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Thursday, September 19, 2019
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    Moths… The Rodney Dangerfield’s of the Insect World

    No Respect, no respect at all…Unfortunately when most people think of moths they think of the small grey moths that flew out of grandma’s closet or your uncle’s wallet. Hopefully, after you have finished...

    Here Fishie Fishie

    Let me begin this week’s article with a few questions. How would you define a river? How is a stream different than a run? What is a brook? How about a wash, bayou, or...

    Shoo Fly: Black Fly Season In Ohio

    With spring finally here it is time to open the windows, air out the house, go outside, and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Take a trip out into the woodland or park to...

    Sentinels in the Snow

    Viewing the winter landscape does not have the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows of fall. It does not have the subtle shades of green we see in the summer. It looks naked, barren, and...

    Chipmunks

    For those of you who are old enough to remember the cartoon, Alvin and the Chipmunks, they were a trio of brothers who got into all sorts of mischief; the cartoon characters were not...

    The Unappreciated….Mosses and Lichens

    I know several people who work tirelessly in the background doing all the hard and dirty work, making sure the day to day activities get done, and keeping things running; but NEVER GET THE...

    Dragons

    Who needs to watch Game of Thrones to see dragons, just go out to the nearest meadow, stream or pond and you will be amazed to see all sorts of dragons flying around…dragonflies that...

    How old do you think Nelson Ledges is?

    Understanding the concept of time in seconds, minutes, days, years, and even centuries is easy for us to comprehend. However, the concept of geologic time is very hard for most of us to...

    The Quill Pig

    The porcupine, the second largest rodent in North America, is by far the prickliest. Its Latin name means “quill pig.” There are about two dozen porcupine species worldwide, and all boast a coat of...

    Sounds of Summer

    This edition of Nearby Nature marks the one hundredth article in our nature series. It is hard to believe that when Matt Sorrick and I started this endeavor it would have lasted this long. ...

    Signs of the Zodiac…Part I

    This is the last of our foray into astronomy, discussing the signs of the Zodiac. I will divide the 12 signs into two parts.  What we, who live in the 21st century, must realize...

    Constellations of the Summer Sky…Part II

    Well, we sure have had several nights during the past couple of weeks to really get a nice look at the night sky. Hopefully, you were able to make out the various stars and...

    Meet Bob, he is a cool cat!

    Bobcats, though seldom seen, are the most common wildcat in North America. The Bobcat, Lynx rufus, is named for its short, bobbed tail. They are medium-sized cats and are slightly smaller, but similar in...

    Cicadas Back by Popular Demand… Not!

    As we make the transition from spring into summer, the wildflowers are fading, flowering trees and shrubs are ablaze in color, and the mosquitoes, deer flies, and other insects are making their presence known...
    As promised, we will continue up the family tree of the toughest family on the block, the Mustelids.

    Minks and Otters

    As promised, we will continue up the family tree of the toughest family on the block, the Mustelids. This week we will be discussing the “middle “children of the family. But make no mistake,...

    Stuck in Ohio…And Proud Of It!!

    During my lifetime I have been blessed with many opportunities to experience nature and our natural world. I have been to National Parks from Maine to California, talked to God in a grove of...

    Smooth As Silk

    Within the natural world there are many spectacular things. But none more spectacular than to find the ethereal Luna moth or the massive Cecrcopia or Polyphemus moth. Theses giant moths can have a wing...
    Mice and voles live in the “subnivean” zone. The area between the snow pack and ground. The snow acts as an insulator from the cold temperatures and it also provides protection from predators.

    “It is not fit for man nor beast outside”

    The first time I heard that saying was when I was a little kid, it was 15 below, the wind howling, snow blowing and I was freezing. I wondered how the animals, insects, and...

    The Golden End of Summer

    Signs of fall abound, a chill is  in the air,  you can see and hear the familiar V formation of geese flying south, Monarchs flit among the flowers making their way to Mexico, and ...

    Bald Eagles In Ohio

    Since 1782, the mighty Bald Eagle has been the national emblem for the United States of America. Long before that it represented, and still represents, a spiritual symbol for Native Americans. Now that our July 4 celebrations are over, I thought we should learn a little more about this spectacular bird that reminds us of independence.

    I’m Batman

    Unfortunately when most people think of bats they are horrified with images of Dracula sucking the blood out of some poor woman’s neck.  They think of the caped crusader in the Bat Mobile saving...

    TrekOhio

    I can assure the readership that this will not be a critique of the famous Dickens novel of the same name, but a few ideas on how to make the most of your adventures when exploring Nearby Nature. When you go to the zoo you want to see the animals, the same can be said about hiking, camping, or fishing; you want to see and experience nature first hand. When the sun is shining, birds chirping, and you go out to experience nature, one of the most disappointing things that can happen is that by the end of the day all you have experienced is tired/aching legs and bug bites from your hike.

    A Walk in The Park

    If you are anything like Joe and me, we are big supporters of our county park systems. County parks provide us with beautiful natural places to hike, bike, canoe, picnic, sled ride, fish, bird...

