, knitting, rug hiking and lace making by local fiber artists.  Enjoy sheep and sheep-shearing, goats, alpacas, rabbits and other interesting animals!  Enjoy hands-on activities as part of our Family Festival. Check out the Sheep to Shawl coloring contest for children ages 4 through 12 and download an entry form online at contest rules are available online.  Eat at the Mission Mill Café. Purchase area vendor wares like hand-dyed yarns or browse through Danner and Soli and Teaselwick Wools in the warehouse building.”

Planet Parade”, Saturday, May 12,  beginning at sunset (approximately 8:30PM), Rooster Rock State Park and Stub Stewart State Park, $5 parking per vehicle or a State Park pass. “Three of the solar system's visible planets, Venus, Mars, and Saturn, will gather in the evening sky on Saturday, May 12. Join OMSI, Rose City Astronomers, and Vancouver Sidewalk Astronomers at both Rooster Rock State Park and L.L. "Stub" Stewart State Park starting at 8:30 p.m. From beginners to experts of all ages, here's your opportunity to view the stars and other celestial objects up close and personal through telescopes. As the sky darkens, will view the deep sky objects including the Beehive star cluster, Hercules cluster and more!  Sometimes we can even view the International Space Station passing overhead. There is no formal registration for the event itself, just show up and enjoy the evening. You don’t even need a telescope to participate; other members are enthusiastic to share their views. This is a good opportunity for beginners to get acquainted. Come and observe your favorite objects and spend a wonderful evening with friends, and friends you haven’t met yet.” If you are planning to go, be sure to call 503-797-4610 #2 after 3PM on the day of the Star Party to make sure they’ve determined that the skies are clear enough for this event to happen.  Lots more info here:

Brick and Little Builders”, Saturday, May 12, 10:30AM, Beaverton City Library.  Suggested for ages 3 to 11. “ Brick Builders and Little Builders is a combined drop-in program for little kids and big kids. We encourage grown-ups to join their kids as they create with LEGO and Duplo blocks.”

Quizissippi Jr.- for kids!”, Saturday, May 12, sign up starts at 12:45, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. “Why should grown-ups have all the fun? Portland’s only kid-friendly trivia event invites your whole family to “the best trivia on Saturday afternoons on Mississippi Avenue.” Questions for both adults and kids, multimedia clips, physical challenges, and plenty of great music mean a fun challenge and a good time for all. Teams of up to five players play FREE for fun prizes.” 

Cowboy Dennis Nelson”, Saturday, May 12, 2PM, Wilsonville Library.  Here some of his songs here:

Festival of the Birds”, Saturday, May 12, 9AM-3PM, Sellwood Park at SE 7th St. and SE Miller St., Pdx.  Free.  “The birds are coming, the birds are coming! Celebrate the return of migratory birds to Oregon with a day of avian-themed activities at Sellwood Park.   Free guided Bird Walks from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM. Enjoy bird walks led by local naturalists. You will be amazed by the large variety of migratory birds that use Oaks Bottom and other Portland natural areas during their migratory route. Early bird walk begins at 7:30 AM. Register for it at with Class #369676 or call 503-823-2525. Children's Activities. Kids will love the bird-related, hands-on activities for children ages 3-11.
Storytelling and live music by local storytellers and musicians. Listen to songs and stories about migratory birds in the Portland area. Education Birds from Audubon Society of Portland's Wildlife Care Center. Meet Finnegan the Peregrine Falcon, Julio the Great Horned Owl, Hazel the Northern Spotted Owl, Jack the American Kestrel, Ruby the Turkey Vulture, and Aristophanes the Common Raven. Interactive Displays. Visit with local partners of the Migratory Bird Treaty Program and find out what is happening locally to protect and enhance our bird populations. Our partners for this event are the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Metro Sustainability Center, SOLV, Friends of Portland Community Gardens, Johnson Creek Watershed Council, Leach Botanical Garden, East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, Forest Park Conservancy, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and Sunnyside Environmental School.”

Handcraft Demonstration –Bobbin Lace”, Saturday, May 12, 12PM- 4PM, McLoughlin House, 713 Center St., Oregon City, OR. Free.  “Join us and learn this delicate, lovely lace technique!”

The TC Indi 500”, Saturday, May 12, 2PM, Three Creeks Library, 800-C NE Tenney Rd., Vancouver, WA.  “On Your Mark! Get Set! Go! Build your own racetrack using our cardboard and your creativity and ingenuity. Then race your friends to see who crosses the finish line first! Cars provided.”

