How lucky we are that our Missouri Department of Conservation conserves game, fish and everything else in nature. I just read Maxine Stone’s wonderful new book, Missouri’s Wild Mushrooms, published by MDC. Last November we harvested three deer from our farm. All of the deer had been feeding heavily on oyster mushrooms, which we also enjoy. Properly caring for nature begins with knowing what things are. MDC has done a wonderful job of publishing materials that enhance our understanding and enjoyment of nature.
I also commend MDC for developing nature appreciation in our youth, as evidenced in the recent Conservationist articles Discover Nature Schools [August] and For the Love of Pine [June]. Thank you for continually giving us new resources for enjoying and discovering nature.
Dan Drees, Eminence
Thank you for recognizing Mike Brooks and the staff at the Andy Dalton Shooting Range in the August issue [Beyond the Classroom]. Two years ago, Springfield Public Schools partnered with Bass Pro Shops and Wonders of Wildlife to open the WOLF school (Wonders of the Ozarks Learning Facility) as a Choice school for 5th graders interested in the outdoors. Mike and his staff were there to piece together the foundations of our conservation science curriculum and plan our field experiences. With their help, the program was instantly successful. Since then, they have continued to support us overwhelmingly with time, equipment and expertise. Because they recognize the value of starting early, there are many more youth using and enjoying the Missouri outdoors who will carry their stewardship of fish, forest and wildlife resources into adulthood. When you have the kids, you have the family.
Sue Dyle, teacher, via Internet
I love your photo on the front of the September issue. You didn’t identify it other than as a Missouri forest but I knew exactly where it was taken. I’ve taken that same photo myself. I’ve been to Ha Ha Tonka several times and looked over this view, but the best time is in the fall when the leaves are as they appear in your photo. Ha Ha Tonka is a Missouri wonder and this old dead tree has been hanging on for a lot of years, I took my picture of it in 2001 on a 35mm camera. The best time to go is mid-October for the color. I’m betting I’m not the only one who recognizes this tree!
Elaine Herron, Warsaw
On Page 15 [September] is a photo of Barton Fen by David Stonner. Where is Barton Fen? Do you know how it was named?
William A. Sullivan, via Internet
Barton Fen is located along Neals Creek on the Ozark Trail south of Bixby. The photograph you are referencing was taken of the treeline along Neals Creek while I was standing in Barton Fen, and the photo is not of the marsh itself. I noticed a few road signs that said Ray Barton Road on them. I assume it was a historical family from the area, but I cannot be sure. A little searching turned up a Ray Barton from Bixby who lived from 1924 to 1995. Perhaps Barton owned the land on which the fen is located. —David Stonner, nature photographer
I got my September issue yesterday and only today have been able to get past the cover. Mr. Paothong’s photos are always wonderful but this will be the first time after many issues that I will have framed your cover. I have a passion for trees but especially love to see the old, gnarled, beautifully (in my eyes) shaped trees still sinking in their roots and living. Thank you so much...and now I’ll be able to go on and read the rest of the magazine.
Mary Ellen Burdick, via Internet