- January 31, 2015
- Willow Garden OrbsWillow Garden Orbs
Time: 10:00 am
Willow Garden Orbs Saturday, January 31, 10 AM Create a lovely willow orb for your garden or home using one of nature’s fastest growing plants. Participants will learn simple random weaving techniques to create one or more rustic willow ball. We will use a combination of wild willow harvested from the Nature Center wetland and cultivated basket willow. Good hand strength required. All consumable supplies provided. Participants should bring sharp garden shears or basketry scissors and a towel for wrapping your materials. We will “warm” willow “withies” across our knees, so wear an apron or old pants that can get dirty. Our finished product will be roughly basketball-sized. Bring a brown bag lunch. We will provide beverages. Register by 4 PM on Wednesday, January 28. M $25; NM $35. at 10:00 am
- Chicken ChatterChicken Chatter
Time: 1:00 pm
Chicken Chatter Saturday, January 31, 1 PM Anyone new to keeping a flock of chickens is likely to experience the joys and frustrations of caring for animals and learning husbandry skills. Join longtime chicken keeper and ICNC Director Emeritus Rich Patterson for an interactive discussion. He will suggest solutions for the five most common problems experienced by new poultry keepers, then encourage everyone to share experiences. Call 319-362-0664 to reserve your place. Suggested donation: $5. at 1:00 pm
- Willow Garden OrbsWillow Garden Orbs
There’s a raccoon in my garage/house. Can I trap it and release it away from my house?
Trapping and moving raccoons does not work. A detailed study revealed that raccoons have a strong homing ability and will return quickly. So, removing a raccoon and driving it 20 miles out into the country will not solve your problem.
The only way to keep raccoons out of structures is to find out how they get in. Raccoons leave at dark so have your patching materials ready. Check to make sure the animal has left for the evening (but make sure it is not a female with babies inside the structure). Patch the hole so it cannot get back in when it returns. The only way a trap will work in this situation is if you trap the raccoon as it leaves the structure and hold it in the trap while you patch the hole. Then release the raccoon right there.
How do I get rid of bats?
Bats are very beneficial creatures, consuming literally thousands of insects daily! They actually cause few problems, even if roosting in an attic. But every once in a while, a bat will find its way into the living quarters of a home, most often after dark, scaring everyone half to death. Usually they are easy to evict. Turn off all the lights in the room and open any exterior doors and windows. The bat will soon depart on its own. If the bat won’t leave, turn the lights back on. Bats are light shy and will try to hide in the folds of a curtain or other dark location. Carefully cover it with a large jar or landing net or even a gloved hand. Release the bat outdoors and search to locate and plug the bat’s entrance hole.
If your problem is bats roosting in your attic, your best weapon is a caulking gun. Every hole and creack leading into your attic should be filled with quality caulking. Vents should be covered by screening with a mesh no larger than 1/4 inch. Small holes are sometimes hard to find but often they are located under eaves or around attic windows. You can locate the holes during the day but they holes must be plugged at night after the bats have left for the evening hunt.
Rabbits are destroying my garden! How do I get rid of them?
Probably the best defense against rabbits is a stout fence. Rabbits can leap long distances but they can’t jump very high. A two-foot chicken wire fence is plenty high enough to keep them away from flowers and vegetables. The bottom two inches should be buried in the dirt. Fencing can be expensive, but it works well. Trapping is generally a very temporary solution. A more long-term solution would be to encourage predators and discourage rabbit habitat. Remove shrubbery and debris where rabbits can find shelter and leave open lawn surrounding your garden. A large tree nearby may encourage predators to roost and hunt.
There is something wrong with a tree in my yard. Can you come out and look at it?
Unfortunately, the Nature Center does not have the staff or the specific expertise to visit and diagnose the many issues confronting trees and plantlife. We recommend contacting the ISU Extension Office for your county. They may ask you to bring in leaves or bark from your tree to be examined and/or tested. You might also contact Trees Forever to see if they have a field coordinator in your area who might be able to help.