Mother’s Day Birding and Wildflower Festival”, Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, 10AM- 4PM, Silver Falls State Park, South Falls Lodge.  Free with $5 day use fee per vehicle.  Many events require preregistration.  See complete schedule and details here:  “Learn about the native plants and wildflowers that fill Silver Falls’ forest and a bout the birds who make Silver Falls their year-round and seasonal home.  Participate in hands-on activities, birding and plant walks, family hikes, and informative presentations. View plant displays and purchase your own native plants during our plant sales.  Visit the Salem Audubon Society.”

Meteorite Day”, Saturday, May 12, 10AM-5PM, Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals, 26385 NW Groveland Dr., Hillsboro, OR. Admission $7 for adults, $6 seniors, $5 students 5-17, and free for kids 4 and under.  All mothers are admitted free for this special event. “Come join meteorite expert, Dick Pugh for his 2nd annual Meteorite presentation.  Bring the family for a special day of fun scavenger hunts, kids activities and presentations by our curator, Lara O'Dwyer-Brown.”

Fourth Annual  Champoeg Quilt Show”, Saturday, May 12- Sunday, May 13, 10AM- 4PM, Champoeg State Park, free with $5 day use fee per vehicle.  “Quilting Through The Ages, featuring over 50 beautiful quilts, plus a raffle quilt! Quilt demonstrations by costumed volunteers.”

Lone Fir Cemetery Guided Walking Tour”, Saturday, May 12, 10AM-12PM, entrance at SE 26th Street between Stark and Morrison Sts, Pdx. $10 suggested donation. “Come for an informal history lesson while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery in SE Portland. Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery conducts monthly tours, highlighting Portland’s founders, pioneers, its famous and infamous alike, as well as interesting headstones and monuments. Come visit this hidden jewel! Explore 30 acres of mature trees, a very special rose garden and fascinating architecture in this unique place, the only cemetery in Portland listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Suitable for all ages. No advance registration required. Meet in the center of the cemetery, at the soldiers’ monument.” Lone Fir was the first public cemetery in Portland, and a tour is a must for anyone learning about local history.

Altered Book Art”, Saturday, May 12, 2:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library.  Suggested for grades K- 6.  “Try out the fun activity of turning used book pages into unique art using a variety of craft materials. Materials will be provided.”

Adventures with Bugs”, Saturday, May 12, 2PM, Albina Library.  “You will not be afraid of bugs after learning about all the amazing things they can do! Join the Bug Chicks, two female entomologists (bug scientists), in exploring the world of insects, spiders and their relatives. You can even hold, pet and look at all sorts of crazy creatures including tarantulas, cockroaches, scorpions and more!”  Highly recommended!

It’s A Blast! Volcano Science in Your Own Back Yard”,  Saturday, May 12, 10AM- 5PM, Johnston Ridge Observatory, Mt. St. Helens National Monument, WA.  $8. “Kids activities, food, guided hikes, ranger talks, and more! More details soon to come.”  (Last year, the admission charge was only for those ages 16 and up, and tickets were sold in advance. Hopefully they will clarify this soon.)

Happy Mother’s Day!  Sunday, May 13.

Cathlapotle Plankhouse: Native American Women of the Columbia River Area”, Sunday, May 13, 2PM, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Ridgefield, WA.  “Join us on Mother's Day as we welcome fiber artist and scholar Pat Courtney Gold who will be presenting Native American Women of the Columbia River Area at 2pm.  She will explore the role of Native American women along the Columbia River and the ways in which they greatly contributed to their communities.  She will also share stories about notable Native women, both historically and contemporary. The presentation begins at 2pm, guided tours and children's activities available from 12-4pm.”

Mother’s Day Birds and Blooms At Canemah Bluff”, Sunday, May 13, 1PM- 3PM, Canemah Bluff Natural Area, Oregon City, suggested for ages 6 and older. $6.  Preregistration required, register online Meeting location provided with registration. “Stroll through Canemah Bluff Natural Area with Metro naturalist Dan Daly to see and learn about common wildflowers. Enjoy the serenade of nesting song birds and views of the Willamette River and historic Canemah Cemetery. Bring binoculars or borrow a pair on site. The walk covers two miles over uneven trails, mostly flat with some inclines.”   Anything with Dan Daily is highly recommended!

