Photo of prairie in bloom

Celebrate Prairie Heritage Week at Judd Wildlife Area

August 23, 2019

Bryanna Kuhlman wanted to highlight the Judd Wildlife Area during Iowa’s Prairie Heritage Week Sept. 9-15. “I thought it would be good to highlight our Judd Wildlife Area because it has remnant, restored and currently-being-restored prairie areas,” said the Dickinson County Conservation Board’s environmental education coordinator. Kuhlman will host a…

Photo of back of American toad

Tell apart Iowa toads

August 21, 2019

Al and Wally, named for conservationist Alfred Wallace, are two Great Plains toads (Anaxyrus cognatus) that live at the Dickinson County Nature Center. Four different toads live in Iowa — Great Plains toad, American toad, Fowler’s toad and Woodhouse’s toad — and they can be difficult to tell apart. Here…

Photo of a viceroy butterfly

Six facts about viceroy butterflies

August 19, 2019

You see a black-and-orange butterfly flitting around, but it looks too small to be a monarch butterfly. This butterfly has very similar markings, except for the black line across its hindwing. What could it be? It’s a viceroy! 1. Viceroys are mimics. Viceroy butterflies mimic monarch butterflies, and it was…

Brooks Golf request for proposals

August 16, 2019

The Dickinson County Conservation Board voted to keep Brooks Golf as a golf course and to send out a request for proposals to lease the course to a management company beginning in 2020. The current lease contract with Brooks Management LLC runs through 2019. Dickinson County Conservation Board took ownership…

Silly Sally headlines the Bee & Butterfly Festival

August 16, 2019

Ventriloquism, magic, music and storytelling — Silly Sally’s show is sure to be a hit at the Bee & Butterfly Festival Friday, Sept. 6, at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. “I have a few new things just for this,” said Sally Shaver DuBois, also known as Silly Sally.…

Worker bee jobs

August 14, 2019

“It looked like two bees were dead and other bees were picking them up and dragging them away. Do they do that?” When you watch a honeybee hive, you’ll see the honeybees doing what might seem like odd activities. I mean, why would they be dragging around a dead bee?…

10 pollinator crafts

August 13, 2019

Do you love pollinators as much as we do? Then try out some of our favorite pollinator-themed crafts!

Photo of red admiral butterfly

10 facts about red admiral butterflies

July 30, 2019

We’ve noticed a lot of red admirals lately. They might not be as big or as flashy as monarchs, but these little orangish-red and black butterflies are really neat. Here are 10 things that make red admiral butterflies (Vanessa atalanta) unique: 1. They like stinging nettle. We’ve all reached down…

A butterfly’s bilateral symmetry

July 29, 2019

The line of symmetry is the imaginary line that divides something into two exactly equal and opposite parts. These two parts mirror each other; you can fold the figure in half and the two parts match exactly. Take a look at a monarch butterfly. Notice how the wings are identical…

Fall photography contest open for submissions

July 25, 2019

Summertime is always a beautiful time to take photos. Sunsets over the lake, birds flitting about, wildflowers blooming in bright colors — photography opportunities are endless. This season, the Dickinson County Nature Center is looking for more nature-related photos for its bi-annual photography contest, whether it be a picture of…

Photo of Westport Rural Schoolhouse sign

Westport Schoolhouse No. 5: A brief history

July 24, 2019

The first school in Dickinson County was an in-home private school that began around 1860, with a teacher employed to teach the children of Dr. J.S. Prescott and a few other local youth. The following years saw more private schools that soon expanded into small public education institutions throughout the…

Photo of a red-tailed hawk flying

7 red-tailed hawk facts

July 23, 2019

In the movies, you have probably seen a bald eagle flying and heard a screech-sound effect. However, that’s actually not a bald eagle’s call (hear that here). You may have also seen an osprey flying overhead in the movies and heard the same call, or a golden eagle and heard…

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