Get Out!

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From Xplor: January/February 2018

Fun Things To Do And Great Places To Discover Nature

  • Stop and smell the Ozark witch hazel. It blooms mid-January.
  • Watch for snowy owls in northern Missouri. If lemmings are scarce on the Arctic tundra, snowy owls will fly south in search of food.
  • Look for antlers in the woods. Whitetail bucks begin to shed them in January.
  • Get a feel for winter tree ID. Persimmon bark is blocky, hackberry bark is bumpy, and river birch bark peels like paper.
  • Listen for wildlife’s mating calls, especially at night. Bobcats, foxes, raccoons, woodcocks, and other critters look for love this time of year.
  • Try the sweet taste of maple syrup.

Lots of Missouri’s conservation nature centers offer programs that show you how to make syrup from your own backyard maple trees. Find your local program at

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

What is it?

  • My ancestors came from across the pond.
  • I was spawned in a jar and held in a tank.
  • I’m released into cold-water rivers and lakes.
  • And I’m fun to catch from a boat or the bank.

Brown trout are European fish that like to live in cold-water streams and lakes. They are also fun to catch. That’s why they were brought to America in the 1800s. In stocks them in cold streams like the Cur Missouri, the Department of Conservation rent River and in Lake Taneycomo. Adult brown trout feed mainly on small fish and crayfish. They live about four years and can grow 8 to 15 inches long. Learn more at

Critter Corner

Mourning Cloak Butterfly

If you’re out in the woods on a sunny day this winter, you may be surprised to see this lovely butterfly. Most butterflies bask in sunlight to raise their body temperature, but mourning cloaks can truly shiver, rapidly flexing their muscles with only minimal wing movement. This can raise their temperature 15 to 20 degrees in just a few minutes. Learn more about the mourning cloak and other Missouri butterflies and moths at

Also In This Issue

Learn to spot these cool combo creatures, and you’ll be likin’ it, too.
Weasel on it's back legs
Welcome to the weasel family, Missouri’s largest clan of meat-eating mammals.

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