Get Outside in July

By MDC | July 1, 2024
From Missouri Conservationist: July 2024

Soaking Up the Heat

Just when we are dogged by the summer’s heat and humidity, it is peak time for the regal moth. The best time to see this species is mid-July through early August. Adults only live for one to two weeks.

Nature’s Fireworks

All during July, flowers spread open and look like fireworks, just in time for Independence Day! One wildflower to lookout for this month is American bluehearts. This patriotic-named wildflower blooms through September. Learn more about it at

Hurray for the Red, White, and Blue … and Black?

It’s typical this time of year for us to hail Old Glory and her colors of the red, white, and blue. But for nature — and fruit — lovers, this time of year also brings cheers for beautiful blacks, deep purples, and other colors we see in delicious ripe berries. Just a few that are ripe for the picking:

  • Blackberries mature through August.
  • Lowbush blueberries ripen through August.
  • Gooseberries are available through September.

These berries are versatile and can be used now or frozen and used later. For recipe ideas, visit

Cool Evening Breezes

Sometimes the best times to get outside in the summer is at night. We not only avoid the heat of the day, but we get to experience nature’s night life. Listen for the chittery chips of chimney swifts as they dart and glide with stiff wings over rooftops in early evening. They eat the insects that bug us.

Creature Feature: Eastern Hog-Nosed Snake

Wednesday, July 17 • 2–2:30 p.m.

Online only. Registration required by July 17. To register, call 888-283-0364 

or visit All ages

Meet one of the best actors of the snake world — the eastern hog-nosed snake. Sometimes called the puff adder, this snake is full of tricks when it comes to deterring predators. Get an up-close look at this fascinating snake and learn what makes them unique.

Trapping Furbearers

Thursday, July 18 • 1–2 p.m

Online only. Registration required by July 17. To register, call 888-283-0364 or visit

Wondering how to begin trapping? Join us in this virtual program where we’ll teach you the basics to get started and how to trap successfully. We’ll talk about some of the traps you’ll use and how to set up one effectively, the history of commonly trapped species, and what permits and permissions might be needed.

Find more events in your area at

Blow the Trumpets

Black trumpet mushrooms, a choice edible, appear through September. They can be found on rocky, mossy hillsides in deciduous woods. These mushrooms are small and their color blends in nicely with the forest floor, so they can be a challenge to hunt. However, once you find one, there will be others. The black trumpet is highly fragrant, and the flavor intensifies when dried. It can be ground and used as a seasoning. It is delicious with eggs and beautiful as a garnish for squash soup.

Simple Outdoor Moments


Spending time in nature is never wasted. Find a place to go. Download the free MO Outdoors app.

Natural Events to See This Month

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

  • Male green treefrogs chorus: quank, quank, quank.
  • Flathead catfish spawn.
  • Grass spiders build delicate, sheetlike webs in grass and shrubs.
  • Many snake species, like the prairie ring-necked snake, hunt only at night.
  • Katydids rasp their mating calls: Katy did! Katy didn’t!

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 – Amanda DeGraffenreid
Designer – Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation – Marcia Hale