Much Adoe About Nothing”,  Sunday, May 13, 1PM, Fernhill Park, NE 37th Ave. and Ainsworth St., Pdx.  Free. “On May 13th Original Practice Shakespeare Fest, in conjunction with Sunday Parkways, will offer a special pre-season performance of Much Adoe About Nothing at Fernhill Park.  This performance will kick off our five show series with Sunday Parkways; one show a month for five months in five different Portland communities. Sunday Parkways is a monthly event held by the Portland Bureau of Transportation that offers Portlanders a chance to take to the streets and support local businesses and arts organizations while turning off their cars for an afternoon. OPS Fest seized the opportunity to perform at these events two years ago and has continued the relationship ever since. We would love to see you there, so grab your favorite set of un-motorized wheels and roll on over to Fernhill Park at 1:00pm on Sunday May 13!”

Postitively Fun”, Sunday, May 13, 1:30PM, Tigard Library Puett Room. Suggested for ages 5 and up.  “Come explore the world of positive and negative poles with magnet play, toys and games.  Create your own magnet to take home.”

Portland Origami Paper Shapers”, Sunday, May 13, 1:30PM, Belmont Library. “Enjoy origami-paper folding for fun, relaxation and stretching your brain. Learn a new origami project each month with various local origami instructors.” 

Wild Foods of Jessup Bluff”, Sunday, May 13, 1-4PM, Jessup Bluff, near 3105 N. Willamette Blvd., Pdx .  Sliding scale price of $25-40,  children 0-6 are free, ages 7-17 pay their age, $3 discounts each for adult family members attending together, Native Americans, Scout Leaders, full time college students, and the involuntarily unemployed.  Preregistration required; register online and read lots more details:  Lead by wild foods expert  and local treasure Dr. John Kallas. “On Mother's Day 2012, we'll explore edible and poisonous plants in one of Portland’s most diverse and unique landscapes. See and sample from plants you pass by everyday and others you'll find regularly. Most of these plants can be found in your own neighborhoods, fields, and local woodlands. Learn identification, use, and processing of fennel, chicory, black mustard, knotweed, wild sweet pea, bull thistle and many others.”

Chinook Winds Woodwind Trio”, Monday, May 14, 12PM, Portland Center for the Performing Arts,  Antionette Hatfield Hall Rotunda Lobby, 1111 SW Broadway, Pdx.  “Chinook Winds Woodwind Trio returns to Noontime Showcase to perform its jewel-like transcriptions of classical works, both perennial favorites and those less known.  These Northwest-trained artists will delight you with their enthusiastic and finely crafted interpretations of their eclectic repertory.  The trio performs on flute, clarinet and bassoon.”

Author Talk:  Charles Finn”, Monday, May 14, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx.  “In ‘Wild Delicate Seconds’, Charles Finn captures twenty-nine chance encounters with the everyday—and not so everyday—animals, birds, and insects of North America. There are no maulings or fantastic escapes in Finn's narratives—only stillness and attentiveness to beauty. With profundity, humor,  and compassion, Finn pays homage to the creatures we share our  world with —from black bears to bumble bees, mountain lions to muskrats—and, in doing so, touches on what it means to be human.”  Mr. Finn will be joined by eminent poets Kim Stafford and Paulann Petersen.
Sing and Tell with Jeni Foster”, Tuesday, May 15, 7PM, Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E. Main St., Hillsboro, OR. Free. “WCAC favorite Jeni Foster returns with a program of dynamic folksongs that describe the events that mark our lives. From Greek myth to the Mann Gulch fire, from Kipling to Julian of Norwich, Foster will bring history and literature alive with enthusiasm, conviction, and wit. This is a night of education and entertainment you won't want to miss!”
Oregon’s Summer Resident Gray Whales:  Unleashing a Well-Kept Secret”, Tuesday, May 15, 7PM, Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., Pdx. Minors welcome with adults. “Few people realize that there is a pod of about 70 gray whales that spends the summer off the Pacific Northwest coast. These whales spend the winter around Baja but have figured out that they don’t have to migrate all the way to Alaska for the summertime; instead, they stay and feed in the waters off Oregon. At this Science Pub, find out about the individual whales that consistently come back each summer, their personalities, what they eat, and the research being done to record and preserve them. Carrie Newell is a professor of marine biology at Lane Community College and is a gray whale researcher and expert that hosts whale watching tours off Depoe Bay. The Cousteau team produced a film that aired on PBS in July 2006 about her discoveries on how the Pacific Northwest pod feeds. She is the author of 'A Guide to Summer Resident Gray Whales along the Oregon Coast'  that includes pictures of the whales, how to ID them, and describes their unique personalities.”
Renegade Stringband”, Tuesday, May 15, 7PM, Tigard Library, Community Room.  “This Northwest bluegrass band turns hard times into good times!  Combining Banjo, mandolin, bass, guitar and three-part vocal harmonies, they'll lead the audience in a toe-tappin',hootin'hollerin' call-and-response sing-along.”

