Get Out

By |
From Xplor: September/October 2017

Fun things to do and great places to discover nature.

  • September is the start of fall hunting season. Ask a grownup to take you dove, teal, or rabbit hunting. It’s a good way to learn how critters live and how the food chain works.
  • Look for glowworms (aka firefly larvae) in low water at night.
  • Bag some tasty black walnuts to make trail mix cookies.
  • In late October, you’ll have a chance to see beavers, which are normally active at night, gathering winter food during the day.
  • Hike a trail or float a stream to see Missouri’s show of fall colors.

Looking for more ways to have fun outside? Find out about Discover Nature programs in your area at

What Is It?

  • I’m named for a thing that holds up your socks.
  • I live in the woods, often under some rocks.
  • I eat lots of frogs, but I wouldn’t hurt you,
  • I’ll head for the bushes if you say, “Boo!”

Garter Snake

These pretty snakes are named for the striped garters men used to wear to hold up their socks. Harmless, shy, and common statewide, gartersnakes favor wet areas like damp woods and creeksides. They eat frogs, tadpoles, toads, salamanders, and earthworms. You may see gartersnakes anytime from March through November. In winter, they take shelter in animal burrows or gather in deep cracks in bluffs or rocky hillsides. Learn more about Missouri’s snakes at

Critter Corner

Missouri Tarantula

This stocky, hairy creature is the Show-Me State’s largest spider. Despite what you might see in horror movies, tarantulas don’t spin webs to catch their prey. They walk on the ground and grab insects. Like other spiders, they have fangs and venom that subdues their prey and that helps digest it, but tarantulas are not aggressive to humans. In Missouri, tarantulas live in dry, rocky areas called glades. Learn more at

Also In This Issue

cartoon of lost boy
Think you’ve got what it takes to stay safe in the wild?

This Issue's Staff

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