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00:00:18Findley State Park is located
in southern Lorain County on
00:00:20attractive land that was
purchased in the late 1930's
00:00:24by Guy B. Findley,
Lorain County Common
00:00:27Pleas Judge.
Judge Findley donated the land
00:00:31to Ohio to be maintained as a
State Forest.
00:00:42The Division of Forestry and
the Division Conservation
00:00:45Corps planted the forest using
many varieties of pine and
00:00:47hardwood trees.
The park includes a lake,
00:00:52which was completed in 1956.
Findley State Park offers a
00:01:04wide variety of outdoor
activities including trails
00:01:06for mountain biking and
hiking, naturalist programs,
00:01:09disc golf, camping, fishing,
swimming, and boating.
00:01:20In the summer months, the park
naturalists and volunteers can
00:01:22give guided boat tours.
One thing I'd like to point
00:01:28out first, look at these
beautiful red flowers, right
00:01:31on this point right over here.
That's Ohio's Cardinal Flower,
00:01:35and those sprout every year
right about kind of mid July,
00:01:40and they only grow around
lakes or wetland areas.
00:01:45You'll only see a few patches
around the lake.
00:01:48It's a beautiful wildflower.
Now, right over there in the
00:02:01corner of the dam is a little
greenish bird about this tall.
00:02:06It's a Green Heron.
It'll be a giant bird.
00:02:10There's two of them.
This dam was started in 1954.
00:02:16This was just sort of a swampy
lowland, and they piled up all
00:02:23this dirt and limestone and it
was finished in 1956, and then
00:02:26the lake filled in.
So it's a manmade lake.
00:02:32Now a plant here that we're
going to sample, right now, is
00:02:35wild grapes.
And grapes love to grow at the
00:02:42edge of the water and in
00:02:45And that limestone is a rock
that was formed millions of
00:02:48years ago when Ohio was
covered in ocean.
00:02:52And there were all kinds of
corals and ocean life, and
00:02:55when that ocean drained, those
animals died and became
00:02:59fossilized and turned to rock,
and that's what we're using
00:03:02today for concrete and riprap
along the dam.
00:03:10So it's kind of neat to think,
we're in the Lake Erie
00:03:12Watershed, and more
specifically, the Black
00:03:15River Watershed.
That big cement structure
00:03:18behind me is a valve.
We can go up there and open
00:03:21and close the gate and let
more or less water out.
00:03:28Another awesome animal that we
have in our park is the
00:03:30freshwater mollusk.
This is called a mussel shell,
00:03:38and you're going to see a lot
of broken shells up along the
00:03:40shore that the raccoons and
some of the birds have busted
00:03:44open and eaten.
This animal has a rich, rich
00:03:48history in Ohio.
All the way back to those
00:03:53early peoples in Ohio, like
those same people we talked
00:03:56about boating 3,800 years ago,
people would use these shells
00:04:01for utensils, weapons,
jewelry, armor.
00:04:09In fact, they valued this
animal so much, that a lot of
00:04:12tribes and cultures used them
as money.
00:04:16They would buy and sell things
with a mussel shell.
00:04:19In archaeological digs
throughout Ohio, they've
00:04:22actually found piles of these
shells buried with people or
In come the European settlers,
00:04:31and a manufacturing process
was developed to take these
00:04:34mussels and stamp a button out
of them.
00:04:39And the first buttons on
shirts were made from
00:04:41freshwater mussels.
That's why even today, when
00:04:45you buy a button-down shirt,
they're made of plastic, but
00:04:49they still have that pearly
look, to represent those
00:04:51original freshwater mussels.
You'll notice this little nest
00:05:09of webs, right in this willow
00:05:13Those are tent caterpillars.
And they actually spin a silk
00:05:19cocoon to lay their eggs and
the caterpillars will vie in
00:05:23there and develop into little
00:05:26That telephone pole with the
flat platform on top, that's
00:05:28an osprey nesting platform.