Author Talk: Cheryl Strayed”, Tuesday, May 15, 7PM, Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, Pdx. “’Wild’ is a powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again. At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she'd lost everything when her mother died young of cancer. Her family scattered in their grief, her marriage was soon destroyed, and slowly her life spun out of control. Four years after her mother's death, with nothing more to lose, Strayed made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker--indeed, she'd never gone backpacking before her first night on the trail. Her trek was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone. Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and intense loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.”

Geology Rocks”, Tuesday, May 15, 3:30PM, Goldendale Library, 131 W. Burgen St., Goldendale, WA.  “Geology Rocks! Come explore the world of rocks. Learn how to identify and find rocks from our area in this after school program.”

Thailand, Land of a Thousand Smiles”, Tuesday, May 15, 6:30PM, Battle Ground Library, 1207 SE 8th Way, Battle Ground, WA. “’Thailand is often referred to as a golden land, not because there is precious metal buried underground but because the country gives off a certain lustre, be it the fertile rice fields of the central plains, white sandy beaches, or the warm hospitality of its citizenry’. -Lonely Planet. Kanoklada Koomgun, who goes by Mai, is a 16 year old Rotary Exchange student at Ridgefield High School. Mai will acquaint the audience with her country and her life as a teenager in the ‘Land of a Thousand Smiles’. A Battle Ground Library Monthly Travelogue.”

Syttende Mai Celebration”, Thursday, May 17, doors open at 4PM, parade starts at 7PM, Norse Hall, 111 NE 11th St., Pdx.  Free admission. “Norway’s most important national holiday – May 17 (Constitution Day) - is celebrated here in Portland in a community-wide event which has been sponsored by Grieg Lodge Sons of Norway for generations at 
Portland’s Historic Norse Hall on May 17. Socialize in the Oslo Lounge. Enjoy authentic Norwegian food. Music and dance performances. Flags and Nordic treasures on sale. Enter to win great prizes. Join our Grand Flag Parade- rain or shine- featuring traditional costumes, Norwegian fjord horses, vintage cars, Benson High School Marching Band.”  Lots more info here:

Oregon Trail Pitchpipers”, Thursday, May 17, 7PM, Oregon City Library. “The Oregon Trail Pitchpipers have been Canby's barbershop chorus for 47 years. You can enjoy their harmonies as both the chorus and two quartets perform at the Library!”

Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods”, Thursday, May 17, 7PM, Hotel Oregon, 310 NE Evans St., McMinnville, OR.  All ages.  Suggested donation $5. “One of the greatest sets of geological events to ever have occurred in North America was the Missoula Floods. Occurring as many as 40 times during the last ice age, the floods were caused by waters released from ancient Lake Missoula that scoured the Columbia River basin, carved out the Columbia River Gorge, and swept across at least 16,000 square miles of the Pacific Northwest. This Science Pub will focus on the incredible story of discovery and development of the idea of the floods by J Harlen Bretz and will discuss the effect of the floods on the landscape of the Willamette Valley and the area around us. Scott Burns, PhD, is a professor of geology and past chair of the Department of Geology at Portland State University where he has been for nearly 20 years. Scott specializes in environmental and engineering geology, geomorphology, soils, and Quaternary geology.”

Author Talk- Mark Sundeen”, Thursday, May 17, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx.  “In the autumn of 2000, Daniel Suelo deposited his life savings—all thirty dollars of it – in a phone booth. He has lived without money ever since. And he has never felt so free, or so much at peace. ‘My wealth never leaves me,” he says. ‘Worrying about what could or should happen is a worse illness than what could or should happen.’ In The Man Who Quit Money, author Mark Sundeen tells the amazing story of how one man learned to live, sanely and happily, without earning, receiving, or spending a single cent. Suelo doesn’t pay taxes, or accept food stamps or welfare. He lives in caves in the Utah canyonlands, forages wild foods and gourmet discards, and accepts what is freely given him. He no longer even carries an I.D. Yet he manages to fulfill amply not only the basic human needs – for shelter, food, and warmth – but, to an enviable degree, the universal desires for companionship, purpose, and spiritual engagement. Sundeen retraces the surprising path and guiding philosophy that led Suelo, step by step, from an idealistic childhood through youthful disillusionment to his radical reinvention of ‘the good life.’ The Man Who Quit Money makes us question the decisions we all make — by default or by design — about how we live. And it inspires us to imagine how we might live better.”

