Ames Free Library

"Where the Community Connects"

Ames Free Library will be closed on Saturday, January 29 due to inclement weather. We will reopen on Monday, January 31, for our normal hours (10 a.m. - 8 p.m.).

idunbar's blog

A Glimpse of Nature - Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Next Tuesday is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the day when the sun makes its lowest arc in the skies of the northern hemisphere.  This astronomical event has been celebrated from time immemorial, as people eagerly anticipated the return of longer days and a greener landscape.  Light – in the form of candles, yule logs, and bonfires – has been central to the rituals, perhaps as a means of welcoming the sun’s “return.”  Evergreens have long been associated with these winter festivals, as well.  By retaining their outward vitality through the coldest and darkest

A Glimpse of Nature — Oaks: Some ID & Ecology

The foundation of nature study is the habit of watching and wondering, of making observations and asking questions, a habit that I try to practice daily and to encourage through this blog.   These simple, and sometimes brief, observations quickly point to the complexity of our world.  

In writing A Glimpse of Nature, I hope to demonstrate the joys and accessibility of nature study AND to focus attention on some of those complexities.  As unwise as it may be to combine both, here I go again.  Let’s start with the visible.  

A Glimpse of Nature - A New Twist

A Glimpse of Nature --  A New Twist

September 17, 2021

Last week I lamented the difficulty of photographing night-singing insects.  Whenever I approached, they became silent and “disappeared” into the dark foliage. . . until I walked away.  Well, not long after I completed the post on “Night Music,” the insects became more cooperative.  One tree cricket was sitting on the picnic table where I settled down for dinner.


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