Reis book reading/signing

Gary Drtina gets his book signed by classmate Larry Reis as Lime Springs Librarian Janet DeVries looks on.

Lime Springs native Larry Reis gave the first book reading and signing at the library on April 16. He read from his book “Noting Nature: Observations and lessons from the Midwest’s metamorphosing landscape” and signed some copies afterward.

About 16 folks gathered to listen as Reis talked about the making of his book. “I grew up with an interest in nature. In 1980, I kept detailed notes of what I saw happening in nature. Over the years you can see patterns. I kept records of wildflowers, trees and insect activity and averaged the information from 30 years.”

In his book, he lists by week the average time certain buds are emerging and when different flowers are in full bloom.

He thought the information was a little dry, so he decided to write some “essays” pertaining to each particular week.

“I write stories that capture the essence of a particular week from a nature standpoint. It’s a little science and my personal take on highlights of nature.”

He noticed this year is running seven to 10 days behind a normal year. He has also noticed trends supporting the global warming theory.

“From when I was a kid, things are happening about 10 days earlier on average.”

Reis was especially excited that Hayden Prairie is in our backyard.

“Hayden Prairie has 400 plants. People come from all over the world to see it. I take many tours, most of them through Luther College.” To put Hayden Prairie in perspective, 150 years ago, Iowa had 30 million acres of prairie; now it has about 5,000. Hayden Prairie’s 240 acres are some of the best specimens of prairie grass in the world!

“Go there over Memorial Day weekend. The shooting stars are amazing.”

Reis wants everyone to enjoy nature but is sorry it is the hunters and fisherman who are basically supporting conservation. They support it by purchasing licenses. That is about the only money received from the government for the Department of Natural Resources. He encouraged folks to support the Chickadee Checkoff on their taxes next year.

He read excerpts from his chapter on sucker fishing and how the library influenced him in his early years. He laughed that as an author he hated to see empty space in his book so he filled in those empty spaces with his personal drawings and photographs and family recipes.

Reis was invited to bring his paintings to the Library for its Community Art Show (which runs from April 25-May 7).

Larry Reis is a man of many talents and the citizens of Lime Springs will be able to see and read about his talents with his artwork and book, which is available to read at the library.

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