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Silver Dollar City Delivers Gold With “It’s A Wonderful Life” & More Christmas Goodies!

Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Light Parade cruises the Silver Dollar City streets nightly during An Old Time Christmas with over a dozen LED light floats and numerous colorful, costumed characters.

By Don Corrigan

It’s worth a trip to Branson this holiday season to take in that Christmas Classic, It’s A Wonderful Life, as performed on stage at Silver Dollar City.

This time of year, Branson is full of lights and color and holiday cheer. And Silver Dollar City has a Christmas Parade that’s perfect to cap off a day of entertainment that includes, It’s A Wonderful Life, and other great shows.

Frankly, the live theatre production of It’s A Wonderful Life at Silver Dollar City breathes new life into a movie that airs too frequently on television this time of year. It’s so refreshing to get a new, musical take on what is admittedly one of the most critically acclaimed films ever made.

A Silver Dollar City musical adaptation of a beloved classic, A Dickens’ Christmas Carol is an hour-long Broadway-style production featuring theatrical special effects, flying ghosts and numerous set changes.

Celebrated director Frank Capra referred to the film as his personal favorite of all his movies. Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore and Henry Travers all deliver memorable performances in the Capra favorite – and the ensemble in Branson lives up to their legacy.

My only criticism is that the Silver Dollar City production doesn’t make more of Uncle Billy and his pet squirrel as found in the movie production. And Silver Dollar City is the perfect locale to capitalize on the antics of a trouble-making squirrel.

Read more below.

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Learn More About Missouri’s Legends of Conservation

by Don Corrigan
 
Missouri is fortunate to have a unique program that celebrates America’s great Legends of Conservation. Bruce Sassmann, along with his wife Jan, are the founders and stewards of the educational Legends of Conservation series, which is performed in Missouri’s heartland.
 
And who are these Legends of Conservation? They, in fact, are: Henry David Thoreau, John Muir and Aldo Leopold.
Read more below.

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The Missouri Department of Conservation Announces Eagle Days Event Schedule

Photo courtesy MDC.

From December through February, Missouri’s winter eagle watching is spectacular. Discover nature with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) through Eagle Days events around the state or enjoy watching bald eagles on your own.

Because of Missouri’s big rivers, many lakes, and abundant wetlands, the Show-Me state is one of the leading lower 48 states for bald eagle viewing. Each fall, thousands of these great birds migrate south from their nesting range in Canada and the Great Lakes states to hunt in Missouri. Eagles take up residence wherever they find open water and plentiful food. More than 2,000 bald eagles are typically reported in Missouri during winter.

MDC Eagle Days Events

MDC Eagle Days events are listed below. They include live captive-eagle programs, exhibits, activities, videos, and guides with spotting scopes. Watch for eagles perched in large trees along the water’s edge. View them early in the morning to see eagles flying and fishing. Be sure to dress for winter weather and don’t forget cameras and binoculars.

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Time To Capture Loose Squirrels For Thanksgiving Dinners

As Thanksgiving approaches, a popular St. Louis Restaurant is advising its employees in the restrooms to wash their hands before returning to work and to catch any loose squirrels in the neighborhood. Will any of those squirrels end up in the eateries’ frying pans or the crock pots? Probably not, but they should!
Squirrels are sustainable food and quality protein sources. They belong in the stuffing and the Brunswick stews that are often on the Thanksgiving table. Ted Nugent provides dozens of squirrel dish suggestions in his book, “Kill It, And Grill It.”

Squirrels provided essential sustenance in early America and deserve far more credit for keeping Colonial settlements nourished. Squirrels certainly merit more accolades as early American culinary offerings than do turkeys, which have received undue attention thanks to the mythology that surrounds the first Thanksgiving dinner of the Pilgrims. Squirrel meat was, in fact, the real meal deal in North America both before and after the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

The author of the popular squirrel treatment, “Nuts About Squirrels: The Rodent That Captured Popular Culture,” will talk about every aspect of the furry animals at a number of venues in December and in the new year of 2020. Author Don Corrigan’s next squirrel talk and squirrel squib signing will be at Eden Seminary in Webster Groves from 10-11 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4th, courtesy of OASIS.

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Tree Killing Invasive Emerald Ash Borer Now Found In 75 Missouri Counties

 

Emerald Ash Borer has been detected in 75 Missouri counties since 2008. All photos courtesy MDC.

Since the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was first detected in Missouri in July 2008, this tree-killing pest has spread to a total of 75 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis.

 

 

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports the presence of EAB in 16 new counties across Missouri. Collaborative efforts by MDC staff, Missouri Department of Agriculture inspectors, and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service officers, EAB has been detected in Benton, Boone, Cooper, Douglas, Holt, Howard, Howell, Linn, Montgomery, Morgan, Nodaway, Osage, Ozark, Pettis, Putnam, and Randolph counties this year.

