From the Missouri Conservationist Magazine
December 2018 Issue

Get Outside

Ways to connect with nature.

Who’s Calling?

Both great horned and barred owls are courting this time of year. Can you distinguish their calls? Listen closely. If you hear, “Hoo, hoo-oo, hoo-oo,” that’s a great horned owl. But if you hear, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?” That’s the call of a barred owl.

Winter Light Show

’Tis the season for epic light shows. But if you’re looking for a light show of the more natural variety, head outside on Dec. 13 and catch the Geminid meteor shower. The skies will be alive with meteors coming fast and furious — more than 1 per minute! Peak viewing is at 2 a.m., but the shower will be visible starting at 9 p.m. For optimal viewing, head outside the city, away from light pollution. Find a conservation area near you at short.mdc.mo.gov/ZSJ.

Southeast Region

Candlelit Woods Walk

Friday, Dec. 14 • 5–8 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

Enjoy the serenity of a winter’s night as you stroll along our trail. We’ll light the path for you and provide hot beverages for your enjoyment. After your walk, stop inside the nature center to warm up and view our exhibits. Our trail is paved and accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.

Winter Crappie

Don’t let the winter chill stop you from wetting your fishing line.

Crappie are still biting — you may just have to go a little deeper (20 to 40 feet) to find them. For more tips on winter crappie fishing, visit short.mdc.mo.gov/Zpp.

St. Louis Region

Rifle: Youth .22

Saturday, Dec. 29 • 8 a.m. August A. Busch Shooting Range 3550 Hwy D, Defiance, MO 63341 Registration required. Call 636-300-0258 by Dec. 28 Ages 10 and older.

Join us to learn about rifle safety, operation, shooting fundamentals, maintenance, and safe storage. Equipment and ammunition provided. You may bring your own firearm and
ammunition to the live-fire session. Dress for the weather.

A Pearl of a Mushroom

If you think of mushroom hunting as a springtime activity, time to put your skills to the test. Oyster mushrooms fruit year-round, especially after a good rain. These culinary delicacies grow in clusters on logs, trunks, and stumps. It’s harvest time!

Join the Christmas Bird Count

Dress warmly! Take Snacks! Birds are awesome!

Do you know your birds by sight and sound? Do you own lots of warm clothes? Join the Christmas Bird Count and add to a nationwide citizen science project! There are over 20 Christmas Bird Counts in Missouri alone. If you know your birds well, consider participating.

To learn more, visit tinyurl.com/ybropbvq

Natural Events to See This Month

Here’s what’s going on in the natural world.

  • Snow Goose populations peak
  • Fox and gray squirrels breed
  • Christmas ferns are green on wooded slope
  • Bobcats stay in shelters during deep snowfall
  • Golden mice huddle in nests to stay warm.

Also in this issue

Soil

Hidden Allies

Unseen soil microbes are conservation's most valuable players.

Man with a spot light

Discovering Nature Through Volunteering

MDC volunteers turn time, passion into wealth of nature knowledge.

Hogs in a pen

Closing in on Feral Hogs

Dedicated funding brings statewide feral hog elimination within reach.

And More...

Related content in this issue Related content in this issue
This Issue's Staff:

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