Get Outside in August

By MDC | August 1, 2021
From Missouri Conservationist: August 2021

Ways to connect with nature

Poking Around the Pond

Late summer is a great time to go poking around the edges of ponds and lakes to see what kind of aquatic life you can find. Missouri’s streams, lakes, and other aquatic habitats hold thousands of kinds of invertebrates — worms, freshwater mussels, snails, crayfish, insects, and other animals without backbones. These creatures are vital links in the aquatic food chain, and their presence and numbers tell us a lot about water quality. To help identify what you might see, visit

Let the Sunflowers In

Sunflowers are a major highlight of late summer. Their late-season bloom time almost seems like summer’s last ditch effort to hang on a little longer. Did you know there are 16 different species of sunflowers recorded in Missouri, not counting hybrids? These cheery yellow blooms are like sunshine in a field. Soak it in while you can.

Combing for Mushrooms

As you walk through the woods, try looking up at the trunks of the trees. You might come across a white, almost coral-like mass. These are comb tooth mushrooms, and they appear in August through October. Considered choice edibles, they are tasty when found young, fresh, and white. They get sour and bitter as they mature and turn tan.

Native Plants

Thursday, Aug. 19, 12–1 p.m. Virtual event at Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64110. Registration required at the Deep Roots website at

We’ll virtually tour the native landscape at MDC’s Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center. Guided by native landscape specialists Alix Daniel and Cydney Ross, this monthly series features a live look at native plants of interest throughout the year. This program is a partnership with Deep Roots.

Reptiles: Snakes!

Thursday, Aug. 26, 6–7 p.m. Registration required at 888-283-0364 or All ages.

Come out and learn about some of our Missouri snakes. There will be live snakes at the program!

Find more events in your area at

Natural Events to See This Month

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

  • Indigo buntings sing on hot, humid summer afternoons
  • Cave-dwelling bats begin mating
  • Striped bass and walleye head for cold water

This Issue's Staff

Stephanie Thurber

Angie Daly Morfeld

Larry Archer

Cliff White

Bonnie Chasteen
Kristie Hilgedick
Joe Jerek

Shawn Carey
Marci Porter

Noppadol Paothong
David Stonner

Laura Scheuler