Up Front With Sara Parker Pauley

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From Missouri Conservationist: April 2020

I felt a bit like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz as I boarded the plane recently to head home from the beautiful country of Costa Rica. It had been a magical week of exploring the Cloud Forest of Monteverde, replete with thrilling sightings of the mystical resplendent quetzal and the even more elusive ornate hawk eagle, among other winged beauties. We oohed and awed at volcanoes and waterfalls, howler monkeys, and delicate dancing lady orchids. We tasted amazing fruit in peak season, as well as fresh fish caught hours earlier. It really is a paradise with its turquoise waters and brilliant emerald-green hillsides. How ironic then when one of our Costa Rican nature guides said his life’s dream was to see a northern cardinal. Perspective is everything.

Boarding the plane, my heart raced as I thought of heading home to witness the first signs of spring in Missouri. Oh, to hear that first gobble ring out as turkey season approaches or to see the unveiling of spring’s brilliant palette as the Missouri woods come alive (see articles on the Spring Trifecta, and Missouri Orchids). I wouldn’t dare miss a moment of this!

The plane landed in Missouri around midnight. Leaving the airport, I looked up to see the first super moon of 2020, and felt the warmer temperatures compared to just a week earlier. Winter is gone, I thought. Paradise is right here. There’s just no place like home.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler