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April 22, 2021 - Crane Count

This past weekend, I participated in something that took a year off during the pandemic lock down. I took part in the Annual Midwest (Sandhill) Crane Count. Last year the crane count was called off -- though I could never understand why because it is an activity that can be done alone and takes place outside. Regardless of the reasons for last year's cancellation, I went out and did my own crane count in 2020. This year I did my "official" crane count. There really is nothing quite like being up and out by 5 o'clock in the morning and listening and watching the world come alive. Cranes tend to hang out in marshy areas so not only was there patchy frost on the grass, but there was mist rising of ponds and hovering over ditches and fields. The robins and the red-winged blackbirds compete to be the first birds singing as the eastern sky changes from deep blue to a pale blue that's almost white then lemon and peach until the red tones take over and orange smears the horizon. As light comes the bigger birds start in and geese and ducks join in and finally the cranes start yodeling. It is truly magical and available to all who care to venture out before dawn and sit quietly and wait. I heard many cranes and saw six. There were turkeys, a pair of eagles, ducks, geese, a lone deer, pheasants, killdeer, mourning doves, and the list goes on and on. If you can't get out into nature, you can study up on it by using some of the field guides available at the library. Below are some of the new books which recently arrived. Enjoy! and keep an eye out for sandhill cranes!

cover artSensational: The Hidden History of America’s Girl Stunt Reporters by Kim Todd. The award-winning author of Tinkering with Eden presents a vivid social history of the Gilded Age that examines the stories of women journalists who went undercover to champion women's rights and expose corruption and abuse in America.


cover artSecond Chance: A Marine, His Dog, and Finding Redemption by Craig Grossi. The author of Craig and Fred describes how his devoted canine companion and he visited Maine State Prison to work beside inmates who serve purposeful time in prison by training service dogs for disabled veterans.


cover artI Am a Girl from Africa by Elizabeth Nyamayaro. The award-winning humanitarian and former United Nations Senior Advisor on Gender Equality describes how an aid volunteer saved her life and inspired her work as an advocate for positive change in communities throughout the world.


cover artOn the House: A Washington Memoir by John Boehner. The former Speaker of the House shares candid tales from Washington, D.C.'s halls of power, offering insight into America's Republican Party and the leadership successes and failures of Presidents from the past half century.


cover artEmpire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Keefe. The award-winning author of Say Nothing presents a narrative account of how a prominent wealthy family sponsored the creation and marketing of one of the most commonly prescribed and addictive painkillers of the opioid crisis.


cover artBeyond: The Astonishing Story of the First Human Being to Leave Our Planet and Journey into Space by Stephen Walker. A 60th-anniversary tribute to Russia's history-making first space mission documents the story of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the program's repurposing of a nuclear ballistic missile and the Cold War challenges that shrouded the mission in secrecy.


cover artEternal by Lisa Scottoline. An aspiring writer, an athlete from a professional cyclist family and a mathematics prodigy find their bond tested by a love triangle and the spread of anti-Semitism and fascism in 1937 Italy. By the Edgar Award-winning author of Someone Knows.


cover artThe Red Book, No. 2 (Black Book) by James Patterson with David Ellis. Launching an investigation of his own when his instincts tell him that more is behind a political shooting on Chicago's west side, SOS Detective Billy Harney uncovers a spate of murders connected to his troubled past.


cover artThe Helm of Midnight, No. 1 (Five Penalties) by Marina Lostetter. When a death mask imbued with the spirit of a historical serial killer is brazenly stolen by thieves, an outbreak of terrifying murders reveals the mind of a calculating perpetrator who is searching for answers.


cover artPeaces by Helen Oyeyemi. Honeymooning aboard a historic former tea-smuggling train, newlyweds Otto and Xavier enjoy the locomotive's fantastical accommodations before encountering a secretive fellow passenger, who imparts a surprising message. By the award-winning author of Gingerbread.


cover artThe Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin. Three strangers navigating grief and devastating setbacks cross paths in a rural Oregon town, where they find unexpected friendship, healing and new chances on local honeybee farm. A first novel by the author of "How to Be a Sister”.


cover artThe Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano by Donna Freitas. A woman who never wanted to be a mother reconnects with her estranged husband in the wake of unexpected news and is challenged to reevaluate herself in an unanticipated role. A first adult novel by the author of Consent.


cover artGood Company by Cynthia Sweeney. A novel about the enduring bonds of marriage and friendship from the author of the “New York Times” best-seller The Nest.


cover artThe Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen. Inheriting her beloved great-aunt's sketchbook, a recently divorced woman uncovers mysteries about her great-aunt's star-crossed romance with a nobleman in World War II Venice. By the award-winning author of In Farleigh Field.


cover artThe Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin. Taking a job in a London bookshop just as the Blitz begins, Grace finds comfort in the power of words, storytelling and community as the bookshop becomes one of the only remaining properties to survive the bombings.