Photo of osprey in a nest

I was sitting on the nest like any other day when I felt it. Tap, tap, tap. A soft rhythm was coming from inside one of my brown speckled eggs. Tap, tap, tap. It was time. I had done my job and the babies were ready to break out of their shells and meet us…

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Photo of bee larva in a hive

Graphic from beesinfo.info   When looking at the indoor honeybee hive at the Dickinson County Nature Center, take a step back and look from different angles. The honeycomb is shiny with lots of nectar that the forager bees have begun to bring in this spring, most likely from the plethora of dandelions that are in…

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Photo of paint samples by the sky

Yesterday, I stopped at the local hardware store and picked up a few paint chips to take into the Nature Playscape at the Dickinson County Nature Center. I thought I would play a little game and see what colors in nature I could match to my paint chips. The outdoor play area has so many…

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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 he Dickinson County Nature Center features nests of some of the most common birds you might see right outside your window. (Grackles, blackbirds…

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“I have a happy plate!” Our nieces are always pleased to announce when they clean their dinner plates, usually because it means some kind of treat — food or not — for them afterward. As a kid, having a happy plate is good. How often do adults end up with a happy plate though? How…

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Photo of fake snowflake on window

Ugh. That’s what many of us think when we look outside at this time of year. It’s long enough into winter that we’re all tired of the cold, but not far enough into winter that we have hope of spring around the corner. This is the time of year we have to be intentional about…

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Photo of pine cone, spoon and shortening

More than 40 people attended last week’s Turkey Trot hike through Kenue Park and ended the Thanksgiving celebration by making their own pinecone bird feeders. If you didn’t attend, why don’t you grab the kids, head out on a wintry hike today, find some pine cones and make bird feeders of your own? (Okoboji seagulls…

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Photo of trees and a blue sky at Superior Marsh

Four types of wetlands Bog, marsh, swamp, fen. Often these words are used interchangeably, but in reality, each is its own type of wetland, which is a word used to refer to water-saturated landscapes. (Watch: What is a wetland?) A marsh is a wetland that is continually full of water. If you have been to…

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Two trumpeter swans and a goose on a partially frozen wetland

I turned on the live web camera at the nature center last week and zoomed in on the two rehabilitated trumpeter swans on the wetland. The weather was warm, and it appeared the waterfowl were having a ball in the springtime temperatures. They dipped their necks down into the water and then bent them back…

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