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Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015
Sassafras trees score touchdowns with fun football themes
Posted Tuesday, October 6, at 10:53 AM
With the arrival of fall comes football season and football season brings to mind the Sassafras tree and its unique leaf shapes. If you take a walk on the White Oak Trace trail behind the Missouri Department of Conservation's Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, you'll find an opportunity to identify sassafras trees. That's where I was when Nature Center manager Sara Turner gave me a quick lesson on how to identify it and why thinking about football can help...

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Catfish: Bringing families together on the river and at the table
Posted Monday, June 29, at 9:06 AM

I'll never forget standing next to the Mississippi River in Mississippi County when I was 10 years old, staring as my grandfather held up a catfish that was larger than I was. It was actually nearly as long as grandpa was tall and all the other fishermen gathered around him to gawk at his catch. ...

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MDC confirms Perryville nuisance bear euthanized
Posted Monday, June 15, at 3:17 PM

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) confirms that a black bear was euthanized by local law enforcement Sunday in Perryville. According to MDC Wildlife Regional Supervisor Matt Bowyer, this was a situational call by local law enforcement. MDC personnel were notified of sightings of the bear Friday, but at that time the bear was not inside the city limits and was not causing any disturbance. Sunday morning, the bear was reported moving through the town...

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Celebrate fathers with free fishing days, fishing programs at Cape Nature Center
Posted Friday, May 29, at 3:05 PM

Father's Day is the perfect opportunity to spend time fishing with dear old dad. If you haven't discovered the joy of fishing with your children, June offers a nice opportunity to celebrate Father's Day and learn how to fish, all at the same time. This year, Missouri's free fishing weekend is June 6 and 7, which lends the perfect opportunity to try fishing without purchasing a permit first. ...

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Uncommon character at Cape Nature Center
Posted Tuesday, May 26, at 9:11 AM

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, these Black-bellied Whistling-ducks have been recorded fewer than five times throughout the state's history. This group of six ducks stopped to rest at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center this morning...

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MDC Foresters: Cicadas have arrived in Cape, Perry, Scott counties
Posted Tuesday, May 19, at 2:40 PM

Cicadas have started to emerge. Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) foresters have noted the 13-year periodical cicadas in Cape, Perry and Scott counties. MDC forester Mike Keeley reported observing shed cicada "skins" and a Perry County landowner working with Keeley reported seeing the bugs as early as May 13...

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Happy Mother's Day from MDC!
Posted Wednesday, May 6, at 12:21 PM

Every year around Mother's Day, many Missouri mammal moms are busy having and caring for their young during their first months and beyond. Discover nature by learning about some Missouri mammal mothers in this special video. Give a gift of nature to moms (and others) by sharing...

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Prevent ticks and chiggers from ruining a good time
Posted Monday, May 4, at 8:47 AM

The saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is certainly true when it comes to dealing with ticks and chiggers in the warm summer months. Itchy bites can diminish the fun at what would otherwise be some of the most fondly remembered outdoor adventures. ...

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MDC Cape Nature Center: 10 years of discovering nature together
Posted Monday, April 13, at 1:19 PM

It was about 10 years ago when I returned home to southeast Missouri after being gone just as long. I remember being surprised at how much had changed in our area. It was interesting to see all the development that had occurred in the ten years I'd been away in the military. ...

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Flights of Fancy event features live raptors, bird fun, facts and tips
Posted Thursday, April 2, at 8:32 AM

When I look at the many variances in the birds we enjoy in Missouri, it truly is amazing. We have hummingbirds that weigh less than a number two pencil and bald eagles that build nests weighing up to two tons. The great many differences in our resident and migrant bird species are so numerous that one couldn't possibly list them all. ...

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Fishing series will build youngsters' confidence in the outdoors
Posted Wednesday, March 18, at 12:08 PM

When my son lists things that he's good at, fishing is at the top of his list. Even when he was in elementary school, fishing was one of his favorite things despite the fact that it's not something he gets to do very often. The appeal relates to some of his earliest memories of fishing with his grandfather and is strengthened by the fact that he feels confident with a fishing pole in his hand. When he's fishing, he has just as much success as the adults have and sometimes more...

