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From Missouri Conservationist: September 2016

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

Gasconade River

In the July issue of the Conservationist, there was a good article by Jim Low [Up a Lazy River]. Low calls the Gasconade a smallmouth stream beyond compare. Thirty-six years ago, I wrote to Tim Renken of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the lack of coverage of the Gasconade. I ended up on a fishing trip with him. We caught a lot of smallmouth. He wrote an article later saying the Gasconade may be the best fishing stream in Missouri [Aug. 8, 1980]. I will be 90 in two-and-a-half months. I no longer fish. My wife and I have a small farm and live along the Gasconade.

David James, Vienna

Blooming Milkweed

We followed the directions for starting milkweeds in pots as outlined in the January issue of the Missouri Conservationist [Homegrown Milkweeds]. We set out about 165 plants on May 6 and are happy to report that many of them are blooming this year! Thanks for a practical article.

Jim and Rita Kayser, Marquand

Bobwhite Quail

Male bobwhites are really on the move. I can hear them from inside my house, and I called a nice male up to my front porch. He landed in a tree not 10 yards away and put on a beautiful display for us. I heard six others from my porch. I am feeling hopeful!

Brian Sullivan, via Facebook

Back in the Stand

Making good on last year’s post [October 2015] about taking up bowhunting again, I am picking up my first crossbow. I can’t wait to be back in the stand! I had another MRI this spring that confirmed for sure I will never be able to pull back a regular bow again. Thank you MDC for your help last December!

Clint Woods, via Facebook

Wild Bergamot

Each year, I try to learn a new weed or native plant. Thanks to your July issue, I can identify wild bergamot [Plants & Animals]. The smell is intoxicating as the writer suggested. I grabbed some blooms to throw in a bowl to keep in the house. It will make my list of the top three best smelling flowers, along with honeysuckle and lilacs. Thank you for the education.

Marcia Moreland, via Facebook

Books and Magazines

About two weeks ago, I saw a hawk in the late afternoon and thought it was a red tail. This morning I was able to hear it. After looking it up in a Missouri bird watching book and looking on the internet for the sound, it was a northern harrier. This was a first for me. Thanks for all the books and magazines, and my hope of giving my grandkids life lessons.

Paul Decker, Pleasant Valley

Swift Rescue

I would like to thank MDC in Weldon Spring for getting my granddaughter and I safely back to our car during what turned out to be one of the worst storms this year. We started out to hike the Clark Trail and were doing pretty good until the weather turned ugly and I started to panic. Thanks to the woman who answered the phone, Alex who helped out by not panicking, and Tim who picked us up on the Katy Trail to give us a ride back to our car. These are wonderful people and a credit to MDC. I can’t thank them enough!

Joanne Duncan, St. Charles


In Caring for Missouri’s Best Wild Places [July], we identified Daniel Boone Conservation Area in Warren County as being east of St. Louis. It is west of St. Louis. In Keepers of the Karst [August], we said Missouri is home to 6,300 caves, located in 78 of the state’s 114 counties. Missouri is home to 7,000 caves. We misspelled the name of Heidi Kwentus, a teacher featured in Discover Nature Schools [August;]. We apologize for the error.

Reader Photo

Fruit of the Pawpaw

Eric Davis photographed the edible fruit of a pawpaw tree at Burnt Mill Cave Conservation Area near Camdenton. “Burnt Mill is a 15-minute drive from where my wife, Jeannie, and I live,” said Davis. “We built our retirement house here in 2002 and have owned the property since 1997.” Davis captured the photo while on a hike with the couple’s son and daughter-in-law who were visiting from out of town. “We like visiting the Conservation Department’s undeveloped areas and have visited several nearby properties,” said Davis.

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