KRCU's Discover Nature Weekly podcast highlighting nature in Missouri.
KRCU's Discover Nature

KRCU's Discover Nature

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Weekly podcast highlighting nature in Missouri.More from KRCU's Discover Nature »

Most Recent Episodes

Tupelo and Bald Cypress Add Their Colors to Missouri's Fall Landscape

October 18 - October 24 Discover Nature this week as bald cypress and tupelo gum trees add their colors to Missouri's fall landscape. Both the bald cypress and the tupelo are romantic trees, often associated with dark, mysterious swamps. The tupelo has full, graceful foliage, with oval shaped leaves that have a few randomly placed teeth. Though the Bald Cypress is known as an "evergreen" tree, it isn't really. Like the hardwoods, its needles turn yellow in the fall and are shed. Tupelo and

Tupelo and Bald Cypress Add Their Colors to Missouri's Fall Landscape

Ducks Migrate Through Missouri

October 11 - October 17 Discover nature this week as American wigeon, pintail and gadwall ducks migrate through Missouri. Waterfowl identification is a popular and growing recreation activity in the U.S. The key to the sport is knowing the characteristics to look for so you can quickly determine what species you're looking at. Once ducks are spotted, the flight characteristics of the flock will be the first clue to identification. Small, compact, fast-flying flocks are more likely to be teal or

Fall Color

October 4 - October 10 Discover nature this week as you take in Missouri's colorful fall landscape. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, the peak of the fall colors is in the middle of October, and because our state's trees, shrubs and vines turn at different times we enjoy a fall color season that may last four to six weeks. As you observe the leafy display, think about what's responsible for painting our state's trees in the new yellow, red and purple shades. Though the

Rattlesnakes

September 27 - October 3 Discover nature this week as timber rattlesnakes enter hibernation. Missouri's largest venomous snake, the Timber Rattlesnake, can be found statewide in the wild, but this is no reason to hide away indoors. Though the Timber Rattlesnake is dangerously venomous, there are few cases of rattlesnake bites in this state, because the snakes prefer to be left alone. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, there have been no recorded deaths caused by venomous snake

Persimmons

September 20 - September 26 Discover Nature this week in a freshly picked, juicy persimmon. I'll never forget when I was eight years old and tasted a persimmon before it ripened. That bitter experience was unforgettable. However, if you learn when and how to pick, process, and cook Persimmons, you can Discover Nature in a whole new way. Persimmon trees can be found in rocky or dry open woods, along the borders of woods, prairies and abandoned fields. They multiply quickly and can easily spread

Fall Mushrooms

September 13 - September 19 Take a walk in the woods this week and Discover Nature as you hunt fall mushrooms. Most of Missouri's edible mushrooms are distinctive in some obvious way. Once you learn their distinguishing features you won't confuse them with any dangerous poisonous species. It's very important to know the visual cues to look for, but knowing when and where a mushroom grows is very important in proper identification. Though most hunted mushroom in Missouri is probably the Morel,

Monarch Butterflies Migrate Through Missouri

September 6 - September 12 Discover nature this week as you witness the graceful flight of a monarch butterfly. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, these butterflies pass through our state in September after spending the summer in Canada and the northern U.S. When the days start getting shorter, millions of monarchs migrate through Missouri as they travel to the mountains of Mexico for the winter. A monarch butterfly is easy to spot by its black and orange coloring. This

Garden Spiders

August 30 - September 5 Discover nature this week and look for intricately decorated black and yellow garden spiders in gardens and grassy areas near houses. Though many in the United States are squeamish when it comes to spiders, in some parts of the world, people believe that giving a spider as a gift or meeting a spider will bring good fortune, a successful marriage, or fair weather. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, yellow garden spiders are one of the largest of the orb

White-Tailed Deer Shed Their Velvet

August 23 - August 29 Discover nature this week as young male white-tailed deer rub the velvet off their antlers. The white-tailed deer is aptly named because the white undersurface of its flag-like tail is all that's seen as it bounds across an opening in the woods. Antlers occur only in males and are formed and shed each year. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, growth of the antler starts in April or May when the base of the antler, located on the skull, begins to enlarge. During the growth period, the soft skin and short hair covering each antler have a plush-like quality, giving this stage the name of "velvet." Full antler size is reached in August or September, shortly before the breeding, or rutting, season. The velvet begins to dry and peel and the buck rubs his antlers against trees and shrubs to help remove the skin. Extensive cultivation and unregulated hunting almost eliminated the white-tailed deer population in Missouri in the early 19 hundreds. In 1925,

Birds Change Coloring

August 16 - August 22 Discover nature this week as birds get ready for a change of season. The mall isn't the only place where fashions are changing in response to the coming fall season. Take a close look at your neighborhood birds and you'll see they're already losing their bright colors in preparation for cooler weather. During late summer, many birds go through a molting period, when they replace old feathers with new ones. Depending on the species, molting might be complete or partial, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. After the summer molt, males of many species will have lost their colorful breeding plumage in exchange for their basic coloring. Other species will still replace their old feathers with new ones, but they'll keep the same colors. Many birds also molt from a juvenile to adult plumage which is a molting process that can take several years. Summer is the best time to molt because the stresses of breeding and nesting are over, and new and more

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