Get Outside in October

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

Road Trip!

Time to hit the road and get front-row seats to a spectacular show — Missouri’s fall colors! The peak of fall color can be difficult to predict but is usually around mid-October. That’s when sugar maples, flowering dogwoods, sweet gums, and white oaks are on full display. The progression of color change starts in north Missouri and moves southward across the state. You can enjoy the color just about anywhere, but here are some tips:

  • For spectacular vistas, choose routes along rivers with views of forested bluffs, and along ridges with sweeping scenes of forested landscapes.
  • On a smaller scale, drive on back roads, hike, or take a float trip under a colorful forest canopy on a clear, blue-sky day.
  • Staying local? Enjoy places with mature trees, such as older neighborhoods, parks, and even cemeteries.

Guess Who’s Back

Dark-eyed juncos! These snowbirds, as they are often called, arrive from Canada. Their arrival heralds the change of season and their energetic feeding throughout the winter is a joy to watch.

A Mushroom of a Different Color

In Missouri’s oak woods, large numbers of purple-gilled laccaria can often be found in the fall. Though it isn’t a choice edible, it’s pretty good when combined with other mushrooms or strong flavors. If you don’t delight in eating it, even casual naturalists can appreciate seeing this beautiful lavender mushroom. See a picture at For help identifying mushrooms, check out A Guide to Missouri’s Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms at

Native Plants

Thursday, Oct. 21, 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

Enjoy More time Hunting

Go mobile with the MO Hunting app. Purchase, view, and store permits. Notch your permit and telecheck your deer and turkey harvest. Access basic statewide regulations, season information, and more.

Download the free app today at

Natural Events to See This Month

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

  • Crayfish breed in the fall
  • Muskies are active
  • Ringed salamanders breed
  • Beavers are active during the day
  • Fox families disperse

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