When the Native Americans and Pilgrims sat down for their Thanksgiving feast, journals indicate that venison was on the table. Fowl is also listed by Edward Winslow although turkey is not specifically mentioned. No hunting licenses were needed by the Pilgrims for harvesting deer or turkey in 1621.  Regulations did not occur until the 1900s.    

The first Federal law protecting game was the Lacey Act in 1900. Present day hunting regulations are designed to keep the wildlife population under control. Regular deer season for this area opens on Saturday, Nov. 19 and ends Dec. 11. Since rifles are now allowed for hunting in the southern zone, please be careful in the woods.


Teens will need to control themselves on Friday, Nov. 18 in order to accomplish the task of flipping water bottles. TAG meets at 6:30 p.m. with a short physics lesson before performing some experiments.  Bring your instruments for jamming after the program. All teens are welcome.


Hunters are known for their stories of the one that got away. Telling a good story is definitely a skill possessed by the members of the Story Circle. Celebrate storytelling at Tellebration on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. "It Ain't Necessarily So" includes stories celebrating the human spirit and takes place at the GE Theater of Proctors.

Knit Wits

Warm hats are a requirement when spending time outdoors in late November. Hunters need to dress warmly and so do children waiting for the bus. The Knit Wits are currently collecting hats for the Toys for Tots train. Anyone may drop off hats at the library for this project. The deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 30. The Knit Wits meet on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. for knitting or crocheting personal projects in addition to hats. Share problems, solutions, and conversations with other adults.

If you missed the deadline for the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Coats for Kids drive, you may still donate coats, hats, and mittens at the library. Kiwanis is collecting winter gear until Nov. 30. Items will be donated to the Hilltown Community Resource Center.  

Story time

Children ages 1 to 5 will be talking turkey at storytime on Tuesday, Nov. 22. Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for stories, activities, and a craft. Tom the Turkey, a puppet, will make a special appearance.

Holiday closing

The library will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 24 in observance of Thanksgiving Day. Please plan accordingly.

Make A wreath

An evergreen wreath brings a part of the great outdoors to our home. This year you can make your own wreath at the library. Susan Pezzolla from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Service will guide you through the process at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30. For a $7 material fee, you will have a wreath to take home. Registration is required for this event. Please notify the library staff by Monday, Nov. 28 by calling 872-1246 or emailing .

The Three Sisters of the Iroquois Legend are corn, beans, and squash. The Sister Spirits were believed to protect the well-being of these special crops. The plants are grown in the same mound in gardens because corn provides a ladder for the bean vine. Those two plants give shade to the squash plant which traps moisture for all three crops. Gardeners know there are many benefits to this type of companion planting.  


Providing a place for interacting and supporting others is a function of libraries. Teens are given a monthly evening at the library when it is closed to the general public. Due to Veterans Day, the original TAG meeting scheduled for Nov. 11 has been switched to Friday, Nov. 18.  Join Ms. Kathy at 6:30 p.m. for a teen program followed by some musical jamming.  

Corn is an annual plant of the grass family and is the largest of the cereals. This Native American plant is also known as maize. For human consumption, the husk is shucked and discarded while the kernels are eaten. Have you thought of cleaning and drying the husks for future use? They are used for making tamales or wrapping foods for steaming. There is some current research on making them into fabric.  The husks are also used in fall crafts.

Story time

Storytime is the pre-literacy program held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. On Nov. 15, children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers will be making corn husk dolls with Ms. Kathy. Stories and activities on corn are also a part of this program.

Photo discussions

"A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine," wrote Anne Bronte, a British novelist. Would your photograph of a corn field express this laughter or just be a corny picture? Tom Gagnon will discuss creative ways to photograph objects and people. The "Taking Dynamic Photos"  program occurs at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17 and is open to ages 13 to 100.  

There is a program about journalistic photography at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Both these programs are meant to educate and inspire you to enter the 2nd annual photography contest sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Entries are not due until Jan. 31, 2017 but it is never too early to start clicking. The four categories are "Joy of Reading", "Reflections & Shadows". "Hilltowners", and "Down on the Farm".  

Wreath making

Now that Halloween is over, it is time to think about the next few holidays. The library will be closed on Thursday, November 24 for Thanksgiving.  A wreath making class will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30. Sue Pezzolla from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Service is leading the class.  For a $7 material fee, you will go home with a beautiful evergreen wreath for your door. Registration is required so please sign up with the library staff by emailing , calling 872-1246, or stopping by the library during hours.

“Voting is how we participate in a civic society — be it for president, be it for a municipal election. It's the way we teach our children — in school elections — how to be citizens, and the importance of their voice,” said Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the United States. Voting is one of the five basic tenets of citizenship, responsibilities of every member of a society.

Movie night

Obeying laws is another civic duty. However, the film for movie night at the library features creatures that are breaking laws. Enjoy a free night out watching a fantasy, comedy rated PG-13. The movie starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4. Enjoy the projection on the large screen in the community room.  Refreshments are provided. Look for the title on our website, www.bernepubliclibrary.org.

Book club

Remember to turn your clocks back one hour before bed on Saturday, Nov. 5 so you aren't late for the book club on Sunday. The group will meet at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6 to talk about “Same Sweet Girls” by Cassandra King. Every voice is heard so any interested adult may participate.  

Read to a dog

Dogs aren't allowed to vote but special ones are allowed in the library. Ariel, our tail waggin' tutor, will be at the library on Monday, Nov. 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. Children are encouraged to stop by and read aloud to Ariel. This is a fun way to improve reading skills.     


