Get Outside in October

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

Welcome to the Show

October is showtime in the Show-Me State. Fall color peaks around mid-October for most of the state. It’s a great time to get outside and experience the beauty. Here are a few trees that play leading roles in the show:

  • Sugar maples often display red, orange, yellow, and green leaves, all on the same tree.
  • Flowering dogwoods, Missouri’s official state tree, dazzle in reds and purples.
  • Sweet gums flaunt a rainbow of colors, all on one tree.
  • White oaks show vibrant wine-red hues.

For more information on Missouri’s fabulous fall foliage, visit

Woolly Bear

In the autumn, woolly bears are commonly seen crossing roads as they search for sheltered places to overwinter. These are juveniles of the Isabella tiger moth. Folklore has long maintained that the varying widths of the caterpillar’s black and rustyred bands are useful for predicting the harshness of the coming winter. Generally, the folklore goes like this — the wider the rusty-red band, the milder the winter; if it is narrow, the winter will be severe.

Going Batty

  • Saturday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • Runge Conservation Nature Center, 330 Commerce Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109
  • No registration required; for more information, call 573-526-5544 or visit
  • All ages.

Join us in the lobby of Runge Conservation Nature Center to learn all about the bats of Missouri. Staff and volunteers will have ongoing activities and crafts available for all ages.

Naturalist Notes Virtual Series: Bird Migration

  • Friday, Oct. 14, 10 a.m.–11 p.m.
  • Online
  • Registration required by Oct. 14 at or call 888-283-0364
  • All ages

Many people look forward to spring when migratory birds arrive and signify to us that winter is over. However, fall is another great time to notice migration as summer birds leave and winter birds start showing up. Learn more about migration, and places to see migratory birds in this program with Naturalist Jordi Raos. Please provide a valid email as a link will be sent to you for this virtual program.

Find more events in your area at

Welcome Home

The winter resident birds are arriving as fall migrants are passing through this month. This is a great time to go birding. Here’s a few to look for:

  • Dark-eyed juncos arrive from Canada. Their energetic presence will cheer us in the frigid months to come.
  • American wigeon, northern pintail, and gadwall are arriving in peak numbers.
  • Green-winged teal migration is at its peak.

Explore Missouri

Discover nature anywhere. The MO Outdoors app is available from Apple app store or for Android devices.

Natural Events to See This Month

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

  • Muskies are active.
  • Beavers prepare lodges for winter.
  • Cardinal flowers bloom.
  • Crayfish mate.
  • Listen for field and house crickets.

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 Manager - Laura Scheuler