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April 18, 2019 - Crane Count

This past weekend was rather cold and gloomy, but it didn't keep this Midwest Crane Counter out of the field. The annual Midwest Crane Count has been going on since 1976, but Yours Truly has only been doing it since 1994. That makes this count my 25th anniversary. I had been doing the same sites for the first 23 year and last year got shifted to two new sites. These new sites are closer and have a lot more cranes showing themselves, i.e. they are grazing on open corn fields instead of hiding in brushy, marshy, areas. With these two sites I can do birding-by-eye instead of birding-by-ear. The count starts at 5:30 a.m. when all self-respecting cranes are still asleep. The early risers are geese (who seem never to be quiet) and red-winged black birds. The dawn chorus fills in as light comes into the world. This Saturday, there was a rather spectacular sunrise with dark clouds starting to press in from the north and west. From about 6:10 a.m. cranes were making their presence know. There were 9 cranes on one site and 10 on the other site. One pair of cranes was so anxious to be counted that they stood in the middle of the road at the top of a rise as the car crept up on them. They were counted with big exclamation points! The coolest thing about one of the sites is that across the road from a large pond there is a tree with an eagle nest in it. The male eagle was sitting on a branch next to the nest and then moved further off to preen in the morning sun. The female eagle's head was just visible over the edge of the nest. The last trip past the nest before the Crane Count ended, she was up on the edge of the nest leaning into the nest bowl engaged in feeding behavior. How cool is that! No nest cam required! It was a great day to see cranes and all sorts of nature (deer, muskrats). More crane counters are always needed. Maybe next year you might have your own story of the count to share with others. Speaking of stories, below you will find some of the new books that recently arrived at the library. Enjoy!

“Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog” by Dave Barry. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and bestselling author of “Dave Barry Turns 40” now shows how to age gracefully, taking cues from his beloved and highly intelligent dog, Lucy.


“The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age” by Steven Gundry. The best-selling author of The Plant Paradox identifies links to age-related ailments and gut bacteria, outlining strategies for maintaining optimal life quality throughout the senior years by supporting the body's age-vulnerable microbiome.


“Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11”by James Donovan. Published to coincide with the mission's 50th anniversary, a meticulously researched account of the Apollo 11 program also examines its astronauts, flight controllers and engineers, as well as its role in shaping the Mercury and Gemini missions.


“When the Irish Invaded Canada: The Incredible True Story of the Civil War Veterans Who Fought for Ireland’s Freedom” by Christopher Klein. A history of the Fenian Raids chronicles how thousands of Irish-American Civil War veterans united under a common goal to seize the British province of Canada and hold it hostage to secure Irish independence. By the author of “Strong Boy”.


“Once a Wolf: The Science Behind Our Dogs’ Astonishing Genetic Evolution” by Bryan Sykes. The best-selling author of The Seven Daughters of Eve reveals how all dogs share a common ancestry with a small group of domesticated wolves and how the vast range of canine breeds were created by a few gene mutations.


“Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle” by Emily Nagoski. The best-selling author of Come as You Are and her sister reveal why women experience burnout differently than men, outlining science-based, feminist recommendations for reducing stress, resisting negative media and befriending one's inner critic. Includes pie charts, worksheets and graphs.

“The Last Romantics” by Tara Conklin. A fictional poet describes the Connecticut summer when she and her siblings ran wild as the inspiration for her most iconic work. By the New York Times best-selling novel of “The House Girl”.


“Blood Oath, No.20 (Alexandra Cooper)” by Linda Fairstein. A key witness' revelation about a sexual assault at the hands of a prominent official is complicated by rumors about a colleague's abusive conduct and another associate's violent, mysterious collapse. By the New York Times best-selling author of “Deadfall”.


“Broken Bone China, No. 20 (Tea Shop Mysteries)” by Laura Childs. Theodosia and Drayton cater a hot-air-balloon rally, where a horrific drone attack kills a software CEO in possession of a rare historical flag. Includes recipes and tea-time tips. By the New York Times best-selling author of Plum Tea Crazy .


“Crashing Heat, No. 10 (Nikki Heat)” by Richard Castle. Nikki investigates the activities of a secret society when an invitation by Rook's alma mater is thrown into chaos by the scandalous death of a student reporter. By the New York Times best-selling author of Heat Storm . 35,000 first printing.


“The Perfect Alibi” by Philip Margolin. Two rape cases at the same bar are complicated by a prominent athlete's threats, baffling DNA evidence, suspicious attacks on case lawyers and a D.A.'s resolve to prosecute a killing in self-defense. By the best-selling author of “Violent Crimes”.


“Beautiful Bad” by Annie Ward. Starting a therapeutic journal in the aftermath of a scarring accident, a former travel writer is forced to reckon with her husband's PTSD, her son's safety and her family's complicated history with a best friend.


“Dark Tribute, No. 24 (Eve Duncan)” by Iris Johansen. Kidnapped by a mysterious adversary from her grandfather's past, violin prodigy Cara Delaney struggles to escape and protect her loved ones from becoming casualties of dark forces from her tragic childhood. By a #1 New York Times best-selling author.