Caregivers of children ages 1 to 5 are encouraged to vote before or after Storytime on Nov. 8. Voting is the theme on Tuesday although the children will be voting for a color instead of a person. Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for this pre-literacy program that includes stories, activities, and a craft.

Board meets

Doing volunteer work is also considered a civic duty. The library’s board of trustees consists of eight, hard-working, volunteers. They discuss library business at their monthly meetings. The next open meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10. Community members are welcome to attend and add their opinion.


Teens need a time when their voices can be heard and not shushed.  On Friday, Nov. 11 the library is closed to the general public but open to all teens. TAG meets at 6:30 p.m. Bring your musical instruments if you are interested in jamming after the program.

Honor those who serve

In case you are wondering, the other basic civic duties are serving on juries and paying taxes to the government. Some of our citizens go beyond these basic responsibilities and sign up for the armed services. Friday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day. Take time to honor all those who serve and say thank you. It is because of them that we have the right to vote.  


— Photo from Judy Petrosillo

A safe repository: Patrons of the Berne Library may now return borrowed items to the new through-wall book-return bin. Standing next to the new bin are, from left, Berne Councilman Joe Golden, Knox Supervisor Vas Lefkiditis, Senator George Amedore, library director Judy Petrosillo, Berne Supervisor Kevin Crosier, and library board trustee Ellen Doolin.

"I've never turned into a bee — I've never been chased by a mummy or met a ghost. But many of the ideas in my books are suggested by real life." said American writer, R. L. Stine. If you are looking for a spooky story for Halloween, any Stine book will do. He is best known for his “Goosebumps” series for middle readers and “Fear Street” series for teens.

There are ghost stories associated with real life experiences at the town of Berne Museum located in the town hall. Take a spooky museum tour on Sunday, Oct. 30 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Be sure to visit the room of skeletal bones assembled by the library staff.

The library will be open on Monday, Oct. 31 from 4 to 8 p.m.  Since this is Halloween, stop in for a treat. No tricks please.

Story time

It is easy to imagine creepy creatures when listening to the rustling of leaves. Have no fear; Storytime will be about leaves and not creatures. Children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1. This pre-literacy program includes stories, activities, and a craft with autumn leaves.

Friends meet

American novelist Chuck Palahniuk said, "To merely observe your culture without contributing to it seems very close to existing as a ghost." If you would like to participate in activities that support the library, attend the monthly meetings of the Friends of the Library. The next meeting is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Movie night

Ghosts will be a part of movie night at the library on Friday, Nov. 4. The film, recently released on DVD, will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in the community room. The movie is rated PG-13 and runs for 116 minutes.  Admission is free and refreshments are provided.  Show us that you ain't afraid of no ghosts.

Book discussion

The book club will meet at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6. The group will be discussing the novel “Same Sweet Girls” by Cassandra King. Skeletons come out of the closet when college friends have a reunion.  Now that they are in their 50s, can they still be the same sweet girls?  All interested adults should attend.

Ghost stories often begin with a dark night in the country. As English author Susan Hill said, "It would be difficult to write a convincing ghost story set on a sunny day in a big city."  You can borrow scary boo-oks from the library during our daytime or nighttime hours with a free library card.

Databases accessible from the library's website include reliable encyclopedias and are available with a free library card. Articles from Grolier Online were used this week to check facts about the woolly bear.  That is the common name of the caterpillar stage of the Isabella tiger moth. The adult stage is a yellow moth spotted with black. However, the larval stage is a caterpillar with black in front and behind, with a brownish red middle.  

This caterpillar is often seen crawling around in the fall. It is searching for a cubbyhole where it can sleep through the winter. The woolly bear is famous in American folklore as a predictor of winter weather. It is said that the wider the red band, the warmer the coming winter will be.

Author visit

Abbie Bowker and her sister Cam Sato created a book about the woolly bear and other animals that are preparing for winter. Ms. Bowker is traveling from Vermont to visit the Berne Public Library on Saturday, Oct. 22.  Join her at 1 p.m. for a reading from her book, “Woolly Bear Winter,” along with a workshop on creating a nature inspired poem. All ages are welcome.


What types of things may be lurking in those cubbyholes? Perhaps it is just our imagination that makes us afraid of the dark. Storytellers Siri Allison and Nancy Payne will be sharing "Scary Stories to tell in the Dark" at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24. In addition, there will be a mini-workshop on how to tell a great scary story. The library and the Berne Historical Society are co-sponsoring this event geared toward adults and families with older children. The program is underwritten by the Story Circle of the Capital District through funds raised by their annual storytelling concert for adults, Tellabration.

Story time

Funny monsters may be lurking in those shadows. Children ages 1 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to story time on Tuesday, Oct. 25 to look for some non-scary monsters. Perhaps there is one in the new book return.  Join Ms. Kathy at 10:30 a.m. for stories and other monstrous activities.  

  Inky Fingers

Participants of the Inky Fingers program will be learning a shadow stamping technique on Thursday, Oct. 27. Any interested adult is invited to join this artistic group at 7 p.m. to design creative cards.

So do the bands of a woolly bear predict the harshness of winter? In truth, this band grows wider as the caterpillar matures. So the woolly bear's brownish red band tells you its age. If the band is especially wide in autumn, it may suggest that the previous winter ended early. Hindsight is always easy.