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Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014
How to diminish an unlimited resource
Posted Wednesday, September 3, at 1:40 PM
One hundred years ago, what was once thought to be a permanent fixture in American skies faded away forever. Sept. 1 marked the extinction of the Passenger pigeon. The last known Passenger pigeon died at the Cincinnati Zoological Garden on that day in 1914...

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Show off your harvest at the SEMO District Fair
Posted Monday, August 4, at 4:09 PM

Many of us enjoy the feelings of pride we experience when we get to show off our harvest. Whether it's a basket of morels, a stringer of catfish or venison in the fall, there's a specific sense of accomplishment that comes with harvesting our state's fish, game and wild edibles...

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Fireflies: Enjoy the Show
Posted Thursday, July 3, at 8:57 AM

This is the time of year when little twinkling lights catch our eyes across fields and backyards. Fireflies, or lightening bugs, are always a childhood favorite and are an easy ticket to spending memorable family time outdoors. Grab a bug net and a mason jar and take your children on an adventure to catch fireflies. Along the way, teach them some of these amazing facts about their luminescent catch...

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Favorite SEMO destinations to explore
Posted Friday, June 6, at 8:12 AM

School is out for summer and what I don't like to hear from my son is, "Mom, there's nothing to do!" There is absolutely plenty to do in southeast Missouri in the summer, especially when you consider all of our wonderful conservation areas. We have places to hike, watch birds, fish, collect bugs, leaves and rocks, climb rocks or my favorite -- wade in a creek and look for crawdads...

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Avoid harmful hitchhikers: Ticks
Posted Friday, May 30, at 10:19 AM

As we spend more time outdoors in the summer weather, we must be diligent to avoid six-legged hitchhikers. Ticks, specifically, are a local critter that loves to hitch a ride home with unsuspecting victims. Not only do they tend to over stay their welcome, their effects can linger long after they're gone...

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Luna moths are active
Posted Monday, May 19, at 1:32 PM

This morning I was greeted just outside the office door by a Luna moth. I'm always delighted to see these moths, as it's a confirmation of the spring season. There are three broods of Luna moths in our state and the adults are known to fly through August. ...

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Heavy rains impact wildlife, demonstrate value of wetlands
Posted Thursday, May 15, at 4:09 PM

While many wait expectantly for the rainy season to end, biologists know heavy rains such as this week's weather in the bottomlands of southeast Missouri recharge wetlands by bringing new water into the system. Some conservation areas that tend to be affected by heavy rains in southeast Missouri include Ten Mile Pond, Swift Ditch Access, Seven Island CA, Donaldson Point, Wolf Bayou and Black Island. ...

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Merging river life and city life
Posted Monday, May 5, at 9:27 AM

Many people live right next to the Mississippi River and yet they know very little about it. They don't know what kind of fish live in it, what the quality of the habitat is or what impact it has on their daily lives. Conservationists with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) are working to merge river life and city life in Cape Girardeau...

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Swampers and Sunshine
Posted Friday, March 28, at 3:37 PM

Mother Nature is teasing us with sporadic sun-shiny days in between the ones that make us fear winter has not yet withdrew its grip. On one recent blissfully warmer day I seized the opportunity to participate in my first swamp rabbit survey. It was a lovely day spent completely outdoors. After the winter we've endured, the fresh air began to quench the thirst for spring...

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Primitive is popular: Get with the times at the Cape Girardeau Nature Center
Posted Wednesday, March 5, at 3:39 PM

In the midst of current trends of stone-aged diets and organic meals, primitive tools and skills are on the rise as well. "It's incredible to think that cordless drills existed thousands of years ago," said Sara Turner, manager of the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. "We rely so heavily on electricity and modern comforts, but people seem to be more and more curious of how to do things without electricity."...

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Native Plant Seminar means spring is near
Posted Monday, February 24, at 9:09 AM

The upcoming Native Plant and Garden Seminar at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center is a welcome signal that springtime is nearing, as are warmer temperatures and seasonal visitors like butterflies and hummingbirds. One way to ensure your yard receives four stars from these guests is to develop your habitat with native plants that offer the best nutrition and most comfortable shelter. ...

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Coniglio, lapin or rabbit, all are delicious
Posted Friday, February 7, at 1:11 PM

Rabbit season is now through Feb. 15, presenting one more week to take advantage of the opportunity to harvest cottontails and swampers. Although the cold weather is driving most of us indoors, rabbit hunting presents a simple opportunity to get outdoors for a short amount of time and enjoy nature. It also presents an opportunity to put a delicacy on the table and know that it is a healthy meat that you can provide for your family...

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Nature warms the cold spirit
Posted Friday, January 24, at 11:04 AM

I'm one of the first to complain when it comes to winter weather. The bitter cold temperatures make me cringe. I tighten my shoulders, furrow my brow and am somewhat intolerable when the bitter cold hits hard. Even so, hiding away indoors all season is not an option. I must brave the cold, because the only thing worse than the cold is being without adequate outdoor time...

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Keeping 'Old Man Winter' at bay
Posted Friday, January 17, at 3:02 PM

This winter the kids' fishing pond at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center has frozen several times, just like most of our area's waterways. In warmer weather, there are usually some turtles out sunning on logs around the pond. As I drove by the pond one morning recently, I wondered where turtles go in winter when it's really cold. Also, what can people do to help wildlife survive a harsh winter like we're experiencing?...

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Warm up with Nature Center activities
Posted Thursday, December 12, at 2:08 PM

If you're getting stir crazy in the midst of this freezing cold December weather, there's plenty to do at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. This Saturday, bring your "Mudpuppies" aged three to six to the center to find out where animals go to stay warm in the winter temperatures. ...

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Winter offers a new view of nature
Posted Monday, December 2, at 2:09 PM

Spending time outside even when it's cold offers a view of the outdoor world through a whole different lens than in the warmer months. Wildlife are still trying to eke out a living even when it's cold and you can catch glimpses of this if you take the time to notice...

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Taking deer season to the kitchen
Posted Thursday, November 14, at 11:08 AM

It's funny how hunters enjoy cooking their harvest and when it comes to venison, everyone has their own favorite recipe. My family's recipe has evolved over the years, but the foundation has remained the same. We like to sear thin steaks in a skillet after tenderizing and marinating them...

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A deer harvest story
Posted Tuesday, November 5, at 11:02 AM

His eyes were as big as saucers as he sat frozen, staring at the doe almost 50 yards straight in front of him. I waited for him to fire. He sat staring. "Do you have it in the crosshairs where it's supposed to be?" I whispered as quietly as I could...

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Lichen this on Facebook
Posted Wednesday, October 30, at 4:56 PM

Walking in the woods this time of year is exciting, but our culture is flooded with technological demands that keep us indoors and plugged in. There's little room for outdoor activities that fuel the pioneer spirit within. To counter this problem, I make efforts to set aside my son's video games and my smart phone and we carve out time to find a place where we can release the pioneers within us...

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Alien Invaders in Cape: Bring your neurolizer
Posted Tuesday, October 22, at 9:05 AM

Wear your sunglasses at night and bring a standard issue neurolizer so you can fit in at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center's annual Creatures of the Night event, Alien Invaders, October 25 and 26 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM. This event focuses on teaching the value of native plant and wildlife species while touching on identification and tactics to rid Missouri of invasive species...

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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.