Thank you for your excellent publications, the Missouri Conservationist and Xplor. The articles are informative and the pictures are beautiful.
Last summer, my then 4-year-old daughter and I started cutting out pictures of birds, flowers, and plants that are featured in the magazines. We put them in a binder, and now we have a pretty good little identification guide. She loves helping me identify the birds that visit our feeders and the plants we find on our walks.
Mary Tanck, Pleasant Hill
To Heaven and Back
I really enjoyed Brett Dufur’s writing about the Upper Jacks Fork [March; To Heaven and Back on the Upper Jacks Fork]. Granted, that stream is beautiful, but his writing was exquisite. Very vivid descriptions that put the reader right there. I smiled at the sycamore branch trying to snatch his river hat and at the turtles ambling the underwater gravel bed. His use of alliteration and onomatopoeia was refreshing. Some of the phrasing and sentiment was inspiring. His article caused me to start planning on exploring Jacks Fork and looking for his next article in the Missouri Conservationist.
Deb Johnoff, via Internet
Catch a trout
Thank you for the Opening Day story in your March issue. Larry Beckett motivated me to get out and go fishing on March 9. I did not make it to a trout park, but I did get a limit at Mckay Park in Jefferson City. Your cover photo was inspiring and the Catch a Trout piece on Page 9 was perfect. The Missouri Department of Conservation makes Missouri a great state. Keep it up.
Mike Miller, Columbia
Mr. Smith: I just want to thank you for your column in the Missouri Conservationist. “Ask the Ombudsman” is the first thing I turn to every time I receive this publication. I learn something new each time and I share it with my wife, son,
and daughter. Very informative and interesting!
Adam Burkemper, via Internet
Close, but not quite
I am wondering if the shallow holes in the tree in your last issue [March; ”Ask the Ombudsman”] may not have been made by the yellow-bellied sapsucker as it was a dead area of the tree. Also, the holes were not in the usual circumscribing line pattern. Maybe trial probes made by another of the woodpecker family?
Robert H. Forister, Bloomfield
Ombudsman’s Note: You are correct, there was a photo mix-up. The spacing and the fact that they are in dead wood both point to some other woodpecker than a sapsucker. Please see the accompanying photo for the correct pattern.
In the April ”Agent Notes” there was an incorrect line on catfishing regulations. Our first bullet point after “When setting trotlines, limb lines, or bank lines in public waters, there are several regulations that need to be followed,” reads “Anyone over the age of 15 must possess a valid fishing permit, except Missouri residents 65 years or older... .” This should have been (and was originally written correctly by Matt Spurgeon), ”All persons must possess a valid fishing permit, except residents of Missouri 65 years or older.”
Reader Photo: Lunch Date
Donna R. Hansen of Waynseville captured this picture of an American avocet at Blue’s Lake, a small lake in the Rolla area where Hansen likes to take walks over her lunch hour. “As I began my walk this particular day, I immediately noticed a bird in the water close to the shoreline I had never seen before,” said Hansen. “I was very excited! I spent my whole lunch hour photographing this beauty.” A friend at the local chapter of the Audubon Society told Hansen that this was the first recorded sighting of the shorebird in Phelps County. “I have been lucky enough to photograph bald eagles flying over Blue’s Lake, and I have also photographed blue herons and various ducks and geese there,” said Hansen. “My husband and I love hiking, and I take my camera along whenever we are outdoors. We frequent many of Missouri’s conservation areas and are truly grateful to live in a state with such beautiful resources.”