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By Matt Bayman

About 450 million years ago, Ohio was located 20-30 degrees south of the Equator beneath a shallow tropical sea that had flooded the continent of Laurentia, which would one day become North America. Scientists say the environment in Ohio resembled the Bahamas, with barren islands occasionally popping out of the warm water.

By Matt Bayman

It is a privilege to walk through the Octagon Earthworks in Newark, Ohio with archaeologist Brad Lepper and to see the ancient Native American structure through his eyes.    

As the Curator of Archaeology at Ohio History Connection, Lepper (pictured above left) is an expert on the Newark Earthworks and ancient Native American traditions. In fact, he wrote the book on the subject, Ohio Archaeology: An Illustrated Chronicle of Ohio’s Ancient American Indian Cultures.

A Father & Son Search for the Source of the Stillwater River and Discover Its Ancient Past

By Matt Bayman

The Stillwater River – a Designated State Scenic River that creates so much beauty in western Ohio – starts as a small trickle coming from a pipe beneath an old bridge in rural Darke County. Before last fall, I didn’t know this, but as a way to teach my 9-year-old son about local geology, we decided to look for the "beginning" of the river, that is, where the water starts flowing.

By Matt Bayman

Since 1875, more than 40 earthquakes have been cataloged in the Anna Seismic Zone in western Ohio, including the largest earthquake in Ohio’s recorded history, which took place on March 9, 1937 near the village of Anna in Shelby County.

By Matt Bayman

There are no fire rings at the campsites at Calhoun County Park in West Virginia. Several buildings on the property, although equipped with exterior lights, remain dark every night. The visitors who come to the park wouldn’t have it any other way. They come from hundreds of miles in all directions to take advantage of the park’s very dark skies, some equipped with massive telescopes and others, like my son and me, with nothing more than our eyes. For them, and us, the darker, the better.

By Matt Bayman

When cycling the Great Miami Recreational Trail from Tipp City to Piqua, a distance of about 23 miles when starting at Ross Road and ending at Swift Run Lake, there appears to be five distinct sections to the trail, not to mention dozens of things to see and do along the way.

Story & Photos by Matt Bayman

One of the first signs that spring is near in Ohio is the arrival of skunk cabbage in late January and February, often when there is still snow on the ground. The maroon flowering plant can be found in marshy and swampy areas, as well as near streams and woodlands. It keeps its maroon color well into spring, and it flowers before its leaves appear. When they do, they grow large and bright green, contrasting the grays, browns and blacks of the early spring landscape.

By, Matt Bayman

WEST MILTON – The River’s Edge Wildlife Preserve, owned and maintained by Brukner Nature Center, and sometimes referred to as “Brukner 2,” is a very special place. It’s filled with natural springs, several waterfalls, and a surprising birds-eye view of the Stillwater River.

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