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  • Oh Christmas Tree! | Iowa Wild Kids
    to I m hoping once Dragonfly is old enough to voice his opinion having an odd number of voters will make decisions a little easier There is one thing that we all agree on real Posted by iawildlife in Oh Christmas Tree 0 comments Read More Recent Posts It s cold outside Oh Christmas Tree A Walk with Grandpa Fall into fall leaves Friends Fun at the Iowa Arboretum Recent

    Original URL path: http://iawildlife.org/iowa_wild_kids/?cat=12 (2016-05-01)
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  • On the High Trestle Trail | Iowa Wild Kids
    still in place out to the river and back in the morning It was about four miles enough for one of us not so much for the other who ran in college and still competes in half Posted by iawildlife in On the High Trestle Trail 0 comments Read More Recent Posts It s cold outside Oh Christmas Tree A Walk with Grandpa Fall into fall leaves Friends Fun at

    Original URL path: http://iawildlife.org/iowa_wild_kids/?cat=7 (2016-05-01)
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  • Blog Entry: Afternoon Adventure | Iowa Wild Kids
    run and then drive through the bridge I noticed we were the only Iowa car visiting that day There was a nice little roadside park with a picnic area and native flowers planted As the girls raced around the limestone landscape edging Ladybug giggled I bet Caleb and Ruth their pioneer ancestors did this too I didn t have the heart to tell her that besides the fact that the landscaping was probably not quite in place pre 1850 Caleb and Ruth were grown ups with twelve children to protect from the wildcats that roamed the area and a homestead to build It didn t matter they were having fun The next stop was the Primitive Baptist Cemetery just up the road We searched for about twenty minutes for Caleb and Ruth s graves and didn t find them A quick search through my records at home informed me that we had the wrong cemetery but we counted twenty five Veteran s flags and marveled at some of the ancient headstones that had fallen been pieced back together and carved by hand We sorrowed at the line of three little babies in a row from the same family who all died before they were two and were thankful for the day we had together as a family Into Winterset City Park we ventured parked as close to the road entrance as we could and decided to be brave The road to the Clark Memorial Tower is windy and uphill but we were ready for the main attraction to our adventure After a shortcut that took us completely off the road and back into the park my fault I ll admit and with Dragonfly asleep under his HAT a new word we were off I posed a question to the girls If our ancestors settled here and they built this castle tower do you think that could make you a princess Ladybug was all in and declared me queen Wiggle Worm was a bit more skeptical About halfway up it was evident their little legs were getting tired so it was time for some distractions There was plenty to notice wind twisted oaks on the hillsides Old fences made of stones The call of birds in the forest and cotton floating in the air from cottonwood trees Our girls had a big first experience too picking wild clover and sucking out the nectar something we don t do in residential areas with dogs and pesticide use What a treat If you really were princess of this land what would you do all day I posed Ladybug Eat clovers dance and sleep in a meadow fiiiiiiilled with butterflies Wiggle Worm Splash in mud puddles all day And she did We played at the tower for what seemed like a long time There are three levels to it with a winding staircase and a steep ladder to get to the top It s just high enough up to make me nervous when the

    Original URL path: http://iawildlife.org/iowa_wild_kids/?p=42 (2016-05-01)
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  • iawildlife | Iowa Wild Kids
    to come to a consensus on just about anything is a challenge What s for dinner What movie should we watch Which park would you like to go to I m hoping once Dragonfly is old enough to voice his opinion having an odd number of voters will make decisions a little easier There is one thing that we all agree on real Posted by iawildlife in Oh Christmas Tree 0 comments Read More A Walk with Grandpa I like to walk with Grandpa he takes the time you see His steps are little just like mine he stops and waits for me He lets me ask him questions he lets me hold his hand He makes me feel ten feet tall I think that is grand He says there s no one else like me gold is what I m worth When I walk with Posted by iawildlife in Fossils Friends at the Lake MacBride Spillway 0 comments Read More Fall into fall leaves Well we missed posting picture of the beautiful fall leaves on the trees September and October get a little busy around our house but a crisp November day was the perfect day to call some friends and neighbors over to play in our leaf pile The kids were happily playing inside but at the mention of their friend riding his bike in to the driveway to Posted by iawildlife in Fall into fall leaves 0 comments Read More Friends Fun at the Iowa Arboretum Having been back in the school routine for a few weeks has been good for our family We do best on a routine we are productive happy and purposeful in how we spend our time Still it leaves me reminiscent of the freedom we have during the summer On one such

