Fun things to do and great places to discover nature
Baby bats start flying in early August. Watch for them at dusk.
Like grilled mushrooms on your burger? Look for chanterelles in July and August (and never eat a mushroom unless you’re sure it’s edible).
In August, female copperhead snakes give birth to live babies. If you see one of these beautiful - but venomous - snakes, enjoy watching it from a safe distance.
Don’t let chiggers spoil your midsummer berry-picking. Avoid tall grass, wear long sleeves, and tuck your pant legs into your socks.
Have fun learning to fish with your folks. Register for a free Discover Nature — Fishing class near you at mdc.mo.gov/discoverfishing.
Why did the tarantula cross the road? To find a sweetheart. Look for male tarantulas crossing roads in southwest Missouri.
Walk along a shady stream in summer, and you might find a pawpaw patch. The trees’ leaves are long and broad, and they smell like diesel fuel if you pinch them. The short, stumpy green fruit tastes like a blend of mango and banana, and some people even call them Indiana bananas. If you find a pawpaw patch, check it often because wildlife loves to eat them, too! Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/field-guide.
“Pennant” means “flag,” so this happy-faced dragonfly is well-named. When it’s at rest, it looks like an orangeand- black flag fluttering from a pole. It signals death to mosquitoes and other flying insects that haunt lakes and marshes from June to September. Its Halloween colors may also trick hungry birds into thinking it’s a bad-tasting monarch butterfly. See if you can spot it this summer. Learn more at mdc.mo.gov/field-guide.
Angie Daly Morfeld
Nichole LeClair Terrill