Discover Nature

Every week there are new marvels to look for in the outdoors, and Discover Nature highlights these attractions. The Missouri Department of Conservation’s Candice Davis brings us the stories of river otters, luna moths, red buds, and other actors as they take center stage in nature’s theater.

This timely and topical program is the audio counterpart of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Natural Events Calendar.

You can hear Discover Nature, Mondays at 7:31 a.m. and 5:18 p.m.

Natural Centerpieces

Nov 22, 2015
Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

November 22 - November 28

Discover Nature this week by including nature in your holiday festivities.

Ever notice how even the most pricy centerpiece for a holiday table is usually made to represent nature? You can do the same thing – minus the price – and build a family tradition at the same time.

Candice Davis

Discover Nature this week and a natural mystery called lichen.

"United we stand, divided we fall". And so it is with lichens.

A lichen is made up of two unrelated organisms: a fungus and an algae. If the fungus and the algae were divided, the lichen would no longer exist. 

The fungus gives the lichen form and shape -- it also holds water and slows evaporation. The algae, a green plant, provides food for the fungus.

Lichens look like nature's living carpet and are often seen covering rocks and trees in Missouri's Ozark region.

Missouri Department of Conservation

November 6 - 12  

Discover Nature this week and the value of a rodent.

Though some folks scream and climb the highest point possible when they see a rodent,  there isn't a reason to avoid native rodent species according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The term "rodent" may raise images of disease-infested vermin living in garbage-strewn alleys. Actually, most of the negative images arise from two unwelcome imports -- the house mouse and the Norway rat. These old-world immigrants are not typical of native rodents, though. 

Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

November 1 - November 7

This week we can Discover Nature through conflict management.

Fox and Gray squirrels are among the most commonly observed Missouri animals. Because they populate as many towns and cities as they do forests, conflicts occur year-round when humans and squirrels live in close proximity. This time of year, squirrels look for a warm place to avoid the cold weather, and unfortunately they’ll often choose an accessible attic as their favorite shelter.

Snow Geese

Oct 23, 2015
Missouri Department of Conservation


October 25 - October 31

Discover Nature this week as Snow goose populations peak at Missouri’s wetland areas.

Snow geese travel through Missouri during their migration from the subarctic and arctic tundra breeding grounds to the coastal marshes, bays and southern wet grasslands where they spend the winter months. These medium sized, gleaming white geese make a great subjects for nature photography. Though most snow geese are white, they do have other color phases, too.