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Discover Nature: Thanksgiving In Missouri's Outdoors

Fog rises above and clouds reflect on the surface of the Missouri River in autumn near Weldon Spring; trees show fall color on wooded hills of riverbank.
Missouri’s outdoors are teeming with life. This week, take time to appreciate our natural areas with a walk in the woods, a fall float trip, or the tastes and smells of a wild harvest on a Thanksgiving dinner table. ";

This week on Discover Nature, take a moment to admire and appreciate Missouri’s many gifts from nature.

Picture the vast geography of our state, as avian migrations pass over our prairies and plains, Ozark forests, big river systems, and marshy lowlands; the karst sinkholes and cave systems that filter our water below our feet and harbor sightless, unseen lifeforms.

Each ecoregion supporting its own array of animal and plant species that have constituted our state’s natural heritage from long before settlers set foot on Missouri soil.

From bald eagles to wild turkeys and white-tailed deer – all once nearly eliminated from our state – countless natural communities here, again abound with wildlife.

As autumn leaves lay a colorful carpet on lawns and woodlands, look closer and observe the tiny wonders of insects and invertebrates, microbes and mushrooms, turning leaf litter into lawn fodder, and fertilizing the forest floor.

This week, in the woods, on the water, or gathered around a wild harvest at the dinner table, pause, and give thanks for the many ways Missouri’s great outdoors feed us and keep us connected.
Find great ways to get outside and discover nature near you with the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Discover Nature page, and keep up with daily happenings in the outdoors with MDC’s Natural Events Calendar. 

Discover Nature is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Kyle Felling was born in the rugged northwest Missouri hamlet of St. Joseph (where the Pony Express began and Jesse James ended). Inspired from a young age by the spirit of the early settlers who used St. Joseph as an embarkation point in their journey westward, Kyle developed the heart of an explorer and yearned to leave for adventures of his own. Perhaps as a result of attending John Glenn elementary school, young Kyle dreamed of becoming an astronaut, but was disheartened when someone told him that astronauts had to be good at math. He also considered being a tow truck driver, and like the heroes of his favorite childhood television shows (The A-Team and The Incredible Hulk) he saw himself traveling the country, helping people in trouble and getting into wacky adventures. He still harbors that dream.
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