A winter walk in the woods

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest To many from the rural way of life, time spent in the woods is often for clearing brush, fixing fence, or cutting firewood. There is often too little time for simply taking a walk through the woods.That is until you come across a birder. Blake Mathys, assistant professor of environmental sciences at the Ohio Dominican University, recently hosted an Owl Walk at his country home in western Ohio to help to introduce others, including his students, to the unique pastime of birding. Through word of mouth alone, the annual event has grown from just a few to almost 80 this year wanting to catch a glimpse of the unique nocturnal creatures in the fields and forests of the farm.“There’s always something new and different. The fact that they have wings means that you never really know what might show up,” Mathys said. “The rarities and unusual things are something that can be a nice surprise every now and then.”Those involved in the walk gathered near dusk to have supper and enjoy fellowship around a campfire until the dark of night had officially settled in. After a few rules, guidelines, and tips from Mathys, the group began to circle their family property with spotlights shining in every direction with hopes ofBlake Mathys, assistant professor of environmental sciences at the Ohio Dominican University, leads birding groups in search of wildlife in the winter woods.spotting an owl or other creature.With Blake and other more experienced birders heading up the pack, it wasn’t long until the first owl of the night was sighted — an eastern screech owl. The awe and excitement of the large crowd upon seeing the bird clearly showed the pleasure that can be gained from birding.“I think birds are a really good hobby because you can find birds everywhere. They’re pretty much worldwide,” he said. “They’re variable with different birds around at different times of the year because of migration and the breeding season and wintering of the species.”Mathys has his undergrad in biology from Ohio Northern University and his Ph.D. from Rutgers. While at ONU, he became interested in birds and had several related jobs, including work on an endangered species in the Everglades National Park, migrating hawks in Washington, and elephant seal research on an island off of California.He said that owls especially have a certain appeal to people due to their look and the relative mystery that surrounds them.“People like them because they have sort of a wise look to them and big forward facing eyes,” Mathys said. “Being nocturnal and secretive, we sort of know in the back of our mind they’re around, but unless you really go and look for them, you don’t really run into them very often. And so they have that mystique of being a little bit unknown or a little bit difficult to interact with unless you really make an effort.”The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the Buckeye state boasts an impressive 12 species of owls. This is more than any other bordering state with the exception of Michigan, which has also recorded 12.The Owl Walk, though, is not a game of certainty. Birders rely heavily on their knowledge of the environment, animal calls, and other factors to improve their chances of seeing the birds. But, as with anything wild, a heavy part of the hobby relies upon chance.One owl was seen that night. Walkers were also given the treat of seeing what looked to be two red-shouldered hawks, in their youth, asleep in the trees. Throw in some deer and raccoons in just a short few hours of time, and many of the attendees were convinced of the worth a nighttime walk in the woods has to offer.The stroll showed that anybody armed with a flashlight can become a viewer of the lesser-seen side of wildlife, some of which Mathys says are quite curious.“One of the species that most people don’t really know that’s out there is the flying squirrel. Flying squirrels are in some places the most common squirrel, but because they are also nocturnal like owls, we don’t see them very often and don’t realize they’re there,” he said.The question then arises of how does one get more into viewing nature without putting too much of a footprint on the environment. The habits of nocturnal creatures can be easily disturbed, but Mathys gives a few tips on where to get started.“The key to having good interactions with wildlife is that the more time you spend outdoors, the more likely you are to find something interesting or new and see something different,” he said. “The tip as far as not disturbing things is to do everything in moderation. If you were, for instance, to play songs to have owls come in, to not do that over and over and over again. Do not do that sort of thing in areas where lots of people do it all the time. Think about how this might affect the wildlife. If you see you’re having a negative effect, stop and back away and let the animals go back to their normal lives.”Mathys explained that, though he does play songs to help call in owls during the walk each year, that is the only time he does such a thing on his property. The rest of the time, he simply walks the woods and fields with a sharp eye.When asked about the effect modern agriculture is having on native wildlife, he said there are positives and negatives.“Like anything that humans do to modify the environment, some of it’s going to be positive for some species and negative for others. One of the things that we see with larger scale agriculture is that we tend to reduce the diversity of the habitat and so we end up with lots of large fields of corn and soybeans, which in many cases are just empty fields in the winter, which don’t provide a lot of habitat for wildlife,” Mathys said. “An unfortunate trend we’ve seen, especially in the last 30 or 40 years, is the removal of fence rows, which have provided a lot of wildlife habitat. With those gone, unfortunately it’s kind of left a lot of big fields without a lot of good places for wildlife. On the other hand, there are a few species that benefit so it’s not necessarily all bad for all species.”For those that have spent their fair share of time outdoors and are ready to take the next step for wildlife observation, Mathys said getting involved in an area birding society is a good way to go.“The local Audubon chapters or bird clubs are really useful because anybody from the public is free to come on,” he said. “They’ll be people there that are knowledgeable and able to provide some guidance and help to identify the organisms. All those chapters and various bird clubs will have talks given by various people in the community — scientists or other interested people — who provide background information and part knowledge on those subjects.”last_img read more

