Oh, this world is a topsy turvy place and there’s so little that stays the same year to year. Happily, there is one constant in this cruel, unfeeling universe on which you can depend: The peregrine falcons have returned to nest on Evanston Public Library. As they do every year, a pair of peregrines has selected one of the columns facing Church Street as the ideal location to raise a family. There are no eggs to report as of yet, so be sure to watch our live Falcon Cam at https://www.epl.org/attend/special-events/falcon-cam/.
The weather is still a bit nippy, though. Happily, the library now has a warm, cozy way to appreciate our resident raptors. In 2018 the Caldecott Honor winning artist and picture book illustrator Brendan Wenzel created a work of original art, commemorating our falcons. In the foreground you can see them soaring, with the library visible behind. In the children’s room, librarian extraordinaire Mr. Brian went out of his way to have the piece mounted and framed (note how the wood of the frame matches the falcons’ beaks and talons). This piece now hangs in the children’s room in our art space where anyone is free to stop by and see it.
Spring may finally be here.
First it was dogs, now it’s birds. I seem to tune into NPR’s “All Things Considered” and find myself listening to animal-related stories that somehow have a connection to our own Evanston library. On April 1st, I posted a link to a story about Monty the Yale Library therapy dog which brought to mind our “Tail Waggin’ Tutors” program at North Branch. Today I caught Melissa Block’s story about the bald eagle family in Decorah, Iowa whose nesting and chick-raising activities have been viewed so far by 11 million people thanks to a very high quality sound and video cam mounted on a tree limb just above the nest.
Eagle Cam, meet Falcon Cam. Right here at our very own public library, we have a 24/7 watch on the beautiful peregrine falcons that have nested here on a sheltered ledge outside our 3rd floor reference room every spring since 2004. This year Nona and Squawker have returned and are tending three eggs (so far) in their minimalist nest.
I just posted a comment on the NPR site with a link to our Falcon Cam, so maybe we’ll get a mention on air tomorrow (one can always dream, right?).
Throughout the month of July EPL is pleased to present the work of Alice Dubois, the latest artist to be featured in our local artist exhibition series. Ms. Dubois’ colorful canvases draw inspiration from nature, literature, and music and combine various artistic styles into a striking, unique, and eerily beautiful whole. She lives and makes her art right here in Evanston, Illinois and has even been inspired by EPL’s family of peregrine falcons to make a brand new painting featured in her exhibit. You can see Ms. Dubois’ artwork throughout July on the 2nd Floor of the Evanston Public Library. And stay tuned to our Off the Shelf blog for an interview with the artist coming up later this month.