Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

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From Missouri Conservationist: May 2018

One Sunday night recently, with snowflakes still falling and the wood stove churning out warmth, some friends came over for dinner to discuss preparations for turkey camp. It’s our annual tradition to circle the RVs, gather around the campfire (dogs included), scout for turkeys, and celebrate the start of spring turkey season. We also planned our menu for turkey camp, including salivating at the thought of finding some tasty morel mushrooms in the woods while hunting.

All the talk of food that night, including our dinner of fresh bass caught from my cousin’s pond, took me back to summer trips to my paternal grandparents’ house. I’ve written before about my maternal grandmother, Granny Elma, but I was also blessed with amazing paternal grandparents. My Nanny was a beloved first-grade teacher with a creative, joyful spirit. She was a naturalist at heart and loved to spice up meals with greens, such as sautéed curly dock or watercress salads. We’d even occasionally get flash-fried red clover blossoms or daisies as appetizers.

For many, the experience of collecting wild edibles and harvesting game provides nourishment for the body, but it also provides a chance to fill our lungs with fresh air and reconnect with the land. The allure of a more personal connection with nature is evidenced by the rise of the locavore movement (see Eating Close to Home).

May you experience the joy of connecting with the bounty of the land this month, whether you’re bird watching or bass fishing or morel gathering. What’s good for the body is also good for the soul.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director

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