The groundhog emerges from its burrow on Feb. 2 as the world watches in anticipation. Will he see his shadow or won’t he? If he sees his shadow, keep those coats and gloves handy because we are in for another six weeks of winter. If it’s a shadowless appearance, that means an early spring.
A fun family activity on a cold February day — identifying animal tracks in the snow. For tips and pictures of mammal prints to help get you started, visit short.mdc.mo.gov/ZJm.
Saturday, Feb. 17 • 1–4 p.m. Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, 2289 County Park Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701 No registration required, call 573-290-5218 for more information All ages. Discover one of the forest’s sweetest gifts. Maple sugaring is rich in history and still practiced today. Learn the history, equipment, and process of making maple syrup.
Saturday, Feb. 24 • 12–5:00 p.m. Shepherd of the Hills Conservation Center,
483 Hatchery Road, Branson, MO 65616 No registration required, call 417-334-4865 for more information All ages. This event includes hourly presentations featuring Socrates, a live turkey vulture from Springfield’s Wonders of Wildlife museum, indoor activities, and outdoor vulture-viewing opportunities. The last presentation begins at 4 p.m.
Chipmunks come out of hibernation this month, and you don’t have to walk deep in the woods to find these pint-sized mammals. They are active during the day near city homes, farmhouses, shrubbery, wooded banks, and timber borders.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is in the air for humans and animals alike. American woodcocks begin their courtship in southern Missouri. At dusk, listen for their nasal “peenting” in brushy fields.
Here’s what’s going on in the natural world.
Annual permits expire at the end of February. Buy Missouri hunting and fishing permits from vendors around the state, online atmdc.mo.gov/buypermits, or through MDC’s free mobile apps, MO Hunting and MO Fishing.
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Larry Archer
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Creative Director - Stephanie Thurber
Art Director - Cliff White
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler