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Test your prehistoric hunting abilities during Family Nature Night

Photo of youth throwing spear with atlatl

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, June 28, at the Dickinson…

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Five answers to questions about wood ticks

Photo of a wood tick

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 great publication on wood ticks,…

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Cowbirds lay eggs in other nests

Photo of chipping sparrow and cowbird egg

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 scenario, you’re looking at a…

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Westport Schoolhouse opens for 2019 season

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 love getting to show families…

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5 fun moth facts

Photo of a hummingbird moth

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 than they are nocturnal and…

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Egg carton butterfly

I saw a funny meme about looking for recipes online and having to click on a post that instead of giving you the list of ingredients instead goes through “When I was senior in college, I walked down the long and misty concrete pathway and across a spring green lawn filled with bright dandelions….” So…

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Bees see in UV

Photo of a bee eye

Bees see the world much differently than humans. It’s not just because they are small but because they see different colors. On the color scale, humans can see the colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. On one end, there is infrared, which humans can’t see, and on the other…

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Brooks Golf public meeting June 19

Dickinson County Conservation will hold a public meeting regarding the future of Brooks Golf 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. Dickinson County Conservation Board took ownership of Brooks Golf in March when an anonymous donation of $3 million was given to the Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County —…

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Free kids programming this summer at the nature center

Photo of kids touching an alligator skull

Animals, mud, flowers and wildfire — learn about a variety of nature topics and explore the outdoors during free kids programs this summer at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. The ever-popular Nature Tots program, for ages 2-5, expands in June, July and August with three programs the second Wednesday of each month. Choose…

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