Get Outside in August

By MDC | August 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: August 2023

Daytime Flyers

Eight-spotted foresters are one of the few moths that fly during the daytime. These spiffy, fast-darting, black-and-white flyers are present for the second time in Missouri woodlands in August. The earlier brood was in spring. You can find them where wooded areas meet open areas. Like butterflies, these moths feed on flower nectar.

You are My Sunshine

Most people recognize sunflowers when they see them, with their bright yellow petals and flattened dark centers. There are 16 species of Helianthus in Missouri. The late-summer bloom time for most species of sunflowers corresponds with the reproduction cycle of goldfinches, who rely on the flower to feed their growing nestlings. It’s also a familiar flower in food plots, especially dove fields. Learn more about Missouri’s sunflowers at

Bird Listening

Rarely seen but commonly heard, red-eyed vireos are one of the few birds that sing on hot, humid summer afternoons. The song, very helpful for locating this hard-to-see bird, is a monotonous series of two-, three-, or four-syllable whistles, with alternating up- and down-slurred phrases. The call is a vray or tjay. To learn more, visit

State Fruit Tree

Did you know Missouri has an official state fruit tree? In 2019, the Missouri legislature designated the pawpaw as Missouri’s state fruit tree. Learn to identify and locate the trees now, so you can watch for the ripening fruits in September. Pawpaw trees grow in colonies and resemble large shrubs or small trees with a slender trunk and broad crown. Leaves are 6–12 inches long and flowers are drooping, dark reddish-purple with an odor of fermenting grapes. The sweet fruit can be eaten raw or baked. To learn more about the pawpaw, visit region.

Nature Center at Night: Meet K-9 Agent Tex

Friday, Aug. 4, 6–7 p.m.

Cape Girardeau Nature Center, 2289 County Park Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Registration not required. For more information, call 573-290-5218 or visit

All ages.

Corporal Alan Lamb and K-9 Tex are one of nine K-9/handler teams within the Missouri Department of Conservation. They’re tasked with enforcing laws related to conservation and public safety, assisting with search and rescue operations, and meeting Missouri’s citizens. This is your opportunity to learn more about K-9 Tex, his amazing abilities, and how he and Cpl. Lamb protect our fish, forests, and wildlife.

Native Plants: What’s Blooming?

Saturday, Aug. 26, 10–11 a.m.

Location: Online only

Registration required by Aug. 23. To register, call 888-283-0364 or visit

Ages 18 and up.

Native plants are an integral part of Missouri’s ecosystems’ health and diversity. Expand your native knowledge with this plant identification course to put a name to all the wildflowers emerging across Kansas City.

Find more events in your area at

Reconnect with Nature

Adventure can happen anywhere. Download the free MO Outdoors app for great places to go birding near you.

Natural Events to See This Month

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

  • Eastern snapping turtle eggs hatch.
  • Striped bass and walleye head for cold water.
  • Blue-winged teal return.

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