Get Outside in February

By MDC | February 1, 2022
From Missouri Conservationist: February 2022

The Colors of February

Come February, Missouri is still draped in the drab hues associated with winter. But a few pops of color dot the landscape, cheering us on until spring. Can you find these sources of color?

  • Ozark witch-hazel (Hamamelis vernalis), which blooms in January through April, is usually Missouri’s first native plant to flower.
  • The fruits of buckbrush, or coral berry, are enjoyable to see when everything else is drab. These berries are not a favorite food of most animals, but as winter wears on and food becomes scarce, they seem to become more palatable.

Baby on Board

Opossums mate and bear young in February. Opossums mate during the first three weeks of February, and most litters are produced toward the end of February. At birth, young opossums are less than ½ inch long, and complete their development in their mother’s pouch. The young are weaned sometime in May.

Trees: Sap to Syrup

Tuesday, Feb. 15, 6:30–7:30 p.m.

Online only

Registration required by Feb. 4 at 888-283-0364 or at

Ages 10 and older

Winter is full of wonder and processing tree sap into syrup is one of those wonders. This virtual program will cover the basics of tree selection, collection, processing, and equipment needed to turn that watery sap into delicious syrup.

Native Landscape Chat

Friday, Feb. 4, 1–2 p.m.

Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO 64110

Registration required by Feb. 4 at 888-283-0364 or at

Ages 14 and older

February is a great time to gear up for spring planting. Bed prep, plant choice, and layout design are all important to the success of native plant gardens. Visit with our native landscape specialists to get tips on how to prep for spring.

Find more events in your area at

Groundhog Day

Today’s legend says if the groundhog sees its shadow on Feb. 2, we’ll have six more weeks of winter. No shadow means an early spring. The gist of this is, if it’s sunny on this day, we’ll have six more weeks of winter. Did you know, old time Ozarkers had Feb. 14 as the magical day, not Feb. 2?

Salamanders on the Move

Encouraged by warm rains and rising air temperatures (above 50 degrees), spotted salamanders congregate in fishless ponds to breed from late February to mid-March. Spotted salamanders are voracious predators of insects, worms, and slugs.

Reconnect with Nature

Interested in exploring the outdoors but unsure where to start? The Nature Boost podcast with host Jill Pritchard covers everything from natural health benefits to outdoor recreation.

Download the podcast at

Natural Events to See This Month

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

  • Woodchucks emerge from hibernation
  • Black bear cubs are born in winter dens
  • Geese migrate through Missouri
  • Walleye move onto shoals for spawning
  • Boxelder bugs seen on warm days

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler