Discover Nature by Candice Davis en-us It’s my river Like that relative that makes everyone think they’re the favorite, the river has something for everyone. It sent chills up my spine on that hot day, as I stretched my bare feet until they reached the rocky river floor in the middle of the Missouri Ozarks. The summer sun was nearly more than I could bear and the chill of the spring-fed river water offered sweet relief. I stood there, watching minnows dart away, thinking I’d invaded their space. The river is home to turtles,... Tue, 28 Jun 2016 15:19:14 -0500 Building an outdoor legacy, one fishing trip at a time “Mom, you know what I really wish,” Liam said to me in a quiet voice. My almost 13-year-old was sitting in the passenger seat seemingly deep in thought. We had just left a visit with his grandfather at the nursing home. My dad was once a practically unstoppable outdoorsman, but has been battling brain cancer now for six years. I could only imagine what my boy was wishing. “I wish Grandpa could take me fishing again.” There it was. It was a very simple wish, but... Tue, 17 May 2016 11:41:51 -0500 Delight your little ones with Cape Nature Center’s Wild Heart concert this Friday There’s nothing like the joy a toddler can display at a live event designed to get their attention. Their eyes widen, sometimes their jaw drops in awe, as they take in a live concert for the first time. The best is when they break out in a dance of pure enjoyment. That’s when you know you’ve succeeded in at least one day of the parenting adventure. The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center has the perfect opportunity for you to watch your little ones in awe as they see... Tue, 03 May 2016 15:40:24 -0500 Top five ways to celebrate Earth Day include Bashin’ Trash and high definition off-screen views If you haven’t made plans yet to celebrate Earth Day, here’s my top five ways you could celebrate this beautiful planet that we walk on, breathe in, and basically, spend every moment of our lives on. For the novice, who’s just starting to look around at the planet and recognize the high definition views they can see off-screen, I recommend walking a trail. Favorite trails in southeast Missouri include White Oak Trace at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center,... Thu, 21 Apr 2016 12:54:06 -0500 Cape Girardeau fox loses leg to grocery bag The young Red fox was huddled in a corner of a pet crate at Skyview Animal Clinic when I went to see him. It was a sad scene. He should've been playing with the rest of his litter but instead, he was about to have a rear leg removed because he got caught in a plastic grocery bag. This is a reminder that there's always a price to pay when someone litters. In this case, the price is a red fox’s rear leg and possibly, his freedom. Bruce Henry, MDC's history biologist for the... Fri, 08 Apr 2016 10:41:13 -0500 Cape Nature Center program takes the guesswork out of exploring nature with tots It can be difficult to know the best methods to introduce little ones to nature. Should he play with that rock? What if she eats dirt? How much do they understand at two and under anyway? There’s a program at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center that takes the worry out of the “should and should nots” of exploring nature with a tot. The Tadpoles class, led by naturalist Michelle Randecker, is designed with this age... Tue, 29 Mar 2016 15:58:51 -0500 MDC Cape Nature Center hosts maple sugaring program Feb. 13 One of our most popular winter programs at the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, “Maple Sugaring”, is coming up Saturday, Feb. 13 from 1-4 p.m. This program is all about the history, equipment and process of making maple syrup and sugar. “This event is self-guided and partially outdoors so that we can show the entire process of backyard sugaring,” said Angela Pierce, a naturalist at the Nature Center. Pierce... Thu, 04 Feb 2016 14:35:53 -0600 Cape Nature Center celebrates winter with Garden Tour, Winter Tree I.D. The Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center has two events coming up that are centered on enjoying the winter season. Garden Tour: Natural Beauty with Native Plants is Saturday, Jan. 23, with two sessions. The first session is 9 to 11 a.m. and a second session is 1 to 3 p.m. Participants will create nature-inspired beauty products from native plants, enjoy herbal teas, relax and have fun. "We hope folks will leave this program feeling refreshed... Thu, 14 Jan 2016 10:19:12 -0600 Kick-off 2016 with Cape Nature Center events CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Cape Girardeau Nature Center has plenty of programs to cure a wintry spirit. Nature Center Manager Sara Turner said winter is the best time to hone many outdoor skills. "Some people think winter is time to hide away indoors, but that's just not the case," Turner said. "We have a packed schedule for January, so folks will have plenty to do and discover what nature's like in the winter months." The 2016 Nature Center... Thu, 10 Dec 2015 14:48:27 -0600 Sassafras trees score touchdowns with fun football themes 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. This tree is fun to identify... Tue, 06 Oct 2015 10:53:54 -0500 Catfish: Bringing families together on the river and at the table 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. I stared at the huge fish that day, pondering how big other fish in the river might be. I had a new respect for the mystery of the river and what it might be hiding. I also remember the excitement of... Mon, 29 Jun 2015 09:06:21 -0500 MDC confirms Perryville nuisance bear euthanized **Wildlife biologists remind the public that 'a fed bear is a dead bear.' 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,... Mon, 15 Jun 2015 15:17:47 -0500 Celebrate fathers with free fishing days, fishing programs at Cape Nature Center 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. The annual Free Fishing Days give everyone the chance to fish in state waters without a permit, trout... Fri, 29 May 2015 15:05:01 -0500 Uncommon character at Cape Nature Center 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. "These birds' unique coloring and the rare opportunity to see them here at the nature center is what we're all about," said Sara Turner, manager of the center. describes the Black-bellied Whistling-duck as... Tue, 26 May 2015 09:11:24 -0500 MDC Foresters: Cicadas have arrived in Cape, Perry, Scott counties **The public can help track cicada sightings. 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. To the casual observer there is no difference between the appearance of the 13-year cicadas found here in southeast Missouri... Tue, 19 May 2015 14:40:45 -0500 Happy Mother's Day from MDC! 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. Wed, 06 May 2015 12:21:58 -0500 Prevent ticks and chiggers from ruining a good time 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. Make sure these insects don't crash your good time by heading to the Missouri Department of Conservation's Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center event, Nature Center at Night: Ticks and Chiggers. The program is 5 to 8 p.m.,... Mon, 04 May 2015 08:47:01 -0500 MDC Cape Nature Center: 10 years of discovering nature together 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. The shopping options on Siemer's Drive were new, replacing what I remembered as farmland. Another new development was the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. As a mom of a... Mon, 13 Apr 2015 13:19:49 -0500 Flights of Fancy event features live raptors, bird fun, facts and tips 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. However, naturalists will explore these differences at the upcoming event, Flights of Fancy, at the Missouri Department of Conservation Cape Girardeau Conservation... Thu, 02 Apr 2015 08:32:58 -0500 Fishing series will build youngsters' confidence in the outdoors 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. It's important... Wed, 18 Mar 2015 12:08:34 -0500