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Painted and snapping turtles survive winter underwater

November 18, 2019

We see many types of turtles roaming around northwest Iowa in the summertime, especially painted turtles and snapping turtles. But we don’t see any in the winter. Where do they all go? Painted turtles and snapping turtles spend their winters in lakes or ponds, living beneath the ice the forms.…

Animals that don’t have a pattern are cathemeral

November 12, 2019

Learning about nature and animals is so interesting, because humans seem to have a desire to divide things into categories, and for those categories to be neat and clear. When learning about butterflies and moths, we want to know how to tell the difference. There are general differences, but there…

Photo of an ornate box turtle

Become a certified Wildlife Guardian

November 8, 2019

Do you and your kids love animals? Then the next Family Nature Night Friday, Nov. 22, at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji is for you. The nature center will feature six stations with live animals at which families can learn about and see a live animal, including a…

Winter weather predictions for northwest Iowa

November 7, 2019

We all want to know what’s going to happen each winter, and it’s always a topic of conversation as fall crawls toward its colder companion season. So what are the professionals actually saying? Temperatures In general, without an El Nino or La Nina weather pattern, it looks to be a…

Photo of a little girl holding a butterfly ring

Butterfly ring *FREE template*

November 4, 2019

We love pollinators, and we love sharing that love with others through education and fun. At the 2019 Bee & Butterfly Festival, visitors could create a fun butterfly ring with a simple cardstock template and a pipe cleaner. You can create your own by downloading our free template below, and…

Graphic aboutt being diurnal

Diurnal animals are awake during the day

November 4, 2019

Kids learn pretty early that animals that are awake at night are nocturnal. The word for the rest of us that are awake during the day, though, doesn’t seem quite as well known. Humans and many animals are what is called diurnal. Diurnal creatures wake and sleep with the rising…

Board votes on Brooks Golf management agreement

November 1, 2019

Dickinson County Conservation voted Wednesday to sign a 10-year agreement with Brooks Management LLC to run Brooks Golf in Okoboji. The Dickinson County Conservation Board took ownership of Brooks Golf in March and signed a management agreement through 2019 with Brooks Management to run the course as the conservation board…

Fall leaf color guide

October 30, 2019

Fall is a beautiful time to take a drive to look at all of the beautiful trees changing color. Leaves begin to change color because of the lack of chlorophyll that is present in the spring and summer, revealing the other colors in the leaves that is present beneath the…

Tarantula defense mechanisms

October 28, 2019

One might think that the first thing a tarantula, like Pinki — the Chilean rose-haired tarantula at the Dickinson County Nature Center, would do to protect itself would be to bite with its venomous fangs. Yet, they actually have several warning signs to tell predators, including people, that they are…

Photo of a bumblebee gathering pollen

10 bee questions answered

October 23, 2019

1. How long does a honeybee live? How long does a queen live? A worker bee typically lives six weeks during the summer, and during that time it has a variety of different jobs — nurse, undertaker, architect, cleaner, attendant, guard, forager. (Read more about worker bee jobs here.) However,…

Birds have hollow bones

October 21, 2019

In the spring and fall, the vast majority of birds take to the air. In the spring, they head north to their breeding grounds, and in the fall, they head south to overwintering areas that are warmer and have ample food supplies. Migration can be a long and hard journey,…

Photo of a blue orchard mason bee

The amazing blue orchard mason bee

October 16, 2019

Do you love fruit? Then you love the blue orchard mason bee. Blue orchard mason bees (Osmia lignaria) are part of a family of bees that are solitary — meaning they live and breed individually instead of socially in a hive, like honeybees — and use clay to make partitions…

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