Somehow, I forgot to offer a “What Is It!” post for March. To make up for that oversight, April will be “What Is It!” month. Here’s one to get us started. A reader submitted this image from her yard in late March. Email your identification and any comments to Irubinacci@amesfreelibrary.org and check back next week for the answer.
Our first week of spring brought mild temperatures, bird and frog songs, and some early blossoms. At this time of year, watch for tree and shrub flowers like those of the pussy willow. This might require adjusting your perspective because some of these flowers are quite small or located on upper branches. They may not resemble our mental image of “flowers.” But, you can be sure that nectaring insects are paying attention! To learn more about this phenomenon, catch “Ea
When the library reopened after the Covid shutdown, a small table was added to an alcove adjoining the staff lunchroom, presumably to encourage social distancing. The six-foot separations ended some time ago, but the miniature table remains . . .
Easton Community Access Television, in partnership with The Ames Free Library and The Easton Shovel Town Cultural District, presents ROCK THAT CROWN; a children's book that celebrates the CROWN Act and encourages everyone to live their authentic self! The CROWN Act stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair” and advocates for people being allowed to live with dignity and justice.
Snow is forecast for tonight. As with other recent storms, temperatures will be mild and the flakes will mix with rain. If we get lucky, by Sunday morning some of the snow will survive long enough to preserve animal tracks from the previous night. Not too dry, not too warm, not too deep . . . if things are just right, the neighborhood will reveal activities that are normally invisible to us diurnal humans.
It began with the tufted titmouse. As I crossed the library’s parking lot, the bird’s voice caught my attention, which seemed odd knowing that titmice live year-round in Massachusetts. I probably hear them every day, but this was February 2, the day when winter-weary humans pin their hopes on groundhogs. With no rodents in sight, I was listening to a “spring” song: “Here, here!” The bird wasn’t forecasting the weather.
A dust bunny? My cat’s hairball? What is this object?
“How lucky are we to have received so many amazing submissions!” exclaimed Megan Tully, Head of Reference & Adult Services at the Ames Free Library. The staff had just voted for their favorite “Picturing Winter” entries . . . and it wasn’t easy! Twenty-seven photographers submitted 108 photos that reflected many ways of seeing winter, especially our theme of “Ice & Snow.” Thanks to all for participating and sharing your talents and perspectives. What fun!
Now that you’ve had some practice finding crustose, foliose, and fruticose lichens, it’s time to fine-tune your observations. Let’s begin with patterns. I urge you to spend some time during the next few weeks learning a few of the most frequently-seen lichen families and familiarizing yourself with their general forms. This post will offer several local examples and two online resources to get you started.
What perfect timing! Snow and lichens are coordinated for maximum beauty and relevance to this blog.