HORT SHORTS

Ohio citizens have been taking notice of the many geese families milling around ponds and lawns. One of the management options for Canada geese that have become a nuisance is harassment, or in other words, agitating geese with a variety of tactics (noise makers, dogs, visual deterrents, predator decoys) until they take flight and vacate the area.

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BYGL writer Curtis Young reported that he recently identified a COMMON WATERSNAKE for a curious homeowner. For many, seeing a snake in the water instantly brings to mind the venomous WATER MOCCASIN, also known as the cottonmouth.

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This spring and early summer has been extremely wet for the NW and northern parts of Ohio. This wetness also extends westward through Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. Weather record maps are quite revealing.

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Charles Darwin as a young man eschewed his mathematics and theological studies, opting instead to look under rocks for beetles and to lead group expeditions to better understand nature, much like Joe Boggs and his BYGLivers, J. B. S. Haldane quipped that "God must have an inordinate fondness for beetles" with regard to their diversity, Douglas Brinkley, wrote in Wilderness Warrior about a young Teddy Roosevelt that "To the bafflement of his parents he gathered more than 100 different species of lichens and fungi under rocks and in dense undergrowths.

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June 15 - 21, 2015 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture; this is a great time to think about how to attract more pollinators to our gardens.  Pollinators are necessary for the production of many food crops and provide a vital service to the survival of many native plants.  We can thank pollinators for one in three mouthfuls of food and drink – from coffee and chocolate to most fruits and many vegetables we eat.

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These are ground dwelling squirrels that inhabit mature woodlands and woodland edges, as well as urban areas around buildings and homes. Weighing in at 2 - 4 oz., the 5 - 6" long chipmunk is reddish to grayish brown with 5 dark stripes running down its back.

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BYGL writers Marne Titchenell, Pam Bennett and Denise Johnson have all received questions on how to rid gardens of pesky squirrels eating tomatoes and other veggies. Unfortunately, squirrels are not an easy critter to get rid of, especially if other habitat features exist in the area, namely mature, hard mast producing trees (oaks, hickories and walnuts).

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Many of Ohio's songbirds are well into their nesting season and are already giving young baby birds 'the boot' out of the nest. When a young bird is ready to leave the nest, it is called a fledgling.

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It is not at all uncommon to encounter tiny, newly metamorphosed frogs and toads hopping about yards this time of year. Tiny miniatures of SPRING PEEPERS (Pseudacris crucifer), GRAY TREEFROGS (Hyla versicolor) and AMERICAN TOADS (Anaxyrus americanus) have been spotted in central Ohio.

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Erik Draper reported going to a high tunnel tomato greenhouse to check out concerns expressed about "spotted tomatoes." Erik was surprised to discover the tomato fruits were not spotted, but instead the leaves had a scattering of yellow spots on them!

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