Make your own duck mask from a paper plate

Photo of a duck mask craft

As ducks and geese starting migrating through the Iowa Great Lakes area this spring, it’s only appropriate that we feature a waterfowl mask as a craft. (Read “Seven Waterfowl to Look for During Migration.”) I’ll admit I took some creative liberties with the duck coloring in my own duck mask, so when choosing colors feel…

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Seven waterfowl to look for during migration

Photo of a hooded merganser

The Iowa Great Lakes and the smaller lakes and wetlands in the area are starting to melt. That means that birds that flew south to warmer areas for the winter are now flying back north to their summer breeding grounds. Waterfowl are definitely on the move this month, and it’s fun to see the birds…

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Natural Resource Aide seasonal employment available

The Dickinson County Conservation Board is looking to hire four seasonal natural resource aides for the summer of 2018. This is an excellent entry-level opportunity for those looking to get their foot in the door in the conservation field. Gain experience in ecosystems management, integrated roadside vegetation management, trails maintenance, and park maintenance. Natural Resource…

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Butterflies and beyond: Planting for pollinators

When we think about pollinators, we typically think of the 1,200 species of butterflies in Iowa, the 2,500 species of moths or the 200 species of bees. However, we then overlook important pollinators such as hummingbirds, ants, flower beetles, hover flies, midges and even mosquitoes. During the next Pollinator Education Series program 5:30 p.m. Thursday,…

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Native Iowa Butterflies and Moths: Sulphurs and blues

Photo of eastern tailed-blue

As our Pollinator Paradise addition to the Dickinson County Nature Center wraps up construction and we look forward to finishing fundraising for exhibits and adding some children’s museum-quality displays, we have butterflies and bees on the mind. That’s why we’re taking a look at some of the most common types of butterflies and moths in…

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Fold a simple origami fish

Photo of origami fish being folded

Origami is one of those crafts that you just feel accomplished when it’s completed. It’s a skill that you can share and show off, and this origami fish is a simple design that even children can do. (Fold a leaping origami frog.) First, take a square sheet of paper — whether it’s origami paper or…

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Schnoodle the prairie skink has lost her tail

Photo of a prairie skink missing its tail

Prairie skinks (Plestiodon septentrionalis) are common in Iowa, but you may never have seen one before. They are so tiny, that they blend in extremely well with their prairie surroundings. Prairie skinks range from 5-8 inches in length typically. The new animal ambassador at the Dickinson County Nature Center, named Schnoodle, however, is about 3.5…

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Camp registration is filling fast

Photo of a naturalist and kids looking at a compass plant

Get ready to dig into adventure at the Dickinson County Nature Center this summer. Online registration is now open for youth summer camps at the nature center in Okoboji, and there is plenty of fun in store for kids who participate. “We like to provide summer camps because we think it teaches kids different ways…

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Native Iowa butterflies and moths: Skippers and swallowtails

Photo of an eastern swallowtail

More than 70 species of butterflies have been spotted in Dickinson County. And yet, the order Lepidoptera is made up of about 90 percent moths. So between butterflies and moths, there is a lot of fluttering action going on around us. (Learn the difference between butterflies and moths.) During the first Pollinator Education Series program, naturalist Ashley…

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