Photo: Courtesy MDC
Bird buffs, falcon fanciers, and anyone enraptured by raptors are invited to meet the objects of their admiration close up at An Evening with Raptors.
An Evening with Raptors is a free event hosted by the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood. It takes place Friday, Jan. 31 from 7-9 p.m. and is open to all ages. The event will be joined this year by long-time MDC partner, St. Louis Sprout and About.
The popular annual Maple Sugar Festival has expanded to embrace even more aspects of winter to become the Rockwoods Reservation Winter in the Woods Festival. The free, family event takes place Saturday, Feb. 1 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
The dead of winter is anything but dead. Just because the temperatures drop, doesn’t mean it’s time to stay inside. Anyone willing to put on an extra layer and venture out can experience nature in a whole new way.
Leaf-free trees offer breathtaking vistas hidden other times, trails and natural areas are decorated with snow and ice, local fishing spots have just as many fish and fewer anglers, bird feeders explode to life with cardinals, juncos and woodpeckers, and sap flows through sugar maple trees that can tapped into sweet treats.
To celebrate everything wintertime offers, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is holding the Winter in the Woods Festival again this year. This free family event takes place Saturday, Feb. 1 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Rockwoods Reservation in Wildwood.
Reservations are now open to see MDC’s award-winning photographer as he shares stunning images of Missouri’s wildlife and landscapes.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) presents an evening with award-winning MDC photographer Noppadol Paothong at Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood Friday, Jan. 17 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Paothong’s photography has been featured in the Missouri Conservationist and Xplor magazines, and many other publications including National Audubon, Ranger Rick, BBC, and the Nature Conservancy.
Paothong is a nature/conservation photographer and an associate fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). The iLCP is an elite group of the world’s top wildlife, nature, and culture photographers around the globe.
Gateway Greening’s annual Seed Packet Sale will be held Saturday, January 25, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, located at the Gateway Greening Offices, 2211 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63103.
Seed packets will be available for sale for just $0.25 each. We will also have seed starting kits and jiffy pots on sale for discounted prices. While you’re here, pick up pest management supplies and more at the Gateway Greening Store.
Gateway Greening branded seed packets will be available for purchase for $1.00 each.
Art photography exhibit by Jeanine Michna-Bales -Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad. Photo courtesy Jeanine Michna-Bales
Nature’s outdoor settings have a unique mystery at night. Photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales has captured the images of trees, fields and rivers that freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad would have seen as they journeyed at night before the Civil War. A free exhibit of her art entitled Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad, will be on display now through Jan. 4 at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City.
An estimated 100,000 slaves fled to freedom between 1830 and the end of the Civil War in 1865. They usually traveled at night often in rugged terrain away from roads where they could be easily pursued. Michna-Bales took photographs along 2,000 miles of one Underground Railroad route that ran from Louisiana to Canada. The viewer sees scenes and shadows as the slaves may have seen them as they walked by night toward freedom. ExhibitsUSA, a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, helped organize the display.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages experienced birders to become citizen scientists by helping with the National Audubon Society’s 120th Annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5 – including about 20 counts in Missouri.
The CBC is an annual winter bird census where thousands of volunteers across the U.S., Canada, and many other countries in the Western Hemisphere count birds over a 24-hour period between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. Christmas Bird Counts gather data on winter bird populations to track their long-term trends. Each CBC has a coordinator that assigns portions of a 15-mile diameter count circle to participants to count all birds seen and heard. Learn more at audubon.org/conservation/join-christmas-bird-count.
Missouri hosts about 20 CBCs, some of which are listed below. If interested in participating, contact the CBC organizer listed.
For a full list of CBCs, visit audubon.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=fadfb421e95f4949bde20c29a38228bd.
MDC State Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick offers these CBC tips:
- If you’ve never participated in a CBC, tell the organizer so they can place you with experienced birders.
- Share your level of birding knowledge when you contact the CBC organizer so they can make sure you’re with a team with the experience to properly identify birds seen or heard.
- Dress warmly. Most CBCs will be held regardless of weather unless inclement weather is dangerous.
- Bring snacks and beverages to stay fueled for a long day.
For more information on Missouri birds, visit MDC’s online Field Guide at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/search.
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.
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.
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.
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.