Why Pollinators are Important and How to Help

This week is Pollinator Week! Pollinators are everywhere but are very important in Iowa with how much agriculture we have here. Pollinators are so important to the production of food that if they were to all go extinct, we wouldn’t have many of the foods we have today. With over 200,000 different species of pollinators, Read More »

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Early spring butterflies

eastern comma

Almost 70 species of butterflies have been seen in Dickinson County, Iowa, and the time of year can be told from which ones are most active. In fact, you can tell when spring is making its appearance by which butterflies are hatching after overwintering in the chrysalis state or from spots further south. Mourning cloak Read More »

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How to tell apart four orange and black butterflies

four butterflies and their wingspans

An orange and black butterfly flits by. Many people immediately think “monarch,” but there are actually quite a number of orange and black butterflies in Iowa and throughout the United States. Three butterflies in the Iowa Great Lakes area that often get confused with the monarch butterfly are the painted lady, viceroy and red admiral. Read More »

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Foods we wouldn’t have without pollinators

Graphic that says cardamom, cashews, cherries, chocolate, coconuts, coffee, coriander, cranberries

What if you couldn’t have any almonds or cashews in that nut mix you love to snack on? What if you couldn’t eat sesame chicken because sesame didn’t exist anymore? What if bananas, blueberries and tomatoes weren’t on the shelves anymore? One in three bites of food that we take is due to pollinators, and Read More »

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Native Iowa butterflies and moths: Skippers and swallowtails

eastern swallowtail

More than 70 species of butterflies have been spotted in Dickinson County. And yet, the order Lepidoptera is made up of about 90 percent moths. So between butterflies and moths, there is a lot of fluttering action going on around us. (Learn the difference between butterflies and moths.) During the first Pollinator Education Series program, naturalist Ashley Read More »

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