Category: The Great Outdoors

Last year was a time of deep, deep, deep cleaning at the Johnson house. Imagine finding aged chemicals older than you. Camping fuel? Fertilizer? We had it all. But what do you do with it all, right? For those residents of Greene, Christian, Dallas, Polk and Webster counties, you make an appointment at the Household Chemical Collection Center and let them discard of the chemicals properly. For more information, visit their website. Make an appointment by calling 417.864.2000. The employees are so nice and so helpful. You drive up to the door, and they unload the items from your ride. Have questions about my experience? Comment below.

photograph Julie Johnson

According to Dr. Katie Kilmer, assistant professor of biology and health at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, lightning bugs/fireflies are specialized predators and feed on other insect larvae, snails and slugs. “They are important to help maintain a balanced ecosystem,” she says. Medically speaking, “lightning bugs create their light using two chemicals, luciferin and luciferase, both of which are used in research on cancer, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis and heart disease,” Dr. Kilmer says.

photograph + words JULIE JOHNSON

I have not been successful in identifying this insect. The flower, on the other hand, is a strawberry blonde calendula. Seeds were purchased from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Flowers are mixed in with both the flower garden and vegetable garden. Bees like them, but so do green worms. The plants do not seem to do well in super hot weather. Or, it could just be my plants.