Ames Free Library

"Where the Community Connects"

A Glimpse of Nature

See what’s happening on the grounds of the Ames Free Library or nearby areas with “A Glimpse of Nature.”  Offered by Lorraine Rubinacci, the library's resident naturalist, this weekly photo blog is a gentle reminder to enjoy the wonders that surround us.

A Glimpse of Nature- Conspicuous in Fall

On Monday, September 19, some enthusiastic and knowledgeable folks savored the wildflowers of the Ames Free Library campus. If you weren’t there, you missed a good time of shared curiosity, experience, discovery, and laughter. You also might have missed the peak of this season’s blossoms. After a very hot and dry summer, the rains and cool weather have finally arrived. The forecast now includes daytime highs below 60℉ and nighttime lows near 40℉. Happy fall! Of course, our glorious native asters will continue to put on a show, but more on that another day.

This Week at the Library: Porcelain Berry

 

This week, the lovely but highly invasive porcelain berry takes center stage at the Ames Free Library. Look for its grape-like leaves and vines and its attractive multi-colored fruit. The speckled berries change color as they ripen, passing through shades of green, pink, purple, and blue. This species won’t be difficult to locate as it has spread extensively throughout the unmowed sections of the library’s campus.  

A Glimpse of Nature -- Progress Report

Here’s the latest news.

Part 1:  The Robin.

If you recall, last Friday a dramatic thunderstorm passed through our region. It began to sprinkle as I headed to my car; soon there was a deluge. As I readied myself for the commute, I looked towards the robin’s nest and wondered how it would fare through heatwave and storm. That’s when an adult bird zipped around the library at breakneck speed.  It needed to protect the nest.

A Glimpse of Nature -- What is It!

I’ve always enjoyed wrestling with a project – asking questions, making observations, doing research, testing ideas – digging deeper. This temperament and habit informs my natural history study, my writing . . . my lesson plans, garden, home repairs, meals, and just about every creative undertaking that’s come my way.  As an approach to life, this is deeply satisfying to me, beneficial to others, and VERY time consuming.

A Glimpse of Nature - Another Surprise

On a quiet June afternoon, I was scouting the grounds to see what might be seen and, truth be told, hoping to get another look at the painted turtle . . . or any turtle, for that matter. I didn’t. It was about about six o’clock when I circled back towards the pergola, close to the bocce court, when some movement caught my attention. Beyond the pergola near the back end of the garden, a brown animal ran across the grass towards a dense thicket. The cottontail often grazes at this time of day, in the open but with an escape route nearby.

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