We've visited a number of Ohio parks, nature centers and wildlife preserves during our travels, and I've often picked up an issue of Ohio Division of Wildlife's magazine when we've stopped by a park or nature center office.
But did you know that you can download PDF versions of the magazine, as well as access a treasure trove of other free goodies online at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources site?
There is something at the site for everyone, from parents looking for activities and study materials for their young children, to lifelong birders, hunters and fishers, or cooks.
Wild Ohio Magazine publishes quarterly in March, June, September and December and is available at the site as PDF files going all the way back to 2006.
The Spring 2011 issue is already online and includes stories about the rejuvenation of the Cuyahoga River, hunting for arrowheads and other artifacts in Ohio, visiting cemeteries to observe migrant birds and learn a little history of an area, and recipes for walleye and turkey stir fry dinners.
There is also a yearly version of Wild Ohio for Kids magazine geared to younger grade school children. The most recent edition (2010) focuses on wildlife journaling activities and includes instructions for starting a wildlife life list (where you record all of the species of wildlife you see throughout the years), a feature on worms and building a Worm Hotel to observe the worms' role in decomposition, as well as a few wildlife photography tips and other wildlife watching activities.
There are tons of other free resources at the site. Check out a few that I found during a recent search:
- Do you want to learn more about that opossum you saw last night? The site has a three-page pamphlet that describes the animal, its habitat, habits, characteristics, and viewing opportunities throughout Ohio. Check out the Wildlife Publications section for informational guides about the opossum and many other animals indigenous to Ohio.
- The Wildlife Publications section also includes identification guides, an A-Z species guide (where many of the articles include enlargeable pictures of the animals' tracks), as well as maps, hunting and fishing information, and wildlife management brochures.
- Check the Photo Gallery section where you'll find a list of tips for taking great wildlife photos from your own home by Ohio Division of Wildlife staff photographer Tim Daniel and a small collection of free desktop wallpapers and a screensaver. The meadowlark wallpaper is currently gracing my desktop as I write this.
- Interested in a wildlife career? The site has plenty of information about careers in the field and requirements for various positions.
- Check out the Wild Ohio Cookbook for hundreds of wild game recipes (there are nearly 60 recipes in the fish section alone).
- Get a close-up view of a falcon's nest on the ledge of a 41st floor window at a building in downtown Columbus with the site's Falcon Cam links to streaming video or frequently refreshed still photos.
- You could literally spend hours checking out the site, but why not click on the Calendar of Events link for a lengthy list of outdoor-related events and get outside!
The Ohio DNR site is such a great resource, even for those of us who do not live in Ohio, that I had to share it here. Check it out!
Also, be sure to check out my previous stories about visiting some of Ohio's premiere birding areas at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and Magee Marsh, walking the nature trail at Maumee Bay State Park, and hiking and photographing at Hocking Hills State Park.
© Dominique King 2011 All rights reserved