Photo of a baby hedgehog

Babies lose baby teeth, and so do baby animals — including baby hedgehogs, like the nature center’s animal ambassador Luna. However, hedgehogs also lose something else as they grow — their quills! Baby hedgehogs are born with spines, but at that time their skin is swollen and covers their spines so that they do not…

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Photo of white-tail deer

Humans often hole themselves up in their houses to survive the winter in front of the fire with hot chocolate. However, animals have to survive the frigid chill outside in the elements, and they have different ways of dealing with the change in seasons. Let’s take a quick look at how these Iowa animals survive.…

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Photo of child putting item on felt board

Nature stories, live animals, outdoor play — Nature Tots is a hit program at the Dickinson County Nature Center that will return Jan. 8 for the 2020 season. “I think this program has been so well attended because it offers activities families can do together,” said Bryanna Kuhlman, environmental education coordinator. “It also gives families…

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Photo of an egg carton snowman

It’s a winter wonderland in Iowa, so we’re celebrating with a recycled snowman craft. Instead of tossing out your empty egg cartons, keep them around for fun crafts on an afternoon when the winter weather is pressing you in. (Check out instructions for an egg carton butterfly here). To make a snowman, you’ll need: -An…

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Photo of white-tail deer

When walking through deep snow, it’s always easier when someone else leads. That person gets tired breaking the trail, but everyone who walks in his or her footsteps has an easier time of it. That is one reason that deer congregate during the winter. When they all use the same network of trails through the…

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Photo of naturalists reading a story

A new monthly program begins Jan. 4 at the Dickinson County Nature Center. Storytime with a Naturalist premieres at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at the nature center in Okoboji, part of the 2020 program lineup. “Since we’re open on Saturdays now, I thought it would be fun for families with children in school to…

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Photo of a big brown bat

Iowa has nine species of bats (you can read more about them here) and some of them hibernate while others migrate, and some migrate to hibernate. Iowa’s two most common bats, and those that you would find in Dickinson County, are the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) and the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus). Both…

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Photo of woman reading a story

It may feel like the weather outside is frightful, but Caribbean Night will be so delightful at the Dickinson County Nature Center. The final Family Nature Night for 2019 has a tropical theme. “We thought it would be fun to take it outside the parameters of Iowa and think a little warmer,” said Bryanna Kuhlman,…

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The common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) is just that — common. They are a small snake, usually less than 3 feet, and are non-venomous. The snakes are found throughout Iowa and much of the U.S., as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. However common they are in the summertime, they quickly disappear as the…

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Photo of a great-horned owl

There are nine species of owls in Iowa, and the great-horned owl (Bubo virgianus) may be the most well-known species. Great-horned owls have the quintessential owl call. When you think owl, you think “Whoooo. Whoooo.” That is actually not the call of every owl but the call of the great-horned owl. You can’t see their…

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