Posts by kiley

Floral sun catcher brings summer indoors

Photo of suncatcher in the window

Summer is about sun, green grasses and leaves, brightly-colored flower blooms. This sun catcher craft takes all of summer and puts it in one simple piece. To make your own sun catcher, you’ll need: Two self-adhesive laminating sheets Flowers and leaves Scissors Twine First, make sure to use self-adhesive laminating sheets, even if you have…

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Foods we wouldn’t have without pollinators

Graphic that says cardamom, cashews, cherries, chocolate, coconuts, coffee, coriander, cranberries

What if you couldn’t have any almonds or cashews in that nut mix you love to snack on? What if you couldn’t eat sesame chicken because sesame didn’t exist anymore? What if bananas, blueberries and tomatoes weren’t on the shelves anymore? One in three bites of food that we take is due to pollinators, and…

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Entomologist answers all your bee questions

Photo of Randall Cass

“People don’t seem to know very much about native species of bees. They think honeybees are native, that all bees produce honey, that all bees live in hives.” Randall Cass, Iowa State University Extension entomologist for honeybees and native bees, will help overcome some common misunderstandings like these about bees during his Pollinator Week program…

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Hike the Wild tours glacial landmarks

Photo of people hiking

In the past, Dickinson County Conservation’s glacial landmark tour has only been open to students as a field trip. However, beginning in June, naturalists will take members of the public on monthly visits to glacial landmarks during Hike the Wild. “We enjoy doing our glacial landmark tour with our students, and we thought it would…

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Five plants to start your pollinator garden

Photo of prairie smoke

You’ve learned that pollinator populations are dwindling and that you can help by planting native species in your garden to provide habitat and food sources. But what do you plant? It can be overwhelming to look at all the options of native flowers that you can put in your garden. It’s even a lot for…

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Six pollinators that aren’t bees or butterflies

Photo of a robber fly on dotted gayfeather

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about native bees, honeybees, butterflies and moths — but did you know that there are plenty of other types of pollinators out there? Hummingbirds Hummingbirds love flowers that are tubular, brightly colored, open during the day and have prolific nectar hidden deeply within. The ruby-throated hummingbird is the…

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Without buzz pollination, we wouldn’t have blueberries

Photo of a rusty-patched bumblebee

Most of the time bees can access pollen pretty easily on the anther of a flower, like in the video above; it is passively released by the flower and coats the hairs of pollinators that come to the flower to drink its nectar and gather its pollen. However, about eight percent of flowering plants have…

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Make a toad hand puppet

Photo of the completed puppet

Since we talked today about five facts that will make you love toads (read the blog post here), we decided to make a toad-themed craft. If you look up toad crafts, there are not a lot out there! Like we mentioned in the blog post, toads tend to get overlooked in favor of their more…

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Five facts that will make you like toads

Photo of Al the toad

Because frogs are brightly colored, they tend to be looked on with more awe than toads. However, American toads have some pretty neat attributes when you get to know them. Come check out Al the American toad at the Dickinson County Nature Center and see how interesting he is in person! (Watch our Mr. Frog…

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Iowa Great Lakes fun facts

Graphic that says 95 football fields would it in Lake Minnewashta's surface area.

We all love the lakes. That’s what makes Okoboji, Okoboji. But how much do you know about the lakes themselves? Did you know that Upper Gar Lake is the smallest lake in the Iowa Great Lakes at only 37 acres with an average depth of 3.5 feet? That is the height of the average 6-year-old!…

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