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From Missouri Conservationist: Oct 2014

Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and might be edited for length and clarity.

Hey! That’s No Bird...

Your August article on the white-lined sphynx (Plants & Animals) was very timely. We were sitting on our deck this evening, watching a trio of hummingbirds chase each other around our hummingbird feeder and hanging baskets, when I noticed what I thought was a fourth flitting among the purple phlox nearer the ground. I got up and watched it and recognized it immediately from your article as a white-lined sphynx. It hovered nearby for several minutes.

I wish I had the photographic skills of your staff, as the sphynx was much prettier and more interesting than the hummingbirds, with its dual pairs of varied colored wings and striped thorax. I hope it returns.

James T. Biehle, Ballwin

I always enjoy your articles and study your photos in the Conservationist. I hike and enjoy nature photography and often visit conservation areas around Fenton. I especially enjoyed the article on the white-lined sphynx moth. Last September, I had a similar experience at Young Conservation Area. I have been visiting this area for over 25 years. After a morning of hiking, I was headed back to my car. Amongst the tall thistles I spotted what I first thought was a hummingbird. This moth stayed around only long enough for me to get a half dozen photos. It was exciting to see this little creature for the first time.

Mike Conley, via Internet

Duck, Duck, Fish

Line Up for a Good Time (August; Page 10) reminded me of the time my buddies, Joe and Larry, and I used duck decoys as jug lines when fishing for catfish. It was really exciting to paddle a 10-foot johnboat going after a mallard decoy with a 6-pound channel cat pulling the jug through the water.

Although I have not lived in Missouri since 1978, I still enjoy reading the Missouri Conservationist magazine. Keep up the great articles.

Dan Stockwell, Zanesville, Ohio

Goodbye, Old Friends

My father taught me about hunting, fishing, and a respect for conservation. One way he did that was by supporting the Missouri Department of Conservation and getting the Conservationist.

In 2006, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As the disease progressed, I began to bring him my copies of the magazine. Hard to know for sure, but I believe the familiar and bright, colorful pictures brought him some semblance of comfort

and fond memories of his time in the lakes, woods, and fields of our beautiful state before he passed in 2010. Thanks.

Chris Baker, via Facebook

Thank you for the Little Blue Heron article (September). My parents have a lake on their property where blue herons nest every year. It was interesting to find that the little ones were white prior to growing into their beautiful blue plumage. They are fascinating to watch, and they interact so well with the small flocks of geese and ducks.

My husband was an avid reader, hunter, fisherman, and conservationist until his passing in June. Thanks for the beautiful memories of him reading and discussing Missouri conservation with my son and grandsons.­­

Cynd Tichacek, Farmington

Teacher’s Pet

I want you to know how much I appreciate your conservation magazine. I use it in my classroom with my 7-8th grade English classes. Today we did an assignment I called “Skimming for Details.” I gave them 39 questions and they had to read the articles to find the answers. It’s great practice for the yearly MAP test as far as reading nonfiction for details!

Jerrianne Wallace, Festus


The June Did You Know column stated that 2 million pounds of litter were removed from waterways. It should have read 20 million pounds.

Reader Photo



Richard Mueller snapped this photo of a young bullfrog eating what might be a Blanchard’s cricket frog. Bullfrogs will eat anything they can fit in their mouth, including other frogs, and even other bullfrogs. Mueller took this photo as he was walking around one of his ponds looking for things to photograph. “When I first saw this frog, I couldn’t tell exactly what I was seeing,” said Mueller. “It looked like it had feathers or antennae coming out of its head. It was after I got closer that I could see it was the feet of another frog.” Mueller said that since he retired from his job a couple of years ago, he now gets to spend plenty of time outdoors, walking, bird watching, and taking photos like this one.

This Issue's Staff

Editor In Chief - Nichole LeClair Terrill
Managing Editor - vacant
Art Director - Cliff White
Staff Writer/Editor - Brett Dufur
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler