More than 20 years ago, I unwittingly started a family tradition of giving the Conservation Department’s Natural Events Calendar as a Christmas gift to several of my relatives and in-laws. They all enjoy outdoor experiences and the beauty of the natural world, and the calendar has always been much appreciated and is now much-expected. Even the ones who live in Mississippi, Texas and Wyoming look forward to the photos of wildlife, plants and scenic landscapes of Missouri. If thoughts of Christmas shopping are starting to make brief forays into your consciousness, you might want to consider a couple of calendar options for the nature lovers on your list.
The Natural Events Calendar for 2010 is the 25th edition of this long-time favorite. Beautiful photos accompany the calendar pages, which are filled with notes on natural events occurring on each date. Readers will be glad to know that “downy gentians bloom on prairies on October 10,” and “hellbender breeding is at its peak on October 12.” Longtime calendar editor Bernadette Dryden sums up the impact of the calendar with her statement that “nature never fails in giving us something to appreciate in the moment or to anticipate.”
In its second year of production, Missouri’s Outdoor Heritage Calendar for 2010 is a relative newcomer. It follows a similar format to the Natural Events Calendar but focuses on hunting and angling. Notes on the day blocks address such topics as an Oct. 10 reminder of the coming Youth Deer Season and notice that “arrival of American wigeon, pintail and gadwall ducks is at its peak” on Oct. 12. Historical photos of Missouri’s sporting life are blended with beautiful modern photos of game and fish.
Each calendar is available for $7 plus tax at Conservation Nature Centers and regional offices as well as at many bookstores and online or by phone from the MDC Nature Shop at 1-877-521-8632. A $4.95 shipping and handling fee applies to online and telephone orders.