Get Out!

By |
From Xplor: September/October 2018

Go ahead and touch the touchme-not.

The plant, which is also known as jewelweed, has seedpods that explode when you touch them.

Watch for migrating monarchs.

Many will travel 3,000 miles to their wintering grounds in Mexico.

Celebrate International Jumping Spider Day October 10.

Learn why jumpers rule.

Pucker up!

Persimmons begin ripening in September. Wind-fallen fruits taste the sweetest. Fall color peaks in mid-October, a great time to hike a trail or float
an Ozark stream.

Gig a fish!

Gigging season starts September 15. Learn fish-spearing basics at’ Looking for more ways to have fun outside? Find out about Discover Nature programs in your area at

What is it?

  • My cousins catch food in their webs.
  • I run down my dinners instead.
  • I carry my eggs in a sack.
  • My babies then ride on my back.

Ground-dwelling wolf spiders don’t spin webs to catch their prey — they chase it! When it’s time to raise a family, the female has a trick that allows her to keep hunting. She wraps her eggs in silk and carries the pea-sized sac attached to her silk-spinning organs. When her babies emerge, they ride on her back until they can fend for themselves. You might see wolf spiders hunting at dusk. Learn more at

Critter Corner

Deer Mouse

True to its name, this mouse leaps like a deer. In Missouri, it lives in open areas like pastures and field borders. It hunts for insects, seeds, and fruits at night, so don’t look for it during the day. You may find its food stores, though, especially as the fall months approach. If you find an old bird’s nest full of nuts and seeds, it’s likely a deer mouse’s stash. Learn more at

Xplor More

We all run on sunshine.

Wait. What?

It’s true. The energy that powers nearly every living thing comes from sunlight. Plants, which are like leafy green energy factories, start the process. They use the sun’s energy to turn water, air, and other materials into roots, stems, and leaves.

When a rabbit nibbles a leaf off of a plant, the rabbit uses the energy stored in the leaf to hop, grow, and do other things. When a coyote eats a rabbit, the coyote uses the energy stored in the rabbit to howl, wag its tail, and do other things. A food chain shows how energy passes from one living thing to the next. It’s like a road map of who eats who.

Also In This Issue

Jumping spider
Get eyeball to eyeballs with these awesome arachnids, and you’ll spy lots to love.
illustration of crows feed their young
It’s 6 a.m. on a Tuesday, and the busybodies next door have already been snooping around. They’ve discovered that one of your neighbors forgot to put the lid on his trash can. They know that another left her cat outside all night. And they checked to see if the guy down the street refilled his bird feeder. Nope. It’s still empty.

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