Ames Free Library

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Staff Picks

A Glimpse of Nature - Nature’s Rhythms

I look forward to long weekend walks when there is adequate daylight and no need to rush. Last Saturday’s excursion at an abandoned cranberry bog didn’t disappoint. The sun was shining, and crusty snow still covered the ground. Animal tracks were everywhere, tracks that had repeatedly melted and froze and were largely indistinguishable. Canine? Rodent? Definitely mammalian. Towards the end of the trek, an unexpected sound caught my attention and made me smile: the song of a male red-winged blackbird, the first I had heard this season.

A Glimpse of Nature - Survivors

Today is a mild, sunny day, one of those days when the library patrons are smiling and the birds are singing. It’s quite a contrast to last Friday’s ice storm which challenged anyone who ventured (or lived) outdoors. The day after the storm, I was stepping gingerly through the library’s ice-encrusted property to see what might be seen when the soft voices of eastern bluebirds caught my attention. A small flock was passing through, including this bird which paused long enough for me to take a good look.


Librarian's Lounge - February 2022

I began my last post talking about the snowstorm that was heading our way. That storm turned out to be just an appetizer for the one that dumped over two feet of snow on the area just before we turned the calendars to February. If you don’t mind venturing out in the snow and ice (and it’s safe for you to travel!), stop by the library this month to leave a love letter to the library or pick up a blind date with a book.

A Glimpse of Nature - Twigs and Buds

Trees in Winter” was a “before” quiz, an assessment of what you already know or can aim to learn. It limited the selection of trees to those living at the Ames Free Library, a manageable group growing on a small, easily-traversed property.  I hope that their names and images will stay in your mind as you visit the library. The game will remain open as a learning tool even after the contest closes on February 10.

A Glimpse of Nature - Trees in Winter

Winter is a great time to learn how to recognize trees, now that all those leaves are out of the way!  Bark, buds, and the tree's shape offer helpful clues. Why not try your hand at tree identification by playing our "Trees in Winter" game?  This illustrated multiple choice quiz is centered on trees growing on and around the Ames Free Library.  It is fun and informative, and it’ll be good preparation for your winter walks.  There is an optional outdoor component, and small prizes will be awarded to the two players with the best scores.


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