Conservation Connection: Hunter’s Moon Hayrides

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Fall pumpkins, trick-or-treat, and hayrides; there’s a whole new world that comes to life when the sun goes down, and Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is giving you a unique way of discovering it.

Nicki Wheaton, a naturalist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, visits KPLR 11’s News at Noon to discuss the Hunter’s Moon Hayrides being offered this weekend.

Q. What’s happening at Columbia Bottom?
• Hunter’s Moon Hayrides
• Thursday, Oct. 20 and Friday, Oct. 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. both evenings
• Rides are free to the public.
• Rides depart 4 times during the night and last about an hour and a half
• A great way to experience the sights and sounds of the area under moonlight

Q. What is the Hunter’s Moon and why do they call it that?
• The next full moon that occurs after the Harvest Moon
• This year it will be October 16, just before the hayrides
• Tradition and folklore says the Hunter’s Moon gave hunters the extra light they needed to stalk nocturnal prey that came to fields foraging stubble left from the crop harvest

Q. What kinds of animal encounters could you have on the hayride?
• Coyotes
• Owls
• Possibly other birds?

Q. Anything else visitors should keep in mind?
• Registration required by calling 314-877-6014
• Don’t forget to check the weather and dress appropriately
• Accommodations for visitors with disabilities are also available with advanced notice

Q. Where is Columbia Bottom?
• 801 Strodtman Road in Spanish Lake
• Direction: Take the Riverview Drive exit three miles north from I-270