Discover Nature Notes

Leave It to the Beaver!

Nov 09, 2015

Beavers are impressive mammals, and are suited for life in the water as well as on land.

Beaver on land, chewing log

Debunking Common Snake Myths

Nov 02, 2015

When discussing snakes, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. There are many myths about snakes. Immigrants brought myths from Europe and started new myths as they became acquainted with North American snakes.

prairie kingsnake

Mighty Migrants

Oct 26, 2015

An airplane pilot sits behind a panel of instruments that help get the plane safely to its destination.  Migrating birds, it seems, use some of the same tools.

Photo of three trumpet swans flying over water

Bird Flock Talk

Oct 19, 2015

“Birds of a feather, flock together.” Whoever coined that phrase noticed that when birds group together, they are usually of the same kind. But, what benefit do birds get from flocking?

Photo of two northern shoveler males flying.

The Sights and Sounds of Fall

Oct 12, 2015

Autumn sights are unmistakable. The landscape is awash with the colors of changing leaves. Sunsets are coppery. Fall smells are evocative: cider, smoke from burning leaves, and the singed pumpkin of a jack-o-lantern plug.

Beatuiful fall colors in Hartsburg's river bottom.

Bobcat Tales

Oct 05, 2015

The bobcat’s habitat has played a vital role in the history of the animal’s survival. Despite the profound change from wilderness to developed land, bobcats have managed to remain Midwest residents.

Photo of bobcat

Slithering Baby Snakes

Sep 28, 2015

When people find baby snakes around their homes, they wonder: Where did it come from? Is it venomous? Will we find more?

prairie kingsnake

Along Came a Spider Web

Sep 21, 2015

A heavy morning dew touches all of nature, especially the fine, geometric threads of a spider web.

Photo of arrow-shaped micrathena spider

Color Them Pretty

Sep 14, 2015

In nature, color has a purpose. Seasonal decorations can help some animals distinguish males from females. 

Photo of male mallard in flight

Like a Nighthawk

Sep 07, 2015

Watch for flying bull-bats, a nickname for the common nighthawk in the September sky. Nighthawks are not “hawks” and also fly during daylight hours. Their loud calls will jar the night.

Artwork of a nighthawk

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