On behalf of the Clayton County Conservation Board and animals at the Osborne Nature Center, we welcome you to our new innovative blog. On this site you can find information regarding the facilities of Osborne and a Google Calendar showing the public events being held here. Videos and slideshows are also located on the bottom of the page. Subscribe to our blog or check back often to view new happenings at Osborne and within Clayton County Conservation. We hope you find this blog to be enjoyable and informative-Remember to play outside.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Northeast Iowa Fall Colors

If you have not noticed yet, the fall colors are starting to turn in Northeast Iowa. The changing of leaf color is associated with winter dormancy in all perennial plants. A chemical called phytochrome triggers plants to go into the dormant period when nights get long enough. Therefore, day length does trigger leaf color.  Change in the manufacture of chlorophyll is slowed and the green color in the leaves begins to fade, allowing the other pigments to show through. Since the transport of water is slowed down, food manufactured by the remaining chlorophyll builds up in the sap of the leaf and other pigments are formed which cause the leaves to turn
red or purple in color, depending on the acidity of the sap. Pheeew all that changing gives us some brilliant colors!

The sumac and virginia creeper have begun turning into brilliant red hues. Sumac almost always turns red because red pigments are present and its leaf sap is acidic, while many of the oaks and sometimes ashes will get a purplish color because the sap is less acidic. Currently, the walnuts are fastly loosing their now yellow leaves and some ashes haveh also begun turning yellow.  For more information on fall color change and viewing times you can visit http://www.iowadnr.gov/forestry/fallcolor.html

There is no better time to visit Northeast Iowa than from the last weekend in September through the third weekend of October-expect plenty of color change. I will do my best to keep the blog updated on current colors and where to go!

Osborne 5k Fun Run Recap

The Osborne 5k Fun Run was a great sucess this past weekend. We has a record number of 63 people run the 3.1 mile route through the pine trees, crossing the water and back to the finish line. Nobody got lost and everyone seemed to appreciate the opportunitity to run through the WATER!  Thank you to all the sponsers and participants who came this year. The funds will be used for Bus Scholarships so more schools may experience the same joy of the woods that the 63 Fun Run Runners did this past weekend.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Heritage Days

This October 9th-10th from 10a.m.-4p.m, go back in time to the small community of Osborne to glimpse the pioneer era. Enjoy exhibits, demonstrations, pioneer church service, food and much more.  Activities are fitting for all ages! More information can be found by calling the Osborne Nature Center at 563-245-1516.

Great Horned Owls

This morning while driving into work, I spotted a site that has become more and more familar; a dead owl on the side of the road. 

Owls are my favorite topic to present to kids. We learn about owl's amazing adaptations, how they control rodent populations, hoot for owls, and most importantly we learn NOT to throw food out of the seat of your car.  The reason for this is  when rodents see/smell food (lets say a french fries) on the roadside they will come out from the ditches to dispose of what you left.  Within a short distance of the ditches, waits the patient owl in a tree. Once the owl sees the mouse eating the french fries on the roadside, he will swoop down to eat him and possibly get hit by an oncoming vehicle.  Studies have shown the majority of dead raptors found along roadsides are most often Owls.  You can do your part to prevent Car/Owl collisions by Not throwing food out of the seat of your car.