Posts by kiley

Toilet paper tube butterfly ornaments

Photo of a butterfly ornament in a tree

My fingers are stained orange like I just ate a bag of Cheetos. At least that’s what naturalist Ashley Hansen said when she looked at me. But it was for a good cause. See, I just spent 10 minutes coloring an empty toilet paper tube orange to make a super fun Christmas tree ornament! All…

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How honeybees survive the winter

Photo of bee box

The numbers of bees in the indoor beehive have gone down. But that’s pretty normal this time of year. It just means that our bees have entered winter mode and are getting ready to survive cold weather. Baby, it’s cold outside. As the weather cools down, a honeybee hive starts to change. One of the…

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How is ice created in lakes?

Graphic about water temperature versus density

The temperatures drop, and we all wonder, “When will the lakes freeze?” My question today was, how does that actually happen? Of course, ice is created when the water temperature reaches freezing. That is pretty obvious. We’ve all seen ice cubes created in the freezer. Yet, lakes don’t freeze all at once, and they don’t…

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Join the Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Photo of a bluebird

If you love watching the birds flit to and fro from your outdoor feeders, then you can make an impact as a citizen scientist. The Dickinson County Conservation Board and local birder Lee Schoenewe are working together to gather volunteers to participate in the annual Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count Saturday, Dec. 16. (Learn more…

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Enjoy environmental learning at other nature centers in northwest Iowa

Photo of fish hatchery

The Iowa Great Lakes area is full of environmental opportunities, from recreating on the lakes to hiking county and state parks to bird watching. After people experience the many interactive exhibits and live animals at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji, they often ask where else they can find fun nature-related things to do…

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My Giving Tree craft

Crafts don’t always come together the way you think they will. I had a brilliant idea this morning to make place cards with leaf etchings on them, and I tried it out. Yikes. Ugly. If you come up with something pretty with that idea, let me know. So instead, I decided to post how to…

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7 things Teddy the ornate box turtle wants you to know about him

Photo of a box turtle

When kids who have been to the nature center before return, many of them beeline to see Teddy the ornate box turtle. (Teddy has some lessons for us to learn in this video.) But how much do you really know about the ornate box turtle (terrapene ornata ornata)? Long live Teddy. Ornate box turtles have an…

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Acorn flour chocolate chip cookies recipe

Photo of acorn flour cookies

When environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman decided to focus on ethnobotany for this year’s Thanksgiving hike, she knew she would talk about how people have used acorns for food as part of the Kenue Park program. She came to me (community relations coordinator Kiley Roth) and casually mentioned it would be fun to make cookies…

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It really works: Leaping frog origami

Graphic with origami instructions

I am by no means an origami expert, but I always feel accomplished when I complete a new project. We’ve tried butterfly origami (you can find that blog entry here) and today decided to attempt making interactive origami — a leaping frog! Steps 1-4: Fold your paper hot dog, then crease the right and left…

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