August 20, 2014


Findley State Park

No fancy set-ups are necessary for fishing fun here. A pole, a hook, a bobber and a worm will get you in the game. Boats may be rented at the concession stand, or you can fish right from the shore.

The events of the past week sparked a memory in my mind. I recall coming home from Oklahoma in 1999, the tornado that had touched down in Moore fresh in my mind. The sights of misery and destruction, the close calls and the too close calls all muddied up my mind, so many changes in Read More…

Bird Watching Sandy Ridge

Wood ducks, although uncommon in other local ponds and parks, are among the
confirmed nesters at Sandy Ridge Reservation and may be seen there often.

  I have an old notebook of my grandfather’s, the fruit farmer. It contains some ramblings about the neighbors, a lot of details about different varieties of apples and how they did from season to season, but in the margins and on the odd page, he writes about birds and wildlife he saw in the Read More…

Don Miller Memorial Fishing Party

Measuring Bluegill

As a kid growing up in Elyria, I read Don Miller’s “Afloat and Afield” column with relish. His words in the pages of the Chronicle Telegram spread out on my living room floor took me into another world, way beyond what little nature I knew in the woods behind Spring Valley Elementary. When Dad took Read More…

Oh say can you see…Canada?


    As school kids, teachers told us that it’s impossible to see beyond two miles because of the curvature of the earth. Dutifully, we believed it. But then we find there are exceptions, like when you’re higher off the ground, in a building or on an airplane. And of course it’s easier to see Read More…

Carly Bachna 2

It’s Sunday morning, and I know I should be in church. But it’s the day before the opening of Turkey Season and I’ve hardly done any scouting. I’m in the Richland Furnace State Forest, deeeeeep in Southern Ohio (Vinton/Jackson Counties). I got in the woods long before day light and hiked up the ATV trails Read More…

Sand Hill Cranes

If you haven’t seen our Sand Hill Cranes, you are encouraged to get to Sandy Ridge Metroparks Reservation in North Ridgeville. Bring your binoculars, your camera, and your walking shoes, and don’t forget to dress for the weather.

If you follow Abbe Road far enough south, they call it “Elyria Road”. Past Route 30, the Wooster –Mansfield parallel, where it becomes a twisty turny farm path through the peat bogs and past the Amish farms, to a spot where all the waters collect. It’s a place called Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area; maybe the Read More…

Gear Check

Mayapples, trilliums, distant gobbles and rainstorms will greet the woodsy this spring. You’re ready, is your gear ready?

Life is an adventure, but you have to make it happen. I break out of cabin fever like a madman just sprung from prison.  It’s not just the opportunity to be in the outdoors without freezing, but it’s a chance to see nature’s fireworks show without having to get up and leave every time the Read More…

Late Season Bird Hunts

Dr Tom Mahl shooting pheasant

A twenty mile an hour wind is whipping through the foxtails and the switch grass as I lie on my belly in the snow. Propped up on my elbows, I hold a camera I scarcely know how to use, but offers me the best chance at getting a decent shot. About three feet in front Read More…


Jousting armor weighs up to 150 pounds, so it helps to have a Squire (or three) assist with your equipment.

I would like to tell you that once the armor is fitted, the helmet goes on and once the visor is down, Charlie Andrews is all business, but that wouldn’t be the truth. Equal parts champion and court jester his six foot four, two hundred and fifty pound frame mounted on a war horse makes Read More…


Mapleing is the process of tapping a Maple tree’s fluids, pouring it into huge collecting tanks, boiling it down to a thicker sugary syrup, pouring it off and starting again.

I received a proper grammatical education in the Elyria City Schools, and I know the difference between a noun and a verb because of those good teachers. That being said, I don’t know how to convey, in a single word, the process of tapping a tree’s fluids, pouring it into huge collecting tanks, boiling it Read More…