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The two RV Gypsies
at Lime Creek Nature Center
3501 Lime Creek Road
Mason City, Iowa 50401
open year round but call for hours '641.423.5309
August 5, 2017

The Lime Creek Nature Center opened in 1984 as a conservation education facility serving North Iowa. It was funded exclusively by donations from private citizens, businesses, organizations, and foundations. The nature center programs are not tax funded; they rely on memberships and donations to continue their mission.

A nine-mile network of trails dissects a 440-acre area of  upland timber, open fields, restored prairie, flood-plain forest, and limestone bluffs; an ideal place for wildlife and a variety of recreational activities.  The nature center houses displays, live and mounted animals, a natural resource library, and a gift shop.  The Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board office is located in the nature center.

Effective April 8, 2016. all designated trails at the Lime Creek Conservation Area are open to foot, horse and bicycle traffic. Canoes are allowed on Quarry lake. Other activities in the area include: biking, primitive camping, equestrian activities, fishing, picnicking, hiking on trails, and more.

sign: Lime Creek Nature Center

This was one of several turtles in the Visitor center that was constantly swimming into the glass because the aquarium it was in was very small.

turtle in a small aquarium

Below: The two RV Gypsies saw a sight that demanded a second look: a jeep parked in the parking lot at the Lime Creek Nature Center displayed an image that at first glance could be thought to be a person sleeping in the window. Very clever.

a sight that demands a second look

The two RV Gypsies took a short hike on the bluffs trail.

green covered water

green covered water

water

stromatoporoids sign

Along the trail, the two RV gypsies learned about Stromatoporoids, a class of aquatic invertebrates common in the fossil record from the Ordovician through the Devonian. They were especially abundant in the Silurian and Devonian. These invertebrates were important reef-formers throughout the Paleozoic and the Late Mesozoic. The group was previously thought to be related to the corals and placed in the Phylum Cnidaria. They are now classified in the sponges (Phylum Porifera), specifically the sclerosponges. There are numerous fossil forms with spherical, branching or encrusting skeletons of laminated calcite with vertical pillars between the laminae.

Stromatoporoids are useful markers whose form and occurrence can diagnose the depositional environment of sedimentary strata. Paleozoic Stromatoporoids hosted various symbiotic endobionts such as rugosans, syringoporids, worms and cornulitids.

sign about the rock wall shown below

rock wall

Although the sign shown below about the Cottonwood Tree was very informative, the tree itself was just too large to photograph.

sign about the Cottonwood tree

Although the two RV Gypsies enjoyed the Butterfly Garden area, they did not see any butterflies on this date. However, Karen did take some pictures of flowers, bees, and a big wasp.

Butterfly Garden sign

flower

flower

flowers

flowers

bee on a flower

bee on a flower

bee on a flower

flowers

big black wasp on a flower

flowers

flowers

part of the Butterfly Garden

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