Pamela M Hampton Former county sheriff celebrates 80th birthday Missing Adams County man is found Lady Hounds fall to Whiteoak in slugfest Calvert’s walk-off gives Hounds 9-8 win over Whiteoak Charles A Benjamin Give My Regards to Broadway Joyce Berry Joe L Easter William E Foster Margaret Belcher John M Cheatham Ronnie Simpson Under new management county hospital is thriving against all odds Historic fairground gazebo demolished One year later, still no arrests in Rhoden family murders There will be trouble in River City! Monna L Fitzgerald Jesse Carrington Janice M Sowards Rhoden family members make plea for tips in Pike Co murders of loved ones Quilting – the art that’s no longer just for Grandma Young is Adams County recipient of Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award Wenstrup recognized as Community Health Advocate Ready, set, go! 25th annual Egg Hunt draws hundreds Applicants needed for Adams County Fair Queen Humane Society encourages responsible animal ownership ACCS holds annual Science Fair Peebles Elementary names March Students of the Month Pierce fires perfect game as Peebles blanks West Union Hunters preparing for 2017 Wild Turkey Season Lady Hounds fall 12-3 at Lynchburg Dragons lose early lead, drop SHAC match up with Fayetteville, 13-6 Senior Profile: Isaiah Anderson Devils roll to big SHAC win at Ripley Despite soggy night, WUHS hosts annual Invitational Meet Celebrities for a night George F Carr Jr Teresa S Hoskins Mary B McClure Richard B Collins Randall D Fetters Former Manchester officer indicted on five counts WUHS student wins state Beta Club Secretary’s seat OVCTC students part of state competition S.R. 73 closed for culvert replacement Peebles Lions Club holds first Easter Egg Hunt Weyrich graduates with honors from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics North Adams Elementary releases Honor Roll for Third grading Period Scholarships available from Jefferson Alumni Olympic athlete speaks at April 6 SAAM event Venture Hawks end their basketball season with a victory at WUHS Devils baseball sweeps doubleheader from Northwest Greyhounds gain SHAC split, split twinbill with East England signs with Rio Grande golf Pierce fans 16, Lady Indians blank Eastern Brown 4-0 Maybe somebody on the river does have a plan Senior Profile: Ryan Dryden Enjoying the view Still a time for celebration Carl R Brown Lena R Staggs Adams County Crews Schedule Culvert Replacement Projects Merlan Shoemaker Dwayne E Thompson Help is on the line! West Union Elementary honors February Students of the Month WUHS hosts 2017 All-County Arts and Music Festival Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak Access Grand Opening set for April 20 Kasich cracks down on opiate-based prescriptions West Union High School students have successful trip to State Beta Convention North Adams Beta Club excels at State Convention ACRMC hosts annual Health Fair Robert H Bushman Senior Profile: Skylar Newman Nine-run inning leads Lady Hounds to run rule win over West Union WUHS foursome breaks school record First county baseball battle goes to the Greyhounds On the road, Lady Indians pick up two more SHAC victories Senior Profile: Christa Williams One more ‘shining moment’ for SHAC seniors at C103 All-Star Game Esie M Chandler Phyllis Adkins Former Manchester police deputy faces Grand Jury Indictments Cornell tosses no-hitter, Fenton goes deep, Dragons open season with 11-0 SHAC win over Whiteoak New Verizon store opening in West Union Stephen R Palmer Dual culvert replacements for SR 73 Deana P Grooms Tim Phipps Marcella Walker Alvin R Mitchum Senior Profile: Chase Darnell SHAC hoopsters shine at District 14 All-Star Game Greyhounds run rule St. Pat, 15-0 Indians drop SHAC opener West Union hosts early JH Track Meet North Adams student wins state Beta Club President’s seat Anna B Copas Charles A Nelson

Children get hands-on experience with Ohio reptiles

Jenny Richards, right, Head Naturalist at the Shawnee State Park Nature Center, allows this young man to get up close and personal with this reptile during the Return of the Snakes program on June 25.
Jenny Richards, right, Head Naturalist at the Shawnee State Park Nature Center, allows this young man to get up close and personal with this reptile during the Return of the Snakes program on June 25.

Return of the Snakes 2016 comes to Serpent Mound –

Story and photo by Patricia Beech –

Children were given the opportunity to get up close and personal with reptiles during the third annual Return of the Snakes program hosted by the Arc of Appalachia at Serpent Mound Park on Saturday, June 25.

Researchers and field naturalists from Shawnee State Park, Hueston Woods State Park, and the Arc of Appalachia held educational presentations throughout the day, and visitors had the opportunity to view numerous live reptiles and interact with docile native snakes handled by expert educators.

The days featured presentations included: “Timber Rattlesnakes and Copperheads – A Precarious Future” by Jenny Richards; “Turtles of Ohio with Shawn Conner; Venomous Snakes of Ohio – Identification and Natural History” with Jenny Richards; and a “Fibbing Contest and Snakes Tails – Tall Tales Myths and Legends for Kids” with Jenny Richards.

The family-friendly event featured a Field Outing for aspiring young naturalists nine years old and up who are attracted to wildlife conservation. The children were taught how to spot reptiles, learned where reptiles live, when they are active, and what they eat.

A variety of reptiles native to Ohio were on display including a copperhead, rattlesnakes, an eastern king snake, garter snakes, lizards, toads, and a variety of turtles.

Visitors were given the opportunity to interact with docile snakes and turtles handled by expert educators.

“Our goal is to get people feeling more comfortable with reptiles,” said Jenny Richards, Head Naturalist at the Shawnee State Park Nature Center.

Curious faces press to the glass to watch this Eastern King snake make a meal out of a smaller garter snake at the June 25 Return of the Snake program at Serpent Mound.
Curious faces press to the glass to watch this Eastern King snake make a meal out of a smaller garter snake at the June 25 Return of the Snake program at Serpent Mound.

Richards spent her childhood exploring the outdoors near her family’s home on the edge of Shawnee Forest. Today, she is considered one of Ohio’s foremost nature interpreters.

“I’ve always loved wildlife and the outdoors,” she says. “And I’ve always been an advocate for conservation.”

Since 1999 she has traveled across Ohio with her collection of reptiles, speaking to as many as 14,000 children a year in her educational outreach programs.

She is credited with inspiring more young people to pursue conservation and outdoor education vocations than any other naturalist in the state.

Richards was joined by Eric Davenport from Clermont County Water Resources. While teaching the children how to hold and interact with an Eastern king snake, he explained that a fungus was causing a rapid drop in snake populations across the United States. “Snakes are responsible for controlling the mouse population,” said Davenport. “Mice carry serious viruses such as the bubonic plague and the hantavirus which can be fatal for humans.”

Naturalist Shawn O’Connor from the Hueston Woods State Park in College Corner near Oxford gave a presentation on Ohio’s turtle species. While children encircled the turtle pool, O’Connor shared the natural history of Ohio’s turtles, both aquatic and ground. He explained why the eastern United States is an important center for turtle conservation and protection, especially for the common box turtle. “A loss of habitat has caused box turtle numbers to drop sharply,” O’Connor said. “The species is now on the endangered watch list.”

A Fibbing and Snake Tales contest including tall tales, myths and legends for kids was held in the afternoon. Those attending were invited to tell their tallest, wildest snake tale, amphibian fable, or lizard legend while Richards untangled the facts from the fiction.

Additional activities for the children included face painting and decorating toad shelters for vegetable gardens.

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