Spring Safety Tips for Boating and Swimming

As we begin to plan more and more activities it can be easy to forget that even as the weather warms up that the temperature of large bodies of water don’t warm at the same rate as the weather. Hypothermia is a very real possibility even on a warm spring day.

Hypothermia is a condition that exists when the body’s temperature drops below ninety-five degrees. This can be caused by exposure to air or water. Loss of body heat results in loss of dexterity, loss of consciousness, and eventually loss of life. A few minutes in cold water makes it very difficult to swim or even keep afloat. Plus, a sudden, unexpected plunge into cold water may cause a reflexive gasp allowing water to enter the lungs.

Your body can cool down 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air. Survival time can be as short as 15 minutes. Water temperature, body size, amount of body fat, and movement in the water all play a part in cold water survival. Small people cool faster than large people and children cool faster than adults.

Uncontrollable shivering is one of the first signs of hypothermia.

Treatment of hypothermia can be accomplished by gradually raising the body temperature back to normal. It can be as simple as sharing a sleeping bag or blanket with another person or applying warm moist towels to the individual’s neck, sides of chest and groin. Remove wet clothing as they inhibit heat retention. A warm bath can be used for mild to medium hypothermia. Gradually increase the water temperature. Keep arms and legs out of the water and do not attempt to raise the body temperature too quickly.

Of course contacting medical professionals immediately is another important step in helping someone with hypothermia.

A Little About Our Famous Ohio River

The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. It is approximately 981 miles (1,579km) long and is located in the eastern United States.

The river had great significance in the history of the Native Americans. It was a primary transportation route during the westward expansion of the early U.S. It flows through or along the border of six states, and its drainage basin encompasses 14 states, including many of the states of the southeastern U.S. through its largest tributary, the Tennessee River. During the nineteenth century, it was the southern boundary of the Northwest Territory, this serving as the border between free and slave territory. It is sometimes referred to as the “Mason-Dixon line” as it is commonly acknowledged as the western natural extension of the original Mason-Dixon line that divided Pennsylvania and Delaware from Maryland and West Virginia (then a part of Virginia) thus being the unofficial, and at times disputed, border between the Northern United States and the American South or upland South.

The Ohio River is a climatic transition area as its water runs along the periphery of the humid subtropical climate and humid continental climate thereby being inhabited by fauna and flora of both climates.

John H. Ashton and Historic Ashton House

Mr. John H. Ashton started working in a variety store when just 12 years of age and continued his career in retail until his death at 99 years old in 2005. His late wife, Evelyn, and John were not just successful business-people in their community but were dedicated to serving the community outside of their business.

John H. Ashton graduated from Spencerville High School in 1924 and then later from the Lima Business College in 1925.

John and Evelyn, at one time, owned all or part of eleven different Ben Franklin Stores. Additionally, John H. Ashton was a dedicated member of the community in his adopted hometown of Carrollton. John H. Ashton was a founder of the Carrollton Chamber of Commerce and an original member of the Carrollton Civic Club. He was also a member of the Carrollton Rotary club, the Carrollton Village Fire Department, the Elks club, the local Masons, the Carrollton and Spencerville Historical Societies, he served on the Carrollton Boy Scout Committee and he was a 30-year board member of the Cummings Bank.

The Ashtons will certainly be missed by Carrollton and the surrounding communities but their legacy will live on through their contributions and through the museum created in their name. This museum will include items from the Ashton’s family history. Some dating as far back as the early 1800’s. The museum will also include items of a historic or nostalgic nature from Carrollton, the community the Ashtons loved so much.

Items from the Ashton’s personal collection will include their Hummel collection, Anri, their Wade figurines as well as Knowles, Hibel and Bing and Grondahl plates. Also their Haviland dishware from Limoge, France. There will also be, for the sports fans, items from the Kentucky Derby and The Ohio State Buckeyes going back to the 1940’s. There will also be vintage holiday postcards from the early 1900’s, political paraphernalia and vintage toys and games. The museum will even include vintage TV and radio shows playing in the museum that visitors can sit and enjoy.

Native Poisonous Plants

As the weather gets warmer and you and your family spend more time outside it’ll be important to be able to identify common poisonous plants. Some like Poison Ivy like to grow not only along trails but right in your own backyard!

Identifying this common poisonous plant native to Ohio can be tougher than you think. Poison Ivy, in particular, can take many forms and Poison Ivy changes with the seasons. Even in the winter this plant can cause contact dermatitis, though most folks get into trouble with this plant in spring, summer and fall.

While the common wisdom of “leaves of three, let it be” does hold true for Poison Ivy, it is not always possible to identify the plant via this method. A good general practice would be to leave any three leaved plants alone. Poison Ivy often has two smaller mitten-shaped leaves on the outsides and a larger leaf with no “thumb” in the middle. The color changes from red in spring, to green in summer, and yellow to orange in fall.

The other problem with Poison Ivy is that while it does often grow as a vine, as its namesake would suggest, it just as often grows as ground cover or in shrub-like clusters. Poison Ivy likes to grow inside other bushes and the vines like to climb trees. Poison Ivy may even have clusters of green to white berries in spring and summer in addition to green to yellow flowers.

When enjoying the outdoors with friends and family be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for this unfriendly plant even in your own backyard.

Easy Trails for Beginning Hikers

Thinking of taking the whole family on a hike? Worried that the kids or other family members might not be able to handle the trail? These three trails will get you and your family active this summer despite age or ability. They all fall in at under 1 mile and will provide everyone with fresh air and beautiful scenery.

Cattail Trail, Garfield Park Reservation
This short but gorgeous .2 mile trail in the Cleveland Metroparks has not only wild flowers and wildlife, but also includes beautiful 1930’s stonework you’ll observe while hiking. The trailhead is near the park maintenance center on Garfield Parkway.

Jane Coates Wildflower Trail, Put-In-Bay
This one might take a little more planning, but the Jane Coates Wildflower Trail, South Bass Island, Put-In-Bay, is a hidden treasure. The .5 mile loop features a unique variety of wildflowers and migratory songbirds. This easy, breath-taking hike can add some spice to any Lake Erie adventure. The trail head is located at 1962 Put-In-Bay Road.

Indian Mound Reserve Trails, Cedarville
The Indian Mound Reserve in Cedarville features more than one under-one-mile trail. While all of the 166 acres are beautiful, Cedar Cliff Falls can be reached via the Upper Rim Trail which is just over half a mile long.