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From Missouri Conservationist: May 2018

Letters to the Editor

Submissions reflect readers’ opinions and may be edited for length and clarity. Email or write to us:

Missouri Conservationist
P.O. Box 180
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Stem and Nature

Thank you for Nature Lab and Wild Guide, which show the STEM aspect of technology intersecting with biological sciences. Great opportunities to show innovation in other disciplines. Keep up the good work.

Cammy Neth, Liberty

Love from Alaska

My brother in Independence gave me a subscription to the Missouri Conservationist, which I thoroughly enjoy each month. Alaska has an online edition, but it is nothing to match the Missouri Conservationist. Having grown up in Missouri and received my zoology degree from the University of Missouri many years ago, the Conservationist’s articles are of particular interest to me as a hunter, fisherman, and ecologist.

Robert O. Baker, PhD, Cdr. USN (ret) Anchorage, AK

Conservationist: Years of Memories

For decades we have subscribed to the Missouri Conservationist. When friends have babies, we subscribe for them to receive this magazine. Every home should have the knowledge and interest cultivated and supported through the Missouri Department of Conservation. I love the photos, many of which I have used as watercolor inspiration. I enjoy everything about the magazine, from the vivid, glossy covers to the informative calendar on the back page, which I post monthly on our information bulletin board at work.

Recently, my daughter and her family moved to San Antonio, TX. I immediately contacted Texas Parks and Wildlife, so they could receive the Texas equivalent to the Missouri Conservationist. I was disappointed to learn there is a fee for the subscription. How lucky we are to have the Missouri Conservationist!

Susan Wolff, Ballwin

Great job on the magazine! Keep up the great work. Every month I read it from cover to cover and sometimes again. Great Missouri information, wildlife information, and photos. Enjoyed this magazine for years. Thanks for the great experiences.

Ronnie Oloyed, Dittmer


The Secret Life of Toads in the April issue brought back a fond memory that I hadn’t remembered in a long time. When I was growing up on a farm in Scotland County, we milked cows by hand morning and evening in an old barn. Every year, a solitary toad appeared near the milking area and hung around for several weeks. He was unfazed by all the activity, and our dog and cats never bothered him. He just went about his business. I suppose there were enough flies, crickets, and beetles to keep him fed. We always wondered if it was the same toad every year, and now that I’ve read the article, which said they can live up to 12 years, I’m sure it was! I just don’t know where he spent the rest of the year, how he managed to survive the brutal winters, or whether he ever found a mate. Of
course, maybe he was a she. Thank you for jogging my memory.

Denise Howard, Santa Clara, CA

Oh Deer!

I have read the suggestions in the February issue [Oh Deer, Some Bunny Ate My Veggies!] about how to keep deer out of a garden, along with those in April’s edition of Inbox. This is what worked for me last year and I’m going to do it again this year. I put two lines of masking tape about 6 or 8 inches apart around the top of the
fence. It messes with their eyes, and they won’t try to jump the fence.

Joy Boyer, email

Discover Nature

Hiking is a great way to get out and discover nature. It’s good for your health, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and ability levels.

  • Wear comfortable shoes, and plan to layer your clothing.
  • Bring a camera, binoculars, and field guides.
  • Pack water and a light snack, like pecan-orange granola.
  • For places to hike near you visit

Pecan-Orange Granola

  • 8 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Juice and zest (chopped) of 4 oranges
  • 2 cups chopped dried fruit

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, and salt. Over low heat, warm the honey and oil in a medium saucepan, stirring until well combined.

Remove from heat and stir in almond extract and orange juice. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir well with a wooden spoon. Work the mixture with your hands, if needed, until everything is damp.

Spread mixture no deeper than ½ inch on large, rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring several times, until crispy and golden. When the granola has cooled, stir in the zest and dried fruit. Store granola in jars.

Find more wild recipes in Cooking Wild in Missouri. Order yours at

Wood Ducks

Wood ducks are common summer residents in Missouri. Look for them hanging near the water — ponds, streams, lakes, and swamps. Male wood ducks, like the one pictured here, are stunning with their iridescent chestnut and green plumage and ornate patterns on nearly every feather. Go out and discover more of Missouri’s breeding birds this summer!

Connect With Us!

  • /moconservation
  • @moconservation
  • @MDC_online
  • @Nature_Videos

Conservation Headquarters

573-751-4115 | PO Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180

Regional Offices

  • Southeast/Cape Girardeau: 573-290-5730
  • Central/Columbia: 573-815-7900
  • Kansas City: 816-622-0900
  • Northeast/Kirksville: 660-785-2420
  • Southwest/Springfield: 417-895-6880
  • Northwest/St. Joseph: 816-271-3100
  • St. Louis: 636-441-4554
  • Ozark/West Plains: 417-256-7161

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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