Discover Nature Notes

Spring Awakening

Apr 11, 2016

Our forests come alive this time of year, replacing winter’s dormancy with swelling buds, new leaves and a carpet of wildflowers. Forests are energy factories.

wild plum

Mussel Up!

Apr 04, 2016

Freshwater mussels are cold, wet and clammy, and their shells may seem more glamorous than the animals inside.

Zebra Mussel

Be Bear Aware

Mar 28, 2016

Black bears are making a comeback in Missouri’s forests. To know and understand them helps to appreciate and protect them.

Two black bears walking in the woods

Rockin’ Robins

Mar 21, 2016

With the first warm weather of March, robins return to our lawns and gardens, and are one of our best indicators that spring has arrived!

Robin chicks getting fed by a parent.

Chorus of Frogs

Mar 14, 2016

You may look for your first robin as a sign of spring, but the voices of frogs rise through the air and speak clearly of warmer days.

Photo of a western chorus frog

The Heron’s Nest

Mar 07, 2016

Herons nest in colonies called “rookeries” that are usually located in places isolated from disturbance. Herons often select mature sycamore trees along streams as rookery sites.

Photo of great blue heron

Woodcock Wonderment

Feb 29, 2016

Usually, the one way to find a woodcock is to follow close behind a dog with a good nose. But in March, woodcocks emerge from hiding and do a dramatic sky dance that announces the end of winter.

photo of American woodcock

Best “Buds” Forever

Feb 22, 2016

If you are yearning for signs of spring, take a look at the swollen buds on the branches of backyard trees and shrubs.

wild plum

That Cave Dweller Life

Feb 15, 2016

When you think of caves, bats and our cave-dwelling ancestors come to mind. But caves also harbor many other kinds of animals.

cave salamander

The Good Kind of Cavity

Feb 08, 2016

Teeth and trees have something in common: They can both get cavities! Although we wisely have our cavities filled, tree cavities are wisely left just as they are.

photo of a screech owl in a tree cavity

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