Ames Free Library

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mguo's blog

A Glimpse of Nature -- A Carnivore in Action

Guess what!  More rain is forecast for this weekend.

If you are tempted to stay indoors on gray, gloomy days, I urge you to reconsider.  I often feel this way until I actually get outside.  On one recent Sunday, I donned my rain gear in low spirits, anticipating a dull outing.  Then, as usual, I found beauty, interest, and even some excitement.  

Finding beauty was easy.

A Glimpse of Nature -- The Rest of the Crew

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.

A Glimpse of Nature -- King-sized California Cones

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


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