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Posts Tagged ‘iowa’


Roadside plants in Iowa

by Beth Fisher on June 9th, 2014

iowa roadways3If you’ve ever taken a roadtrip, you know there are all sorts of things to see when cruising down the roads of Iowa. Big cities and small towns; railroads, bridges and barns; modern buildings or historic architecture; fields of corn, soybeans or hay; and trees, grasses and wildflowers.

It might surprise you to know that many of the trees, grasses and wildflowers you see in and along the roadsides of Iowa were planted by the Iowa D.O.T.   Iowa’s Living Roadways, a small spiral bound book produced by the Iowa Department of Transportation is a guide to the various landscape designs and planting styles used to maintain the roadways of Iowa.

The guide includes photographs and plant profiles of  41 species of wildflowers and grasses- from Canadian Anemone, Blackeyed Susan, Spiderwort and Vervain;  33 species of trees -  including, 10 species of Crabapples,  five species of Maples and 4 species of Oak; and 16 types of shrubs – from Chokeberries, to Dogwood and Fragrant Sumac.    Each plant profile includes a color photograph, a description, bloom times, trivia, and possible habitats or locations.

The end of the book has a glossary, references and bibliography, and  a fun 8-page section called Amazing Plant Facts.  (Did you know that Oak tress do not produce acorns until they are 50 years old?)     You can find a copy of this book in either the Circulating or Iowa Reference Collections at 582.13/Iowa’s

 

Springtime = bugs!

by Hannah Kane on April 2nd, 2014

Looking for your next weekend read? I have a great springy one for you. In Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, the end of the world is nigh. Austin Szerba, his girlfriend Shann, and his best friend Robby live in fictional Ealing, Iowa. The trio occupy themselves the same way most small-town 16-year-olds do — skateboarding, eating pizza, driving into Waterloo to see movies, and trying to figure out who they are and what they want out of life.

But their world is turned upside-down when giant praying mantises rampage through Ealing. The big bugs are hungry — for PEOPLE. This tale of survival, friendship, identity, and growing up has a sense of Vonnegut-esque humor so fresh that once I started, I couldn’t put it down. Check out the catalog record here to learn more and place a hold!

Plus, it’s green. REALLY green.




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