Without them, our produce aisles would be mostly bare. With less of them, harvest sizes will shrink and prices will soar. Bees are essential for many of the foods we eat and nutrients we need. Learn simple ways you can help bees in this week's Discover Nature Note.
They rest like a sphinx, hover like a hummingbird, flutter like a bat, and are built for speed like a plane. Sphinx moths have an identity crisis. With us, not them. Many are mistaken for other species. Discover more in this week's Discover Nature Notes.
Watch for creatures known as flying "bullbats" in Missouri's September skies. Common Nighthawks fly like bats and make booming dives at dawn and dusk on their southern migration. Hear what they sound like and why their name makes no sense in this week's Discover Nature Note.
Darters have been called the hummingbirds of the fish world. See their flash-and-dash, and travel streamside to discover the Niangua darter, a fish found only in Missouri, in this week's Discover Nature Note.
Happy 75th Birthday Smokey Bear! Our beloved American icon has been protecting our lands from wildfires since 1944. Discover who shares his birthday and how "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires" in this week's Discover Nature Note.
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but for wildlife, it can up the odds for survival. Mimicry is used for defense, attack, and camouflage in the wild. See how it's done in this week's Discover Nature Note.
Shrimp in Missouri, Who Knew?: Two types of freshwater shrimp can be found in Missouri's lakes and rivers. One is common and one is rare. The Mississippi Grass shrimp is small and transparent. The female pictured is carrying her eggs attached to swimmerets beneath her abdomen. The Ohio shrimp are larger and harder to find. Missouri's freshwater shrimp are important to fish and other wildlife. Learn more in this week's Discover Nature Note.
Do not let these bloodsuckers and parasites ruin your great time in the outdoors! Mosquitoes, ticks, and chiggers are out in force this year. Discover their wild ways and the best defense/good offense advice on fending them off in this week's Discover Nature Note. (Pictured: mosquito larvae)
Does Missouri have lobster? Our crayfish are a smaller relative, but a large powerhouse for fueling and housing hundreds of species, and helping soils, plants and waterways. Learn why, see them up close, and catch a recipe for etouffee in this week's Discover Nature Notes.
Looking for something wild and healthy to do? Berry picking may be the summer adventure for you. Check out where and how you can harvest native fruits and create your own treats in this week's Discover Nature Note.
Happy Independence Week! To mark the holiday, we are celebrating RED, WHITE, and BLUE in nature. Check out patriotic colors and catch some fun facts about our national bird in this week's Discover Nature Note.
COOL OFF On the Water this summer. With more than 110,000 miles of rivers and streams, Missouri has many chill choices for floating, fishing, and more. Get inspired with some famous Missouri musicians playing live in 8 water locations, and find helpful tips in this week's Discover Nature Note. Note: Please check weather, road, and water conditions before heading out.
Father's Day is a popular time of year for family fishing. Check out two fish fathers who would qualify for "super dad" status when it comes to raising young fry. Learn their techniques and catch some fishing tips in this week's Discover Nature Note.
Hummingbird Hustle: These pint-sized birds pack a lot of power and speed in their game. They can fly backwards, sideways and even upside down with wings beating more than 50 times per second. Hummingbirds also feature a rainbow of colors as they flit about seeking nectar from orange and red tubular flowers. Watch one in slow motion and learn how to attract them to your yard in this week's Discover Nature Note.
With stout frame and a mohawk crest, this potent predator strikes with stealth. Its prey may not see it coming, but you might if you listen for its swooping call. Find out more about this wild fisher on Missouri waters in this week's Discover Nature Note.
Discover the musical stylings and skills of Acris crepitans and Hyla versicolor, more commonly known as cricket frogs and gray tree frogs. They provide an outdoor soundtrack suite while munching on pesky insects that are not so sweet. Learn more in this week's Discover Nature Note.
These mammal moms are made for mobility. Opossums are the only marsupials in North America. Females have fur-lined front pouches to raise their large broods which are born blind and hairless, weighing less than a dime. Despite their scruffy looks, these scavengers are natural cleaners, gobbling up thousands of ticks and eating cockroaches, rats, mice, and more. Check them outin this week's Discover Nature Note.