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Published on: May. 2, 1996

Last revision: Oct. 21, 2010

piled high, if the day is warm enough you'll be aware of that first sound of trickling water, and the smell of warming earth and trees.

By March most of the snow is gone from the woods and valleys. Daniel Boone Conservation Area always comes to life with the first showing of the serviceberry. While the landscape is still bleak and brown, its flowers stand out white and starlike.

Take along a copy of Edgar Denison's Missouri Wildflowers or the Conservation Department's pamphlet "Showy Woodland Trees of Spring," a camera or watercolor supplies, and you can happily fill an early spring morning or afternoon. If you use Hermann as a home base, you can visit these two forests and even put in a boat at nearby Gasconade Park Access. It was on this river that my son, Pete, caught his first huge gar.

What I enjoy most about these areas is scouting out spring flora. In early March I look for rue anemone, bloodroot and Dutchman's breeches. In April comes blue-eyed Mary, wake robin, and wild sweet William. Most wildflower names are charming and sometimes descriptive. To anyone who has endured Missouri winters and known weeks when the mercury stays below zero, the first hint of spring is a great event.

Rose Pond Conservation Area

Go north of the Lewis County line on Highway 61, turn east on Highway F, and go 2.9 miles to Highway P. Take Highway P north until the pavement ends (2.3 miles), then take the gravel road to the left for .2 mile. Turn right on the next gravel road, and the area is .5 mile down this road.

When trapping season rolled around, I began thinking of new areas to trap and the thought occurred to me to check out Rose Pond Conservation Area.

I arrived about a half hour before sunrise and soon found a rather large open area where the water was low and drying up. The swamp was full of fish trying to swim around. Carp, perch, skip jack and more. Thousands of them were plainly visible with their backs out of the water, trying to suck air from the oxygen-depleted water.

Although this was hard on the fish, it was a food bonanza for the other wildlife. There were many partially eaten fish scattered around on the bank where the raccoon, possum, fox, coyote and mink were finding easy pickings.

All this fur sign really got this old trapper's

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