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.

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.

Missouri Department of Conservation / KRCU

Step outside this week and discover nature as zebra swallowtail butterflies emerge and grace our woodland areas.

When searching for inspiration, many famous writers step outside to discover nature and write down their finds. Joseph Warton described the butterfly as “Nature’s completest miniature divine.” It’s easy to imagine him strolling through a wooded area before he wrote his Verses on a Butterfly.

Robert Frost described butterflies as “flowers that fly and all but sing” in his poem, "Blue-Butterfly Day."

Pages