Photo of frozen colored ice cubes

Ice cube tie-dye

January 21, 2019

It’s cold. If you’re not reading this the week it’s written, the windchill is -6 degrees Fahrenheit, and it’s 2 p.m. You can imagine how cold it was last night, and how cold it’s going to get tonight! However, we like to embrace the seasons around here, so we thought…

Photo of a red-eared slider

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were originally inspired by red-eared sliders

January 21, 2019

Red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) are found throughout the United States, but that hasn’t always been the case. These aquatic turtles are natively found in the southeastern United States from Texas to Alabama north to southern Ohio and into Kansas. Their native watersheds may have even extended into Iowa. Red-eared…

Graphic that says easy orange pheasant recipe

Orange pheasant

January 16, 2019

My husband doesn’t usually go pheasant hunting, because it’s difficult to do without a hunting dog, and our Olde English Bulldog just doesn’t seem to like the outdoors…or being active…or being awake. So I haven’t had the chance to eat pheasant before, but this year he went hunting with a…

Graphic of name game

Animal Baby Name Game

January 14, 2019

Baby names are so much fun. Whether you’re planning for your own child, getting ready for a baby shower or just having fun thinking of names, it can be quite a crazy world to look into. There are literally thousands upon thousands of names, and some can be quite crazy.…

Photo of a common snapping turtle

Snapping turtles are fascinating

January 14, 2019

People speculate how both gangsters and snapping turtles cut off people’s fingers, so when the Dickinson County Nature Center got a baby snapping turtle as an animal ambassador, it was named Capone after the legendary gangster Al Capone. Common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are the largest turtles in Iowa, and…

Photo of a girl holding a bunny

No School Day camps premiere in 2019

January 11, 2019

On a day with no school, get the kids off the couch and send them to the Dickinson County Nature Center for our all new No School Day Camp. Camps will be held 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. March 1 — a day off for Okoboji Elementary School — and March 18…

Photo of Pluto

Why Pluto isn’t considered a planet anymore

January 9, 2019

Pluto was first designated a planet in 1930 when it was discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ. The tiny planet is about two-thirds the diameter of Earth’s moon and most likely is made up of a rocky core surrounded by ice and coated with…

How fish survive in frozen lakes

January 7, 2019

The frozen Iowa Great Lakes are dotted with blue and black as ice fishermen set up their shacks, drill holes and search for life below the ice. And there is still plenty of life to be found, but how exactly do fish survive in those frigid temperatures? You can learn…

Photo of an ornate box turtle

What kind of turtle is it?

January 2, 2019

Shells, claws and tails — turtles can seem confusingly similar. However, if you know a few key differences to look for, you can soon confidently identify some common turtle species in Iowa. There are 13 turtle species known in Iowa, but we’re going to look at just five — Blanding’s…

Photo of child smiling

Nature Tots kicks off for 2019

December 28, 2018

Little campers, Nature’s Pals, Magical Rainbows — Nature Tots has a whole new slate of engaging themes for 2019. The series for ages 2-5 kicks off Wednesday, Jan. 9, at the Dickinson County Nature Center. Environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman said the program continues on each year’s schedule because of…

Photo of mallard duck taking off

Flying high: Mallards one of highest flying birds documented

December 26, 2018

We have many wonderful volunteers at the Dickinson County Nature Center, and one of regular front desk helpers loves to bring in articles with interesting animal facts. The last article she brought in from “Smithsonian” magazine told that the highest bird flight ever recorded was by the Ruppell’s griffon, a…

Photo of deer flagging tail

6 things you didn’t know about white-tailed deer

December 17, 2018

1. Hollow hairs help them stay warm in the winter. Have you ever seen a deer that has snow on its back that doesn’t melt? It makes people shiver to think about walking around covered in snow — isn’t the deer freezing? However, it’s actually that frozen snow that shows…

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