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Osprey Diary: We’re back!

April 18, 2017
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Photo of two osprey in their nest

Blue skies. Warm temperatures. Fresh fish. It was a beautiful winter down south, and it was rejuvenating. I’m a bit of a loner in the off-season, and I needed some time away from my husband after our tragic loss of our chicks last year. I needed some mental recuperation, and the ...

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Madagascar rock collection is awe-inspiring

April 12, 2017
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Photo of carnelian rock

Wherever Joanne Schar has traveled, she would stop the car, hop out and grab a rock. When she moved to Madagascar with her husband, H, Joanne had the opportunity to collect even more unique geological items. Because of its remote location off the east coast of Africa, Madagascar has rocks that are ...

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Welcome environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman

April 7, 2017
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Photo of Bryanna Kuhlman

“We were messy little critters.” Environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman’s memories of her childhood spent outdoors in Menomonie, WI, have shaped her into who she is today. “We had forts in trees; we would catch frogs in retention ponds,” Kuhlman said. “I had my red bucket full of worms.” She and her sister ...

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Iowa Great Lakes migration is on!

April 5, 2017
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Photo of birds at feeder

Pasque flowers blooming, frogs croaking, songbirds singing — signs of spring are all around us. It’s pretty obvious when waterfowl start to migrate throughout the Iowa Great Lakes area as our lakes, sloughs and wetlands are jam-packed with common migrants such as bufflehead, the common merganser and the greater white-fronted goose. On the ...

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Color In Nature art exhibit opens in April

March 30, 2017
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Photo of a heron painting

A family boating get-together. A butterfly flitting through the prairie. A walk through wildflowers. Outdoor experiences such as these deeply influence Eagle Grove resident Diane O’Hern’s artwork, which will be evident in her multi-media exhibit featured April-June in the eARTh exhibit area at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. O’Hern began ...

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How deep do they go?

March 29, 2017
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Photo of butterfly milkweed root drawing

Did you know that butterfly milkweed’s roots grow up to 12 feet deep, about the height of an African elephant? We look at prairie plants and can hardly imagine the amazing root systems that are growing beneath our feet. Those roots help to draw water down into the watershed, which cleans ...

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Celebrate Earth Day by meeting John James Audubon

March 24, 2017
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Photo of Brian Ellis as John James Audubon

While Brian Ellis chatted on the phone, he watched the prairie he had planted outside his home. Grasses blew in the breeze, the soil radiated warmth from the sun and birds were nesting within view. He hopes that when people come to his one-man storytelling production about John James Audubon that they ...

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A hidden gem of an exhibit at the nature center

March 22, 2017
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Photo of butterflies in the Wallace exhibit

The Iowa Great Lakes area has many antique stores, consignment shops, secondhand retailers. We go inside looking for discounts on needed items or the thrilling hunt for something we didn’t know we needed. Okoboji native Bob Heggestad was on a hunt in Arlington, VA, in the late 1970s when he spotted a ...

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It’s time to think about spring planting

March 17, 2017
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Photo of a honeybee on a flower

Bring back the bees. Bring back the butterflies. With pollinator populations dropping drastically in recent years, the push to bring them back has spread. But how do we do that? One of the best ways is to plant native flowers and grasses in our landscaping, providing pollinator habitat and food sources. Native plantings ...

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Five bee myths and truths

March 15, 2017
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Photo of a bee finger puppet

Myth: Bees are mean. Truth: Bee are nice. Honeybees only sting as a last resort, because they die after stinging. That means, unless they feel threatened or think you are going to hurt the hive, they will leave you alone. Myth: Bees will keep stinging you. Truth: As stated above, honeybees will die ...

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