2016 calendars have arrived!

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Each year, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation releases a calendar that highlights Iowa’s beautiful, natural landscapes. The 2016 calendars have arrived!

The calendar is filled with fun: 60 dates of Iowa events like RAGBRAI and the Iowa State Fair, plus lots of nature events for all ages taking place throughout Iowa. The calendar is always designed by a Robert R. Buckmaster graphic design intern. This years designer is Phong Doung, a Drake University recent graduate.

Calendars are $12 and can be purchased online. Members: Use the discount code “acornlove” for 10% off your order!

If you are one of our 7,000+ members and have given $25 or more this year, you will receive your calendar in the mail soon! Continue reading

Nature Walk: White-lined Sphinx

The white-lined sphinx is a large moth and sometimes referred to as a hummingbird moth.  They are generally common in late summer and are often seen feeding on garden flowers.  Like many species in nature, they are beautifully designed with line, pattern and color.  To generate heat in the cool of an evening, they often quiver their wings.

The white-lined sphinx is a large moth and sometimes referred to as a hummingbird moth. They are generally common in late summer and are often seen feeding on garden flowers. Like many species in nature, they are beautifully designed with line, pattern and color. To generate heat in the cool of an evening, they often quiver their wings, just as we might shiver to generate heat when we are cold.

 

If you are interested in purchasing a print of this photo or requesting information on possible use of any of our “Nature Walk” photographs, please contact Carl Kurtz at cpkurtz@netins.net. View our other Nature Walk posts!

Lending a hand to the land

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(All photos by Lexi Ruskell)

Over 70 people lent a hand to the land on July 15 at Cedar Hills Sand Prairie in Black Hawk County. The event was a collaboration between six Iowa land trusts, including INHF, and the University of Northern Iowa’s Tallgrass Prairie Center, which hosted the Iowa Prairie Conference. The Nature Conservancy’s land stewardship team led the slightly overcast volunteer day, though the weather conditions ended up being perfect for working in the open space of the prairie. Continue reading

Nature Walk: Prairie Blazingstar

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Prairie blazingstar (Liatris pycnostachya) is a favorite prairie flower with its tall magenta spikes. It belongs to the aster family and blooms from mid- to late July into mid-August. Tiny plumed seeds that easily shatter with wind or rain form in early October. It makes a wonderful garden flower and readily attracts butterflies.

If you are interested in purchasing a print of this photo or requesting information on possible use of any of our “Nature Walk” photographs, please contact Carl Kurtz at cpkurtz@netins.net. View our other Nature Walk posts!

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Heritage Valley: The little things in life

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An Iowa DNR member presents on a plant species to an attentive volunteer. (Photo by Jessica Rilling)

As I reflect back on our summer seed harvest on July 9 up and around Heritage Valley in northeast Iowa, I think to myself “What a great day!” But I think that I say that a lot—so this time I’ll do my best to answer WHY it was so great. Continue reading

Nature Walk: Leadplant

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“Native prairies have a host of legumes mixed into their array of forbs and grasses. Leadplant (Amorpha canescens), pictured here, is unusual since it has woody stems and is shrub-like. It is long-lived and takes a number of years to develop to the flowering stage. Like other legumes, it produces nitrogen for use by other plants.” — Carl Kurtz

If you are interested in purchasing a print of this photo or requesting information on possible use of any of our “Nature Walk” photographs, please contact Carl Kurtz at cpkurtz@netins.net. View our other Nature Walk posts!

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Nature Walk: Bog Lygropia

Bog Lygropia

“Warm, humid, windless nights are good for the pursuit of moths gathering beneath nighttime lighting. There are hundreds of species of moths and, like other wildlife, most have specific habitat requirements. The bog lygropia is associated with wetlands and aquatic plants such as water lilies. It is only about one inch across.” — Carl Kurtz

If you are interested in purchasing a print of this photo or requesting information on possible use of any of our “Nature Walk” photographs, please contact Carl Kurtz at cpkurtz@netins.net. View our other Nature Walk posts!

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Happy trails at Camp WaNoKi

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INHF acquired the 77-acre Camp WaNoKi property in November 2014. The Webster County Conservation Board manages the land (with help from volunteers like these) to keep it properly maintained.

Saturday, June 27, was a good day.

We’re sure the oak savanna agrees. It’s easy to see why Camp WaNoKi is an American Indian abbreviation for “beautiful land and scenery.” And it’s easy to imagine the fun had in the woods.

Saturday, June 27, was one of those secretly profound days. Nothing huge happened; there wasn’t a celebrity to see or even a grand view. No fireworks. Just people coming together for a cause greater than themselves. Continue reading

Nature Walk: Widow Skimmer

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“Widow Skimmers are common summer dragonflies found near lakes, streams and in open fields. Its distribution is widespread across the U.S., except for dry areas in the Great Plains and in the Rocky Mountains. This is a female; the males have a broad white band outside of the black wing band. Like other dragonflies, they feed by catching flying insects.” — Carl Kurtz

If you are interested in purchasing a print of this photo or requesting information on possible use of any of our “Nature Walk” photographs, please contact Carl Kurtz at cpkurtz@netins.net. View our other Nature Walk posts!

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Picture perfect prairies

A tour participant photographs a wood lily at the Stinson Prairie State Preserve.

A tour participant photographs a wood lily at Stinson Prairie State Preserve.

On Saturday, June 27, INHF president Joe McGovern led tours of three prairies in Kossuth County, co-sponsored by INHF, the Iowa Native Plant Society and the Iowa Prairie Network.

INHF vice president and development director Anita O’Gara and land stewardship director Erin Van Waus also attended the tours. “The neat thing about the day is that we had a variety of attendees – people who know prairie really well, those that enjoy photography and those that haven’t ever set foot on a prairie,” Van Waus said. “So it was a nice mix of attendees of all ages.” Continue reading