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9 off-the-wall reasons to attend the Bee & Butterfly Festival

Photo of woman holding an animal by the zoomobile

1. Buy butterfly milkweed. Dickinson County Nature Center staff have grown butterfly milkweed seedlings which will be for sale for $5 each during the Bee & Butterfly Festival 4-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1. You can buy one or 10 and start your own pollinator garden right in your own yard. 2. Get a free honeystick. If…

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Rainy days call for indoor activities like the schoolhouse

Photo of the interior of a country school

While I was taking a shift at the Westport Schoolhouse yesterday in Kenue Park, two families with young children came in. “OK, you be the teacher,” the kids said to their dad. “Good morning class,” the dad started. “Today is Tuesday, Aug. 15. We’re going to learn how many days each month has.” And class…

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Free family fun at the Bee & Butterfly Festival

Photo of a little girl holding a monarch

The live monarch tagging is always a hit at the annual Bee & Butterfly Festival at the Dickinson County Nature Center, and this year’s festival will feature live animals as well. The Great Plains Zoomobile from Sioux Falls, SD, will bring four live animals for a featured presentation during the Friday, Sept. 1, festival. “Adapted…

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#welovepollinators

Photo of a chrysalis about to hatch

Gingerly. Gently. My face tightened up as I concentrated on being careful with the fragile chrysalis clinging to the toothpick in my hand. At Pollinator Paradise, we rear monarchs from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult. When they hatch, they are so tiny it’s almost impossible to see their vibrant black, white and yellow…

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Pollinator Paradise: Good-bye porch

Photo of building construction

I returned from vacation to quite a change outside the Dickinson County Nature Center. No porch on the north side of the building. Giant piles of dirt. A trench as tall as a person dug out of the ground. Progress is coming right along on Pollinator Paradise. When driving by, the north side of the…

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Fall photography contest announced

Photograph of a downy woodpecker in a tree

A broken ice trail, a downy woodpecker poking its head out of a hole, a macro shot of tree bark — these three photographs were the winners of the spring photography contest at the Dickinson County Nature Center. “There is so much in nature to be in awe of, and photographers are all inspired by…

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Pollinator Paradise: Construction is underway

Photo of construction on the nature center

Thud. Thud. Thud. Bang. Clang. We’re going to have to get used to a myriad of noises at the Dickinson County Nature Center as construction on the Pollinator Paradise addition begins. Poppema-Sikma Construction of Sheldon was awarded the bid for the construction portion of the $1.7 million project, and broke ground last week. So far,…

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Native Plantings workshop heads to Lakes Area Farmers Market

Photo of orange butterfly milkweed plant

  Butterfly milkweed, wild bergamot, royal catchfly, wild white indigo, hoary vervain — the number of native plants in the prairie might seem overwhelming. However, the Native Plantings workshop put on by Dickinson County Conservation 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 26, at the Lakes Area Farmers Market in Spirit Lake will help make people a little…

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Osprey Diary: Trying out his wings

Photo of an osprey chick flapping its wings

They grow up so fast. One day you’re using your wings to make sure no cool breeze touches your tiny chicks, and the next they don’t fit underneath you. One moment they’re the size of an egg, and the next their wings stretch out as far as yours. One second they’re hunkered down to stay…

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Progress on Pollinator Paradise

Photo of people holding shovels at groundbreaking

Construction on the new Pollinator Paradise addition to the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji is officially underway. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday, July 11, at the nature center, and construction will continue through March 2018. Fundraising is ongoing for Phase 2 of the project, which will be completion of children’s-museum quality exhibits on…

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