Tricounty Rural Electric Cooperative

Snapping turtle

Lizards and turtles and frogs - oh my!

There are countless unique ways to earn a living in 21st-century America, but not many more unusual than that of a professional herpetologist. The study of amphibians and reptiles, herpetology deals with wild critters that lots of people find repulsive.

“I grew up in Cincinnati, where my father owned a pet store and delivered supplies to other pet stores,” Lipps says. “I rode along with him whenever I could and was always fascinated by the animals in the various shops we visited — particularly the reptiles and amphibians.”

Elephant at Toledo Zoo

Co-op Spotlight: Tricounty Rural Electric Cooperative

The smallest of Ohio’s electric cooperatives with just over 4,400 members, Tricounty Rural Electric Cooperative is a nimble, lean machine.

Away from the hubbub, but not too far away

The area has a rich agricultural history and enjoys a rural setting while benefiting from close proximity to Toledo and to Lake Erie, making for easy day trips. The Toledo Zoo, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the National Museum of the Great Lakes are popular destinations in this area of the state.

Gray Treefrog 2

Nature’s rainmaker

Even if you didn’t quite recognize it, you’ve likely heard the sound. Just before or after a summer rain shower, a loud, short trill — just 1 to 3 seconds long — emanates from a nearby tree. Was it a bird?

Some gray treefrogs also call outside of the breeding season — generally April through June in Ohio — but why they do so is a mystery. “It isn’t uncommon to hear a male calling from high in the trees in late summer or early fall,” Lipps says.

Measuring no more than 2 inches long, the gray treefrog is the largest treefrog in the northern United States; it’s found throughout Ohio. Mainly arboreal, the frogs come down out of the trees during breeding season, congregating in vernal pools. 

Box turtle

Life in the slow lane

Looking like a miniature army helmet with legs, box turtles are unique in that they are the most terrestrial of Ohio’s nearly one dozen turtle species.

Alan Walter of Carrollton has extensively studied the box turtles living on his property in eastern Ohio. Walter owns a 150-acre tree farm in Harrison County that he manages for timber and wildlife, so he has spent countless hours in the woods over the past 30 years. 

Drive-in movie theater

Retro cool

Back in their heyday, drive-in movie theaters meant parents could pile the kids in the back of the station wagon and head out to see a flick on a nice summer night, hooking the scratchy metal speaker on the car window, collecting popcorn and Cokes from the concession stand, and maybe playing a few holes of mini-golf to boot … all without making much of a dent in the pocketbook. 

A young girl shakes the hand of a male veteran.

In Ohio, co-op heroes are everywhere

Jeremy Warnimont and his cousin Jake, both linemen at Tricounty Rural Electric Cooperative, based in northwest Ohio, were coming home from a long day of training on transformer rigging near Columbus, when they saw a young girl flip her all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in a nearby field. The vehicle landed on top of her.

“She was trying to jump a dirt hill, but didn’t make it,” Jeremy says. “When I got to her, she was non-responsive. Jake called 911 and we stabilized her until the first responders arrived.”