Get Out!

By MDC | May 1, 2024
From Xplor: May/June 2024

Fun things to do and great places to discover nature.

  • In May, baby opossums crawl out of their mom’s pouch. But the pouch potatoes can’t survive on their own just yet. Look for the youngsters riding on mom’s back while she forages for food.
  • Eastern whip-poor-wills are so well-camouflaged they’re nearly invisible. But the big-mouthed birds are easy to hear. Visit the woods at dusk in May. Once the sun sinks, whip-poor-wills start chanting their names — and keep going for hours.
  • Hooray for National Prairie Day! Celebrate on Saturday, June 1 by exploring one of Missouri’s glorious grasslands. To find a prairie, visit and enter “prairie” in the search box or visit
  • Prickly pear — Missouri’s only native cactus — unfurls its stunning yellow-and-orange flowers in mid-June. Look for it scattered nearly statewide on glades, bluffs, and rocky roadsides.
  • In late May, male bluegills fan out saucer-shaped nests in shallow water along the edges of lakes and ponds. Cast a jig away from shore and reel it in slowly. In no time, you’ll feel a sharp tug from an angry bluegill defending his nest.

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

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This Issue's Staff

Artist – Matt Byrde
Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Subscriptions – Marcia Hale
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber