Photo of bee larva in a hive

See the larva inside the indoor bee hive

May 17, 2017

  When looking at the indoor honeybee hive at the Dickinson County Nature Center, take a step back and look from different angles. The honeycomb is shiny with lots of nectar that the forager bees have begun to bring in this spring, most likely from the plethora of dandelions that…

Osprey Diary: Guess our hatching date

May 10, 2017

This stick doesn’t go here. It goes here. Moves small stick two inches. And this grass would be better over here. Moves two inches. I have an itch. Swivels head to scratch back. I’m so bored. There’s not much for me to do at this point in our family-making. My…

Photo of an osprey sitting on the nest

Osprey Diary: Koi fish make blustery days taste sweeter

April 26, 2017

It’s so cold. I’ve overheard the crazy birds that live here in Kenue Park year-round call us that fly south for the winter snowbirds. In reality, I think that they’re the snowbirds. They actually live here when it gets below freezing and the snow flies. I’ve only seen snow a few…

Photo of two osprey in their nest

Osprey Diary: We’re back!

April 18, 2017

Blue skies. Warm temperatures. Fresh fish. It was a beautiful winter down south, and it was rejuvenating. I’m a bit of a loner in the off-season, and I needed some time away from my husband after our tragic loss of our chicks last year. I needed some mental recuperation, and…

Photo of butterfly milkweed root drawing

How deep do they go?

March 29, 2017

Did you know that butterfly milkweed’s roots grow up to 12 feet deep, about the height of an African elephant? We look at prairie plants and can hardly imagine the amazing root systems that are growing beneath our feet. Those roots help to draw water down into the watershed, which…

Photo of a bee finger puppet

Five bee myths and truths

March 15, 2017

Myth: Bees are mean. Truth: Bee are nice. Honeybees only sting as a last resort, because they die after stinging. That means, unless they feel threatened or think you are going to hurt the hive, they will leave you alone. Myth: Bees will keep stinging you. Truth: As stated above,…

Photo of paint samples by the sky

Color match trek in the Nature Playscape

March 7, 2017

Yesterday, I stopped at the local hardware store and picked up a few paint chips to take into the Nature Playscape at the Dickinson County Nature Center. I thought I would play a little game and see what colors in nature I could match to my paint chips. The outdoor…

Photo of a goldfinch

Make your own backyard birding binoculars

March 1, 2017

Birding is such a popular hobby because everyone can do it. Whether you are backyard birding, taking a hike or even boating, you can always catalogue the birds that you see. The he Dickinson County Nature Center features nests of some of the most common birds you might see right…

Turning that unhappy plate into compost instead of garbage

February 22, 2017

“I have a happy plate!” Our nieces are always pleased to announce when they clean their dinner plates, usually because it means some kind of treat — food or not — for them afterward. As a kid, having a happy plate is good. How often do adults end up with…

Photo of rock collection

Walks rock when you’re looking for rocks

February 15, 2017

This week, Teddy the turtle heads to the Dickinson County Nature Center lower level to check out the geology exhibit. From Colorado to Texas, New York to Arkansas, volunteer Jerry Wiekamp traveled the United States, visiting mines and collecting geological specimens that are now on display at the Dickinson County…

Photo of a turtle by a fox burrow hole

Crawl through a fox burrow

February 8, 2017

Interestingly, red foxes don’t often use burrows or dens to stay warm in the winter. They can stay warm during the cold months simply by curling their fluffy tails around them. However, this is the time of year they might be thinking about finding a den. Red foxes mate during…

Photo of fake snowflake on window

A twist on the classic snowflake craft

February 1, 2017

Ugh. That’s what many of us think when we look outside at this time of year. It’s long enough into winter that we’re all tired of the cold, but not far enough into winter that we have hope of spring around the corner. This is the time of year we…

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