Besides deer, who else visits the library after dark? Of course, people and pet dogs use the grounds, but our focus is on wildlife. Unfortunately, my trail cam has detected only a few wild species in this area. Based on image captures, the second most common nocturnal mammal is the cottontail rabbit. This species appears in fourteen video clips representing six visits. In some of these clips, the image shows little more than a hopping ball with closely spaced eyes. Here’s one where the rabbit’s identity is unmistakable.
On June 29 I installed the trail cam behind Queset Garden and hoped for the best. My first set of photos included this image which encouraged me to continue. Can you identify this animal? Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next time, we’ll see a video clip of this creature and “The Rest of the Crew.”
No doubt about it! White-tailed deer dominate the library’s nightlife. They are the largest mammalian visitors to the library campus and, based on my trail cam’s videos, the most frequent. Indeed, deer appeared in 92% of all nighttime animal videos captured by my camera.
Who visits the library campus after dark? Submit your thoughts on the most frequent mammalian visitors to email@example.com. Then, check back next Friday to see what my new trail cam recorded!
Last week, several readers correctly pinpointed California as the home of my giant pinecone. “Terrific!,” I thought, “These folks traveled to the northern Sierras where they saw the same wonderful trees I did: sugar pines.” But, no. At least two readers who visited southern California remembered king-sized cones. Their emails introduced me to the Coulter pine. That’s right. Two different California pines create impressive cones. Let’s compare them.
The Sugar Pine
The library welcomes everyone; well, almost everyone. Last week, I escorted a young visitor to the door . . . and a little beyond. This individual was certainly charming and, for all I know, well-mannered, but the relationship just wasn’t “a good fit.” I hope it will settle down in the nearby brush and woods.
Congratulations to Joyce F. for correctly identifying last week’s “What Is It!” on the Ames Free Library’s Facebook page. This surrealistic creature is, indeed, a spicebush swallowtail caterpillar.
This week’s mystery creature seems to ask, “Who are you looking at?” If you think you know, email your identification to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next Friday, we’ll reveal its name and behavior.
So, who saw a monocot this week? I guarantee you all did, whether or not you were paying attention or taking my assignment seriously. I chose the orange daylily, Hemerocallis fulva, to introduce the subject because it has large flowers, is familiar to most readers, and is conspicuous at the Ames Free Library’s entrance.