The majestic monarch’s magnificent life cycle

Photo of a monarch butterfly hanging from its chrysalis

A few more weeks and the monarch butterflies that are overwintering in Mexico will start making their way north. Once coming out of hibernation, a female monarch will find a male with which to reproduce. Around the Texas/Mexico border, the female monarch will find milkweed plants on which to lay her eggs. She can lay…

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Are snowflakes all unique?

Graphic that says Did you know? One cubic foot of snow can contain 1 billion crystals.

We’re in the middle of a blizzard in northwest Iowa. Look outside, and the white stuff looks like a blanket, like it’s all just one mass. But it’s not. In each cubic foot — that’s a box that is 1 foot on each side — there could be as many as 1 billion snowflakes. Use…

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Iowa the beautiful: Looking at the landform regions of our state

Graphic of Iowa landforms

My husband and I took a trip to Utah this summer. We were enamored by the beautiful landscape, with red rocks rising out of sandy floors, hoodoos sprouting out of canyon lands, short scrub trees dotting desert landscapes. During a drive through Zion National Park, we overheard a student on the bus say “I haven’t…

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My Giving Tree craft

Crafts don’t always come together the way you think they will. I had a brilliant idea this morning to make place cards with leaf etchings on them, and I tried it out. Yikes. Ugly. If you come up with something pretty with that idea, let me know. So instead, I decided to post how to…

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Osprey Diary: Koi fish make blustery days taste sweeter

Photo of an osprey sitting on the nest

It’s so cold. I’ve overheard the crazy birds that live here in Kenue Park year-round call us that fly south for the winter snowbirds. In reality, I think that they’re the snowbirds. They actually live here when it gets below freezing and the snow flies. I’ve only seen snow a few times when it has flurried…

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Make your own backyard birding binoculars

Photo of a goldfinch

Birding is such a popular hobby because everyone can do it. Whether you are backyard birding, taking a hike or even boating, you can always catalogue the birds that you see. The Backyard Birding exhibit at the Dickinson County Nature Center features nests of some of the most common birds you might see right outside…

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Hiring IRVM – Vegetation Specialist

Clipart sign that says "Job Openings"

IRVM Vegetation Specialist $38,000-$42,000 Summary: The general implementation of activities associated with all aspects of vegetation management within county secondary road right-of-ways (ROW)/Dickinson County Conservation managed property.  Work activities focus on the continued maintenance and development of safe travel corridors for vehicles, biological management of desired vegetation types along those corridors and Dickinson County Conservation…

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