    Original URL path: http://iawildlife.org/iowa_wild_kids/?author=2 (2016-05-01)
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  • It’s cold outside! | Iowa Wild Kids
    two activities on their own For 2015 our list included Boone County Conservation Board Park Program We attended programs on fishing in Iowa composting bike safety and more The Mike Hike An Iowa Arboretum program including story time and a hike through the woods guided by Dallas County naturalist Mike Havlik Rocks and Minerals of Iowa led by Polk County Conservation at the Polk City Public Library And two activities on our own Updating and caring for a butterfly garden with a local Scout troop Hiking at Effigy Mounds where all the cousins also earned a National Parks Service Junior Ranger Badge There were plenty of other programs we could have chosen from but remembering the brochure I printed it three times to get signatures was more of a struggle for me than actually getting to the programs And I ve already got several programs including some indoors during these cold winter months on the calendar for the 2016 Junior Naturalist Badge I was impressed that several counties and other organizations already have programs scheduled for the summer months Here are a few great fun and free winter programs offered throughout our state this winter Animal Architects sponsored by Story County Conservation at the Ames Library 10 00 AM on Saturday January 30 they have other programs including One of the many Eagle Watch Events across the state sponsored by the Iowa DNR Fossils of Iowa at Jester Park on Saturday Feburary 6 at 10 30 AM or a clean up day held mostly the first Saturday of the month at the Carney Marsh sponsored by Polk County Conservation Maple Sugaring at Don Williams Park 1 00 PM on March 19 or several snowshoe or bird hikes sponsored by Boone County Conservation Winter Fun Day at Wapsi River Center Scott

    Original URL path: http://iawildlife.org/iowa_wild_kids/?p=118 (2016-05-01)
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  • Oh Christmas Tree! | Iowa Wild Kids
    Valley Tree Farm just west of Boone on Highway 30 Turn south on Montana Road and we were first greeted by the county landfill then the Sportsman s Club a big hill Now I remember where we re going shouted out from the backseat and a turn around on a muddy dirt road before hopping out to pick out our tree We had seen some hunters just off the road and before we could get up the hill heard two shots and a saw a big buck come dashing our way It ran toward us and stopped at the creek then turned back and disappeared into the woods At the risk of sounding morbid it was somehow like a beautiful last dance Lady Bug first questioned if it was mean to kill a deer but then consented that it was okay as long as you used it for food She thought maybe we should go help the hunters find it she was even dressed in blaze orange but the first deer hunting adventure could wait for another day The owners of Enchanted Valley Tree Farm are gracious salt of the earth true Iowa folks The gentleman always with a smile on his face wanted to know our names introduced himself and gave us a brief history of the land including the old Shelley family farm if you haven t heard the story of Kate Shelley you need to There is a great children s book about her heroism too Where the trees are planted was a Native American settlement and there are burial grounds there Give me beautiful nature and a slice of history with it and I am sold Unfortunately we weren t able to go up the hill to cut our own tree due to muddy conditions but he assured us they had some great trees pre cut and showed us each one and measuring it turning it so we could check for bare spots couldn t find a one What I loved best about this tree farm experience was that none of the trees appeared to be painted to make them appear more green they were perfect just the way they had grown They let the girls watch the shaker help bale the tree and try to cut the twine and were so patient with our little helpers We paid for our tree and the woman working whispered that she had hot chocolate candy canes and stamps if the girls would like one What s the tree cutting experience without hot chocolate Actually that is Wiggle Worm s hot chocolate covered face when I said maybe she could go on her own deer hunting adventure some day with her grandpa She was reminded that you have to be quiet in the woods so we ll see Choosing the real tree is always a challenge though For me the taller the better and for others the fatter the better Sweet Lady Bug prefers a soft tree Fraser Fir

