Get Outside

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From Missouri Conservationist: April 2020

Ways to connect with nature.

Mega Moths

Look for luna moths around your porch light. These large, lime-green beauties emerge from their cocoons in spring and fly from early April through August.

Turkey Time

If the sound of wild turkeys gobbling in the distance is calling you to the great outdoors, you are in luck! It’s turkey season in Missouri. Youth season opens April 4–5 and regular season is April 20 through May 10. For spring hunting tips, visit

St. Louis Region: Family Archery and Atlatl

Tuesday, April 21 • 5:30–7:30 p.m. August A. Busch Shooting Range 3350 Hwy. D, Defiance, MO 63341 Registration required. Call 888-283-0364 or register online at by April 21. Ages 9 and older.

This program will teach the fundamentals of archery and atlatl, including equipment, safety, stance, and shooting techniques. We will begin in the Education Center and then we will move to the static archery range. All equipment will be provided.

Forest Fest

Saturday, April 25 • 1–4 p.m. Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center 2289 County Park Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701 No registration required. Call 573-290-5218 for more information. All ages.

Celebrate the blooming of wildflowers and the young leaves of spring at the nature center. Continuing our “Year of the Tree,” we will have an afternoon full of forest fun, with games, activities, tree hikes, and other forest activities perfect for the whole family. There will also be an appearance by everyone’s favorite forest bear, Smokey.

Toad Abode

As you are bringing your clay pots out from their winter hibernation, don’t pitch the broken ones. Make a home for a helpful toad! Turn a chipped clay pot upside down in a shady, leafy area. Set a clay saucer on top to keep it dark and cool. Toads are a great addition to your garden — they keep populations of insects in balance.
Find more events in your area at

Chanterelle and Polenta Foil Packs

Serves 4

  • 2 cups fresh chanterelles
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 polenta log, purchased
  • 4 sprigs rosemary

Clean chanterelles and tear into bite-size pieces, leaving the very small ones whole. Sauté in butter with salt and pepper to taste for about 4–5 minutes or until liquid is evaporated off.

Cut four 12” x 12” squares of aluminum foil. Lightly oil each piece. Place a slice or two of polenta on foil. Top with chanterelles and a rosemary sprig. Fold up foil and bake over hot coals for about 10 minutes, or a bit longer if you prefer the polenta edges crunchy!

Find this recipe and more in Missouri’s Wild Mushrooms, an informative guide to the common fungi of the state. Available at or by calling toll-free 877-521-8632. $16 Applicable tax, shipping, and handling costs will apply.

Natural Events to See This Month

Here’s what’s going on in the natural world.

  • Peak number of American white pelicans migrate through Missouri
  • Look for flowering dogwoods
  • Smallmouth bass begin spawning
  • Copperheads leave winter dens
  • Most black bears have emerged from their winter dens

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