Graphic of name game

Animal Baby Name Game

January 14, 2019

Baby names are so much fun. Whether you’re planning for your own child, getting ready for a baby shower or just having fun thinking of names, it can be quite a crazy world to look into. There are literally thousands upon thousands of names, and some can be quite crazy.…

Photo of a common snapping turtle

Snapping turtles are fascinating

January 14, 2019

People speculate how both gangsters and snapping turtles cut off people’s fingers, so when the Dickinson County Nature Center got a baby snapping turtle as an animal ambassador, it was named Capone after the legendary gangster Al Capone. Common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are the largest turtles in Iowa, and…

How fish survive in frozen lakes

January 7, 2019

The frozen Iowa Great Lakes are dotted with blue and black as ice fishermen set up their shacks, drill holes and search for life below the ice. And there is still plenty of life to be found, but how exactly do fish survive in those frigid temperatures? You can learn…

Photo of a wildflower

The 2018 #top9 blogs, crafts and activities and photos

December 31, 2018

The #top9 is always a trending topic at this time of the year as people look back and reflect. So, being New Year’s Eve, we thought we’d take some time to look back as well and check out our top 9 blogs, top 9 crafts and top 9 photos of…

Photo of child smiling

Nature Tots kicks off for 2019

December 28, 2018

Little campers, Nature’s Pals, Magical Rainbows — Nature Tots has a whole new slate of engaging themes for 2019. The series for ages 2-5 kicks off Wednesday, Jan. 9, at the Dickinson County Nature Center. Environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman said the program continues on each year’s schedule because of…

Photo of deer flagging tail

6 things you didn’t know about white-tailed deer

December 17, 2018

1. Hollow hairs help them stay warm in the winter. Have you ever seen a deer that has snow on its back that doesn’t melt? It makes people shiver to think about walking around covered in snow — isn’t the deer freezing? However, it’s actually that frozen snow that shows…

Photo of a coyote scene

Color this picture for a two-in-one experience

December 17, 2018

I was scrolling through Pinterest when a video caught my eye. I don’t usually like watching videos, but it showed a neat craft where you color one picture, fold it like an accordion and depending on how you look at it, it becomes two pictures. “I can make that,” I…

Photo of hoarfrost

How hoarfrost forms

December 10, 2018

One of the most beautiful times during winter is when frost builds up on tree branches, blades of grass and fences. The whole world takes on a bright, shimmering white hue, and it makes the bitter temperatures worth it. You might even call it a winter wonderland. This type of…

Photo of felt stars on a magnet board

Make your own magnetic stars

December 10, 2018

We have some awesome updates to existing exhibits and some brand new exhibits coming up at winter projects. One of those is to turn our kids area into a space/night theme! (Celebrate winter with a craft stick snowflake) A few parts of the renovation are underway behind the scenes, and…

Photo of a buff-tipped moth

Wallace discovered animals’ secrets to survival

December 3, 2018

Glowing body parts that warn predators, colors to camouflage, body parts that look like other things in nature — animals have crazy cool adaptations that help them survive. Alfred R. Wallace was a naturalist, explorer and biogeographer during the 1800s, and when he was studying creatures around the world, he…

FREE frog mask template

November 26, 2018

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…

Five differences between chorus frogs and leopard frogs

November 26, 2018

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…