Ames Free Library

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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 - Listen Up!

Bird song is among the most conspicuous natural phenomena of May.  If you have recently walked at the Ames Free Library or, for that matter, anywhere in southeastern Massachusetts, you couldn’t help but hear the chorus:  resident birds, newly-arrived migrants, and passers-through are all singing.  Those who stay sing to attract mates and to announce their territory.  In most, though not all species, the males deliver the songs.  They sing like there’s no tomorrow and, indeed, there really isn’t.  Our short-lived songbirds must start the process of raising young while food is avail

A Glimpse of Nature - Mayflower

We’ve all heard the proverb, “April showers bring May flowers.”  Well, it’s mid April, and the “mayflowers” have already begun to bloom.  I am referring to a particular flower, the species Epigaea repens, commonly known as trailing arbutus or mayflower.  This early-blooming species is a lovely, but humble, shrub that grows only a few inches tall as it creeps along the forest floor.

A Glimpse of Nature - Burdock

For the past two weeks, we’ve concentrated on “firsts” – the first observation of a natural phenomena in its annual cycle.  This is only reasonable, for the appearance of something new draws attention.  More effort is required to notice “lasts” – the last cricket to sing in fall, the last hummingbird to migrate, the last aster to bloom.  On March 17,  I noticed the end of a cycle that I’ve been photographing for months, the life of burdock. 

You already know this plant, if not its name or natural history.  It is the plant with burs!

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