Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and might be edited for length and clarity.
I thoroughly enjoyed your January article on ice fishing [Ice Fishing in Missouri]. I was raised on a small dairy farm in the Kettle Moraine area of southeastern Wisconsin. Our farm had about a mile of frontage on a small lake. There wasn’t much time for fishing during most of the year, but when that lake froze over, we were ready.
We had a spring in the woods that flowed into the lake and kept a small area ice-free. That’s where my father seined for minnows for bait. He also was in charge of chopping the hole in the ice. My grandfather, older than 65, and my sister and I, under 16, did not need licenses, so we were the fishermen. There weren’t any fishing shanties then, so everybody could socialize and share the excitement of a big catch.
The brilliant blue sky, the crisp clean air, and the view of sparkling snow-covered wooded hillsides are etched in my memory, as are the wonderful fried perch dinners we would have when we got home. It may not be for everyone, but ice fishing is a wonderfully exhilarating and rewarding winter activity.
Dorothy K. Stade, Ferguson
This article really touched me as, at 87, I still find much pleasure in nature.
On my frequent drive from Howard in Elk County, Kan., to our ranch 10 miles west, I have developed quite an interest in the trees along the way. We here in Elk County are blessed with quite a variety of trees, shrubs, flowers, birds, and animals. Before reading the article, on one of my drives, I had thought that it would be rewarding to be able to photograph the trees in winter as their shapes are so distinct. As I drive along, it is like they are old friends. I noticed one small tree several years ago, when it had seed pods. I didn’t know what it was and took one of the pods with me to “coffee,” thinking that one of the locals would be able to identify the tree. I received all sorts of answers, but didn’t determine what it was until the pod, left in our truck, popped open, displaying the familiar buckeye. I have had several seeds sprout, but they never live for long. I have one remaining, which I am hoping lives through the winter.
I have enjoyed your publication for many years, since becoming acquainted with it when visiting a niece living in Missouri.
Lula Mae Harrison, via Internet
Danny Brown’s prose captured the essence of the harrier on equal footing with his fabulous photograph In tandem they transported me to the scene. The Missouri Conservationist is a monthly treasure.
Briane Lawer, Kansas City, Mo.
Best of the Bunch
For many years, I have read the Missouri Conservationist magazine and really liked it. In fact, it is from this magazine that I have developed a great love for nature. So, in return, I have decided to choose my favorite article in this month’s magazine.
When I was deciding on which article I would compliment, I had a rough time because all the articles were so good. However, I finally decided on Missouri Trout Fishing: It’s Easy to Get Hooked for various reasons:
- It talked about one of my best interests: fishing;
- It gave me tips on what supplies I should buy, what techniques I should use, and where I should go for fishing;
- It taught me about conservation and fish, and it made me feel good knowing that fish are being saved by the Missouri Department of Conservation;
- It gave me the urge to go fishing again. (Since it’s winter I feel that it’s not necessary to go fishing.)
Those are the reasons I chose your article to be the best article in this month’s Missouri Conservationist magazine (although all of them deserve compliments). I hope that you will continue to use the techniques that you used in this month’s article, and that you will write more articles. Many more.
Branden May, 6th grader, via Internet
A Sweet Treat
Thirteen-year-old Andrew Sweet, of Springfield, took this photo of an eastern garter snake at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. “I was with my three older brothers and my grandpa when this little guy poked his head up beside the trail,” says Sweet. “He didn’t seem frightened, and I was able to take several photographs of him.” Sweet says he loves taking pictures of nature and wildlife. “I take my camera with me wherever I go,” he says. Sweet says he takes a lot of his photos in his backyard, but he and his family also frequently visit the nature center. “I like walking the trails with my family and looking for wildlife to photograph,” says Sweet. “Whenever we go to the nature center, we usually see only birds and deer while hiking on the trails, so this was a special treat.”