    Harbingers of spring…The Great Morel

    Wow what a winter! It is like the children’s fairy tale “The Never Ending Story” instead we should call it “The Never Ending Winter.” To date, 93% of the Great Lakes are frozen and...

    The American Woodcock

    Have you noticed? It’s getting lighter closer to breakfast and is still light out after supper! The temperatures have warmed (albeit very slowly) but you know spring is around-the-corner now that the sap buckets...

    Favorites of the Feeders

    This has been a good winter for those of us who love cold and snow. It has also been a good winter to observe birds at the feeder. Winter birds are some of my...

    The Ghost of Christmas

    As we reflect on this past Thanksgiving holiday and get ready for the coming Christmas season, we want to begin this week’s segment with some reflections of our own; we are truly thankful for...

    Beavers

    As I write, the full Beaver Moon is dancing brightly behind passing clouds on a blustery Sunday (November 17) evening. Known as the Beaver Moon because this is the best time to set traps...

    Rocky Mountain High

    With school now well underway, this will be the last of our articles in our series of getting out and experiencing Nearby Nature. As Matt indicated in the last article when he took us...

    More One Tank Trips

    In the last installment of Nearby Nature we discussed the Portage Park District and the idea of one tank trips where you can go out and discover and explore some of the plants, birds,...

    Goldilocks in Reverse

    We all remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, where the bears come home to find “someone has been sleeping in my bed.” Well, during the months of June and July in...

    Beyond the four walls

    High school classrooms tend to follow a similar pattern: students arrive to class, sit in rows, listen to the teacher and take notes, memorize the information, and take the test. All of this is...

    Will that incessant noise ever stop!

    As we make the transition from spring into summer, the wildflowers are fading, flowering trees and shrubs are ablaze in color, and the mosquitoes, deer flies, and other insects are making their presence known...

    Special Places

    What makes a person care for and be good steward of the land? Connections with special places are a result of frequent visits over a long period of time. Whether it is a farm,...

    Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

    By this time of year the seed catalogs, fruit tree catalogs, and various outdoor planting publications are all dog eared, paper clipped, or marked in some fashion. You have been working on re-doing your...

    Stewardship

    Last article, we learned that those squishy, pink earthworms that we adore in our gardens are invasive and capable of dramatic changes in our natural habitats. We also learned what can be done to...

    Who would have thought…

    Since the inception of Nearby Nature, we have discussed many subjects relating to natural history, geology, plant and animal identification, places to experience nature, and many others. Like huge puzzle pieces so to speak,...

    “WILMA” where did all this ice come from!

    Remember Fred Flintstone, he was always blaming poor Wilma for all the stupid situations he and Barney had gotten themselves into. Well, unfortunately Fred can’t blame the Ice Age on Wilma this time.  As...

    “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes but having new...

    In many of our articles we hope to give our readers a new set of eyes so as they can discover “nature” as they have never seen it before.  Most of our readers have...

    Delightful and Sometimes Dangerous Decomposers

    Since mushrooms have been in the news of late, we thought we would try to enlighten our readers about one of the most unusual and extremely important organisms in nature. Ominous sounding names like...

    What’s in a name? “Geography 101”

    We all know the three most important factors in real estate: Location, location, location. What stories can the names of geographic locations tell? Most of our county names in northeast Ohio derive from significant...

    Lions and Tigers and Bears oh my….no dear it’s just a coyote!

    I can still vividly remember the first time I saw a coyote; it was at the gravel pit where I worked during the summer behind the Red Fox housing development in Shalersville. The game...

    Has this fall been more vibrant than others?

    Has this fall been more vibrant than others? The leaves have been changing colors since the last week of September and for the past three weeks have created the backdrop for truly breathtaking views...

    Bloodsuckers abound!

    We all know there are no such things as vampires. However, bloodsuckers exist and you should be alert to their presence. They can be very sneaky. Mosquitoes, three-corner flies, horse flies and many other...

    Summer Beacons of Joy!

    Close your eyes and think back to a warm summer night, the smell of a camp fire, roasting marshmallows or eating s’mores; when all of a sudden, a young voice yells out, “There one...

    Summer is not over! There is still time to plan another one-tank trip!

    During the summer months, our Nearby Nature articles have provided suggestions of favorite places to visit within 150 miles of Garrettsville (all right, some have been outside of the distance limit, but certainly worth...

    Where the rubber meets the road…….

    Since the inception of the Nearby Nature column, we have strived to enlighten our readers with what is going on in the natural world around us.-- trying to point out why certain events happen,...

    Let’s Hear It For The Trees!

    "May the trees continue to thrive and flourish on this earth, filling our hearts with joy and inspiration." -- Stephanie Kaza “Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come."--...

    Ready or not here they come!

    We thought we would begin this article with a few of  questions….What bird has breeding grounds in the Arctic and flies to its non-breeding grounds in Antarctica and then returns to the Arctic to...

    Nearby Nature

    Global climate change on your mind lately? Several days in the 80’s in March might cause you to consider its validity. Well, it shouldn’t because the unseasonable warmth we have experienced throughout March (actually...