The plant, which is also known as jewelweed, has seedpods that explode when you touch them.
Many will travel 3,000 miles to their wintering grounds in Mexico.
Learn why jumpers rule.
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.
Gigging season starts September 15. Learn fish-spearing basics at short.mdc.mo.gov/Z4P.’ Looking for more ways to have fun outside? Find out about Discover Nature programs in your area at mdc.mo.gov/events.
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 mdc.mo.gov/field-guide.
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 mdc.mo.gov/field-guide.
We all run on sunshine.
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.
Angie Daly Morfeld
Nichole LeClair Terrill