Discover Nature Notes

Creepy Critters

Oct 23, 2017

They may have hairy legs and fangs full of venom, or large ears and flappy, vampire-looking wings, but these real life critters eat the blood suckers that ruin our summer evenings and perform some amazing feats.  Spiders and bats are feared by many and their plastic versions  on Halloween decorations play off this spooky reputation.    Learn fun facts about bats and the Missouri tarantula in this week's Discover Nature Note.  Also view a video quiz and see if you can guess the spooky critters by their sound before each puzzle completes. 


Come Fly With Me

Oct 16, 2017

It's a party in the sky each fall and winter as droves of ducks and geese wing their way into Missouri on their journey south for the winter.  Stopping over in lakes, ponds and rivers, different types of waterfowl arrive at different times as the weather changes.  Learn about these dabblers, divers, and geese and their travel timetables in this week's Discover Nature Note.  Scroll through the Media Gallery to see photos and hear sounds of our various visitors.

What About Bobcat

Oct 09, 2017

In the movie, What About Bob, Bill Murray plays a character who is challenged with taking baby steps outdoors.  On the other end of the spectrum, bobcats are sure-footed and stealthy, able to pounce, climb and swim.  Bobcats are fascinating creatures that might compete well in looks and skills with the cat sensation that has swept social media.  Learn more about bobcats and see them up close in video in this week's Discover Nature Note.


Fall's Tasty Treat

Oct 02, 2017

Eat them green and you'll pucker up like a sun fish.  Gather them ripe before the raccoons and you'll enjoy Missouri's tastiest fall treat -- perfect for pies, breads, and puddings.  Persimmons are a homegrown, favorite fall fruit.  Discover more about persimmons, what sports use the tree wood, and how to make persimmon fudge in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Persimmons ripening in fall leaf litter

Top 5 Fall Hikes

Sep 25, 2017

Take a hike this fall or enjoy a walk through some spectacular Missouri scenery.   We're featuring a top five list of conservation area trails around the state to get out and enjoy fall weather, color and fun in this week's Discover Nature Note.  Pick your favorite place to explore, get fit, and spend quality time with family and friends.

Pickle Springs Conservation Area overlook

Our Need for Bees

Sep 18, 2017

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.  Native bumblebees are intentional pollinators that do the most important work.  Learn more about bees, how you can help, and the amazing diversity we have in St. Louis in this week's Discover Nature Note.

common eastern bumblebee

Missouri Nuts

Sep 11, 2017

Gather ye nuts while ye may.  In Missouri, that's September and October for our finest homegrown edibles.  Our top three that rank high in nutrition, economic value and taste are black walnuts, pecans and hickories.  Learn about these nuts in this week's Discover Nature Note.  For a sweet treat, watch a video on how to make glazed pecans and walnuts.

black walnut

Mighty Monarchs

Sep 04, 2017

Monarch butterflies in the eastern U.S. and Canada fly more than 2,000 miles to the same forest in Mexico every fall.  In the spring they return.  Four generations make the round trip.  The migration of monarch butterflies is truly a natural wonder and navigation marvel.  You can learn more about these popular pollinators and how you can help bring monarchs back from a serious decline in this week's Discover Nature Note.  You can also watch videos of a new monarch emerging and a woman from Columbia, Missouri who raises monarchs.

Monarch Butterfly

The Hummingbirds of the Fish World

Aug 28, 2017

You're most likely to see them in clear, swift, shallow waters. Their bright colors and fast dashing movements will give them away and so they are aptly named darters. Learn more about these flashy fish in this week's Discover Nature Note. You can also find Discover Nature Notes at on the homepage. This week's special bonus feature includes an audio podcast with MDC Scientist Doug Novinger, talking streamside about the iconic niangua darter, only found in Missouri.

Photograph of a Niangua darter

An American Original Landscape

Aug 21, 2017

It was named by French expolorers, cared for by Native Americans, sustained by fire and when the steel plow broke it; it fed the world.  The tallgrass prairie is truly an original American landscape.  Learn more about this special habitat and where you can explore remaining Missouri prairies in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Schwartz Prairie


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