Reflections

Schoolhouse memories

"Conservation and Country Schools" by James Jackson rekindled memories of my participation as a Missouri Nature Knight during 1952 and 1953, after our seventh-grade teacher enrolled our class in the program. I still have my Nature Knight badge.

Joe Jeter

Stoutland

"Conservation and Country Schools" brought back many memories for me. I attended one of those one-room schoolhouses in Marion County, and that experience helped me appreciate conservation. Our Salem School was surrounded by woods filled with beautiful wildflowers in the spring. During recesses, we picked flowers and took them home to our mothers. We had great fun!

Salem School closed years ago, but someone now lives in the building and the woods still grow beautiful wildflowers and many cedar trees. I always go by to see it when I get to Marion County.

Anita S. Gorman, Kansas City

Catching on

Your magazine comes to our extended care unit each month, and we certainly do enjoy it. Especially of interest to us was the article "Catching on to Fishing" because the author, Dr. Richard Bowles, is one of our physicians here in West Plains. How this did bring back memories to several of our residents.

Melba Webb, Ozark Medical Center

It was with great surprise and disappointment that I read "Catching on to Fishing," which featured a cigar-smoking father fishing with his young son in one of Missouri's fine streams. The closing question of the son when he asked for the cigar prompted this letter.

Recently released studies by the National Cancer Institute document the intense results of harmful nicotine and other carcinocenic compounds consumed from cigars.

We can certainly promote thoroughly fun and healthy outings for Missouri's families without featuring addictive habits for youth.

Bernard P. Malone, Missouri Department of Health

Editor's note: The author, currently a family physician, was writing of a time when the smoking of a cigar was a recognized right-of-passage from boyhood to manhood. We credit our readers with the ability to distinguish between what people used to do and what now constitutes a healthy lifestyle, given the state of our knowledge about the dangers of smoking.

Bigger combo

You listed the prices of combined hunting and fishing licenses in bordering states to show that Missouri's fee was a bargain. I'm not familiar with the other states, but Arkansas' $35.50 combined hunting and fishing permit includes small game, fishing, three deer taken with a rifle or bow and a turkey. Missouri's combination permit only includes small game and fishing.

Danny Taylor, Steele

vanes ok for geese

The goose weather vane photo in your June issue is excellent, but the text beneath it is in error. According to federal migratory waterfowl regulation 20.21, shooting geese with an arrow is legal during the normal hunting season by correctly licensed hunters.

John Meyer, Columbia

Chigger solution

Nice tip on the mix to fight chiggers. Here's another: Clear fingernail polish works good. It helps control the itch and does in the chigger.

Ron Hawks, Hotchkiss, Colo.

Nacht musik

"Eine Kleine Nacht Musik" by Holly Ann Atkinson is an interesting and informative article about Missouri's Orthoptera that doesn't sacrifice the poetic. Congratulations for publishing an article that sings like its subjects of crickets and katydids.

Fred Pfister, Branson

Turtle chronology

In your May issue, you have a picture of a turtle without eye sockets that has survived 14 years. How do you determine the age of turtles?

Pat Flippo, Morrison

Editor's note: Biologists pick one large scale from the lower shell and count outwards from the inside smallest ring. That tells them to within 2 or 3 years the age of the turtle. This system works for almost all Missouri turtles, except for soft shells, which have no scales.

"Justin" case

Even though I've lived in Florida for almost 20 years, I still miss Kansas City and my childhood's favorite fishing hole of Table Rock Lake.

One of the novels I use in my classroom is "Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World," and your magazine is very useful in helping my Floridian fourth graders see what type of wildlife and the different terrains the characters had to contend with in the story. Bet you didn't know you had so many out of-state fans.

Linda (Garrison) Flagg, Lithia, Fla.

AGENT'S NOTEBOOK

Missourians know there's no better way to leave cares behind than to take a leisurely summer float with family or friends down a clear Ozark stream.

Most floaters pass through, like the water itself, leaving the river in the same condition they found it. However, a few people inadvertently or maliciously mark their journey by leaving behind pieces, piles or a trail of litter.

We learn as children that it is wrong to litter. It's wrong in the sense of being against the laws of the state, which stipulate that a person commits the crime of littering if he or she throws or places, or causes to be thrown or placed any glass cans, garbage, trash, refuse or rubbish of any kind on public property, in or on waters of the state and the banks thereof, or on any private property owned by another without his consent.

Not only is littering a prosecutable offense, it also is a crime against other people. Litter left behind is an eyesore, an irritation and sometimes a hazard to the people who pass after us.

Good citizenship and good neighborliness require that we carry away from the river whatever we took to it. It doesn't take much effort to bring along a litter bag or to use the one that usually is supplied by canoe outfitters. Don't mar our natural beauty. Show as much respect for our wonderful rivers as you would like the person who went before you to show.