Photo of a gray-headed coneflower

How prairie plants disperse seed

June 26, 2019

As a kid, we all picked a puffy dandelion and blew the wisps into the air. Little did we think that we were actually helping dandelions disperse their seeds. Dandelions and other plants only survive when their seeds are dispersed so that new plants grow the next season. They spread…

Beaver teeth are tough as iron, literally

June 24, 2019

We drink water with flouride added to help strengthen our teeth. You’ve probably been to the dentist and had flouride treatments that taste like bubble gum. You brush your teeth with toothpaste that has flouride in it, and maybe you even use mouthwash to help strengthen your enamel. Beavers don’t…

Thank you for the Brooks Golf public input

June 22, 2019

The Dickinson County Conservation Board would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all who attended the public meeting regarding Brooks Golf on Wednesday and to those who have submitted written comments. No decision will be made regarding the future of the 230 acres until at least the conservation…

Pollinator myths and misconceptions

June 18, 2019

Pollinators are a huge topic of conversation in conservation today, and that’s why we have added the Pollinator Paradise addition to the Dickinson County Nature Center. As we enter into discussions about pollinators, we hear a lot of myths and misconceptions. Let’s take a look at a few. 1. I…

Photo of a turtle finger puppet

Turtle finger puppet template

June 17, 2019

Turtle or tortoise — they’re different creatures, but you can make this fun finger puppet into whichever you would like. Otherwise, you can use your imagination and make your own distinctive turtle! Make it pink. Make it sparkly. Make it your own. First, start off by printing off the free…

Photo of a tortoise

Turtle or tortoise? What’s the difference?

June 17, 2019

We had someone comment that Teddy the box turtle looked unhappy because he wasn’t in water. However, he’s a terrestrial turtle, so his kind lives the majority of their lives on land and not in the water. Yet, he isn’t a tortoise. Some people in Florida released tortoise hatchlings into…

Photo of youth throwing spear with atlatl

Test your prehistoric hunting abilities during Family Nature Night

June 14, 2019

Atlatl is an odd word. This ancient spear-throwing tool was used by prehistoric peoples in Iowa to achieve greater velocity when hunting with spears. It’s probably not something you’ve seen, or even heard of, but you can try your hand at using one during Family Nature Night 7 p.m. Friday,…

Photo of a wood tick

Five answers to questions about wood ticks

June 12, 2019

A hard shell, long legs, a bad reputation. Know what I’m talking about? It’s the wood tick (Dermacentor variabilis), or American dog tick! More than a dozen tick species can be found throughout Iowa, but the most common is the wood tick. Iowa State University Extension & Outreach has a…

Personality quiz: Which pollinator are you?

June 10, 2019
Photo of chipping sparrow and cowbird egg

Cowbirds lay eggs in other nests

June 10, 2019

Two volunteers were weeding an area and found a small chipping sparrow nest in a low bush. In the nest were three of the sparrow’s bright blue, speckled eggs and another egg that didn’t match. This fourth egg was larger, white and speckled with brown. If you find a similar…

Westport Schoolhouse opens for 2019 season

June 7, 2019

Slates, kerosene lamps, desks arranged by grade — step inside the Westport Schoolhouse and step back in time. The Westport Schoolhouse opens for the season Tuesday, June 11, in Kenue Park in Okoboji. Tour the last remaining one-room schoolhouse in Dickinson County 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday through August. “Volunteers…

Photo of a hummingbird moth

5 fun moth facts

June 5, 2019

Butterflies definitely seem to be more popular than moths, but moths are actually more populous than butterflies. In the United States, there are about 750 species of butterflies and 11,000 species of moths. (Can you tell the difference between butterflies and moths?) Many people don’t know much about moths, other…

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