Category Archives: Outdoor/Nature

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Vandalism Couldn’t Keep Him Down: Smokey Bear Returns To Rockwoods Reservation In Wildwood

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

Smokey Bear returned home to Rockwoods Reservation in Wildwood recently. His homecoming is thanks to a partnership between the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) and the Metro West Fire Protection District of St. Louis County.

Smokey’s Journey…

In August 2015, Smokey Bear was stolen from his post along Route 109 in an apparent act of vandalism.  Part of the mascot turned up about a week later in a local junkyard, but there was not enough left to put back up.

According to MDC Forestry District Supervisor Gus Raeker, the facility received a number of calls expressing concern over the disappearance of the local icon.

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Bees Take Up Residence In Florissant Parking Lot

This was the scene in a Florissant parking lot on April 24 – Bees swarming in a tree outside several businesses. The sight created quite a stir. People were taking photos, and gathering outside business entries to watch the spectacle. Watchers wondered what the bees were doing and why they decided to do it in that spot.

We don’t have answers to those questions, but it was an unusual and interesting sight to see.

Photos by Holly Shanks.

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Redear Sunfish: New State Record Caught By O’Fallon Resident

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports James Lucas of O’Fallon became the most recent record-breaking angler in Missouri after catching a redear sunfish from a private pond in Lincoln County.

The “alternative method” record fish was caught by Lucas on March 24 and weighed 1 pound, 1 ounce. The previous state record was 6-ounces, caught in 1996.
Read more from the MDC release below.

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Outdoor Passion & Beauty Meet In The Night Sky

Pictured: Dan Zarlenga, the St. Louis Regional Media Specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Dan Zarlenga is the guest on this week’s Environmental Echo podcast series.

Zarlenga, the St. Louis Regional Media Specialist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, has a unique hobby – he photographs the star filled night sky while incorporating night-time landscapes. The photographs are stunning!

In the podcast interview, Zarlenga shares his technique, how long it took to learn the craft of nighttime photography, and his passion for the outdoors.

All photos courtesy Dan Zarlenga.

 

The topic of light pollution and how it affects wildlife and the environment is also briefly discussed. Find out more about light pollution at the International Dark Sky Association – HERE.

To hear the interview with Dan Zarlenga and Holly Shanks click continue reading below.

 

 

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From Pocket Parks to Our Beloved Forest Park Author Carver Chronicles 600 Parks of St. Louis

A new book by Nancy Carver, Discovering Public Parks in St. Louis, Missouri, has put hundreds of St. Louis County and St. Louis City parks in one combined reference place. The details of each park are included and readers get a glimpse into elements, such as the history, sculptures, amenities, special features, size, location, and little-known facts about each park. The book is comprehensive and incorporates all parks, whether federal, state, city, county, or neighborhood.

“Only three other major cities have more parks than St. Louis City and County combined. Only three other major cities have a signature park with more visitors than our Forest Park.”

Carver shares insights with Don Corrgian about her new book, and how St. Louis parks and the parks system developed, and why St. Louis should be considered a premier city with access to numerous local parks and green spaces.

Listen to the interview below.

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Suburban Memories Of The New Year’s Eve Twister

Photo courtesy James Kramper, NWS. (Tornado in the photo does not represent the Fenton, Crestwood, or Sunset Hills 2010 twister.)

Environmental Echo’s Editors Note: Starting the week of May 22, Environmental Echo will begin a series of weekly podcasts about the most destructive tornadoes to ever hit Missouri. The stories will be based on the research by Don Corrigan for his book, “Show Me … Nature’s Wrath,” and he will be interviewed by Holly Shanks of Environmental Echo. Stay Tuned.

The first tornado covered will be the half-minute hurricane that beat down St. Charles. We hope you will add to the conversation by posting your own observations about Missouri’s tornadic tales. Should Missouri be included in Tornado Alley?

Read about the New Year’s Eve Twister that hit Fenton, Sunset Hills and Crestwood below…

Missouri marked its annual Severe Weather Awareness Week this past March. Residents of Fenton,  Sunset Hills and Crestwood, who recall the New Year’s Eve tornado of 2010, don’t necessarily need a “heads up” that the skies can turn deadly in an instant.

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Live Web Cam: Unique Peek At Peregrine Falcon & Five Falcon Eggs In Nest At Ameren Sioux Power Center

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

Anyone with access to a computer, tablet or smartphone and an internet connection can eavesdrop into the secret lives of the fastest creatures on Earth, thanks to the Falcon Watch partnership between the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Ameren Missouri and the World Bird Sanctuary (WBS).

Access the Falcon Watch live stream HERE.

Read more from the MDC release below.

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Missouri’s Paddlefish Season Opens March 15

MDC is in its third year of a five-year tagging project to help monitor paddlefish numbers and improve species management. Department staff are placing metal jaw tags on up to 6,000 paddlefish netted in Lake of the Ozarks, Truman Lake, and Table Rock Lake and up to 1,000 netted from the Mississippi River. Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

MDC is in its third year of a five-year tagging project to help monitor paddlefish numbers and improve species management. Department staff are placing metal jaw tags on up to 6,000 paddlefish netted in Lake of the Ozarks, Truman Lake, and Table Rock Lake and up to 1,000 netted from the Mississippi River. Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

Missouri’s annual spring paddlefish snagging season starts soon! The season is a popular pastime for thousands of anglers in the state. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is in its third year of a five-year tagging project to help monitor paddlefish numbers and improve species management. If you head out to Missouri lakes to enjoy the spring paddlefish season, don’t forget to help out by reporting tagged paddlefish and to NOT remove tags from undersized or released paddlefish.

The state’s major paddlefish snagging waters include Lake of the Ozarks, Truman Lake, and Table Rock Lake, according to the MDC. The paddlefish snagging season for these and most other waters in the state runs March 15 through April 30. The season for the Mississippi River is March 15 through May 15 with a fall season of Sept. 15 through Dec. 15. (Read more from the MDC’s press release below.)

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Fenton Resident Catches Record-Breaking Shad

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

Photo by MDC Staff, courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reports Riley Nolan of Fenton became the recent record-breaking angler in Missouri when he gigged a gizzard shad on the Big River in Jefferson County.

“Believe it or not, that shad was the only fish my dad and I got that evening,” he said.

See more of the MDC story below.

 

 

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Missourians Encouraged To Participate In Severe Weather Awareness Week & Statewide Tornado Drill

Picture courtesy James Kramper, National Weather Service.

Picture courtesy James Kramper, National Weather Service.

Missourians are urged to participate in this year’s  Severe Weather Awareness Week coming up March 6 -10, and the statewide tornado drill on Tues., March 7, at 10 a.m., to be prepared for the deadly hazards posed by tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flooding and lightning.

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