    Original URL path: http://iawildlife.org/iowa_wild_kids/?p=107 (2016-05-01)
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  • A Walk with Grandpa | Iowa Wild Kids
    to seven in a continuous loop the kiddos their dad and grandpa started walking the trail that leads to the spillway Ladybug collected ingredients to make her soup which included rocks ferns grasshoppers and scent of water Later that day on a visit to the library she told the librarian all about her adventure When asked what she planned to do with the grasshoppers she responded without skipping a beat Put them into a soup Or release them With Grandpa in tow release was the preferred destiny for the grasshoppers Growing up with a dad who works in conservation natural resources I can t count the number of times my sister and I lamented about the neighbors keeping and raising back to health any number of animals found in the woods Each time we got a short lecture about letting nature take its course and that the mom was probably close by and hiding One summer we were allowed to keep toads and snakes in an outdoor terrarium Dad later told me that he only agreed to those animals because he thought we d never want to catch them Two girls running barefoot through the weeds after snakes may have proved him wrong but in the end proved him right they really didn t make the best pets especially when they escaped our fool proof lid to our homemade terrarium and escaped Most of them made it across the road to the woods again but I did feel pretty guilty for that one snake smushed on the road The Beach to Dam Trail is a perfect place for little explorers Besides grasshoppers and scent of water their little imaginations can soar The spillway divides Lake MacBride and the Coralville Reservoir Little legs can envision themselves walking along the moat to a castle or in search of treasure found in the form of fossils at the end of the trail where the two bodies of water meet The little waterfalls and mound of dirt have always been a favorite spot of our family from senior class pictures to a family photo shoot to catching crawdads check out the DNR s link to Cool Things You Should Know About Crawdads more a favorite past time of my sister than myself That summer catching snakes and toads must have had a bigger impression on her I do remember Dad teaching us how to cup our hand behind them then walk our fingers toward their face to coax them to walk backward rather than try to catch them from the front and how squirmy their little legs left the palm of my hand There were no crawdads caught on this trip They must not have been necessary for the soup A little giggling voice recently asked me Mom when you were a little girl and Grandpa was your dad was he always this much fun I stopped to think for a moment He never let us keep animals like the neighbor kids could He

    Original URL path: http://iawildlife.org/iowa_wild_kids/?p=103 (2016-05-01)
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  • Fall into fall leaves | Iowa Wild Kids
    good enough for me I grabbed a broom and started on the deck The kids obviously didn t need adults to entertain them here so we snapped a few pictures raked the displaced leaves back into the pile and listened to the joyous chatter of imaginary play We have an array of leaf collection devices metal rake plastic rake kid sized rake leaf claw gloves a mulching lawn mower and we ve found a tarp and a broom work well too We are firm believers that it s never too early to start contributing to the family s well being at home Even little Dragonfly recently a year old thought he d try his hand at raking A neighbor recently posted to facebook an article by the National Wildlife Federation entitled Why You Should Leave the Leaves Now there s no way we can just leave the ones that fall in our yard Our house was vacant before we bought it and we spent two whole days raking the leaves the fell and were never raked Four years later we re still trying to get grass to grow in some spots One look at our back steps shows what it looks like even after we ve raked and swept them a few times This mess mixed with ice and snow which could really come any time wouldn t be safe for kids and dogs or anyone But read the article really because there are some excellent points about what you can do with leaves such as mulch them and allow them to naturally block weeds and fertilize your lawn use them in compost or till them into your garden use as mulch in your garden beds simply leave them in piles and allow them to decompose share with your friends I ll give it a try but I think my friends would prefer some fresh baked cookies or a cup of coffee some company This may be a hard sell enjoy the wildlife that inhabits your yard during the time you otherwise would have spent raking I was shocked to read that 13 of our solid waste in landfills is yard waste Leaves simply decompose better when they have exposure to oxygen like in their natural habitat Though we don t leave the leaves right on our lawn our backyard ravine is in need of some reconstruction and erosion control While we contemplate how labor intensive we want to make this project anywhere from a few fallen logs strategically placed to a miniature version of Machu Piccu our fallen leaves have done an even better job than I anticipated in slowing the flow of water and building up some of the most eroded sections Come to think of it I d appreciate the donation of others leaves as the article suggests so friends if you have leaves to spare and a good idea how to get them down our winding backyard to the ravine bring them on over A little

    Original URL path: http://iawildlife.org/iowa_wild_kids/?p=96 (2016-05-01)
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