What a day. Over 300 people came out Sunday afternoon for the Dedication of the Clif Moss Nature Education Center at our branch.

Mayor Henry Garrett gave opening remarks and was later presented with the first of 50 posters of the birding sites map by area artist Dinah Bowman.

Ken Kellar, president of the Friends and library director Herb Canales made the presentation on behalf of the Friends of the Corpus Christi Public Libraries. Ed Hicks Imports, Ltd. was recognized for underwriting much of the cost of the event. We greatly appreciate the company's and their employees support.

Clay Taylor, a respected birder and frequent visitor to our area, introduced his long-time friend, David Allen Sibley, as our guest speaker. Mr. Sibley told of his love of drawing birds and how his father's love of birding led into his combining art and birding into the writing of his well-respected birding guidebook.

Mrs. Clif Moss and family members were present. Mr. Moss was a long-time supporter of libraries and they were avid birders. This was quite evident when I visited Mrs. Moss in her home over a year ago. They have been collectors of birding art in paintings, drawings and statues.

I had quilted a sofa throw of egrets last year after falling in love with the fabrics. I always like to know that my paintings, crafts and now, my quilts, have good homes. It occurred to me this past week that it would be a good gift for a gracious lady in appreciation of the major donation of memorial funds she gave to Northwest Branch.

Jeff Cobbs, president of the Corpus Christi Geological Society, and Sebastian Wiedmann, treasurer, made a major announcement. Their organization has commissioned Dinah Bowman to paint a mural of the Ice Age Mammals that roamed this area 13,000-plus years ago. When you visit the children's library, you will see pictures of some fossils and one that gives an idea of what our mural will be like. Naturally, we are very enthused about this and know the children are going to be awestruck by it.

The Coastal Bend Wildlife in Focus Photo Contest's executive director, Michelle Horine, presented David Sibley with an autographed set of three volumes of their books. We now have a new set of 20 prize-winning photographs from them on display in the library. This is another partnership in the community that we greatly appreciate.

Staff from Central Library created beautiful invitations, posters and other materials. My staff worked hard and enthusiastically for weeks. Jamie Ritter, a dear friend and birder, organized the upcoming six weeks of birding programs starting March 8. I can't begin to list the many projects that Jo Creglow, our in-house birding expert, has done behind the scenes for the last two years.

The index to the Audubon Elephant Folio Volumes was a major project. She sought support from the Audubon Outdoor Club and individual birders on behalf of the birding sites map and took David Sibley birding Saturday afternoon to Hazel Bazemore Park.

Last, but not least, the ladies of the La Retama Club catered the refreshments. Tasty homemade cookies and punch were enjoyed by all. Mrs. Joan Priday and her family were responsible for setting up and were assisted in serving by other members. The floral arrangement featuring birds of paradise was very fitting for the occasion.

Lynda Whitton is the head librarian for the Northwest Branch Library in Corpus Christi. Readers may contact her at 241-9329.