Friday, December 14, 2018 Elyria 41°
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Outdoors

Snow today, hike tomorrow at Findley State Park

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    Snow and ice cover Findley Lake.

    BRAD ZAHAR / CHRONICLE

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This week brought about much change throughout Northeast Ohio.

I was able to steelhead fish water that wasn’t locked up with ice while wearing a light jacket with temperatures in the 50s.

Less than 24 hours later, I was snow blowing the driveway and walking in the white stuff. With the calendars turned to February, spring is approaching but winter still lingers.

For those wishing to brave the cold this weekend, Findley Lake State Park in Wellington is hosting a winter hike Saturday morning. The forecast calls for a high around 30 degrees with afternoon snow showers. Come dressed and prepared for the temperature and wet conditions as the snow may be melting.

The hike begins at 10 a.m. at the Nature Center in the campground area of the park. There will be 5K and 10K hikes, along with a shorter ranger-led hike geared toward kids. The event, put on by the Buckeye Trail Association and Findley State Park staff, will go through woodland trails and around the lake.

Following the hike you can warm up with some cornbread and bean soup. Donations will be accepted.

Coyotes active

On a separate note, a few nights ago, I was up reading a book when I heard some coyotes behind the house making noise — a yapping that sounded like kids playing.

I turned on the light in the backyard to see several coyotes scatter and run away.

As a pet owner, I’m cautious when letting my dogs out at night, especially after hearing some news of coyotes attacking dogs over the last month. There aren’t a ton of reports of coyotes attacking pets but taking extra caution when letting our furry friends out at night can ensure they come back inside safely.

According to the the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, keeping small dogs and cats indoors between sunset and sunrise or leashed when outside will help prevent attacks as coyotes are more likely to attack out of defense as opposed to prey.

Coyotes are common throughout the entire state of Ohio and sightings do not need to be reported unless the animal appears sick, hurt or has no fear of humans.

If you see a coyote, the ODNR suggests you make noise to get the coyote to move on. It never hurts to be careful when it comes to protecting your pets, especially this time of year as coyotes are becoming territorial with breeding season approaching in the coming months.

The ice cometh, again

With the onset of cold, ice fishing might be an opportunity to get outside in the coming week, and I’m sure we will get more snow to go snowshoeing or other snow-related activities.

The freezing cold, warm up, then the resort back to freezing cold weather pattern is getting as redundant as Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day.” Speaking of which, I hope Punxsutawney Phil brings us good news today — not seeing his shadow, signaling to all of us the arrival of an early spring.

Contact Brad Zahar at bzaharoutdoors@gmail.com.

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