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Plan an indoor scavenger hunt

June 22, 2017
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Photo of the osprey nest exhibit

We’re now a month into summer vacation, and every morning is similar. The kids wake up way too early. You feed them breakfast. You have play time, and you look at the clock. It’s 9:30 a.m. Plus, if you’re in northwest Iowa this morning, it’s pouring rain. What’s a mom to do in ...

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The legacy of Wilder, Spohn and Holroyd

June 14, 2017
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Photo of interior of country school

C. H. Wilder. Clara Holroyd. Eva Spohn. Each day, they woke up, ate a hearty breakfast and walked to the little white schoolhouse in the center of Westport Township in the southwest corner of Dickinson County. With the light of day still young, they started a fire in the potbelly stove to ...

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Osprey Diary: Transition time

June 7, 2017
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Photo of osprey in a nest

I was sitting on the nest like any other day when I felt it. Tap, tap, tap. A soft rhythm was coming from inside one of my brown speckled eggs. Tap, tap, tap. It was time. I had done my job and the babies were ready to break out of their shells and meet ...

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Take a walk through Jahn Wildlife Area

May 31, 2017
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Photo of the Little Sioux River

I laced up my new gray and teal hiking boots, hoping to start breaking them in on my first trek to the Jahn Wildlife Area just south of Lake Park. Although the Dickinson County Conservation Board maintains the area in an agreement with the engineer’s office, I have only been to ...

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Mason bees might be better pollinators than honeybees!

May 24, 2017
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If you didn’t have bad luck, you wouldn’t have any luck at all. Someone posted this about our osprey nest camera blowing down again this year. We feel kind of the same way. This poor camera has been blown down, hasn’t had enough sun, and when the camera did work last ...

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See the larva inside the indoor bee hive

May 17, 2017
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Photo of bee larva in a hive

Graphic from beesinfo.info   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 ...

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Osprey Diary: Guess our hatching date

May 10, 2017
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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 husband keeps telling me my…

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Instead of Legos, try natural building blocks!

May 3, 2017
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Photo of stacked rocks

When hiking along a rocky trail on vacation, how do you try to remember the experience? Do you pull out your phone and take pictures? Do you take a deep breath, close your eyes and seal the moment in your mind without any physical evidence? Do you write about it in ...

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Osprey Diary: Koi fish make blustery days taste sweeter

April 26, 2017
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Photo of an osprey sitting on the nest

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 times ...

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Osprey Diary: We’re back!

April 18, 2017
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Photo of two osprey in their nest

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 the ...

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