Discover Nature

Every week there are new marvels to look for in the outdoors, and Discover Nature highlights these attractions. The Missouri Department of Conservation’s Candice Davis brings us the stories of river otters, luna moths, red buds, and other actors as they take center stage in nature’s theater.

This timely and topical program is the audio counterpart of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Natural Events Calendar.

You can hear Discover Nature, Mondays at 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m.

Local support for Discover Nature is provided by Adam Gohn, Attorney at Law.

Black Chokeberries

Apr 22, 2018
Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

April 16 - April 22

Discover Nature this week as we learn about Missouri’s Black Chokeberry. Although this plant is listed as endangered in Missouri, if you go out to Holly Ridge Conservation Area in Southeast Missouri anytime from April through May you might see its clusters of showy white blooms.

It is difficult to determine why chokeberry got a reputation so bad as to account for its common name, since the fruits are not bitter, especially when compared to choke-cherry. One can easily theorize that perhaps it was once mistaken for this bitter fruit.

Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

April 19 - April 24

Discover nature this week by putting out feeders for the Ruby-throated hummingbirds as they arrive in Missouri as part of their annual 500-mile migration.

This hummingbird bridges the ecological gap between birds and bees by feeding on energy rich flower nectar and pollinating flowers along the way. The Ruby Throated hummingbird is the only hummingbird to nest in Missouri and is by far Missouri's smallest bird, measuring about three inches long and weighing just one eighth of an ounce, which is lighter than a number-two pencil.

Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

Step outside this week and discover nature in the call of the American toad.

This most common toad in Missouri will start calling that sustained, high-pitched musical trill this week from area ponds and water-filled ditches. These amphibians control destructive insects and add their voices to the outdoor choir we enjoy on Missouri spring and summer nights.

Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

Step outside this week and discover nature in a six-legged winged symbol of love.

This week is the luna moth’s one-week life on the wing as he’s driven by pure romance. Not exclusive to Missouri, or even the Midwest states, the luna moth can be found from east of the Great Plains in the United States, to northern Mexico and from Ontario eastward through central Quebec to Nova Scotia in Canada.

Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

Step outside this week and discover nature as redbuds begin to bloom.

The Eastern Redbud lends a quaint charm to the Missouri hillsides in early spring when the pink hues of the flowers are in sharp contrast with the brown leaves covering the forest floor.

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