Get Out!

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From Xplor: May/June 2020

Fun things to do and great places to discover nature.

  • Look and listen for birds. The free Merlin Bird ID app can help you identify them.
  • Put on your water shoes and go creeking. Wade, skip stones, and count how many critters you see under the water, on the gravel, and in the air.
  • Have you seen this flower? Jack-in-the-pulpit blooms in the woods in May.
  • Deer fawns are born through June. If you spot a spotted fawn, take a quick pic, and then leave it alone. Its mom will be back for it soon.
  • Backyard camping is fun! Listen to the night sounds and watch for falling stars.

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

Critter Corner: Dark-Sided Salamander

This pretty amphibian lives in southeastern Missouri, except for in the Bootheel’s lowlands. It hides under rocks near streams and springs in forested areas, where it eats insects and spiders. It can also live in caves. Because it’s active mainly at night, you may never see it unless it has rained recently. Then, it may come out during the day. It can escape predators by using its tail for quick jumps. Learn more at

Also In This Issue

American Burying Beetle
No other animals on Earth are more successful than these insects.
Lizard or salamander? Missouri’s only newt can pass for both.

This Issue's Staff

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