Posts by kiley

Your mosquito questions answered

Photo of a tiger mosquito

The bane of summer — the mosquito. We all love nice weather, but no one loves this little annoyances that seem to love the heat as well. You probably have plenty of questions, so we’re here to answer just a few. Why do mosquitoes bite? Female mosquitoes bite and take blood, whereas males survive on…

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Quick guide to finding a baby animal: Part II

Photo of ducklings in the grass

People are generally so kind-hearted when it comes to baby animals. You might see a group of ducklings walking around without an adult and just want to help them, out of the goodness of your heart. We love that people want to help animals, but often the best thing to do is leave wildlife alone.…

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Abbie Gardner Cabin & Museum opens for the season Memorial Day weekend

Photo of a cabin

A small log cabin sits near Pillsbury Point, along the shore of West Lake Okoboji. “With inexpressible sadness I now recall some of the scenes and events that transpired in that humble but happy home…” Abbie Gardner Sharp wrote in “History of the Spirit Lake Massacre.” Her sister reading aloud to the family. Her father…

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Dickinson County Endowment Fund grants help fund exhibit fabrication

Graphic of amazing apples exhibit

The Pollinator Paradise addition at the Dickinson County Nature Center is continuing to move forward thanks to a grant from the Dickinson County Endowment Fund. The Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County received a $10,000 grant from the Dickinson County Endowment Fund in September 2018 to help create exhibits inside the new Pollinator Paradise addition to…

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Prairie plant roots help water quality

Photo of butterfly milkweed root drawing

Native prairie plants make wonderful habitat for wildlife like voles, turkeys, rabbits, ground squirrels, hawks and foxes. They provide both habitat and food sources for tiny creatures such as monarch butterflies, bumblebees and milkweed beetles. They are beautiful to look at. However, they are also important in a way that we can’t see. Deep down…

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Wiggle caterpillar puppet

Close-up photo of wiggle caterpillar puppet

We have swallowtail caterpillars in our butterfly enclosure and talked in our kids blog this week about how to tell the difference between them and monarch caterpillars, so it seems only fitting to have a caterpillar craft as well. Caterpillars are fun to watch for many reasons, but one of them is to see the…

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4 keys to telling apart monarch and swallowtail caterpillars

Photo of a black swallowtail caterpillar

We stress that it is important to plant milkweed because it is the only plant that monarch butterflies lay their eggs on and that their caterpillars eat. However, some people have come to us confused that monarch caterpillars are eating the dill in their yard. Taking a closer look though, it’s not monarch caterpillars eating…

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Hike the Wild heads to Kettleson Hogsback

Photo of people hiking through the woods

Beavers, violets, pelicans — the Kettleson Hogsback Wildlife Management Area is full of life in spring. That makes it the perfect place for Dickinson County Conservation to host its spring Hike the Wild program Tuesday, May 28. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji and caravan to the Iowa Department…

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It’s warbler season: Tips to finding and identifying warblers

Photo of a Wilson's warbler

You’ve probably heard of warblers, but many people don’t have the opportunity to see one or don’t know if they do. These birds only come through northwest Iowa twice a year, for a couple of weeks at a time as they migrate to their northern breeding grounds. Since they are insect-eaters, warblers migrate south in…

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Black squirrels in Iowa

Photo of a fox squirrel

Clubs, businesses, special events — many things in Iowa have been named after the mythic black squirrel. I grew up in eastern Iowa where black squirrels were a common sight and didn’t really think anything about it until moving to northwest Iowa where black squirrels are much less common. Then, my sister-in-law texted me a…

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