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Helpful Identification Guides for Iowa Plants, Wildlife

Helpful Identification Guides for Iowa Plants, Wildlife

  • 9/9/2015 11:00:00 AM
  • View Count 16969
If you’re the curious type that likes to know the name of the spider you found on your porch or just what that prairie-looking flower is that came up in your garden, you’ll appreciate these online identification resources.
6 Things You Might not Know About Iowa's Turtles

6 Things You Might not Know About Iowa's Turtles

  • 9/8/2015 11:00:00 AM
  • View Count 20489
Whether they walk on land or paddle in the river, the 17 species of turtles we have in Iowa are much more complex than meets the eye - many tout extensive lifespans and specific habitat needs. See how much turtle trivia you know:
What's The Best Time of Day to Catch Fish?

What's The Best Time of Day to Catch Fish?

  • 9/2/2015 11:00:00 AM
  • View Count 12757
Anglers may argue until they’re blue in the gills about the best bait to use in procurement of our fine, finned friends. But most are in agreement that, above all else, weather distinguishes a good day of fishing from a bad one. Not unlike most humans, weather conditions affect the behavior of our aquatic acquaintances.
7 Ways to Attract Songbirds to Your Yard

7 Ways to Attract Songbirds to Your Yard

  • 9/2/2015 11:00:00 AM
  • View Count 11993
Whether you’re trying to attract photo subjects or some cute little neighbors for company, creating a songbird habitat in your yard is a great way to get nature to come to you. No matter if you’ve got a yard the size of a postage stamp or a full acreage, there are plenty of ways to draw in the feathered friends you’re looking for. Check out the tips and tricks below for making your yard as homey as possible.
4 Hidden Surprises at Ledges State Park

4 Hidden Surprises at Ledges State Park

  • 9/1/2015 11:00:00 AM
  • View Count 34724
Ledges State Park may be one of the most popular parks in the state, but how well do you know it? Check out this list of lesser- known park perks and attractions from park manager Andy Bartlett.
7 Things To Try Outdoors This Week: Labor Day Edition

7 Things To Try Outdoors This Week: Labor Day Edition

  • 8/28/2015 11:00:00 AM
  • View Count 1542
Even with school back in session and Labor Day heralding in the unofficial end to summer, that doesn’t mean you need to hole up inside until next summer. Enjoy this holiday week with new ideas each day on how to get out and enjoy Iowa’s outdoors.
Why Do Snakes Shed Their Skin?

Why Do Snakes Shed Their Skin?

  • 8/25/2015 8:13:00 AM
  • View Count 6662
All animals shed their skin. Some just do it in more grandiose (and visible) style. While humans “shed” millions of skin cells every day, snakes and other animals shed a layer of skin in one continuous piece, a process called ecdysis, which occurs between four and 12 times a year.

Go Cave Exploring in Iowa

  • 8/20/2015 8:34:00 AM
  • View Count 24329
You might not expect it, but Iowa has caves of various sizes and shapes on both private and public land. And since some of them can be explored, it’s time to go spelunking! (That’s cave exploring, for those in the know.)
9 Hidden Surprises at Backbone State Park

9 Hidden Surprises at Backbone State Park

  • 8/20/2015 8:23:00 AM
  • View Count 51037
Backbone is one of Iowa’s largest state parks, checking in at just more than 2,000 acres. Even if you’ve been to the park before, do you really know all the surprises it has to offer? To test your knowledge and find new destinations at the park, check out the featured facts and attractions below from park manager Mary Shea.
How to Fish From a Kayak

How to Fish From a Kayak

  • 8/13/2015 8:52:00 AM
  • View Count 2545
Fishing from a kayak is great way to stay active and get up close with nature. There’s a unique angling challenge around each bend. Try these tips to get you started.
Stand-Up Paddleboarding: Tips for Newbies

Stand-Up Paddleboarding: Tips for Newbies

  • 8/13/2015 8:49:00 AM
  • View Count 2135
You might be familiar with canoes and kayaks, but a whole new paddling adventure can be had with stand-up paddle boarding (SUP for those in the know). See the tips and tricks below from certified SUP instructor Todd Robertson on how to get your own adventure started, and always check water levels before you go.
8 Iowa Animals You May Not Know are Threatened or Endangered

8 Iowa Animals You May Not Know are Threatened or Endangered

  • 8/11/2015 8:57:00 AM
  • View Count 9095
Nothing sounds more common than a mouse, owl, turtle or bat, but in Iowa, loss of habitat and other threats are creating serious conditions for different species of these critters, landing them on Iowa’s threatened and endangered species list.
Go Exploring: 14 Iowa Wildlife Tracks to Look For

Go Exploring: 14 Iowa Wildlife Tracks to Look For

  • 8/7/2015 9:18:00 AM
  • View Count 18668
When you’re out enjoying Iowa’s great outdoors, how often do you think to look down? One of the best ways for a burgeoning photographer, hunter or wildlife enthusiast to figure out what types of animals are around is to look for tracks.
7 Summer Things to Do with Your Kids Before School Starts

