I was delighted to see the fantastic photo of the plains spotted skunk [Species of Concern; November]. Although rare, if you look hard enough in the right habitat you might be surprised. An unfortunate spotted individual was road-killed on the outskirts of New Haven in early spring 2008.
Kimberly Graczyk, St. Louis County Park Ranger, New Haven
Rare oak confusion
I just finished reading the December issue and have a question. On Page 11, there is an article titled Rare Native Oak that I found interesting. However, I would like to know what the name of the tree is. I do not see this information in the article.
Kristi Valentine, Warsaw
Editors’ note: The common name is Concordia oak. Though we made reference to the Friends of the Concordia Oak in the article, we did not directly mention the tree’s name. We regret any confusion this may have caused.
The name “Concordia oak,” used for the threeway hybrid from Lafayette County, already designates a small cultivar of the English oak (Q. robur ‘Concordia’, known for its bright yellow spring leaves). Surely taxonomists will want to avoid confusion here. Could you tell us what botanical epithet, if any, has been settled for the Missouri tree, and identify its three parents?
David Dunlap, West Plains
Editors’ note: You’re right—Concordia oak is also a common name for the English oak cultivar you mentioned below. Our Concordia is Quercus X introgressa (named by botanist P.M. Thompson). You can find more details on the Integrated Taxonomic Information System listed below.
Sugar Creek Beacons
While reading the Conservationist last night, I came across the Stream Team article about the “The Sugar Creek Beacons” [December]. I saw the picture, and it immediately brought back so many Streett family memories.
I was born four miles north of Gilman City in my parents’ farmhouse, on land that Sugar Creek flowed through. My father had to cross the creek to get to farmland on the south side of our farm. My brothers and sisters (six of us) played and swam in a spot that looks so much like the picture. We especially enjoyed lazy Sunday summer afternoons there. Of course we did not know Topeka Shiners lived there.
We all started school at Gilman City, and I grew up to become an elementary teacher, from which I am now retired. I was so happy to read about the school having developed a Stream Team. Congratulations to Charles Jennings, the team, and the school I loved on their environmental efforts.
Mary Kathyrn Streett Riddle, Brunswick
I am an avid deer hunter and recently was lucky enough to draw into the Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area for the black powder hunt. I would like to thank the staff and everyone at this great place for their efforts in putting on the finest managed hunt I’ve been involved in.
Hunting in a urban area is touchy, and the concern for private landowners around the area was number one on the list, as it should be. It was a class act, and I am looking forward to the next hunt. I had a great experience. The MDC should be very proud of these fine employees!
Danny Morehead, via Internet
Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and may be edited for length and clarity.