Discover Nature Notes

Pollinator Power

Aug 06, 2018

Our Need For Bees: 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. (Pictured: Common Eastern Bumblebee)

common eastern bumblebee

Theater in the WILD

Jul 30, 2018

Theater in the Wild: Some of the biggest stars have graced its stage, and swallowed our bugs while singing, but often nature and wildlife have been an inspiring and entertaining part of the show. The Muny opera took shape 100 years ago between two giant oak trees in a natural bowl in Forest Park in St. Louis. Ol' man River Des Peres which runs through it caused early trouble in river city with a flood that washed the orchestra's instruments as far away as Carondelet.

Today, the river runs behind and below the theater offering audiences a chance to view wetland species. The trees surrounding the stage are part of the design for several musicals and are looked after with care. Squirrels, possums or raccoons may appear climbing lighting grids or wandering onto the stage at any moment during a show.

Just as in nature, there are free sets to enjoy the show in the nation's largest, greenest outdoor theater in one of our country's biggest urban parks. Learn more about Forest Park and nature's show in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Great Horned Owl

Spring It On!

Jul 23, 2018

SPRING IT ON! Some of Missouri's most scenic places are along springs. Springs flow cool and constant from underground sources. Our ten largest springs release more than a billion gallons of water daily. The air around them is cooler and the scenery spectacular for photographs and memories. With fragile environments and cold temps, springs are not geared for swimming, but many flow into Ozark streams with a variety of swimming holes. Learn more about Missouri's most iconic springs and what you can see in and around them in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Big Spring

On the Water: Rivers and Streams

Jul 16, 2018

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, exploring and more.  Discover where to go, find helpful tips, and take a musical journey along Missouri waterways in this week's Discover Nature Note

Jacks Fork River

Space Invaders

Jul 09, 2018

Space Invaders:  It's no game when invasive plants take over your backyard or property.  They can become costly and hard to control and displace native plants and animals.  Learn how you can help stop the invasion and join the fight in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Invasive Bush Honeysuckle

Red, White, and Blue in Nature

Jul 02, 2018

Happy Independence Week! To mark the holiday, we are celebrating red, white, and blue in nature. It's surprising how often these colors appear and where. You can see patriotic colors on display in the wild, watch a video, and learn more in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Water flowing around mossy green rocks at Big Spring.

Tropical Visitor

Jun 25, 2018

When was the last time you had a visitor from Costa Rica or Panama?  It may be sooner than you think.  One tropical visitor, known as the Baltimore Oriole, can be found here in the warmer months, feeding on a steady diet of insects and fruit.  Learn more about these colorful birds and how to attract them to your yard in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Photo of male Baltimore oriole perched on branch

Hummingbird Hustle

Jun 18, 2018

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 75 times per second. Hummingbirds also feature a rainbow of colors as they flit about seeking nectar from orange and red tubular flowers. Watch a mother hummingbird feeding her young in the nest, and learn more fun facts and how to attract them to your yard in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Hummingbird

Fish Fathers

Jun 11, 2018

Fish Fathers: This Sunday is Father's Day. Check out two fish fathers who would qualify for "super dad" status when it comes to raising young fry. Learn their techniques, watch a recipe for catfish with crabmeat, and the answer to a Father's Day riddle below in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Riddle: Two fathers and two sons go fishing together in the same boat. They all catch a fish but the total catch for the day is three fish. How is this possible?

channel catfish

Little Armored One

Jun 04, 2018

Little Armored One: That's the spanish translation for armadillos, kin to anteaters and sloths. Their hard, outer shell can't protect them from a habit that turns deadly along roads. Armadillo's jump when frightened, which is poor timing when cars are passing overhead. For this, they've earned the nickname, Texas speedbumps. Armadillo's fare much better crossing ponds. They can inflate their stomach and intestines and paddle across the surface or sink to the bottom and stroll across. Learn more fun facts about Missouri's only armadillo, the nine-banded, in this week's Discover Nature Notes blog.

armadillo

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