So, we put that up in hopes to
00:05:31draw osprey nests into the
00:05:36And they typically make nests
out of sticks and mud, very
00:05:38similar to an eagle.
Now we do occasionally get the
00:05:42eagles and the ospreys, like
we saw today, but we're
00:05:46probably not going to get many
that nest here, because these
00:05:50birds like to catch big fish.
And they're a visual bird, so
00:05:54as they're flying over,
they're looking into the water
00:05:57for big fish to eat.
And since we mentioned our
00:06:01water's a little cloudy these
past few years, with algae and
00:06:05some sediment, they can't
see much.
00:06:08And so they'll hang out here
for a little bit, but they
00:06:10tend to like reservoirs that
are clear and lakes, like Lake
00:06:14Erie, that is now clear.
So that's why you don't find
00:06:18many nests this far south.
So we saw the Silver Maple
00:06:29over there, we have the
Sycamore here.
00:06:32Other water loving trees would
be like the Ohio Buckeye, the
00:06:35Black Walnut, and the
00:06:39Those are all water loving
trees and we have all of those
00:06:41somewhere along the water's
edge here.
00:06:5216 miles of trails provide a
great way to experience the
00:06:54forest and wildlife.
Today we're going to take a
00:06:58hike down the Buckeye Trail.
This is Ohio's State Trail.
00:07:01This trail runs over 1,900
miles all around Ohio.
00:07:06And it's an all volunteer run
00:07:11You can find more information
about it online, as well as
00:07:13sectional maps.
You know that you're on the
00:07:18Buckeye Trail, when you follow
the blue blazes on the trees.
00:07:20You can see the one behind me
00:07:25And we're lucky enough to have
about a mile-and-a-half
00:07:26section of the Buckeye Trail
in our park.
00:07:30So this is something to look
for next time you go to
00:07:31another state park, or a
different park in Ohio.
00:07:35See if you're on a section of
the Buckeye Trail.
00:07:37Now, you'll notice right over
here, we've got one of our
00:07:41state park plants, the poison
ivy plant.
00:07:46You'll notice this poison ivy
has three green leaves with
00:07:49notches in the leaves.
And it's somewhat shiny
00:07:52throughout the year.
That's when its real oily and
00:07:54the most toxic.
And it will turn a greenish
00:07:59purple in the fall.
It will even get a little
00:08:00white berry, and it will have
a hairy vine as well, if it's
00:08:06climbing up a tree, and you
can get poison ivy from all of
00:08:09those features.
And it's growing in a hairy
00:08:12vine up this tree, so we'll
watch our shoulders as we walk
00:08:17by on the trail today.
This trail actually shares
00:08:21another trail name, and this
is our Thorn Mountain Bike
And that mountain bike trail
00:08:28goes over eight miles
throughout our park, and it
00:08:30will share just a small
portion of the Buckeye Trail,
00:08:32so that's what the orange
marks are.
00:08:37And I'll tell you why they
call it the Thorn Mountain
00:08:40Bike Trail, and that's because
of this tree, right here.
00:08:45It is a Hawthorne Tree, and
it's got some very large
00:08:48thorns and a lot of flat tires
coming off of this trail.
00:08:53But it's a great mountain bike
trail, if you get a chance.
00:08:58Keep in mind that this forest
was all planted.
00:09:02It's a secondary growth
forest, so we have a wide
00:09:05diversity of trees that you'll
00:09:07Right now we're standing in a
mostly Red Oak forest.
00:09:11You can see this red oak
behind me.
00:09:13It's got the stripe pattern on
the bark.
00:09:18And then as we move down the
hill, we're going to be
00:09:20heading toward the swamp or
wetland, toward the lake.
00:09:21And we're going to see the
tree species change into a
00:09:25small Pine forest, and then
into an Elm, Ash kind of a
00:09:30swamp forest at the bottom.
Up in the high ground, we also
00:09:36have some Sugar Maples.
And this is a good example of
00:09:44a Tulip Poplar tree.
They grow very tall and
They outcompete the other
Their leaves will be higher
00:09:53than the other trees.