7 Summer Things to Do with Your Kids Before School Starts

  • 8/7/2015 9:05:00 AM
  • View Count 4536
The end of summer is always a touch bittersweet for families. There’s excitement for a new school year, anticipation of ever-busier schedules, appreciation of the summer vacation itself and perhaps a longing for it not to end. Good news: it’s not over yet! Grab your little ones, your not-so-little ones, and some adventure gear while the whole family can head outside together for these fun activities.
Cool Gadgets to Make Your Camping Trip Easier

Cool Gadgets to Make Your Camping Trip Easier

  • 8/5/2015 10:03:00 AM
  • View Count 11162
While camping in Iowa goes all the way from roughing it to glamping, there’s no denying there are gadgets and gear that are must-haves – and then there are some that are just fun!
Greening Up Your Yard: What You Can Do

Greening Up Your Yard: What You Can Do

  • 8/4/2015 10:07:00 AM
  • View Count 2857
Climate change, greenhouse gases, carbon footprints, water quality— the problems are huge and the impact we can deliver seems minimal. But, you can do something simple—cut back on yardwork. Most people don’t think about the carbon footprint left by their lawns and lawn care. Green is green, right?
4 Dutch Oven Recipes Your Taste Buds Want You to Try

4 Dutch Oven Recipes Your Taste Buds Want You to Try

  • 7/30/2015 7:18:00 AM
  • View Count 36732
Dutch ovens are the quintessential piece of campfire cookery. Switch up the hot dog and burgers routine with these mouth-watering recipes - after you review the basics, of course.

7 Best Iowa State Parks for Adventurers

  • 7/29/2015 9:18:00 AM
  • View Count 5439
Are you hearty, healthy and raring for some fun? Check out these state forests, recreation areas and parks for some challenging and rewarding adventure ideas right here in Iowa.
6 Tips for Hooking Summer Catfish

6 Tips for Hooking Summer Catfish

  • 7/29/2015 8:31:00 AM
  • View Count 11786
Fishing for catfish is a fun summer activity for the whole family. Bring along a cooler with ice to keep your catch cold and preserve that great taste. Try these simple tips for catching Ol’ Whiskers.
4 Before-You–Go Tips for Kayak Camping (and 7 Destinations)

4 Before-You–Go Tips for Kayak Camping (and 7 Destinations)

  • 7/29/2015 7:30:00 AM
  • View Count 16388
Kayaking is a great way to explore the state and get some exercise, but if you intend to stay the night at a paddle-in only campsite, you have to pack thoughtfully. Check out the advice below, approved by DNR paddling expert and instructor Todd Robertson, to help you start camping comfortably with your kayak. And remember, always check water levels before you go.
Explore Guthrie County: A Sleeping Giant

Explore Guthrie County: A Sleeping Giant

  • 7/23/2015 9:27:00 AM
  • View Count 2495
Take a look east, it’s nothing but flat expanse of Iowa gold. Look west, he says, and you’ve got a whole different matter. On the other side of the road, the terrain is hilly and plump with trees—the kind of place people generally drive for hours to pitch their tents on.
9 Quick Camping Cabin Getaways

9 Quick Camping Cabin Getaways

  • 7/22/2015 10:03:00 AM
  • View Count 21524
If tent camping isn’t quite your cup of tea or there’s no truck to pull a camper, there’s no need to give up on the idea of camping altogether. If you want a solid roof over your head or a hassle-free weekend camping getaway, rent a basic family cabin, a camping cabin or a yurt at an Iowa state park!
6 Animals You Might Not Know are Protected in Iowa

6 Animals You Might Not Know are Protected in Iowa

  • 7/17/2015 8:59:00 AM
  • View Count 34646
An animal doesn’t need to be endangered to receive legal protection. In Iowa, there are plenty of animals that might frighten or startle you, but these animals have important roles in our state’s ecology. So the next time you see one of these animals don’t panic, and consider what they contribute to the environment around you.
What To Do If You Have Poison Ivy

What To Do If You Have Poison Ivy

  • 7/17/2015 7:11:00 AM
  • View Count 9672
There can’t be a worse feeling. The itch. The burn, almost sizzling at times. The ugly blotches and blisters on your arms, your legs...anywhere you contacted it. Poison ivy.
Four Water Trails to Explore This Summer

Four Water Trails to Explore This Summer

  • 7/17/2015 6:01:00 AM
  • View Count 3802
If you’re looking to blaze a new trail this summer, consider hitting the water for something different. Iowa boasts a number of water trails, which offer a unique perspective on Iowa in summer.
Create a Cleaner, Safer House with DIY Cleaners

