Get Out!

By MDC | July 1, 2024
From Xplor: July/August 2024

Fun things to do and great places to discover nature.

  • When the time’s right, baby cicadas (called nymphs) tunnel up from underground, their outer shells split open, and winged adults wiggle out. Search tree trunks, deck rails, and fence posts for the crunchy exoskeletons the nymphs leave behind.
  • American goldfinches nest much later than most birds. They wait for certain plants to produce silky seeds so they can use them to line their nests. Watch for the sunshiny birds gathering fluff from milkweeds, thistles, and dandelions throughout July.
  • August is a good time to search for monarch caterpillars on milkweed leaves. For tips on how to raise a caterpillar at home and watch it change into a brilliant orange butterfly, flutter over to
  • In mid-summer, fox and gray squirrels catch the love bug. Look for the bushy-tailed nut munchers chasing each other up, down, and around trees. Mama squirrels have their second litters of the year in July and August.
  • Look for the “pink cattail” flowers of blazing star on prairies and roadsides across the state. Missouri has nine kinds of blazing stars, and at least one species is abloom from July to October.

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

Also In This Issue


Forget about desert islands and pirate chests filled with gold. A much sweeter treasure is ripe for the taking, right here in Missouri.

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