So it's a good forest tree.
00:09:58They have very unique leaves
00:10:01They almost look like a tulip
00:10:04And at one time they even used
these trees for telephone
Since they're so tall and
00:10:08straight, they could just chop
the top off, and they had a
00:10:10telephone pole.
Notice as we move down the
00:10:17trail, were in a primarily Red
Pine and White Pine forest.
00:10:21So, this park is unique in
that it shifts microhabitats
00:10:23very quickly, again, since it
was hand planted and they
00:10:28selected the trees that grew
in each area.
00:10:34Here is a Red Pine, right
00:10:38You can see the red flaky
00:10:39We're now down in the swamp.
We've come down a hill and
00:10:43we're in a lowland area.
And the true definition of a
00:10:46swamp is a muddy area, or
soils that contain water for
00:10:51most of the year, with trees
growing in that area.
00:10:56And we primarily have Elms and
Ashes down in this swamp area.
00:10:58If you look behind me, you can
see a vernal pool area, which
00:11:05is an area that's swampy for
most of the year.
00:11:11And these areas are very
important for reptiles and
00:11:13amphibians, more specifically
amphibians, to lay eggs and
00:11:17hatch their young out in the
00:11:22So, this forest is unique in
that we have a lot of these
00:11:25vernal pool areas, which is
not that common in Ohio
This species of crayfish
00:11:40actually drills a hold down
into the wet mud and lives
00:11:43several feet below the ground,
in the ground water.
00:11:48It builds these chimneys that
we see here.
00:11:53So, when you remove one of
these, you find a hole with
00:11:56the crayfish living in the
hole, waiting for insects or
00:12:00worms to drop in.
Often times these get mowed or
00:12:05kicked off.
We're left with this open hole
00:12:09that a lot of people associate
with snakes.
00:12:11But, snakes don't live in
00:12:15Now you know.
This is the Chimney Crayfish.
00:12:17Now behind me in this swamp,
we have a very important plant
00:12:28that grows in our park, and
that's called the Jewel Weed
It's also known as the
00:12:37Touch-Me-Not plant.
Now, early peoples called it
00:12:40the Jewel Weed plant, because
when it gets dew or rain on
00:12:43it, it shimmers like a jewel.
Later on the European called
00:12:50it the Touch-Me-Not, because
this plant is actually held up
00:12:53by water pressure.
You can see behind me a whole
00:12:57field of Jewel Weed,
interspersed in the forest
And these are held up by water
So as soon as you pick them,
00:13:09they start to wilt.
Now, the reason they called
00:13:11them Touch-Me-Nots, water
pressure will build up inside
00:13:14the seed pod, and when an
animal or human brushes up
00:13:18against it, that seed will
shoot out by the water
An important feature in our
00:13:25park, since we have a lot of
poison ivy, if you take one of
00:13:28these Jewel Weed plants and
put it in a blender or just
00:13:30squeeze it and get the juices
out, and wipe it on your skin,
00:13:35it's a natural remedy for
poison ivy.
00:13:42We're on a bridge at a vernal
stream crossing on the Buckeye
A vernal stream is a stream
00:13:48that only runs in the spring
or fall when there's heavy
Right now it's pretty empty
00:13:54with the drought.
But if you look behind me, you
00:13:56see this giant ridge that
we're about to hike up.
00:13:59This is a glacial ridge, often
called an end or ridge
And this is where the glacier
00:14:11slid through this area.
If you can imagine 14,000
00:14:14years ago, carving out this
basin and depositing this
00:14:17ridge behind us.
If you look at a map of Lorain
00:14:22County, you will see these
ridges going throughout the
And in many places in Ohio,
00:14:28you'll encounter towns or
roads like Middle Ridge,
00:14:32Center ridge, Sugar Ridge,
North Ridgeville.
00:14:37These are all named after
glacial ridges, such as this.
00:14:40Now in this fertile valley,
that's very rich soil and
00:14:44moist, we get a lot of trees
like the Sycamore Tree and the
00:14:49Black Walnut.
