Nature is red in tooth and claw. That paraphrase of the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson came to mind when I saw the sharp-shinned hawk make a pass at the birds around my feeders. The hawk’s presence can usually be assumed when the smaller birds scatter wildly, some of them taking refuge in the dense, multi-stemmed deutzia shrub near the feeders.
Firewood looks harmless, but it can harbor the emerald ash borer, a devastating forest pest. Hunters are urged not to move firewood to and from their camps. Instead, buy firewood locally and burn it all before returning home.
The literary naturalist Loren Eiseley described the way vegetation reveals its secrets in the fall and winter, when the lush growth of summer is reduced to the freeze-tolerant mechanical parts of stems, bark, wood, leaves, fruits and seeds.
A horror story was the last thing I expected when I recently picked up "By a Thousand Fires," an antique book about Ernest Thompson Seaton. But there it was, creepy and gross enough for a Hollywood thriller.
A few weeks ago, Bernadette Dryden, our publications supervisor, asked me if I wanted to go to the Missouri Mycological Society’s (MOMS) annual foray at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge. “Maxine says they’re good cooks and make brunch out of the edible mushrooms on Sunday.”
If you are among the growing number of Missourians who have discovered the majestic beauty and vast recreational opportunities of the Missouri River, you might want to attend one of two meetings the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are holding in the Kansas City and St. Louis areas early next month to discuss the river’s management.
A reporter recently told me that the word “landscaping” appeals more to people today than “gardening” because it sounds like less work. I doubt that was on author Dave Tylka’s mind when he wrote the book “Native Landscaping for Wildlife and People” in 2002.
Whether they were excited to hit a bullseye in archery or clay targets using shotguns, savoring the latest Dutch-oven cooking, finding their way with a compass or just laughing at dinner, the 80 or so women at the latest Discover Nature—Women workshop put on by the Missouri Department of Conservation had great fun learning new skills.
Whether you just have a few trees or many in a nearby park, you can do something to help Missouri’s trees. Volunteer as a Missouri Forestkeeper. This statewide network supported by the Missouri Department of Conservation and Forest ReLeaf of Missouri helps you monitor local trees.
Someone just commented to this blog about not seeing as many whippoorwills as usual. That fits with what’s happening to about a third of the 800 species of birds in the United States that are declining, threatened or endangered.
With Valentine’s Day near, it seems a natural time to get to the heart of the matter. First, I want to pass on a fun Web link for you to consider for a wildlife valentine E-card from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.