Get Out!

By |
From Xplor: January/February 2019

Fun things to do and great places to discover nature.

  • Look for mourning cloak and comma butterflies on warm days.
  • Listen for hickadees calling as they feed on insects in bark crevices.
  • Watch for river otters playing on the ice.
  • Celebrate Groundhog Day February 2. If the furry forecaster sees his shadow, it’s six more weeks of winter, but if he doesn’t, spring is on its way!
  • Take a grown-up fishing. Find great places to fish at
  • Visit an MDC nature center to hike trails, explore exhibits, and enjoy nature programs. Visit to find a nature center near you.

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

What Is It?

  • Like a tiger, I hunt in the night.
  • In the day, I stay hidden from sight.
  • During fall rains, I join others like me ...
  • ... in a pond to begin a new family.

Eastern Tiger Salamander

Unless you’re out at night after a heavy rain, you probably won’t see the eastern tiger salamander. Active only at night, it feeds on snails, slugs, and bugs. During fall rains, it migrates to fishless ponds to breed. In late February, courtship begins. Each female may lay up to 1,000 eggs, and gilled larvae hatch a few weeks later. They live in the water until late summer, when they transform into land-dwellers. Learn more at

Also In This Issue

Skunk in a trash can
Striped skunks won’t raise a stink — unless it’s absolutely necessary.
These Missouri critters have won the fight for survival.

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