We'll also sometimes find
00:14:54animal tracks in the soft mud
along the stream.
00:14:59This stream is like an animal
00:15:01Animals will use this to
travel very quickly from one
00:15:03end of the park to the other.
Over here we find a Spice Bush
This is a uniquely wet area
If you pick one of the leaves
00:15:17and crush it up, it has a
wonderful fragrance, and you
00:15:22can even make a tea out of
this if you steep the leaves.
00:15:29Naturalist Programs at Findley
State Park are educational
00:15:30opportunities for families.
In Ohio, we've got 47
00:15:34different reptiles.
Of those, about 28 of them are
00:15:42snakes, and 11 of them are
00:15:48Now, if you do the math, that
doesn't add up to 47.
00:15:51What are we missing?
00:15:54There are about 5 lizards in
00:15:57Has anyone ever seen lizard in
the woods, in Ohio?
00:16:01Very good.
You don't see many, but this
00:16:04gentleman here saw one.
A skink.
00:16:08And I've never seen one in our
park, but there may be some
00:16:09hidden up under the logs or in
a rotten stump somewhere.
00:16:14So we won't talk too much
about lizards, but we're going
00:16:16to focus on turtles and
00:16:19And we're going to start
without he turtle and we're
00:16:21going to end with the snake.
This shell is representative
00:16:24of a water turtle, what we
might call a slider or scooter
00:16:30turtle, because they slide or
scoot along on the bottom of
00:16:32their shell.
And you'll notice the shell,
00:16:38the bottom and the top, the
top is called the carapace and
00:16:43the bottom is called the
00:16:46They're fused together.
So the turtle cannot leave its
It grows with the animal.
00:16:52And that's usually the one
thing that ends up killing a
00:16:56turtle, is if they get a
cracking that shell, like a
00:17:01car runs them over or someone
drops them.
00:17:05And if you guys ever do see
that, a good thing to do would
00:17:07be to take the turtle shell,
and you can actually duct tape
00:17:12it and superglue it together.
And it sounds kind of funny
00:17:14but that is a good way to try
to help them.
00:17:18Otherwise water and bacteria
get into the crack and it
00:17:21could hurt them, and they'll
get infected and die.
00:17:26So something to think about,
if you ever see one that's
This is from a snapping
So you're seeing the actual
00:17:33bone of the shell, with no
00:17:37That one still has the scales.
And turtles do shed their
00:17:40scales, which are called
scoots, by the way.
00:17:44They just don't shed their
whole shell or scales at a
They'll shed one every once in
00:17:50a while and they'll grow a new
00:17:54Underneath here, you can get a
view of the spinal column, the
00:18:00vertebral column, and even a
piece of the spinal cord still
00:18:03in here.
So their spinal column and
00:18:07their ribs are all fused
together, kind of like ours.
00:18:09Ours are actually fused
together as well.
00:18:11But then they grow that shell
on the outside.
00:18:17Notice how I'm going to hold
00:18:19I'm going to hold him one hand
on top, one on the bottom.
00:18:22That way his claws can't get
00:18:25And I'm going to hold him kind
of toward the back, so his
00:18:28long neck can't reach back and
bite me.
00:18:32Now, he is not a snapper, so
he's not aggressive.
00:18:35If I put my finger right by
his mouth, he might think I'm
00:18:37a worm or a carrot and bite
it, but he is pretty friendly.
00:18:44This is a Russian Tortoise.
Now, Russian Tortoise, you
00:18:47can't find these in Ohio,
except at the pet store.
00:18:52And the reason I have a
Russian Tortoise and not an
00:18:55Ohio turtle, is because it's
actually illegal to take a
00:19:00turtle from the wild and keep
it as a pet.
00:19:06It doesn't go to the bathroom
as much as you and I do,
00:19:08because it keeps that water
00:19:12It gets its water from the
plants it eats, so it has to
00:19:14eat succulent plants that are
very juicy.
00:19:19It likes fruits and berries.