EAB is a small, metallic green beetle native to Asia that attacks all species of ash trees, including Missouri’s native green ash and white ash. In its larval stage, the insect kills ash trees by feeding on the vascular tissues just under the bark, slowly cutting off the trees’ flow of water and nutrients. Unfortunately, EAB kills more than 99 percent of the ash trees it attacks.

EAB will likely be found statewide within the next few years, prompting MDC Forest Entomologist Robbie Doerhoff to urge Missourians with ash trees in their yard to make a plan now to either remove those trees or treat them with an insecticide.

Read more from the MDC release below about the invasive EAB and information about how to determine if  trees are infected and preventive measures to help save trees from the EAB.

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Corrigan Addresses Eco-Anxiety of Young People in College Paper

Eco-anxiety is intense anxiety about ecological disasters and threats to the natural environment. These threats include increasing pollution and climate change disasters, ranging from floods to storms to wildfires. Variations to the definition exist such as the broader description explaining it as the worry caused by concerns about the present and future state of the environment. and planet earth.

EE’s Don Corrigan, author of  the book, “Environmental Missouri,” recently wrote about the eco-anxiety of students in a guest editorial he was invited to write for the Webster University Journal. The link to his response to eco-anxiety is provide below:

Heres a link to his timely op-ed: http://websterjournal.com/2019/11/19/in-praise-of-brave-students-and-teachers-who-love-our-planet/

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Last Call To Enter The Powder Valley Nature Center 2019 photo contest

Kate Sprague’s photo of a whitetail buck won first place in the Wildlife category in last year’s 2018 Powder Valley Nature Center Amateur Photography contest.

Nature photographers will have until Dec. 1 to enter images taken at the nature center and nearby MDC areas.

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center wants to see how its visitors connect to nature with their cameras. The nature center is issuing the last call for entries in its 2019 Amateur Photography contest. Deadline for all entries will be Dec. 1.

This photo contest is free to enter for amateur photographers of all ages and includes separate categories for youth and adult photographers. To qualify, photographs must have been taken at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center, or nearby Emmenegger Nature Park and Possum Woods Conservation Area, or Claire Gempp Davidson Memorial Wildlife Area.

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Trout Fishing Opportunities Just Got Bigger This Winter For St. Louis Area Residents

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

The Missouri Department of Conservation celebrates 50 years of urban fishing by stocking 10 pound rainbow trout in select St. Louis lakes.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its Urban Fishing Program (UFP) this year. Since 1969, the UFP has grown from a limited experiment to an expanded and robust program providing close-to-home fishing for St. Louis area citizens.  These opportunities include pursuing rainbow trout during the winter in select UFP lakes.

In that same theme of making things bigger, MDC will stock an increased number of extra-large lunker rainbow trout this season at its UFP lakes in honor of the 50th anniversary. Some of these giants could tip the scales at 10lbs.

“St. Louis-area trout anglers might need to buy some heavier tackle,” said Fisheries Management Biologist Kevin Meneau.

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Noah’s Climate Change Action

By Don Corrigan (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

The Popular Culture Association slotted me for a talk on “Squirrels: Icons of the Midwest” a couple of weeks ago. On the way to give my talk in Ohio, I stopped at the Ark, the full-size model boat of old Noah, built by the Creation Museum and its founder Ken Ham.

Bill Nye the “Science Guy” says Ken Ham is all about fake science. Nye says dinos lived 65 million years ago and couldn’t have been on the Ark. Ham’s take on Genesis is that the Earth is only a few thousand years old and dinosaurs were human contemporaries. Ham has a few Scutosauruses on his big boat.

I didn’t go to the Ark for my science. And Ham’s lecture on Adam and Eve’s sin causing all the imperfections in the creation – he included gays and kids with Down syndrome – struck me as some kind of warped sci-fi nonsense.

I traveled to Ham’s theme park to get specs on building an Ark. We may need to build a few Arks as our seas rise. I know climate warming skeptics scoff about rising seas. As Noah told his wife, Naamah, while herding Scutosauruses onto his Ark, “scoffers will scoff.”

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Midwest Is Nuts About Squirrels, Professor Insists

Olney, Illinois, has a white squirrel monument in its downtown. It conducts a squirrel parade and what is tagged as a “Squirrel Scamper” event for kids. Numerous squirrel happenings take place in the rural Illinois town with a population of 8,500 that positions itself in tourism materials as “The Home of White Squirrels.”

Marysville, Kansas, bills itself as the “Home of the Black Squirrels,” and has been promoting a special Black Squirrel Night for almost a half century. The town has named the black squirrel its official mascot and honors it with a Black Squirrels on Parade event.

Squirrels are honored with statues, parades and festivals in more than a score of Midwest cities, according to Don Corrigan, author of “Nuts About Squirrels: The Rodents That Captured Popular Culture.” Corrigan presented a lecture, “Squirrels: Icons of the Midwest,” in Cincinnati, Ohio, in October at the annual Midwest Popular Culture Conference.

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