The calendar tells us that winter is here, but recently when I walked through the City of Sedona’s Sunset Park it felt less like winter and more like autumn. The trees still have yellow leaves, and the walking path was the perfect setting to read “In the Middle of Fall,” by Kevin Henkes, displayed on 18 panels along the path.
“In the middle of fall, it takes only one gust of wind to turn the whole world yellow and red and orange.” Caldecott Medalist and award-winning author Kevin Henkes’s striking text introduces basic concepts of language and the unique beauty of the fall season. Acclaimed painter Laura Dronzek’s expressive paintings illuminate pumpkins, apples, falling leaves, busy squirrels, and the transformation from colorful autumn to frosty winter.
Before the trees are bare, make your way to Sunset Park and enjoy the leafy trees that are the perfect backdrop for the Library’s StoryWalk. The story will delight young and old alike and you’ll stop just long enough at each station to take in your surroundings and marvel that the pages are so tuned in to the Sedona setting. Start your walk at the Sunset Drive entrance to the park, just down the stairs that take you from the parking lot into the park. You’ll end up at the Shelby Drive entrance.
Accompanying the pages of the book are tips and “try it” suggestions in both English and Spanish. What a fun way to develop reading skills and enjoy the outdoors! (StoryWalk is trademarked by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed with the support of Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Sedona’s project is funded by Goldenstein Gallery, the Arizona Community Foundation, and the Langston Family Foundation; and supported by the City of Sedona)
When the sun goes down, look up to see the Winter Hexagon, a big circle of bright stars that includes the easy-to-identify Orion constellation. It's an asterism, or recognizable star pattern.
The Winter Hexagon is made up of some of the brightest stars in the sky: Capella in the constellation of Auriga, Aldebaran in Taurus, Rigel in Orion, Sirius in Canis Major, Procyon in Canis Minor, and Castor in Gemini. Once you’ve found the hexagon you’ll always have a reason to anticipate the change in seasons.
A good online resource to help you identify what’s visible in the night sky is Sky & Telescope’s This Week's Sky at a Glance. The Library has a variety of magazines and books to get you started on your way to being an amateur astronomer and hosts meetings of the Sirius Lookers astronomy club on the third Wednesday of the month in the Library’s Quiet Study room.
As Dennis Young, club president says, “Anyone with an interest in looking up is welcome to attend the meetings of the Sirius Lookers, a free astronomy club, with no membership dues or fees.” For more information visit their website: siriuslookers.org
Best wishes from all of us at Sedona Public Library for a stellar holiday season and we hope that you take the opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors!
Please remember the Library and all of its free programs, services, and resources when you consider your year-end giving. In fact, consider a monthly gift to help the Library build sustainable revenue; we’ve made it easy at sedonalibrary.org/donate.
Sedona Public Library
Column for December 21, 2018
Written by: Virginia Volkman, Director
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.