SIKESTON -- Ever wonder what nature sounds like when you're not able to hear it? Imagine if, for some reason, you couldn't hear today think about what you would see out in nature.
Would you be able to recognize a bird in the distance or in the dense forest? Would you know if there is running water nearby? Would you know if there is a turkey around before its gobbling became almost deafening?
Do you think it is impossible to enjoy nature without sounds? Think again.
Some people would prefer being blindfolded instead of not being able to hear because they enjoy the wondrous sounds of nature instead of its visual beauty.
Many treasures in nature are well hidden so sounds are important. But people are so busy trying to listen that often times they simply miss out on many things, often times they simply miss out on many things that are right in front of them. If things are quiet, you will be amazed by how much you will see and continue to wonder how the natural web of life works together.
The stillness of the forest can be really scary as if the earth has stopped moving.
Many of us don't realize that, even though it seems calm, the forest is really buzzing with activity.
The challenge of being deaf or hard of hearing is that we may not hear a pleated woodpecker nearby pecking away, the squirrels scraping about the canopy, beetles waving through a sea of grass or even a dew animal squeaking away in the canvas of the trees.
But we can enjoy the color and scent of the blooming flowers, the color, shape and sparkle of the prairie grasses, the sign and tracks that wildlife leave behind, the smell of the morning rain and the fresh air, the insects walking about and even a small tree frog enjoying its cool shade inside a log.
There are many ways of enjoying nature. Have you ever looked for nature's treasures?
They are wonderful to find. In order to find these treasures, one needs to know where to look and what to expect to find. We all have to be treasure hunters in the silent world of nature. Discovery of wildlife treasures is a priceless experience.
Wildlife treasure hunters use some artifacts, but having a basic knowledge about nature is essential.
Knowing things such as the seasons, for instance, hibernation, breeding season, hatching season, and so on, will assist you being a successful wildlife treasure hunter.
Besides the time of the year, knowing the different habitat requirements of most wildlife species is very useful, as well.
If you were to look for a bullfrog, knowing that it is most active from early spring through autumn would be very helpful. Discover what a bullfrog likes to eat. A bullfrog likes to eat worms, so where can worms be found? Could you find a bullfrog in the forest? No. Bullfrogs are mostly found in and around ditches and other bodies of water. Bingo! Now you know where to search for the treasure of a bullfrog.
Go out into the world, cover your ears and absorb the gifts that nature gives us or join us in any of the Missouri Department of Conservation's educational programs at any nature or visitor centers. Be sure to check the Website for program dates and times.
We look forward to sharing nature with you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact conservation agent Leother Branch at 573-471-5737.