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McGregor holds strong on prediction of a knockout

first_imgConor McGregor has his hands wrapped before a media workout Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Las Vegas. McGregor is scheduled to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match Aug. 26 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)LAS VEGAS — Conor McGregor is convinced he will beat Floyd Mayweather on Aug. 26, inside of four rounds.And if the Nevada Athletic Commission approves the fighters’ request to use eight-ounce gloves, he said he will beat Mayweather in the first six minutes of the fight.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games READ: Mayweather promoter tired of talk about ticket salesWhile speculation is McGregor will be the aggressor early on, his gameplan and strategy remain a mystery since this will be his first professional boxing match. What hasn’t been a mystery is the air of confidence he displays, combined with a clear disdain for his opponent that has him assured he will hand Mayweather his first professional loss.“You can’t prepare for me, you can’t prepare for me, you can’t prepare for the movement, you can’t prepare for any of it,” McGregor said. “He can sit here and watch this (workout), and I’m sure he has been watching that. Let him watch, let him try and study, but you cannot prepare for this. There is nobody in the game that moves like me, that strikes like me and that has the confidence like me.“This is a fight that has been in my crosshairs since Floyd’s been opening his mouth, simple as that. I see a beaten man in his eyes, in his body language, in everything he does. I’m going to knock him out bad, he’s too small. I know he’s fast, I know he’s got good reflexes, I know he’s experienced. I don’t care. I hit you, you fall, and that’s it. He will be unconscious.” WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension K-pop star Jung Joon-young convicted of gang rape, spycam crimes “He’ll be unconscious inside two rounds, really one round, only for the 10-second count I will give him maybe surviving into the second,” said McGregor, who enters the boxing world with a 21-3 MMA record. “But if it’s 10-ounce gloves, maybe four rounds. But under four rounds he’ll be unconscious.”READ: Mayweather, McGregor clash over racism FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut if McGregor plans to fight the same way he worked out for the media on Friday at UFC’s exquisite headquarters in southwest Las Vegas, Mayweather shouldn’t have any problem improving to 50-0.The 29-year-old Irishman simulated a 12-round boxing match by dancing around punching bags for roughly 47 minutes, at times looking like an out-of-sync boxer with wide swings that left his guard down, awkward combinations and unnecessary shuffling. Other times he looked like an MMA fighter eager to charge his opponent, something he obviously can’t do in a boxing match. Los Angeles takes another step toward 2028 Games But with as much hype and promotion being thrown into the ring with both fighters, McGregor left plenty of intrigue and insists he didn’t show half the boxing skills he honed has a youth in Ireland, simply teasing anyone in attendance and everyone else who may have tuned into any livestreaming on social media.READ: Mayweather-McGregor is a stale act already “I don’t know how many times I’ve shocked the world, and I’m going to shock it once again,” McGregor said. “It’s not going to end well for Floyd. It’s not going to end well for all the people doubting me.”The 29-year-old Irishman insists nothing has changed in his training, other than the fact he can’t use his legs or take his opponent to the ground, and he’s the same hard-working fighter that won two Ultimate Fighting Championship titles.“I show up to the gym, I work hard, and through my hard work I gain my confidence – that’s been the same since day one,” said McGregor, the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion and former UFC Featherweight Champion. “The fundamentals are still there, I show up, I work hard.”ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LATEST STORIES MOST READ Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement PLAY LIST 00:44Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather: Let him enjoy retirement01:49Pacquiao to Mayweather: Want fans to stop asking for rematch? 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10 months agoAgent of River Plate midfielder Palacios: Real Madrid offer will arrive

