Letters

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Tradescantia

Great August magazine! I would like to know the name of the beautiful flower on Page 14, in the Clearing the Water article. And where does this flower grow?

Betty Harris, St. Joseph

Ombudsman’s note: The wildflower on Page 14 is one of our eight species of spiderwort (genus Tradescantia). The plant in the photo appears to be Tradescantia ohiensis, which occurs statewide in a variety of habitats. Here is a link to more information on that wildflower: www.missouriplants.com/Bluealt/Tradescantia_ohiensis_page.html.

—Tim Smith

The Nature Of Freedom

I’m sitting here in Afghanistan, some 7,000 miles away from Missouri, looking at the May issue of the Conservationist. It brings a lot of joy looking at pictures of the Missouri outdoors, with all of its wildlife, waterways and countryside, reminiscing about the places we see and where we have been, and amazingly enough, places we never knew existed!

We have been in Afghanistan for almost 10 months now [in June], and I can only remember seeing a couple of small gray foxes. No deer, rabbits, squirrels or much of any waterfowl with the exception of a few ducks. Only in a very few areas do you see any semblance of forests, rivers, lakes or streams. We have heard that there are some fish located close to one of the few dams in the country—so few that most people in this area consider fish a delicacy, too expensive to buy.

It’s not that the country does not have the potential to have these things we sometimes take for granted, in fact, they did before the 30-plus years of war and internal civil war.

Obviously this country has experienced devastating events, but we can use this as a glimpse of what happens, or what can happen, when you do not have a managed conservation program like the one we have and enjoy in Missouri.

We keep the magazine in a common sitting area on our base, and it is amazing how even the Afghan interpreters marvel at our resources. Ronald Reagan once said that “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” I think this can also apply to conservation in that we are only one generation from losing what we in Missouri, and the rest of the country, enjoy so much—the forests, bluffs, waterways, and an abundant, healthy and diverse wildlife population.

Thank you to the people of Missouri for supporting the Conservation Department. Thank you to the Department for creating and managing one of the best conservation programs in the U.S.

SFC Dan Thompson MOANG ADT IV, via Internet

Butterfly Magic

On August’s back cover, “I Am Conservation” noted that Springfield was recognized as the first community in Missouri to achieve the Governor’s Children in Nature Community award. However, I did miss the description and location of where the photograph was taken. The photo was taken next to the Bill Roston Native Butterfly House in Close Memorial Park, the site of the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center. The name of this Playtrails pod is Butterflies the Magic of Metamorphosis, representing the four-stage life cycle of the monarch butterfly. The concept for this design was suggested by Katie Steinhoff, our botanical center coordinator.

On your next trip to Springfield, stop by the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Gardens & Complex, 2400 S. Scenic Ave. For more information, visit www.friendsofthegarden.org.

George Deatz, president Friends of the Garden

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