Photo was taken by Mark Zloba.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
A little history (from Ohio Audubon Society's website):
The first Christmas Bird Count had 27 volunteer participants who counted birds in 25 distinct count circles across 13 different states and two Canadian provinces. They collectively counted 18,500 individual birds and 90 total species. Today there are nearly 50,000 volunteer CBC observers throughout the world, including groups that participate right here in Adams County.
To get involved in a Christmas Bird Count near you, click here.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
- Field guides - Fantastic for anyone with an interest in nature, field guides are now available for birds, wildflowers, trees, reptiles, amphibians, fish, butterflies, mammals, and many, many other topics. When buying a field guide, the most important considerations are 1) the level of expertise of the user and 2) the geographical range of the guide (a guide to the birds of the southwestern United States will not be much help here in Adams County).
- Water bottle - Consider a metal water bottle instead of plastic, (plastic bottles can leach a substance called bisphenol-A (BPA), which is suspected of messing with our hormones.
- Pocket knife - Out on the trail, far from your house or car, a little knife can come in mighty handy sometimes.
- Binoculars - Consider a pair that is water-resistant and durable, like Nikon's Monarch ATB model, which sell for around $270.00.
- First aid kit - Don't bother with a "space blanket", waterproof matches, or band aides. Soak some cotton balls with Vaseline, store them in a film canister, buy a "metal match" and put it in the kit. Use the metal match to ignite the cotton balls, which will burn several minutes while you add tinder for a fire. For shelter, throw in some neon orange contractor-grade trash bags (just crawl inside to stay dry and trap body heat if you're stuck outdoors overnight - the orange color helps others find you more easily, too). Include a whistle and you're set.
- Travel pack - Toting field guides, a water bottle, pocket knife, binoculars, and a first aid kit is made much easier with a comfortable pack that fits snugly around your waist or on your back.
Enjoy the outdoors in 2010!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The U.S. Corps of Engineers is considering granting permission to a private company, Nugent Sand of Louisville, KY, to dredge sand from the Ohio River near Portsmouth, Ohio. "So what?" you ask. The problem with this is three-fold: first, taking away sand from the river will almost certainly result in erosion on the bank, threatening the property of folks living close to the waters' edge. Second, filtering sand from the river bed will stir up thousands of tons of muck, which will be allowed to wash downstream, wrecking havoc on ecosystems below the dredge site. And third, pulling up sediment will disturb existing benthic (bottom-dwelling) creatures, especially freshwater mussels. Mussels have had a rough time of it since European settlement in the Ohio River Valley. They have been exploited for their shells (used to make buttons before plastics were supplemented around WWII), suffocated in silt, and displaced by rising water levels when the Ohio was dammed.
To have your say in the outcome of the decision whether or not to allow dredging for profit near Portsmouth, you can attend a public meeting at the West Portsmouth High School at 6pm on Thursday, December 10.