Get Out!

By | May 1, 2015
From Xplor: May/June 2015

Don't miss the chance to discover nature at these fun events!

  • Snap a great outdoor photo at Nature Photography Workshop. Twin Pines Conservation Education Center in Winona. May 9, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Register at 573-325-1381.
  • Reel in a keeper at Fishing Basics. Rutledge Wilson Farm Park in Springfield. May 16, 9–11 a.m. Register at 417-895-6880.
  • Sculpt and paint your own decoy at Duck Decoy Carving. Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. May 29, 6–10 p.m., and May 30, 8 a.m.–2 p.m. $15 fee. Register at 573-290-5218.
  • Plink targets at .22 Rifle Shooting Basics. Andy Dalton Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center near Springfield. June 6, 8:30–11:30 a.m. Register at 417-742-4361.
  • Learn bow basics at Archery Day Camp. August A. Busch Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center in St. Charles. June 24 and June 25, 8:30 to noon. Register at 636-441-4554.

Summer’s aflutter and nature is on the move. Watch for these natural events around these dates.

  • MAY 1 - Jack-in-the-pulpits bloom in woods.
  • MAY 10 - Bobolink birds migrate from Argentina, and some nest in northern Missouri.
  • MAY 14 - Watch for lightning bugs on warm evenings.
  • MAY 15 - Baby deer, called fawns, are born now through late June.
  • MAY 24 - Listen for the chorus of gray treefrogs.
  • JUNE 2 - Look for tarantulas crossing roads in southwestern Missouri.
  • JUNE 20 - American toad tadpoles turn into toadlets and leave the water.

What is it?

  1. Just add water and sun, and I’m on the run.
  2. Some say I have a big mouth.
  3. f you’re fishing for a hint, I’m fin-ominal.
  4. The biggest I get is 4 inches long.

The orangespotted sunfish is a cousin of the more common longear sunfish and bluegill. This sunfish’s dazzling colors and small size set it apart. After growing for a year, it’s only as big as your thumb. It’s a feisty little fish, so you’ll still have fun reeling one in. You might think you landed a baby fish, but you may be eye to eye with a full-grown orangespotted sunfish.

Critter Corner: Least Bittern

This recently hatched fuzzball is a least bittern, still covered in downy feathers. Least bitterns are Missouri’s smallest herons, measuring only a foot long when fully grown. Listen for this secretive bird’s soft coo-coo-coo-coo at dawn and dusk. Look for them among the cattails, where they hunt for frogs, tadpoles, and insects. When spotted, a least bittern will “hide” by freezing, squeezing in its feathers, and pointing its bill straight up.

And More...

This Issue's Staff

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