Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and might be edited for length and clarity.
First Steps, Big Steps
I extend my thanks and appreciation to Tim Kjellesvik for his thoughtful, well-written, and comprehensive piece titled First Steps Afield in the October issue. It was one of the most poignant articles I’ve seen illustrating the importance of educating and encouraging new adherents to our cherished sport-hunting tradition. Tim’s examples and suggestions apply not only to youngsters but to older people just now getting interested in the outdoors.
John Stanard, Poplar Bluff
Keep it Clean
I enjoyed your article Backyard Birds, and I was glad you noted the importance of cleaning hummingbird feeders to prevent the growth of bacteria. It is also important to clean feeders set out for other birds!
House finches and goldfinches in particular can pick up infections resulting in an eye disease from rubbing against tube feeders. If you have ever seen a bird with this disease, unable to fly accurately or find food, you will appreciate how devastating it is. Keeping feeders clean is part of responsibly enjoying your backyard birds.
Laura Gorman, St. Louis
The cover of the September issue is absolutely fabulous! I don’t believe I’ve seen a more stunning and interesting cover — or crawfish [golden crayfish by Chris Lukhaup]. Way to go! The Missouri Conservationist just keeps getting better and better. Thank you for all you do! It’s a great publication.
Marian Rein, Publisher, St. Louis Java Journal
Order Form & Guide
Your Seedling Order Form was outstanding! [George O. White State Forest Nursery; November; inserted at Page 16] The photos were terrific. Thanks for the beautiful all-Missouri flora identifier. I will keep it always as a reference to what grows in my yards and woods. I will take it on every journey to our parks and forests.
Bob Faenger, Springfield
Eat Like a Bird
As a person with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet, I can sympathize with Pete the pigeon in the September issue’s Chmielniak cartoon [Page 4]. Thanks for helping make people (and birds, too) aware that it is important to check if your food is indeed gluten-free.
Every day I walk the 96 steps down to Stinson Creek on Fulton’s Westminster Campus. There are woodchucks burrowing in the tall bank down to the creek and, though they are rather shy, they can be curious. One day when I descended the steps, two chucks were calling to one another — sounding to me like loud, echoing jungle birds. In imitation, I began operatically “WHAAH!”-ing to the chuck at the field house. He was fascinated. He called back while he watched me. We kept this exchange up until I decided to leave and get on with my life — and before someone had me committed.
Sylvia Rummel, Fulton
Is there a need for conservation agents? I was thinking of changing my major and becoming an agent.
Conservation Department: There is a continuing need for conservation agents, and classes are held to train new agents every other year or so on average. Many applicants apply for the available slots, so competition is high. For more info, click on the “careers” tab at the bottom of our home page at MissouriConservation.org and you’ll find some documents specific to conservation agents.
Christie Fowler of Queen City, Mo., took this photo of ice-covered trees at Archangel Access near Livonia on the Chariton River. “I had set out that day to take photos of the frozen fog,” says Fowler. “The trees that day were beautiful, but it didn’t last long, as the ice melted pretty quickly.” Fowler loves to take pictures of just about anything, but her favorite subjects are wildlife and landscapes. She also enjoys feeding birds and squirrels and hiking nature trails. “It is always exciting to get my copy of the Conservationist Magazine because I love finding new places to put on my to-go-to list.”