Members of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and three Ohio Young Birders Club members recently went to Columbus to accept the legislative resolution designating today as the first Bird Ohio Day.
The resolution was initiated and drafted by Black Swamp Bird Observatory, sponsored by Randy Gardner in the Senate, and Chris Redfern and Mike Dovilla in the House of Representatives.
The resolution encourages teachers to incorporate birds into their lessons, urges all Ohioans to spend time outside enjoying the spectacle of migration, and be better stewards of the habitats migratory birds rely on for survival.
“Birding is an important part of Ohio’s strong and diverse travel and tourism economy, in addition to bringing great enjoyment to thousands of Ohioans and visitors to Ohio,” said Sen. Gardner.
Along the Way:
There once was a time when kids didn’t have cellphones, computers, satellite or cable.
Sometimes mothers, busy cleaning house on Saturday mornings, would give kids the ultimatum, “Help or get out!” Children would jump on their bikes or take off on the run with the warning “Be home by dinnertime,” echoing behind. Sometimes, dads were quick to follow.
They grabbed fishing rods, baseball gloves, footballs, basketballs and BB guns. The really lucky ones had a dog that was also kicked out of the house.
They learned to whittle and play Mumblety-peg (yes, they had their own Buck or Barlow) and that punching a bully, while ill-advised, was sometimes necessary, especially if they picked on little brother or sister.
They climbed trees, jumped from haymows and didn’t wear bicycle helmets. They learned that they weren’t likely to bleed to death from a bloody nose or skinned knees, that crying did little good in front of their friends and that everyone liked to sign a cast.
They learned the techniques of tossing fishing lines, untangling reels and unhooking catfish. They’d accept a “double-dare” to put a night-crawler in their mouth and could pitch a tent made from an old tarp. They learned to launch an apple with a stick, to catch crayfish with bare hands, and skinny-dip in secluded spots.
If they joined a team, they learned about winning and losing and, more importantly, about winners and losers.
They were Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies and Girl Scouts, and were not thought of as landing from another planet, while 4-H and FFA kept them busy getting ready for county fairs.
There were secret handshakes, campfires, spooky stories, making hobo-dinners and learning to cut the right hotdog stick. Most figured out that cooties were a cruel little invention that seemed fun until you were the one infected.
They learned to identify poison ivy the hard way, found ticks in their hair and discovered that chiggers can crawl into some really inconvenient places.
They learned that pets don’t live forever and that funerals aren’t just for people.
Those kids wore out tires on their bicycles and had to replace them. At night, they read books by flashlight until they drifted away for even more adventures.
When “show and tell” was held during back-to-school classes, students would sit in awe as pictures or mementoes of family vacations were shared.
Then they grew up, got good jobs and wanted something better for their own children. The best phones and clothes, family chauffeuring service, shielding from being called names, hurt feelings or losing T-Ball games and the best video gaming systems.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Thanks for kicking me out of the house.
• Today: Youth Day, HCCL, 13748 Jackson Township 168, Findlay. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free event for kids 17 and under. Open to the public. Includes rifle, pistol and archery instruction.
• Tomorrow: Sporting Clays, opens 8 a.m. UCOA, 6943 Marion Township 243, Findlay.
Abrams is a retired wildlife officer supervisor for the state Division of Wildlife in Findlay. He can be reached at P.O. Box 413, Mount Blanchard, OH 45867-0413 or via email at email@example.com.
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