Get Outside

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From Missouri Conservationist: May 2020

Bag a Bass

Early spring is a great time to get in a float before the waters get too busy. Grab your pole and try black bass fishing. The season opens May 23. To find a fishing hole close to home, visit

Birdwatchers: Behold the Bobolink

A new visitor flies in this month. Bobolinks visit from their southern haunts in Argentina. Train your binoculars on their nests in northern Missouri and see if you can catch a glimpse.

Turtle Trot

Why did the turtle cross the road? More than likely, to search for food or a mate. As the weather warms and spring showers are ushered in, turtles emerge from their burrows. Sometimes their search for love and sustenance puts them in direct contact with busy roadways and vehicles. If you come across a turtle in peril and can safely assist it, carry it across the road in the direction it’s heading.

Fire in the Sky

You don’t have to wait until July to be treated to a light show set against the night sky. Head outside on a warm, clear night and wait patiently. Fireflies, also known as lightning bugs, will give you quite a show. They are a summertime favorite for all ages.

Little Flowers on the Prairie

By late May, prairies are alive with the colors of wildflowers blooming. Some you might see include Indian paintbrush, white wild indigo, field milkwort, orange puccoon, and celestial lily.

March for Mayapples

Take a walk in the woods and you’ll see the forest floor dotted with shiny green, umbrella-shaped leaves of mayapples. Where you find one mayapple, you’ll likely find dozens. They almost look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book! The mayapples sprout from rhizomes (rie-zomes), stems that grow horizontally underground. Although they flower in May, their fruits, or “apples,” don’t ripen until summer. You can eat the “apple” when it’s ripe, but the rest of the plant is poisonous.


Interested in exploring the outdoors, but unsure where to start? It’s as easy as stepping out your door! Join host Jill Pritchard from the Missouri Department of Conservation as she explores everything nature has to offer – from health benefits and wildlife viewing, to outdoor recreation and unbelievable conservation stories. Subscribe and get your own Nature Boost!

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Natural Events to See This Month

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

  • Listen for cricket frogs and gray treefrogs.
  • Young Woodchucks leave dens.
  • Wild Strawberries ripen in grasslands.
  • Most purple finches have left Missouri.

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