Last Saturday I took part in the Annual Midwest Crane Count. During the height of the pandemic the count wasn’t held. Last year it was held but my counting buddy wasn’t up to prolonged time in a confined area with a non-household member, so I did it myself. This year was the first time since 2019 that the crane count was “normal”. We left from my parking lot a little before 5 a.m. and drove to a new counting site location. So we could begin the 2-hour count at 5:30. It was at Paradise Marsh a DNR wildlife area which is up near Cambria. It was very, very, dark. We were on county “letter” roads almost the entire way. It was very dark. There are no street lights. Many roads lack midline striping and fog lines are fairly non-existent. The area was thick with deer in the dawn twilight. We missed the turn off to the DNR parking lot because it wasn’t mark and was on a pot-holed, gravel road. When we stopped the car to check out the site there were cranes unison calling behind us (4 pairs) and in front of us (2 pairs). It is my observation that cranes don’t activate until daylight is well-advanced. The red-patch on their heads is a solar panel, I contend, that needs a certain level of light to power-up the birds.
We tried exploring the area on foot but gave up quickly then circled the area in the car. Pairs of cranes, and families of threes flew across the road the largest grouping we saw was 18. This was after 7 15 a.m. We probably saw about 40 cranes and dodged about the same number of deer earlier in the morning. Wildlife abounds just a little ways out of town. Being awake as the rest of humanity sleeps and watching the rosy-fingered dawn spread across the sky while the birds waken and start singing is awesome in the true sense of the word. You too could become a crane counter. There’s always next year. In the meantime, below you will find some of the books which recently arrived at our library. Enjoy!
Brighter by the Day: Waking Up to New Hopes and Dreams by Robin Roberts & Michelle Burford. The beloved co-host of “Good Morning America” and best-selling author presents a guide to finding a sense of hope, positivity and encouragement during even the darkest days of our lives.
Hello, Molly: A Memoir by Molly Shannon and Sean Wiley. A candid, humorous, and heartbreaking memoir of resilience and redemption by a noted alum of “Saturday Night Live”.
Riverman: An American Odyssey by Ben McGrath. Drawing on his own encounter with Dick Conant, this riveting true story follows the American folk hero who, living a remarkable life far outside the staid confines of modern existence, paddled the rivers of America until his disappearance in 2014 while on the way to Florida.
Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain. The author of the best-selling Quiet discusses how a bittersweet state of mind can actually be a kind of silent energy that aids us in overcoming our personal and societal suffering.
Don’t Worry: 48 Lessons on Relieving Anxiety from a Zen Buddhist Monk by Shunmyo Masuno. The head priest of a 450-year old Zen Buddhist temple in Japan and best-selling author offers 48 simple lessons and 30 "zengo" sayings that help readers focus on the present and become calmer and more positive versions of themselves.
Girl in Ice by Erica Ferencik. A linguist is called to a remote island off Greenland after her deceased twin brother's fellow researcher discovers a young girl frozen in ice who, when unthawed, is alive and speaks a language no one understands.
Shadows Reel, No. 22 (A Joe Pickett Novel) by C. J. Box. Game warden Joe Pickett, while dealing with the brutal murder of a fishing guide, must help his wife solve a mystery involving a photo album that belonged to an infamous Nazi officer, placing them in the crosshairs of a killer.
What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottline. Forced into the witness protection program after being caught in the crosshairs of a drug-trafficking organization, Jason Bennett and his family, trapped in an unfamiliar life, start falling apart at the seams until Jason takes matters into his own hands after a shocking truth is revealed.
The Whispers by Heidi Perks. When her childhood best friend Anna goes missing after Girls’ Night, and rumors and accusations are whispered among the neighbors, Grace decides to take matters into her own hands and find out what happened to Anna – or die trying.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. In the early 1960s, chemist and single mother Elizabeth Zott, the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show due to her revolutionary skills in the kitchen, uses this opportunity to dare women to change the status quo.
The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock. Based on real history and alternating between the story of war widow Alice searching for identity in the 1940s and excerpts from Eleanor Dare’s Commonplace Book and the tale of her harrowing survival, The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare explores the meaning of female history and the sacrifices every mother makes for her daughter.
Sister Stardust by Jane Green. Inspired by a true story, the “New York Times” best-selling author reimagines the glamorous and tragic life of fashion icon and socialite Talitha Getty through the eyes of Claire, a young woman in search of adventure who is drawn into Talitha’s orbit, forever changing her life.
The Sacred Bridge (A Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelite Novel by Anne Hillerman. Sergeant Jim Chee, after visiting the sacred Rainbow bridge, investigates the death of a Navajo artist, putting his own life at risk, while Officer Bernadette Manuelito searches for the killer of a hitchhiker connected to a Navajo Nation cannabis enterprise.
Crimson Summer by Heather Graham. Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent Amy Larson and FBI agent Hunter Forrest investigate a bloody massacre in Seminole territory that appears to be tied to South American drug cartels and a Doomsday cult.