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Protect young wildlife by leaving them alone
Posted Monday, March 2, at 2:46 PM

It happens every year. Well intentioned wildlife viewers are caught off guard by young wildlife they presume to be alone or orphaned. There's often an impulse to "protect" the young critter by finding it a "safer" home. But what is a safe home for wildlife? It's certainly not our homes, which are designed for people, not animals...

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The many sweetness's of maple sugaring
Posted Monday, February 9, at 9:26 AM

Sweet. We think we know what the word means, but Merriam Webster's Dictionary lists more than six meanings for the word sweet. The first meaning is "pleasing to the taste," which is probably what most of us think is the meaning of sweet. It also says sweet means "pleasing to the mind or feelings," "not sour, rancid, decaying or stale" and "having a crush on." It can also mean "very gentle, kind or friendly."...

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Rabbits and Valentine's Day
Posted Wednesday, February 4, at 1:19 PM

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is hosting their annual women's rabbit hunting clinic this Valentine's Day. I've often wondered why this clinic is held on a day that many women reserve for certain anticipated social engagements. This timing works well to coordinate with Missouri's rabbit hunting season, but is there more behind the selection of that date?...

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Beat cabin fever at Eagle Days
Posted Monday, January 26, at 11:32 AM

February is near and this is just about the time I tend to become winter-weary. I begin to long for sunshine and warmer weather, or at the very least, an opportunity to be outdoors. It's convenient that Eagle Days is nearing, which provides a dramatic display of our national symbol to draw us outdoors despite the cold. This year's Eagle Days event is coming up soon, Feb. 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge and Duck Creek Conservation Area (CA)...

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Turtle power: winter survival skills
Posted Wednesday, January 14, at 8:39 AM

In the cold winter weather, some of our wildlife, like turtles, seem to disappear. According to Bruce Henry, a natural history biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), turtles are still here, they just have ways of hiding away to stay safe from the elements...

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Natural New Year's Resolutions
Posted Tuesday, December 30, at 8:07 AM

At the start of every year, millions of Americans make a plan to change, start or end something, in order to improve in the New Year. Skeptics point out the failure rate, which is admittedly high. However, as Pablo Picasso said, "Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success."...

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Christmas trees can be one last gift to nature
Posted Saturday, December 27, at 10:37 AM

Once the presents have been opened and the turkey eaten, there's one last gift you can give this Christmas season -- to your local fish habitat. Christopher Kennedy, a Fisheries Regional Supervisor with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), said this time of year brings an easy opportunity to give fish a place to hide from predators and thrive. Kennedy said the best thing to do with a live Christmas tree is to recycle it, by placing it at the bottom of a pond or lake...

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Father, daughter share love of nature through art
Posted Friday, December 12, at 1:27 PM

Join the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center to reflect on extinct birds of Missouri in a month-long gallery display throughout December featuring drawings by father and daughter artist duo AJ and Cheyenne Hendershott...

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Ring in the holidays with the Cape Nature Center
Posted Monday, November 24, at 1:51 PM

As the holidays approach, the Missouri Department of Conservation's Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center has incorporated many holiday-themed events into their program schedule. "Many natural items accentuate traditional holiday decorations, such as Christmas trees, wreaths and popular centerpieces," said Sara Turner, manager of the nature center. "We like to take that even further with ornaments, cards and gifts that highlight nature and are eco-friendly."...

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Discover Nature
Candice Davis
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Candice Davis is the Media Specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation's Southeast and Ozark regions. Though raised to appreciate the Missouri outdoors, Candice is discovering nature on a new and exciting level as she gets up close and personal with snakes, insects, and Southeast Missouri's diverse landscape. Her goal is to share her learning experiences and show Southeast Missourians how they're directly connected to their land.