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From Missouri Conservationist: June 2016

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

More to Milkweed

Twenty-five years ago I planted wildflowers in my garden, including milkweed, butterfly weed, horsemint, and varieties of asters, goldenrod, coneflowers, and blazing stars. Over the years, only once or twice did a monarch butterfly use the milkweed for a food source or to lay eggs; however, the bumblebees loved them and so do I.

On several occasions, when the wind was just right and I had guests on my patio, someone would ask about the fragrance. I would tell them it was the milkweed and have them go take a sniff. It reminds me of cinnamon and sugar. Plant milkweed for the monarch butterflies, but please stop and smell the milkweed’s wonderful fragrance.

Robt C. Kramer, Affton

Morel in the Mesh

I enjoyed your article on morels [April; Page 5], but you forgot the most important part of hunting them. Never use a plastic bag or a bread sack. Always use a mesh bag. It helps the spores escape.

Richard Stukes, Freeman

Trout Fishing

Mark Van Patten’s article in the April issue was superb [Mastering Missouri’s Trout in the Wild]. It condensed volumes of trout fishing books and videos into a concise reference to keep and to share. Additionally, David Stonner’s photographs were outstanding, as usual.

Troy Hall, via email

Enjoyed the article Mastering Missouri’s Trout in the Wild by Mark Van Patten in the April issue. Even though I have fished for wild trout for many years, I continue to learn. The article contains many good lessons and points that even experienced anglers can use. We are fortunate to have wonderful trout waters in Missouri and outstanding MDC staff.

George Bohigian, M.D., St. Louis

Pleased Subscriber

I am writing to tell you what a great magazine that you have. There are so many interesting topics inside that you just can’t find anywhere else. I think the educational aspects of your work are fantastic, and the What Is It? pictures are always a blast to try and solve. Thank you for what you do.

Christian Gonnella, via email

I love this magazine. I also have it sent to my brother in Houston, and he loves it, too. I like that it is still on paper. It is nice to take with me as reading material when I’m away from the house. The online is nice if I want to share an article with a friend, so please keep both. The pictures are beautiful and better on paper. We are born and raised Missouri residents, and love our beautiful state and its parks. Please keep up the great work that the Conservation Department does and the wonderful magazine. Every issue has something that I did not know or a new place to visit.

Dawn Bickford, Warson Woods

An App For That

Just wanted to say thanks for the MDC app. So convenient to purchase permits and not have to worry about keeping track of my permits. Absolutely love the functionality. Well done.

Brennan Lehman, via Facebook

Waterfowl at Cooley

Thanks for the beautiful Cooley Lake Conservation Area [16800 Settle Station Road, Platte City]. I took my 2-year-old out there and had a great time watching waterfowl.

Matthew Gooch, via Facebook

Reader Photo

Coming Down

Nathan McDermott captured this photo of a western ratsnake — also known as a black ratsnake — climbing down a large oak tree in his front yard in Washington, Missouri. McDermott, who is working on a master’s degree in environmental health, considers himself an avid photographer. “If I’m outside, I always have my camera with me,” said McDermott. “Black ratsnakes are one of the species we most commonly find around our house,” he said. “This one was nearly 5 feet long.” As one of our state’s largest and most familiar snakes, western ratsnakes are welcome by many, as they help control pest and rodent populations.

This Issue's Staff

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Art Director - Cliff White
Associate Editor - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Circulation - Laura Scheuler