By Pamela West-Finkle

First, congratulations to all of our 2021 graduates!  You have successfully survived remote learning during a pandemic, a historic first! We wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors!

I am so excited to announce our June/July schedule in this month’s Gazette, but before I get to that news, there’s a bit of “housekeeping” that I need to discuss.

Masks or No Masks…That is the Question!

It is the Andes Public Library’s position that since we publicly serve at risk populations and children who do not yet have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, we will still require mask wearing in the library as well as during outside programs when social distancing is not possible. It is recommended that all patrons of the library continue to wear masks even if they are vaccinated to help protect everyone. Staff will continue to wear masks and enforce social distancing. We appreciate your patronage and your understanding!

Andes Public Library Tales and Tails 2021 Summer Reading Programs and Events

All in-person programs are scheduled to take place outdoors in Bohlmann Park and the Andes Library Gazebo, weather permitting. During inclement weather, all programs will be available online via Zoom and Facebook Live and materials will be provided for pickup.  Masks and possibly temperature checks may be required for some programs. To register or for more information, please contact Pamela West-Finkle at 845-676-3333 or email

Wednesdays 10 am – Facebook Live Online Story and Song time with Miss Pam.

Tales & Tails Writing Contest: (Open May 1st – August 1st) Prizes Available!  Children (ages 5-12) Teens (ages 13-17) and Adult categories. Write an original fairy tale, folk tale, fable, or tall tale featuring an animal as one of the main characters.

Starting in June:

First Thursdays – 5 pm – LitWits Book Group in the Gazebo

Second & Fourth Thursdays  – 6 pm Teen and Adult Beginning Guitar Lessons, Suggested donation: $5 teens, $10 adults. Must have your own instrument. Masks and Registration required.

Month of July:

Saturdays 9 to 10 in Bohlmann Park – July 10th – August 14th: Early Childhood Music Together® with Miss Pam. (Families with children birth to age seven.) Maximum twelve children. There’s an old saying that the family that plays together, stays together and research has shown that children who participate in a quality early childhood music program excel in social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive development. Families will be required to remain twelve feet apart—please bring a blanket to sit on. Free Story and song instrument kits will be available—one per child, funded through a Youth Grant from the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation. Families may also bring their own homemade or children’s percussion instrument sets.   Additional prepackaged disinfected instruments will be available to borrow.  Music materials and licensing CD, song downloads, illustrated songbook, and parent education materials are $40 per family. Suggested donation is $10 for the first child and $5 for each additional sibling per class. Accompanying siblings under 9 months are free. Families may register for four or six weeks and registration is required due to space limitations. For more information on the program, visit Contact or call 607-441-8448 to register.

Saturday, July 10th: Views and Vistas Garden Tour, 11 am to 4 pm – Maps available from 10 am, the day of, at the Library, 242 Main Street in Andes, New York. Suggested donation for adults is $15 per person. Children are free. You are invited to visit the gardens in any order. We recommend comfortable walking shoes!   No pre-registration is required.

Tails and Tales Summer Workshops: Tuesday and Wednesday July 13th & 14th and July 20th and 21st  Collaboration with the Andes Central School Summer CROP program (May or may not be open to the community depending on CDC guidelines for school based summer camps).  11:15 grades K-3 and 11:50 – 12:20 grades 4-8. Children will listen to folk tales and fables from around the world that feature animals. They

It was wet and chilly on Mothers’ Day, but when the sun came out for a while here I went up the hill to work on the main garden. The early seedlings that I had planted were doing well despite frosts: peas, carrots, bok choy, kale, and mizuna (a mild type of mustard green). The garlic was already about eight inches tall, the asparagus spears were pushing up through its mulch, and some of the strawberries were flowering along with the cherry and pear trees. Flower buds were just appearing on the apple trees and the sorrel plant was lush with its leaves that taste like sour apple. I snacked on them as I listened to the church bell ringing from the valley and the chickadees playing “Marco Polo” in the woods. It felt like heaven.

   I had intended to do just a little weeding before adding more mulch around the seedlings, but the raspberry bed called to me. Its mulch had long ago faded into soil and it was full of weeds. Difficult and prickly to get in there once the raspberry plants fill out, it’s much easier to weed while they are still just sticks with little leafy buds on them.

Weeding in general is much easier in Springtime while the weeds are still small. Tiny weeds can be “scuffled” by just scraping the surface of the soil. Getting out the whole roots of the deeply rooted varieties like dandelion and red clover is more possible, preventing later regrowth. Removing any weed before it goes to seed makes for less work in the long run. There are some that I like to let flower in certain places because they’re pretty, but then I need to make sure to cut those flowers before they spread seeds.

Before I knew it, I was wet and muddy. I had heard the noontime siren from the firehouse in town but kept working as dark clouds gathered and thickened. It was well into the afternoon before the rain got too strong to ignore and sent me inside to finally eat a meal—brunch, at that point—unless you count the greens I had been munching on.

My children waited until later in the day to call me. They know how I am. It was my kind of day, bonding with my Mother (Earth, that is).~