Pioneer Family Festival”, Friday, May 18, 2PM- 10PM, Saturday, May 19, 11AM- 10PM; and Sunday, May 20, 11AM- 7PM,  Clackamette Park, 955 Clackamette Dr., Oregon City.  They will have a live demonstration of graffiti mural creation and a living history area.  Lots more info here:

Mystery Party”, Friday, May 18, 4PM, Beaverton Library.  Suggested for grades 2-5.  Preregistration required; call 503-350-3600.  “Learn how to become detectives! Practice your detective skills by solving the case of a missing literary character.”

Author Talk:  Louis Leveen”, Friday, May 18, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 1005 W Burnside, Pdx. “To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Louis Leveen discusses the inspirational true story behind her forthcoming novel ‘The Secrets of Mary Bowser,’ about the African American woman who became a Union spy by posing as a slave in the Confederate White House.”

Tualatin River Bird Festival”, Friday, May 18- Sunday, May 20.  This is a huge festival with an amazing array of events, most of which are free, many of which require preregistration.  Too many to list here!  DON’T WAIT! Check it out:

Civil War- Cheadle Lake Battle Reenactment”, Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, May 20, gates open at 9AM, Cheadle Lake, Lebanon,  OR.  $8 Adults, $5 seniors and students with ID, free for kids under 6.  Rain or shine.  From Lebanon, head east on Hwy 20, watch for signs.  “Infantry, Calvalry, Artillery, Civilian life of the 1860s. We anticipate over 400 reenactors presenting life within the Civil War in 1863. Along with specific scheduled demonstrations throughout the day there are people presenting their activities and struggles during the war.  Camps and clothing are all period throughout the weekend. You can see how we cooked, cleaned, took care of equipment and horses and much more. Bleachers are available but you can bring your lawn chairs. Concessions are also available throughout the day.”

Holi Aai Re 2012”, Saturday, May 19, 11AM- 2PM, Washington County Fairgrounds, Hillsboro, OR.  Advance Tickets required; $15 for adults before May 12 ($17 after), $10 for ages 2-12, and free for 2 and under.  “Play Holi with colors! Participate in funfilled games! Dance to vibrant music! Delicious food included.  And, be ready for lots and lots of entertainment and fun!”  This is the Indian festival of colors, so wear old clothes and be prepared to throw colored pigment at everyone!  It’s a blast!

Prineville Reservoir Star Party”, (far flung but I’m including it anyway because it’s cool!) Saturday, May 19, 1PM- 11PM, Prineville Reservoir State Park, Prineville, OR. Free.   “Gather under the stars at one of Oregon’s darkest night sky. Daytime exhibits, solar viewing, presentations and  prizes. Fun kids activities include meet Oregon State Park’s mascot JR Beaver, build your own rocket, learn how a comet is made, come to our Mars Party and more! Evening stargazing. For all ages. Equipment provided.  Free day-use parking.”

UFO Fest”, Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19, McMenamins Hotel Oregon,  310 NE Evans St., McMinnville, OR.  Events range from lectures by world authorities to campy movies and costume parades.  A must for the UFO buff!

Children’s Nature Fair”, Saturday, May 19, 10AM- 2PM, Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Pdx, free.  “This year's theme - AMAZING BUGS! Join Leach Garden volunteers and local organizations Portland Parks EE, Audubon, Zenger Farm, and Johnson Creek Watershed Council for a variety of children's insect arts and crafts, Storyteller Anne Penfound, the Bug Chicks, slug races, music, Ladybug walks, worm activities, and other bug related adventures!”

Dozer Days”, Saturday, May 19, and Sunday May 20, 11AM- 4PM, Cemex/Fisher Quarry, west side of 192nd and Brady Rd. intersection, Vancouver, WA.  $7 for adults, $5 for kids 2-12, free for under 2.  Advance tickets recommended.   “Dozer Day is like going to a fair only our rides are real heavy construction equipment.  Kids hop in the driver's seat and actually drive big yellow dozers, dump trucks and other heavy equipment with a professional operator at their side. Not only is it a dream come true for kids (and fun for the whole family), the event also benefits many local, children's charities.”

