Think of spending time outside, and what do you think of?
Hitting the trails? Heading to the water? Playing sports?
Whatever you’re doing, look up. Is the sky blue? Is it sunny? Is it mid-day?
Why not try something new and instead head outside as the sun is going down? We’ll help you Explore the Night during the Nature at Night program series at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji.
“We’re going to encourage the use of no flashlights and use our night vision,” said Bryanna Kuhlman, environmental education coordinator with the Dickinson County Conservation Board. “We’re hoping to see bats and moths and other wildlife that you may see during the day, but what they will do at night.”
The first Nature at Night program will be held 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 15. Meet at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji and head out for an approximately one-hour walk through Kenue Park. The free program will begin as the sun sets and crepuscular animals --- those who are active at dawn and dusk --- will be active, followed by nocturnal animals that will begin waking up.
“I think it’s good for everyone to be exposed to the night and what it offers to our ecosystems,” Kuhlman said. “I think a lot of people are scared to go out at night, but a lot of cool things happen while sun goes down and after the sun goes down.”
Couples, families, intergenerational groups, retirees --- many people will be able to enjoy the Nature at Night series this summer.
“I want them to look at our environment through a different lens,” Kuhlman said, adding that there is so much more to the outdoors than just sunny days with blue skies.
Make sure to bring bug spray and wear shoes that will allow for walking on some uneven terrain.
Pre-registration for Nature at Night is helpful by calling 712-336-6352 but is not required.
Nature at Night will also be held 7:30 p.m. July 20 with the theme Firefly Frenzy and 8 p.m. Aug. 17 with the theme Stargazers.
For more information on free programming at the Dickinson County Nature Center, visit our environmental education page. You can also keep up with the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Image credit: Berkley Bedell