Into The Wild: Spring Woods

By | March 1, 2015
From Xplor: March/April 2015

Missouri’s woodlands are magical in the spring. So lace up your boots, shoulder your pack, and head into the wild. But first, read this.


Did you know you can eat a tree? The pink flowers on a redbud tree taste nutty and sweet. The best way to sample them is to bury your face in a branch and nibble away like you’re eating corn on the cob. Just watch out for bees — they like redbuds, too.

Did You Know?

You can tell whether a box turtle is a boy or girl by looking at its eyes. Boys usually have reddish-colored eyes. Girls usually have yellowish-brown eyes.

Take a Closer Look

Morel mushrooms are nature’s Easter eggs. They’re small, sort of egg-shaped, and hidden among leaves on the forest floor. Searching for them is tons of fun and worth the effort because they taste yummy. Morels pop up in April after a warm rain has moistened the soil and when temperatures stay above 50 for a few days.

Look In spring, birdwatchers get “warbler neck,” an injury caused by hours spent looking high into trees at singing songbirds. Raise your binoculars and you’re sure to see a rainbow of feathers, from red tanagers to blue buntings. Go outside and see how many colors you can spot.

Photo Op

The blooms of many spring wildflowers last just a day, but a photo lasts forever. Follow these tips to take stunning flower portraits:

  • Shoot when it’s cloudy. The soft, even light of an overcast day will make the flower’s colors pop.
  • Get down and get close. Lie on your belly to shoot a side view of the flower, and make sure the plant fills most of the frame.
  • Shaky hands lead to blurry photos, so hold your camera steady. Use a tripod or brace your elbows on the ground.


From March through May, male wild turkeys gobble to attract mates. Their loud calls sound funny to us — like a cross between a witch’s cackle and a dog choking on a squeaky toy — but female turkeys find them hard to resist.

Do More

Youth turkey season is April 11–12. For the deets, visit node/132.

And More...

This Issue's Staff

Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White