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FREE frog mask template

Did you know tree frogs’ last bone in their toes is shaped like a claw? Have you read about how about frogs’ bodies freeze during the winter and thaw in the spring? Do you know what a group of frogs is called? Click here to find out. Frogs are really interesting creatures, and many people…

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Five differences between chorus frogs and leopard frogs

A gentleman called last week because he had heard a sound like someone running a finger along the teeth of a comb in his basement. He had found and captured a small frog and wanted to bring it to us for the winter. Frogs usually hibernate for the winter (read about that here), but this…

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What animals are thankful for

Graphic that says what animals are thankful for

Every Thanksgiving, our naturalists speak at Harris-Lake Park Elementary for a grandparent program, and this year, our environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman discussed what animals are thankful for. I thought her topic was so creative that I decided to share her ideas with you. Many of the things animals are thankful for are what humans…

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Easy pasta creatures

Photo of pasta turtle

The Great Lakes Mall in Spirit Lake hosts an annual Festival of Trees in which local businesses and non-profits can decorate a tree for a chance to be voted to win the top prize. This year, the theme is about our local food pantry through Upper Des Moines Opportunity, and each organization that decorates a…

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Ground sloths and mammoths once roamed Iowa

Graphic that says mammoth tusks were about 15 feet long

The Iowa Great Lakes were formed as a result of glacial activity in the area. West Lake Okoboji is thought to have been created by the Wisconsin Glacier about 14,000 years ago as it retreated to the north. The Des Moines Lobe of the glacier is what covered Iowa and is what outlines Clear Lake,…

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Stuck in the rut — 8 facts about whitetail deer rut

Photo of a doe

You’ve probably heard of the rut. And if you’re a deer hunter, then you most definitely have. However, there may be some facts about rut that you’re not overly familiar with. 1. Rut is a word for deer breeding season, not just the peak. It actually means all behaviors and activities associated with breeding season…

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Can you find them all? Try our indoor/outdoor fall scavenger hunt

Graphic of scavenger hunt

The weather is chilly, but that doesn’t mean that kids hibernate. Your kids are still as active as ever, and they want something to occupy their time. You want something to occupy their time too. Why not print off our fall scavenger hunt? There are indoor and outdoor items to find, and you can add…

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2018-19 Early winter weather predictions

Graphic about temperature predictions

With colder temperatures dominating this week, most of us are wondering what is in store for this winter. The consensus seems to be that the 2018-19 winter, at least through January, will be warmer than average, but the precipitation outlook varies. (Enjoy fall while it’s here by identifying some of the leaves in your yard.)…

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This turkey is unbe-leaf-ably cute

Photo of a leaf turkey

To go along with our blog about turkeys this week (read it here), we thought we might as well make a turkey-themed nature craft too. You will just need a few supplies: Turkey template printed on white paper (Find the template here) Leaves White computer paper Crayons Scissors Glue Begin with a trek outside. Pick…

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