Posts Tagged ‘okoboji’

Family Nature Night kicks off during Winter Games weekend

Photo of child squirt bottle painting

The University of Okoboji Winter Games is all about enjoying the season outdoors. The first Family Nature Night celebrates the same theme 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at the Dickinson County Nature Center, during one of the area’s biggest celebrations of the year. “We’re going to be encouraging families to get out at night, in…

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Snapping turtles are fascinating

Photo of a common snapping turtle

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 they are quite fascinating creatures.…

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Why Pluto isn’t considered a planet anymore

Photo of Pluto

Pluto was first designated a planet in 1930 when it was discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ. The tiny planet is about two-thirds the diameter of Earth’s moon and most likely is made up of a rocky core surrounded by ice and coated with methane and nitrogen frost. It…

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Snowshoe trek begins Hike the Wild series

Photo of Horseshoe Bend in winter

Snow falling in winter, waterfowl migrating in spring, flowers blooming in summer, leaves changing colors in the fall. Dickinson County Conservation’s Hike the Wild series will move from monthly to seasonal hikes in 2019, starting with a snowshoe hike Jan. 22. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji, pick out…

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Abbie Gardner Sharp’s story: Taken captive

Photo of Charles Flandrau

As word of the violence in Spirit Lake and Springfield spread, plans to rescue the captive women began to take shape within the Minnesota government with Sioux Indian Agent Charles Flandrau. Meanwhile though, Abbie Gardner and the other captives focused on how to stay alive in a culture they did not know and were fearful…

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What’s happening in the hive? Varroa mites

Photo of bees with varroa mites

Bees have so many issues to deal with. There’s a lack of nectar and pollen sources as wildflower populations diminish. Pesticides like neonictinoids are harming their nervous systems (read about that here). There’s unexplained colony collapse disorder. And then there are varroa mites. So many invasive species have caused catastrophic effects on different parts of…

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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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