Create a Cleaner, Safer House with DIY Cleaners

  • 7/17/2015 4:59:00 AM
  • View Count 4911
Sure, that spray cleaner can cut through grease and grime quickly. But did you know it might be a household hazardous material? Household hazardous materials (HHMs) are found in nearly every home, under sinks, and in closets, basements and garages. They may make chores easier, but they could also pose a threat to your family’s health, safety and the environment if used or disposed improperly.
7 More of Iowa's Best Hikes

7 More of Iowa's Best Hikes

  • 7/16/2015 10:22:00 AM
  • View Count 23307
Whether you’re looking to get away from civilization for a weekend or just take in some beautiful scenery for an hour or two with the family, Iowa – yes, Iowa – offers some incredible hikes in our state parks and forests.
Coralville Makes Green Strides for Water Quality

Coralville Makes Green Strides for Water Quality

  • 7/15/2015 8:03:00 AM
  • View Count 1664
Generally, Coralville Lake, just upstream from its namesake town, does its job as a flood control reservoir. But the lake was no match for the floods of 1993 and 2008, creating millions of dollars in damages for the eastern Iowa town.
6 Reasons You’re Not Catching Fish

6 Reasons You’re Not Catching Fish

  • 7/14/2015 7:58:00 AM
  • View Count 42842
Are you struggling to catch fish? Don’t get discouraged – you are not alone. Here are some common reasons why you aren’t catching fish and tips for being more successful.
11 Energy Saving Ideas for Summer Heat

11 Energy Saving Ideas for Summer Heat

  • 7/14/2015 5:50:00 AM
  • View Count 3013
Although this summer has been mild overall so far, the usual July weather has officially arrived with its rising temperatures. Check out these money- and energy-saving tips so you can be prepared to beat the heat.
Explore This Iowan Urban Sanctuary

Explore This Iowan Urban Sanctuary

  • 7/10/2015 9:51:00 AM
  • View Count 2196
By Jennifer Wilson From the July/August 2014 issue of Iowa Outdoors magazine Ask park manager Lori Eberhard what George Wyth Memorial State Park has to offer travelers, and you’d better settle in for a long answer.
6 Nature Foolers: Can You Tell the Difference?

6 Nature Foolers: Can You Tell the Difference?

  • 7/10/2015 7:54:00 AM
  • View Count 4815
Mimicry is about more than flattery for these Iowa organisms. Looking similar to a dangerous model helps the mimics of these pairs avoid confrontation, predation and disturbance, particularly from animals that learn to pick a meal based on what its prey looks like. Can you tell the difference?
Tips and Tricks for Avoiding and Removing Ticks

Tips and Tricks for Avoiding and Removing Ticks

  • 7/9/2015 10:19:00 AM
  • View Count 33641
Not everybody likes bugs and spiders, but even fewer people like a parasite. But don’t let these little critters keep you from enjoying the outdoors this summer. With some preventative actions, you can help keep ticks at bay.
Quick Weekend Cabin Getaways Available

Quick Weekend Cabin Getaways Available

  • 7/8/2015 8:30:00 AM
  • View Count 2322
Currently, Lacey-Keosauqua State Park has five family studio cabins available this weekend for a two-day minimum stay, $50 per day each.
Fishing the Thermocline for Better Summer Success

Fishing the Thermocline for Better Summer Success

  • 7/8/2015 5:57:00 AM
  • View Count 10447
Back in early May, the air was warm and the water was churning in Iowa lakes. Crappies were in tight to shore, ready to drop their life-giving bundle of eggs, and bluegills were just a cast away waiting for their turn. It was spring, the spawn was on and panfish were taking just about anything hook, line and sinker. Anyone could catch fish.
Must-Have Summer Fishing Tips

Must-Have Summer Fishing Tips

  • 7/1/2015 5:18:00 AM
  • View Count 2782
Making plans for summer outings with family and friends this summer? Add fishing to your list. Whether it’s part of your camping trip or just a day trip, schedule time to go fishing. Try these simple tips to get you started.
21 Outdoor Experiences Every Iowa Kid Needs to Try

21 Outdoor Experiences Every Iowa Kid Needs to Try

  • 7/1/2015 4:24:00 AM
  • View Count 18740
From something as simple as chasing fireflies or hiking a trail to bigger adventures like camping and skiing, there are lots of ways to get kids outdoors in Iowa. Use this as a checklist through the rest of the year to guide your outdoor explorations! Be sure, too, to help your kids make a connection between the activity and protecting Iowa’s natural resources. For example, explain how clean water helps the fish when you’re angling. Talk about habitat when chasing butterflies or frogs. Creating these connections ...
6 Tips for Foraging Wild Raspberries and Strawberries

6 Tips for Foraging Wild Raspberries and Strawberries

  • 7/1/2015 3:03:00 AM
  • View Count 15232
Ripe berries taste like a pop of sunshine, even out of a grocery store box. But in Iowa, anybody can go find the real wild thing, and the taste is incredible. The only hard parts are identifying the berries and finding them before wildlife and other foragers do. Use these tips to collect your share of wild berries:
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