Wednesday Roundup: Caterpillars, Videos, iPad Apps and More

Gardening Tips at the Smithsonian Butterfly Habitat Garden

Time for Butterflies: As the first chill of fall sweeps the National Mall, folks at the Smithsonian Gardens are thinking about how best to take advantage of the seasonal change. As it turns out, fall is a great time to plan for those butterflies that everyone wants fluttering around in their gardens come springtime. In a new video, Smithsonian Gardens horticulturist Jonathan Kavelier shares a few tips for how to fill your garden with enough host plants for caterpillars to live on and nectar plants with plenty of sweetness for the butterflies to drink.

Rain or Shine? The Smithsonian encompasses a multitude of smaller projects that one might not hear about just by visiting the museums on the National Mall. The Smithsonian Weather Records Project is one of these—the Biodiversity Heritage Library features weather records from as far back as 1862. Want to know what the weather was like the year your grandparents were born? Or whether the temperature in a particular region has increased over the course of the past 150 years? The Weather Records Project will have all the answers.

A World of Turned Wood: In conjunction with their current exhibit, "A Revolution in Wood: The Collection of Fleur and Charles Bressler," the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery have released a video interview with turned wood collector Fleur Bressler, who has amassed an unparalleled collection of wood art over the past several decades. Fleur, who is a docent at the Renwick, appeared in our recent post about the opening of the exhibit. She shares how she first got involved in collecting turned wood and shows off a few of her favorite pieces. The video also features some action shots of a few artists, whom Fleur has become close with over the years.

With the Void Comes the iPad: If the Yves Klein retrospective came and left the Hirshhorn too fast, fear not—the Smithsonian has created their first iPad application, which allows anyone owning one of Apple's nifty new toys to peruse the exhibit virtually. Anthropometries, Cosmogenies, fire paintings and blue monochromes abound (if none of these ring a bell, there are explanations to go with). High resolution images of the works on view, audio of the artist discussing his work and video clips give the sense of being right there in the exhibit halls.

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