Carrots are one of its
And it eats all these green
00:19:24leaves that you'd see on the
00:19:27It would eat those.
and it will eat its body
00:19:31weight every day in plants.
Typical turtles you'll find in
00:19:36our park, you're not going to
find him, but you'll find one
00:19:40that looks kind of like him, a
box turtle.
00:19:43Very similar.
The only difference, a box
00:19:46turtle has a shell, a hinge on
the bottom of its shell that
00:19:51can open and close like the
flap on a box.
00:19:57So, a box turtle can go
inside, pull its legs in, pull
00:19:59its head in, shut the door,
and be really protected.
00:20:03Can anyone name me a deadly
snake in Ohio?
00:20:09Okay, there's two rattlesnakes
that live in Ohio.
00:20:13One is a Timber Rattlesnake,
so they have camouflage and
00:20:16they like to live in trees and
fallen logs, and the other is
00:20:22a Massasauga Rattlesnake,
which is an Indian word.
And it is also sometimes
00:20:30called the Pygmy Rattler,
because they're kind of short
00:20:33and fat.
And they're a threatened
There's actually not many
And they like to live in
00:20:39swampy areas.
The rattlesnakes are actually
00:20:42kind of sporadic throughout
the state, along with our
00:20:44third poisonous snake.
Can anyone name me one more?
00:20:50A Copperhead, right, and
Copperheads tend to like rocky
00:20:54areas, they will congregate
00:20:57And again, most of these
snakes are in southern Ohio,
00:21:00but once in a while there will
be little pockets of them
00:21:04throughout the state.
I've never seen any poisonous
00:21:08ones in our park, so that's a
good thing.
00:21:11But think of all the campers
that come into the park
00:21:15bringing firewood.
Snakes love to live in wood.
00:21:17Right here, a poisonous snake,
it would have the same pattern
00:21:23all the way to the tip.
It wouldn't change.
00:21:27And of course a lot of those
poisonous snakes would have
00:21:29rattles on the end.
And notice how small his head
He has no fangs.
00:21:35He has no poison glands.
A poisonous snake would have a
00:21:39big triangular head for fangs
and poison glands.
00:21:45A poisonous snake would have
slits in their eye like a cat,
00:21:48and so that is one way to tell
that it's poisonous.
00:21:57They shed a lot when they're
growing, because they need a
00:21:59new body, a new skin to fit.
If they get damaged or
00:22:01injured, they will shed.
And then a lot of times they
00:22:06shed with the seasons.
They length of the day will
00:22:11trigger their brain to release
hormones to get s new skin.
00:22:17This is a great example of how
a snake sheds or molts.
00:22:25He's about halfway through.
This part still needs to shed.
00:22:27And when snakes shed, they'll
typically slide along the
00:22:30rocks, maybe even down by the
boat ramp, that cement, and
00:22:34they'll wiggle, and it's kind
of like peeling off your
A lot of times their skin will
00:22:40come off in one perfect piece,
even their eyes.
00:22:46Even though they don't have
legs, each of these scales
00:22:48here is a hook, acts like a
00:22:52And they will hook on and
00:22:55I wonder if he'll climb that
grapevine over there.
00:22:58You want to see him climb a
00:23:01Each scale grips onto that
00:23:05And he could just climb right
up that.
00:23:09He doesn't get to climb too
often, so he's enjoying this.
00:23:10Now any time you guys touch a
turtle or a snake, especially
00:23:20a wild one, the one thing you
do want to be concerned about
00:23:23is some bacteria called
00:23:27And since reptiles have scales
and they have little crevices
00:23:31that they don't wash, and
they're living out in the dirt
00:23:35and the natural water,
bacteria is going to live on
So any time you touch them or
00:23:41hold them, it's a good idea to
use some hand cleaner or wash
00:23:43your hands.
Especially you don't want to
00:23:46run your eyes or put your
fingers in your mouth.
00:23:50For more information about the
Ohio State Parks, go to
And to watch more
00:23:58video in this series, go to
Note : Transcripts are compiled from uncorrected captions