Explore the American Desert at Audubon

JAMESTOWN – Contrary to what often meets the eye, deserts are alive with many plants and animals.

On Sept. 6 at the Audubon Center & Sanctuary’s First Friday Lunch Bunch, Beverly Ruska will take participants on a visual tour, “Exploring the American Desert, from Tucson to Death Valley.”

Assisted by her husband John, Ruska will give a brief description of the four deserts in the American Southwest: the Chihuahuan, Sonoran, Mojave and the Great Basin. Birds and native plants of these regions will be the main focus of the 11 a.m. event. The intertwining of the shortage of water, population growth, and California’s agriculture dominance will also be a theme.

Beverly Ruska, a graduate of Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, taught in Fredonia Central Schools and has been interested in birds and nature since childhood. She attributes this interest to her membership, in grade school in Erie, Pa., in the Junior Audubon Society. As a docent at the Buffalo Botanical Garden, she developed a stronger interest in the western deserts, especially their flora and fauna.

Following the program, coffee and tea will be provided for a BYO brown bag lunch. The fee for attending is $8 or $6 for Friends of the Nature Center. Reservations are not required.

The Audubon Center and Sanctuary is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren.

For more information, call 569-2345 or visit www.jamestownaudubon. org.