Liberty and Union: Presidential Campaign Songs of the 1860 and 1864 Elections”, Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 1:00pm, Central Library, US Bank Room.  “Music was a main component of the campaigns for presidential candidates in the 1860s. ‘Illinois’ Doug Tracy’s performance gives the audience insight into the candidates' positions and how divided Americans were at the time of the Civil War and the election of Abraham Lincoln. Discover how music helped to shape one of the most crucial presidential elections in our nation's history.”

Spring Adventures in Origami”, Saturday, May 19, 11AM, St. Johns Library.  Preregistration required; call 503-988-5397.  “Create unique origami decorations for the spring. Learn how to make origami flowers, butterflies and other warm weather-themed characters. Come transform an ordinary piece of paper into a three-dimensional form!”

Jass Two Plus One”, Saturday, May 19, 2:30PM, Canby Library.   “Jass Two Plus One brings you the romance and adventure of 1920’s and 1930’s Jazz.  It was a vibrant, robust, naughty new music people first called “Jass” and later “Jazz”.

Grande Ronde Dance Demonstration and Presentation”, Saturday, May 19,  Willamette Heritage Center, 1313 Mill St. SE, Salem, OR. 1PM,  $5 adults, $2 students.

Pachyderm Portmanteau Party!”, Sunday, May 20, 1PM, Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta St., Pdx; and Saturday, May 26, 2PM, Tigard Library, Community Room.  “Join artist Hilary Pfiefer, owner of the whimsical online art shop "Bunny with a Toolbelt," for elephant-sized fun!  Pachyderms are elephants, portmanteaus are words made by joining two or more words together.  Combine the pachyderms and the portmanteaus and it's a party to celebrate her "Elephabet" book.  It's a new perspective on the 26 letters we know and love as interpreted by colorful elephant art.  you have to see it to believe it, then create one of your own.”

Ethnobotany Club”, Sunday, May 20, meeting at 9AM with carpools leaving from Cascadia Wild, 1912  NE Killingsworth St., Pdx.  Free. “Salmonberries and more greens such as violets, daisies, and oxalis. Maybe even some elderberry flowers or wild ginger. And of course fresh fir-needle tea. Exact spot TBA.“ The idea is to gather wild foods together and then prepare them.

Kids in Nature- Singing Birds”, Sunday, May 20, 10AM- 11:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park.  $10, preregistration required, register online:   Suggested for ages 3-7. “Join us for an adventure in learning the language of birds.  We’ll spend plenty of time on the trails as we learn the songs and calls of some of the birds that call Tryon home.  Back inside we’ll share some bird stories and have a bird song challenge.”

Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate”, Sunday, May 20, 1PM, Central Library, US Bank Room; and Thursday, May 31, 7PM, Wilsonville Library.  “In this beautiful, educational and fun slide presentation, Dr. Kallas shows how to identify, harvest and prepare nutritious, delicious, and abundant edible wild plants found within walking distance of your kitchen. He also shows you features that make for effective learning in any wild food book. Learn some of the most common edible wild plants within walking distance of your kitchen and how easy it is to find, identify and enjoy them as normal foods in everyday meals. See and understand general features that you should look for in edible plant books and other educational resources. Bring your friends to wow them about the potential of wild foods. The presenter and author, John Kallas, will sell and sign his book ‘Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt to Plate’ at the end of this presentation.” Flier for Central Library: Flier for Wilsonville:

Bird ID and Bird Walk”, Monday, May 21, 3:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library.  Suggested for grades 1-3.  Preregistration required; register online. “Birds are returning to Oregon from places far away where they spent the winter. Let's learn how to identify some of the most common species in our area and then go outside to look for birds around the library. Wear warm clothes and comfortable walking shoes for our adventure.” Presented by Jackson Bottom Wetlands.

Cat Daddy”, Monday, May 21, 7PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton.  Jackson Galaxy, star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell”, reads from his new book, “Cat Daddy”.  “’Cat Daddy’ tells the story of the original cat from hell, Jackson’s very own Benny.  Galaxy tells the poignant story of his 13-year relationship with a petite cat named Benny and gives singular advice for living with, caring for, and loving the feline in your home. An inspiring account of two broken beings who fixed each other, Cat Daddy is filled with Galaxy's amazing advice for understanding what cats need most from us in order to live happier lives.”

