The Dickinson County Nature Center is closed to the public for the foreseeable future, and all programs are cancelled at least through June. We will update with any changes as they occur!

News & Announcements

Photo of first instar monarch caterpillar

Monarch caterpillar instars

After hatching from an egg, monarch caterpillars live about 10-14 days. (Read about the monarch butterfly life cycle here) However, a lot happens in that time. The larval stage of a monarch is called a caterpillar. When the caterpillar first hatches, it is 2-6 mm long. As it grows, it molts — sheds its skin…

Photo of a clouded sulphur butterfly

6 clouded sulphur butterfly facts

A pretty yellow butterfly that flits around from flower to flower. It’s so delicate that it barely seems like it’s real. However, the clouded sulphur butterfly (Colias philodice) is one of the most common butterflies in the state of Iowa. Let’s take a look at some of the neat facts about it: Clouded sulphurs get…

Photo of handprint butterfly

Handprint butterfly

Butterflies flitting to and fro — it’s the epitomy of spring and summer. Their colors are bright — yellow, orange, red. They land on bright flowers and create a perfect vision. You’ve seen butterfly craft after butterfly craft, but we want to offer yet another. All this one takes is crayons and a piece of…

Photo of black walnut tree

Trees of Dickinson County: Black Walnut

Black walnut trees (Juglans nigra) are probably best known for two things — their seed and their wood. Although not as commonly eaten as an English walnut, what you would find in a grocery store, black walnuts can also be eaten if harvested, processed and stored correctly. They have an especially strong nut flavor that…

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