One day, you’re sitting and enjoying the outdoors, when a cardinal appears. It lacks the traditional bright red coloring characteristic of its species. Instead, it is mostly white with faint whispers of red. Your first thought may be “An albino cardinal!” This sight would be a rare one indeed, but upon closer inspection, this bird […]

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Did you know that the Shaker Trace Loop trail at Miami Whitewater Forest is nearly eight miles of paved, shared-use trail that winds through prairies, wetlands and woods? Whether you run, walk or pedal, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to see the amazing flora and fauna in these habitats. Spring, summer and fall they are […]

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Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis)

Stripes may look good on your cat, but don’t get the striations from Mephitis mephitis mixed up with your pet. You might end up with an acrid stench you won’t be able to easily get rid of. About the same size as the average pet cat, striped skunks have a small head and short legs. […]

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Spotted Salamander

If you were to make a list of animals rarely seen in our area, you probably would not put a salamander on that list. However, spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) are one our region’s most elusive finds. Surprisingly, it is not due to their rarity. But rather, their lifestyle. Scientists group spotted salamanders into a family […]

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Look at a map of Winton Lake (Figure 1), Miami Whitewater Forest Lake (Figure 2) or Sharon Lake (Figure 3), and you will notice the irregular, elongated shape of these bodies of water. They appear stretched out and contorted with pointy branches that extend in different directions. In fact, these distinctive features are an indication […]

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In 2003, the state of Ohio had an estimated 3.8 billion ash trees existing in our forests, woodlots and in our own backyards. Today, that is not the case. The emerald ash borer (EAB) has swept across our state at record pace and is wiping out ash trees where they stand. EAB was first detected near Toledo […]

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