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Agent of River Plate midfielder Palacios: Real Madrid offer will arriveby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveThe agent of River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios has revealed an offer from Real Madrid is expected.Real remain the leaders in the pursuit of his signature.”The leaders of River got together with Real Madrid in Abu Dhabi,” Renato Corsi, the player’s agent said. “In the coming days there will be a formal offer and the operation is quite advanced.”The family, Exequiel and I want him to go in June and Real Madrid don’t have a problem with him staying at River until then.”A deal could move to the next stage as early as Monday, with talks already being advanced.”Real Madrid want him and supposedly River will sell,” he added. “They agree, so between Monday and Tuesday the formal proposal will be presented.” last_img read more

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a month agoSheffield Utd defender Basham: No intimidation facing Liverpool

first_imgSheffield Utd defender Basham: No intimidation facing Liverpoolby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSheffield United defender Chris Basham insists there’s no intimidation facing Liverpool.Basham revealed Chris Wilder’s side believe they can shock the visitors by ending their eight month unbeaten run in the competition.Basham, a member of the squad which gained promotion last term, said: “We don’t get starry-eyed. “The Premier League is the hardest league in the world and teams get points off everybody. We have got to play our way as if we don’t, it could be a high score. Hopefully, we can get the result.”We can make little mistakes, but as long as no-one is getting on others backs. That is when the cracks start happening in a team. We are not like that, we are built on solid team foundations. We fancy ourselves for Liverpool.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Commentary New York Giants rough start hard to watch for lifelong fans

Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs (right) sacks New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning at Soldier Field Oct. 10. The Bears won, 27-21.Credit: Courtesy of MCTTwelve dollars. That’s all I spent on a New York Giants football sweatshirt that I’m truthfully too scared to wear at the risk of being ridiculed. It’s hard enough being a fan of a football team in a different state, but it’s even harder when that team has yet to win one of its six games this season.I was born and raised in New Jersey, so being a New York Giants fan is all I’ve ever known. I was taught that the Giants are the best and that I’m supposed to hate the Philadelphia Eagles … which I do. Being a fan of the G-men has never been a problem until this season.Coach Tom Coughlin is 67 and is in his 10th year coaching the team. He’s one of the oldest NFL coaches ever, but after earning a pair of Super Bowl rings for the Giants, it doesn’t appear he’ll be going away anytime soon.The Giants have won two Super Bowls in the last six years (2008 and 2012). With a history like that, you would think that they would be a team to fear. This year, not so much. They’ve had their worst start to a season since 1976 and quarterback Eli Manning has had arguably the worst season of his career, currently leading the league in interceptions with 15. Ouch. That’s gotta be rough while his big brother Peyton and the Broncos are having an awesome season, winning their first six games and leading the league in total offense, passing yards and points scored.Since I’m a fan of Ohio State football as well, I can’t imagine how current Giant players, former Buckeyes Jonathan Hankins and Jim Cordle feel right now. Playing on the OSU football team has spoiled them into not really knowing what a losing consistently feels like. In Cordle’s five years at OSU (he redshirted in 2005), the team was a combined 54-10, and in Hankins’ three years, the Buckeyes were 30-8, including the 12 vacated wins in 2010.My goal is not to bash the team I’ve grown up watching, it’s to share a little bit of my disappointment OSU fans might not understand. This is the first time my friends who are Cleveland Browns (3-3) fans are laughing at me.In my mind, this season is over for the Giants. Will I still watch the games? Yes. Will I still have hope that they can win a game? Of course. Will I wear that $12 sweatshirt anytime soon? To be determined. But I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to come anywhere close to the playoffs at this point, so my heart is a little broken for them. read more

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