Get Out!

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From Xplor: July/August 2018

Fun things to do and great places to discover nature

Baby bats start flying in early August. Watch for them at dusk.

Like grilled mushrooms on your burger? Look for chanterelles in July and August (and never eat a mushroom unless you’re sure it’s edible).

In August, female copperhead snakes give birth to live babies. If you see one of these beautiful - but venomous - snakes, enjoy watching it from a safe distance.

Don’t let chiggers spoil your midsummer berry-picking. Avoid tall grass, wear long sleeves, and tuck your pant legs into your socks.

Have fun learning to fish with your folks. Register for a free Discover Nature — Fishing class near you at

Why did the tarantula cross the road? To find a sweetheart. Look for male tarantulas crossing roads in southwest Missouri.

What Is It?

  • I grow by the stream, where it’s shady and cool.
  • Pinch my leaves, and they’ll smell like diesel fuel.
  • Look up to find my tasty green fruit.
  • Too late — the animals have beaten you to it!

Walk along a shady stream in summer, and you might find a pawpaw patch. The trees’ leaves are long and broad, and they smell like diesel fuel if you pinch them. The short, stumpy green fruit tastes like a blend of mango and banana, and some people even call them Indiana bananas. If you find a pawpaw patch, check it often because wildlife loves to eat them, too! Learn more at

Critter Corner: Halloween Pennant

“Pennant” means “flag,” so this happy-faced dragonfly is well-named. When it’s at rest, it looks like an orange and black flag fluttering from a pole. It signals death to mosquitoes and other flying insects that haunt lakes and marshes from June to September. Its Halloween colors may also trick hungry birds into thinking it’s a bad-tasting monarch butterfly. See if you can spot it this summer. Learn more at

Also In This Issue

Giant Ichneumon
Five wasps to Xplor (and one to watch out for).

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