Discover Nature NotesMore posts

The Sounds of Fall

Oct 15, 2018

Fall is a sensory delight. The landscape is awash with the colors of changing leaves. Sunsets are coppery. Fall smells are evocative: cider, smoke from burning leaves, and the singed pumpkin of a jack-o-lantern plug.

The sounds of fall are distinct too. Crickets call. As E.B. White wrote in “Charlotte’s Web”:  “They sang the song of summer’s ending, a sad monotonous song.”

Crisp, dead leaves cover the ground and swish and crunch underfoot. Squirrels chatter and raise a leafy rattle as they scurry for acorns to bury and find again as fall fades into winter.

Deer look for mates, and they move restlessly. Bucks vying for dominance fight, and their antlers clack and scrape. A lone deer suddenly surprised is likely to snort. Wild elk chuckle, bugle and sound off in the Ozark hills.  You can take a driving tour to see and hear them at Peck Ranch and Current River Conservation Areas.

Migrating geese cut across autumn skies in wide V’s, belting out calls of reassurance to one another. The chorus of honks fills the chilly air, first softly, then stridently, and then fades away. A new fleet takes up the calm then it passes too, and the relay continues, sometimes for hours.

You can find and share more Missouri fall colors with our MO Fall Colors app.  Browse up-to-minute fall color scenes from places nearby and around the state. Use the GPS info to navigate to them.

Places to Go this Fall

Where can you listen to the sounds of nature in Missouri? Here are a few conservation and natural areas we suggest:

For more outdoor activity ideas, visit MDC’s website.

Elk Viewing - Discover Nature (KRCG)

Listen to bugle of elk in the Ozarks
Listen to bugle of elk in the Ozarks

white-fronted_geese_flying_2-17-15.jpg

Photo of several white-fronted geese in flight.
White-Fronted Geese in Flight
The white-fronted goose migrates to warmer climates in winter, and some of them fly through Missouri.

Fall_Blue-winged-teal.jpg

Blue-winged Teal In Flight
Blue-winged Teal In Flight
Blue-winged teal and shorebirds fly through Missouri in September as early migrants start heading south for the winter.

110213-hartsburg-fall-color-11.jpg

Hartsburg Fall Color
Hartsburg Fall Color

Recent Posts

american tree sparrow

Winter Sparrows

Dec 09, 2018

WINTER SPARROWS:  They're all around us in winter, eat cheap, and frequently feed on the ground.  Sparrows are small birds with thick bills for cracking seeds.  Sparrows are mostly brown but some have showy accents like yellow eyebrows, red caps, and white mohawks.  Discover how sparrows can lively-up your backyard in the dead of winter, and hear their calls and chirps in this week's Discover Nature Notes blog.

Eastern red cedar tree berries

Missouri's Spicy Evergreen

Dec 02, 2018

MISSOURI'S SPICY EVERGREEN: Its aromatic wood is used for chests and closets, its oils for soaps and gin, and its high-energy berries feed hungry birds. Meet the Eastern red cedar. A shapely, spicy evergreen that is Missouri's most common and a yuletide favorite for people and wildlife. Red cedar branches provide greenery during winter and protect deer and rabbits from the wind. Learn more fun facts about red cedar trees in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Eastern bluebird on a branch

Christmas Bird Counts

Nov 25, 2018

CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT:  Try a new outdoor adventure by joining an old holiday tradition.  Several Missouri counties have openings where you can be part of Audubon's annual Christmas Bird Count, the longest-running, citizen-science effort in the U.S.  Each count takes place on a single day between December 14, and January 5, from before sunrise to after sunset.  New birders are often paired with experienced counters.  Many groups enjoy a warm meal together after the count.  Learn how you can help birds by counting them in this week's Discover Nature Notes blog.

Archive

Field Guide

Discovering nature from A-Z is one click away

Recipes

You had fun hunting, catching or gathering your quarry—now have more fun cooking and eating it.
Check out the recipes