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Why can’t I see the queen bee in the indoor bee hive?

October 9, 2017
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“Where is the queen bee?” That’s usually the first question we get when people see the indoor bee hive at the Dickinson County Nature Center. The queen bee is pretty identifiable. Her abdomen — the longest part of her body — is almost twice the length of a worker bee. However, we almost ...

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Fall bird migration through Iowa isn’t rushed

October 5, 2017
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Photo of a hooded merganser duck

Sabine’s gull Sabine’s gulls are an Arctic species that typically migrate along the coasts or at sea, but one was spotted in Dickinson County in September. During the Sept. 30 Birdwatchers Anonymous birding trek, Lee Schoenewe and his group of birders found this rare species at a marsh just west of Little ...

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Osprey fly south in the winter to whereabouts unknown

October 3, 2017
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Photo of a female osprey with chicks

The Okoboji osprey pair and their three grown chicks are gone for the season, last spotted about the second week of September before heading south. But where exactly are they going? And why do they leave? Where are they going? We’re not exactly sure. Although the osprey male that has habited the Dickinson County ...

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The reason a snake sticks out its tongue

September 29, 2017
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Photo of snake sticking out its tongue

Why do snakes stick out their tongues at you? Have you ever seen this? You’ve been looking at Rosie the corn snake or Itsy Bitsy the western fox snake, and one of them sticks out her black tongue and flicks it around. She is smelling you! The snake’s tongue has a fork on ...

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Cartographics and quilts: Shelley Cords-Swanson’s unique art is on display October-December

September 29, 2017
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Photo of an art quilt with blue background

When Shelley Cords-Swanson was engaged to be married, she thought she should get a sewing machine and learn how to use it to hem pants, patch garments and other such duties. “I got the idea one day to see if I could make a quilt,” the Odin, MN, resident said. So she ...

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Looks like a baby tomato, smells like a tomato, not a tomato

September 27, 2017
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Photo of a nightshade plant

We received a Facebook message the other day with a question about a plant with a tiny green berry that smelled like a tomato and looked like a tomato when it was cut open. But don’t eat it. It’s not a tomato. Black nightshade (Solanum ptycanthum) is in the nightshade family, which ...

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