Morning Bird Song Walk”, Tuesday, May 22, 7AM, Leach Botanical Garden, 6550 SE 122nd Ave, Pdx.  Free.  Preregistration required; call 971-222-6139 or email Bich Trinh “Meet Audubon Society leader Ron Escano at 7am in Leach Botanical Garden Administrative Annex parking lot located 6550 SE 122nd Ave (NOT at the Garden Manor House).  To get to the Administrative Annex go south on SE 122nd from Foster Rd. for about a block and turn left into the driveway of the white administrative building (looks like a house) just before 122nd veers to the right and down the hill. Be prepared for the weather, it can be surprisingly cool in the morning shade.  Restrooms are limited to the port-a-potty in the upper garden.  Steady rain cancels the event.  You can depart from the group as needed but please be aware that Leach Botanical Garden is not open to visitors until 9am.  Bring binoculars and field guide if you have them.”

Family Book Group”, Tuesday, May 22, 3PM, Northwest Library.  “Boys and girls in grades K-3 and their parents come together to share excellent books and learn about each other.”

Art Right Off the Page”, Wednesday, May 23, 4PM, Beaverton City Library Meeting Room A. Registration required- call 503-350-3600. Suggested for grades 3-5 with adult accompaniment. They read a popular children's picture book, briefly discuss one of the illustrator's techniques, then the kids have a chance to draw and share their own stories. 

Evening Canoe the Slough”, Wednesday, May 23, 6PM and 7PM, Whitaker Ponds Natural Area, 7040 NE 47th Ave., Pdx.  $5 per person donation requested.  Preregistration required; register online:  “Bring the whole family for a safe and fun canoe trip on the slow-moving Columbia Slough! Using equipment from NW Discoveries in their "bimaran" configuration, this trip is safe for infants and grandparents alike. We'll provide the canoe, lifejacket, paddle, and a canoe captain to steer - you provide the paddling muscle. Enjoy the water, plants, and wildlife from the best seat possible!”

Tutankhamun:  The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs”, Thursday, May 24 through January 6, 2013, Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA.  This isn’t nearby and isn’t low cost.  It is, however, possibly a once in a lifetime chance to see these beautiful objects from ancient Egypt in the Pacific Northwest.  As far as I know, the closest place to see Egyptian art is at the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose, so this would be an amazing opportunity to see anything Egyptian, let alone an exhibit of this quality! “Step into one of history's most treasured stories in Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs, opening at Pacific Science Center on May 24, 2012. The exhibition features more than 100 objects from King Tut's tomb and ancient sites representing some of the most important rulers throughout 2,000 years of ancient Egyptian history. With more than twice the number of artifacts than the original Tut exhibit that toured in the 1970s, many of these objects have never toured in the United States before this exhibit. Come face-to-face with the largest image of King Tut ever unearthed - a 10-foot statue of the pharaoh found at the remains of the funerary temple of two of his high officials. See authentic objects from King Tut's tomb including jewelry, furniture and ceremonial items, as well as the boy king's golden sandals - created specifically for the afterlife and covering his feet when his mummified remains were discovered in 1922 by British explorer Howard Carter.”

The Itty Bitty Great Big Book of Riddles!”, Thursday, May 24, 3:30PM, Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta St., Pdx.  $10.  Preregistration required; call 503-854-2354. “What gets wetter as it dries?  Do you enjoy riddles and lateral thinking problems?  We'll share our favorites, then make riddle books that lead the reader through riddle after riddle to the center of a blossoming book structure!"

Make Your Own Book Box”, Friday, May 25, 11AM and 2PM, Beaverton Library.  Preregistration required; call 503-350-3600.  Suggested for ages 4-11. “Decorate a special box for the fun books you'll read this summer!” 

Lego Robots”, Wednesday, May 23, 3:30PM, Woodland Community Center, 772 Park St., Woodland, WA.  Free. “Kids 5 to 11, come and make robots with legos. There will be crafts, snacks, games, and maybe even a few real robots will be there. Teens 12 - 19 can come and be our "Senior Robot Engineers". Ask in the library or call to find out how.”

Lego Robots”, Thursday, May 24, 6:30PM, La Center Library, 1411 NE Lockwood Creek Rd., La Center, WA.  “Kids! Design and build robots with Legos and show off your creations to your friends.”

Library Lego Lovers”, Thursday, May 24, 6PM, Battle Ground Library, 1207 SE 8th Way, Battle Ground, WA. “Join us each month for a new Lego challenge.”

