Congratulations to Ara and all the team at Missouri Conservationist! Usually when I read a lead in a publication telling about all the changes and fantastic improvements they have made, I have to go back and try to find what’s different and if it made any real difference. The April issue is a wonderful exception.
I have read the Conservationist since my high school years in the ‘50s, and through a teaching career that also ran parallel to being founding secretary/editor of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, president of Burroughs Audubon, a founder of Lakeside Nature Center, 18-year director of the Camp Hope environmental science resident camp, active member of KC Wildlands, and recipient of the “Plastic Deer Award” (Conservation Educator of the Year).
I have seen a lot of changes and growth in MDC (including going from advocating some wildlife plants to discovering they became dangerous invaders of natural areas), but this issue is one of the really special events (like the opening of the Anita Gorman Discovery Center).
The NextGEN pages are colorful, focus attention with a few short paragraphs on something interesting and important and informative. Nappadol Paothong’s article on photographing king rails (a bird that is not on my 1000-species life list nor have I even heard one), was really riveting. Great photos—and I didn’t have to feed myself to hordes of mosquitoes like he did to enjoy them. Cliff White’s photo of the fishing lake reflected in the dark glasses on p. 28 was another highlight picture. And, of course, I always enjoy the Chmielniak cartoons, including the depressing sight of the hulking legs of the first robin of spring.
I know you all will keep up the great work, and I am happy to be among the millions who can count ourselves blessedly fortunate to live in a state of folks with the foresight and commitment to have voted to have conservation programs that serve the people and the wildlife and not just the rich and powerful special interests and politicians.
Thanks for all you have done, are doing, and will continue to do when I am no longer around to love you.
Richard G. (Dick) Dawson, Kansas City
There was an odd sense of irony when I returned home from fishing in the Rolla area the weekend of [March] 30th.
After my friends and I had been rained out from trying to fish some of the local rivers
and streams, we set our sights on Indian Trail Conservation Area for no other reason than it was on the road we were driving. After sighting a pond in the woods, we took off by foot with our gear through the brush. Up close, we discovered that we’d maybe three spots to cast from.
We each took our positions and on the first cast I landed a beauty. We spent the rest of the day driving through the conservation area looking for every other pond on the map that we picked up later, enjoying the sights, sounds and sense of exploration. Consider me a believer [Hunting for Fishy Waters; April]. Keep up the excellent work.
Bob Parks, Kansas City
I was watching Missouri Outdoors, Sunday, April 8, and would like a copy of your persimmon cookie recipe. I have several groves of persimmon and a great bounty come 1st to 2nd frost.
Robin Suppenbach, Pleasant Hill
Editor’s note: KEVIN’S PERSIMMON COOKIES: 1 c. persimmon pulp, 2 eggs, 1 1⁄2 c. oil, 4 1⁄2 c. flour, 1 1⁄4 c. sugar, 1⁄2 tsp. salt, 1 c. pecans (or other nuts), 1⁄2 c. raisins, 2 Tbsp. vanilla, 1 Tbsp. butter flavor, 1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon, allspice or ground cloves. Mix and bake 10–12 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet at 350F.
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