July 24, 2014

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The tale of two tails
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 6:58 PM


I am a dog and puppy lover and treat my dogs like members of my family. We probably all do.

However, when I was growing up, we always had outside dogs. Grandpa always named our dogs Rover.

We had Rover 1, Rover 2 and Rover 3. Rover 1 bit people; Rover 2 got loose, went to the neighbors and killed sheep; and Rover 3 succumbed to natural causes.

As an adult, I love dogs and puppies, and especially like little house dogs. We have a Shih-Tzu named Baylee. Earlier this summer, our other dog, a weiner dog named Brownie, passed away at age 20. The two dogs were very close and old Brownie was a very nurturing adult dog when Baylee was a pup.

It's not heaven, but it's Ohio
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 6:57 PM

By Jim Langham

I still remember the famous line from the movie, “Field of Dreams,” when one of the baseball players that came to an Iowa farm and played on actor Kevin Costner’s cornfield baseball field asked the question, “Is this heaven?”

To that, Costner proudly responded, “No, it’s Iowa.”

I thought of that line on Sunday afternoon when Joyce and I took a traditional Sunday afternoon drive through one of our favorite rustic parts of Paulding County.

Following a scrumptious ham dinner at a little café in Antwerp, I turned left instead of right when I exited around the piles of snow beside the parking lot of the small eatery.

Gypsum, for field application
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 6:56 PM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist Paulding SWCD

A soil biochemist at OSU’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Science, says applying fluidized gas desulfurization gypsum to crop fields can keep soluable phosphorus, the main nutrient feeding the algae, from being washed from the soil by heavy rains and then running off into streams and rivers and eventually, the lake.

Gypsum is an abundant by product from coal burning plants. The scrubbers remove sulfur dioxide which would cause acid rain from the plants’ exhaust emissions. The process creates large amounts of quality gypsum as a byproduct. This form of gypsum, known as FGD gypsum, is powdery and resembles flour, and can be applied using conventional farm spreaders. It costs $35 to $50 per ton to spread on a field with a typical application rate being one ot two tons per acre every two or three years.

For the love of plants
Wednesday, February 05, 2014 9:32 AM

By Kylee Baumle

Last week, as I was relishing our final days in beautiful Ecuador, I had impure thoughts. It’s not what you think. Surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers at nearly every turn, the first thing that came to mind was, “How can I get some of those home with me?”

Because of the ideal growing conditions that their location at the equator affords them, as well as having the Andes mountains, the Pacific coast and the Amazon rain forest, Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse places on earth. It is a plant lover’s paradise.

That also makes it pure torture, as U.S. laws don’t allow travelers to transport live plants into the country.  Don’t think that I didn’t consider sneaking some in though, because I did. I even went as far as purchasing two plants, just knowing that I could pull it off.

Bobcats, coyotes and bears, oh my!
Wednesday, February 05, 2014 9:31 AM

Mark Holtsberry

Education Specialist Paulding SWCD

Earlier this month, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife proposed to the Ohio Wildlife Council removing the bobcat from the state’s threatened species list. The feline predator, which can weigh up to 40 pounds, has slowly been returning to Ohio and other Midwestern states since the 1970s.

The bobcat is just one of several larger mammal species making fresh inroads into Ohio these days.

I Love You
Wednesday, February 05, 2014 9:30 AM


By Nancy Whitaker

I have a secret. I seem to just love everybody. That doesn’t mean I am “in love” with everyone, but I am very fortunate to have a lot of different loves in my life.

Do you remember your first love? Well, I do. I was only in kindergarten and I really liked this one little boy. At recess, we both ran around the playground and tried to catch each other. I do remember one day I ran faster than he did, caught him and planted a big kiss on his cheek. I think he cried.

My definition of love is that it’s a warm feeling based upon knowing and accepting someone. This relationship often involves mutual learning, caring and growth. Also, when you love someone you generally want them to be happy.

One of those times when the worst brings out the best
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:58 AM

By Jim Langham

This past Saturday morning, I was in a situation where sudden winds came when I was traveling just outside of Payne on Ohio 49. I was stunned, within seconds I was totally blinded. Cars were sliding all over the road; one car slid into a yard and just missed a tree in front of my eyes.

When I stopped to check out the situation, I discovered a man, a pregnant woman who was totally scared and a small child in the back seat. Thankfully, all was well, but the car was buried in the snow.

At 65 years of age, I didn’t know what to do as the blizzard raged relentlessly. I made a couple of calls to seek help. Thankfully, that dilemma didn’t last very long.

Young men in pickup trucks started pulling off the road to come to our assistance. Within minutes, there were six pickups along the road, including one with the rope necessary to pull the car out of the yard.

Winter at the middle of the earth
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:57 AM

By Kylee Baumle

As I write this, I’m in Ecuador, with my mother, visiting Karina, the exchange student we had in 1993-94. Some of you might remember her and what a delight she was to our family. She’s all grown up now, married, and expecting her first baby.

We’re here in this stunningly beautiful country for two weeks and so far we’ve gone bird watching in the cloud forest, looked into a volcanic crater, stood on the equator, and visited a flower farm, just to name a few things. And not to rub it in as we read about the crazy cold weather in Ohio, but the climate here is pretty close to ideal.

This is my third trip to Ecuador, having gone in 1994 and then again in 2003, when Karina was married. Each time has brought new adventures, though the purpose of each visit was to spend time with her, as she is a much loved member of our extended family.

The Prize Winners of Van Wert County
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:57 AM


By Nancy Whitaker

With all the nasty weather we have been having lately, it seems as if the stores are packed with shoppers buying bread, milk, toilet paper and whatever else they may see.

Last Saturday, we went shopping in a department store and of course the parking lot was full of cars and the aisles were full of people.

All of a sudden an announcement came over the store speaker which stated, “In two minutes we are going to give away some prizes. Come over to the flashing red light and get a nice gift. Hurry, hurry, hurry!”

Groundhog: a perfect name for them
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:54 AM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist Paulding SWCD

Groundhogs, also known as wood chucks, usually are viewed as a nuisance animal for homeowners and farmers. The major problems that they cause are the large holes they dig and the damage that occurs from this animal. Their holes can be 8-12 inches in size. This animal creates two, sometimes three holes, with a large tunnel system that runs from one hole to another. They usually will have a large mound of dirt in front of the hole called a porch. Groundhogs use this to stand high to get a good view of their surroundings before making their move to venture around.