Spin In at the Mill”, Saturday, May 26, 1PM- 4PM, 43907 NE Grist Mill Rd., Woodland, WA. Free, donations accepted. “Because wool production has been so important to Washington, we'd like you to see where it all starts. One person and one spinning wheel can turn sheep's wool into yarn. Even before our Mill was built in 1876, water powered mills were used to wash, card, spin and weave fabric. Our Mill Spinners will show you what wool is like and why no other fiber is quite the same. We'll even let you try your hand at this ancient craft.”  Of course you also get to see a covered bridge and a working grist mill, and samples are offered of flour and cornmeal (paid for with donations from visitors).

Alien Invasion!”, Saturday, May 26, 10:30AM, Sellwood-Moreland Library, Meeting room.  Free tickets will be available at 10AM.  “An evil genius is out to destroy all of the planets in the Milky Way galaxy, including Earth! But with your help, we can save our galaxy from complete obliteration. In this multi-media show of stories and songs, storyteller Rick Huddle will take you on an adventure that will make you laugh, sing and work together to save our planet.”

Wapato Bird Walk”, Saturday, May 26, 8AM- 11AM, Wapato Greenway, Sauvie Island Road, Pdx.  Preregistration required; register online here:  “Join us for a ranger-led bird walk at Wapato State Greenway, part of the 12,000 acre Sauvie Island Important Bird Area (IBA). This easy 2.25 mile loop traverses mixed forest and open oak savannah around Virginia Lakes just east of the Multnomah Channel. With this local habitat diversity it is not surprising that nearly half of the bird species found in Oregon have been recorded on Sauvie Island.  We will meet at the main Wapato Greenway parking lot off of Sauvie Island Road at 8am. Bring binoculars or borrow some of ours. While we welcome all ages, the walk is geared toward adults. All birding levels are welcome. Dress for the weather; we will head out rain or shine.”

Jenkins Estate Bird Walk”, Saturday, May 26, 8AM-11AM, meeting at the Backyard Bird Shop, 11429 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.,  Beaverton.  Free. Preregistration required; call 503-626-0949.  “Join this free expert-guided bird walk amongst the historic gardens and stone pathways of the Jenkins Estate in Beaverton. Song birds and other forest species await your discovery at this picturesque estate. First settled in 1845, this 68-acre wooded estate on slopes of Cooper Mountain is now on the National Registry of Historic Places. Its English gardens and their unique species of trees and shrubs provide a tranquil setting for birds and birdwatcher alike. Join naturalist Elaine Murphy as she reveals the wildlife secrets this garden holds.”

Multnomah County Fair”, Saturday, May 26, Sunday, May 27, and Monday, May 28, 12PM- 7PM, Oaks Amusement Park,  Free Parking and Admission.  Hey, the All-Alaskan Racing Pigs will be there!

Lego Construction Zone”, Sunday, May 27, 1:30PM, Tigard Library Puett Room. Suggested for ages 5 and up. “Drop in to work on your creations with other LEGO fans. We'll supply the building blocks; you bring your creativity.” 

Memorial Day is May 28!   Memorial Day was first called “Decoration Day”, and the first veterans honored were the ones who gave their lives on both sides of the Civil War.  Now it honors all who have given their lives in military service to the United States throughout our history.  The Oregon Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs will have an updated list of Memorial Day observances throughout Oregon on their website by May 1:  Fort Vancouver National Historic Site will have a special soldier’s bivouac living history demonstration and an 1860’s cannon salute to veterans.

Crazy Camp Songs”, Wednesday, May 30, 10:30AM, Hollywood Library. Free tickets available at 10AM.  “This lively sing-along includes traditional and original songs that are perfect for the summer! Learn classics including ‘Polly Wolly Doodle,’ ‘A Bear in Tennis Shoes’ and ‘Slimy Mud.’ Performer Greta Pedersen plays the mountain dulcimer and the guitar while teaching you new sounds that are perfect for singing around the camp fire, in the car, or even (quietly) at the library!”

Morning Bird Walk at Nadaka Nature Park”, Thursday, May 31, 7:30AM, meeting at the north entrance to Nadaka Nature Park located along NE Pacific Street between NE 175th and 176th in Gresham. Free. “Join Jim Labbe with the Audubon Society of Portland and Lee Dayfield with Wilkes East Neighborhood Association for a morning stroll through Nakada Nature Park in West Gresham. We’ll explore the natural and human history of this unique neighborhood nature park and learn about efforts afoot to expand the park, improve access and environmental interpretation, and enhance its wildlife habitat. We’ll also begin the documenting of bird species inhabiting the park and discuss the value of urban natural areas to avian biodiversity.”