Get Outside in September

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

The Leaves — They Are A’Changin’

Track the progress of Missouri fall color as it wafts across the state’s treetops. Fall color season begins with the brilliant reds of sumacs, poison ivy, Virginia creeper, and dogwoods. Hackberry, black walnut, green ash, and cottonwood trees join the show with their early-turning yellow leaves. For more information on fall color, including the best places to see it, visit

Snails by Land and Water

Lingering heat affects snails, both in the water and on the land, in September. Pulmonate pond snails crawl to the water’s surface to take in air on hot days, due to declining oxygen in the water. Land snails retreat to their shells or burrow in a cool spot on hot days, trying to prevent drying out.

Early Morning Caller

Fall is a gatherer’s dream in Missouri! From fruits to nuts, nature is literally ripe for the picking. Just one example of this bounty — pawpaws are ripe through October. But you better act fast if you want to eat them. Raccoons, squirrels, and opossums will also be scavenging for this wild edible. To find more ripe edibles available this month, visit the online Field Guide at

Not Just for Beauty

Asters and goldenrods contribute to the beautiful fall color landscape. There are more than 20 species of each of these flowers, but they add much more than just beauty and color to nature. They provide vital late-season nectar for butterflies, insects, and other pollinators.

Without trees...

…we’d be up a creek without a paddle. Find out how trees protect our water at

Reading the Deer Woods

Thursday, Sept. 16, 6–7:30 p.m.

Online only

Registration required by Sept. 15 at or 888-283-0364

All ages

Scouting and a little “woodsman” knowledge are important for a great outdoor experience and harvest. This program will be beneficial to novice hunters interested in deer habits and scouting, deer stand placement, and we will have a virtual look at acorns and browse plots.

Native Plants

Thursday, Sept. 16, 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

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.

Find more events in your area at

Natural Events to See This Month

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

  • Deer mice store seeds and nuts underground.
  • Watch for migrating broad-winged hawks.
  • Black walnuts ripen through October.
  • False dragonhead, also known as obedient plant, blooms.
  • Lined snakes mate in autumn.

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