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.

Local support for Discover Nature is provided by Adam Gohn, Attorney at Law.

Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

His streamlined body maneuvers through the barely moonlit water as he extends those sensitive cat-like whiskers from a silvery muzzle searching for a suitable midnight snack.

He is a river otter, who just a century ago, you wouldn’t have seen in or near Missouri waterways. Otters were nearly eliminated in Missouri because of unregulated harvest. Thanks to restoration efforts in the 1980s and early 1990s otters are once again found throughout most of our state.

Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

Step outside this week and discover nature as male red-winged blackbirds arrive and claim their territories. This bird is thought to be the most abundant bird species in North America and nearly every cattail marsh in Missouri hosts them at some time of the year. They’ll also claim residence in wet meadows and ditches and shoreline shrubs.

Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

March 1 - March 6

Discover nature this week as western chorus frogs alert us to the coming spring. Natural “antifreeze” in their blood keeps them from freezing as they overwinter in shallow burrows in the ground. Now we can listen for calls like a thumbnail drug across a comb - or a longer and lower pitched noise from the related upland chorus frog.

Invest in Trees

Feb 18, 2018
Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

Discover Nature this week as you discover the diverse value of our native trees.

"As strong as an oak."

It's a saying that's spanned generations. Traditionally, we associate oaks and other trees with children's tree houses and as food and shelter for wildlife. But have you ever considered trees as a valuable tool for your financial portfolio?

Missouri Department of Conservation. / KRCU

February 14 - February 20

Discover Nature this week as turkey vultures begin arriving to our state.

I remember seeing these big birds many times as a child and wondering at the size of them as they circled in the sky. Last year, however, I got an up close look at several of them, when I rounded a turn on one of our many country roads. When you can see them at close range, it is easy to see a small resemblance to a wild turkey, and difficult to imagine how something so grotesque can be so valuable to our ecosystem.