July 7-9, 2017

Saturday Field Trips! THESE ARE THE 2016 TRIPS: 2017 Trips will be announced soon!

Saturday we will go afield to see what we can see. With 11 choices of trips, it will be hard to choose. We're so proud of the guide teams and trips we've assembled this year! Please indicate your top 3 choices of trip when you register as all will have limited space. Most trips this year will have van transportation provided. There are a few trips that might meet at Eulett Center instead and hop in vans from there, but we will let you know exactly what to expect after we confirm your registration. We will make sure you are well taken care of! Lunch is provided.


1. SOLD OUT - Macro Meander - 4/8/2016 - SOLD OUT
Your Guides: Scott Hogsten, Fiona Reid & MaLisa Spring
Difficulty Level: Easy, van stops with short hikes

Colorful flowers, jeweled butterflies and beetles, beautiful views, all lending themselves to a nature photographer’s paradise. Join our trip leaders, well known naturalists and nature photographers, who will share the local hotspots for photography. Get tips on improving your shots while experiencing the beauty of the Shawnee area.

2. SOLD OUT - Shawnee Smorgasbord Scavenger Hunt - 4/7/2016 - SOLD OUT
Your Guides: Seabrooke Leckie & Linda Romine
Difficulty Level: Easy, van stops with short hikes

From miniscule moss to expansive vistas – Shawnee State Forest offers a naturalist’s paradise. Join us as we scour the forest in search of the unexpected, bizarre and beautiful. Birds, orchids, butterflies and moths will be but a few of the highlights on this adventure. We will explore Hobey Hollow, the heart of Shawnee, stop at patches of blooming Joe Pye Weed, and enjoy lunch at the fabled Copperhead Fire Tower. Sharp eyes may catch a glimpse of true wilderness species – bobcat, timber rattlesnake or black bear. But we are far more likely to encounter tigers and zebras - beetles and swallowtails, of course!

3. SOLD OUT - Amanda & Jason's Botanical Bonanza & Shawnee Safari - 4/7/2016 - SOLD OUT
Your Guides: Amanda Kriner & Jason Larson
Difficulty Level – Easy, in and out of vehicles

Join Amanda and Jason on a spectacular natural history adventure throughout the Shawnee State Forest! The Shawnee region supports an amazing diversity of plants and wildlife found nowhere else in the state of Ohio! Along the way, we plan to seek out some of the unusual botany found throughout the forest, like Yellow-fringed Orchid, Whorled Milkweed and Stout Goldenrod, which will in turn lead us to a fantastic assemblage of insects which feed upon them. Special emphasis will be placed on finding butterflies, moths, caterpillars, dragonflies, damselflies and much more! Anything that flies, slithers, crawls, scurries, swims or sprouts is fair game on this natural history free-for-all, including local specialties like Worm-eating Warbler, Black Kingsnake and Gemmed Satyr! From hilltop overlooks to babbling brooks, Amanda and Jason will take you on a wild ride across Shawnee. A scavenger hunt for August natives doesn’t get any better than this!

4. SOLD OUT - Jim and Greg’s Butterfly Bus - 4/9/2016 - SOLD OUT
Your Guides: Jim Davidson & Greg Raterman
Difficulty Level - Easy, in and out of vehicles, some walking

What could be better than Shawnee in August for butterflies? Those brilliant and beautiful cousins of the moths will be our focus here, and one could argue that the Shawnee area is the best spot in the state to find them. Goodies we could potentially find include: Sachem and Fiery Skipper, Sleepy Orange, Checkered White, Southern Dogface, Gold-banded Skipper, Hoary Edge, Zebra Swallowtail, Juniper Hairstreak, Hayhurst Scallopwing, and White M Hairstreak. And when you're in the field with these two you can be sure that no facet of nature will remain unexplored.

5. Herps of Shawnee
Your Guides: Craig Biegler and Marcey Shafer
Difficulty Level - Difficult; possible slippery conditions, scrambling around on uneven ground and ledges, hiking

With at least 66 species of reptiles and amphibians in residence, Shawnee is perfect for "herp hunting." The landscape is rife with rock ledges and tree falls that make for excellent reptile hunting, and the streams and vernal pools are full of amphibians. Join these two fun and knowledgeable guides on a search for these crawling critters. If we are lucky, we could even encounter the venomous copperhead or an endangered timber rattlesnake, so wear long pants and strong, preferably leather, boots.

6. Aquatic Adventures
Your Guides: Dave McShaffrey and Rachel Shoop
Difficulty Level - Medium - Uneven, wet surfaces

Wade Ohio Brush Creek (or similar site) with an eye towards insects. We’ll sample the stream and the shore looking for aquatic insects in both the adult and larval form. We might see the larval forms of some of the insects coming into the lights at the Eulett Center, or encounter interesting caterpillars in the vegetation at water’s edge. We’ll look for aquatic caterpillars as well! Not a lot of walking, but be ready to scramble down a bank. Have closed-toe shoes you don’t mind getting wet and bring water, sunscreen and bug repellent. With any luck there should also be some excellent photographic opportunities, so don’t forget your camera, though you might want to bring along a plastic bag if you are worried about taking a spill while we are walking.

7. SOLD OUT - Anything Goes! - 4/9/2016 - SOLD OUT
Your Guides: Jim McCormac & Jacob Gorneau
Difficulty Level - Easy, in and out of vehicles, some walking on uneven surfaces

Join these two brilliant and enthusiastic naturalists for four hours of field exploration focusing on…everything! Few people know the forests and prairies of this area better than Jim McCormac, and Jacob Gorneau's sharp eyes and masterful ID skills will make them a great team. Count on these two to lead you on a fun and educational romp through nature that you won't soon forget!

8. SOLD OUT - Caterpillar Safari - 4/5/2016 - SOLD OUT
Your Guides: Sam Jaffe & Kim Banks
Difficulty Level - Medium - In and out of vehicles, scouting off-trail on uneven surfaces

What could be better than hunting larvae in Adams County, at the height of summer, with Sam Jaffe, a caterpillar expert? Adams County has one of the highest diversity of leps anywhere in North America. So, caterpillar hunting is rewarded with many different and interesting species. Underwing moth, Silk moth, and Sphinx moth caterpillars should be around and maybe even some slug moths! And, with Kim along, you won't miss any interesting plants that may be in bloom. They will scout out the best sites prior to the trip to determine the current best spots.

9. Paddle the Edge

Your Guides: Martin McAllister and Elisabeth Rothschild
Difficulty Level - Class I water, appropriate for any skill level. Must supply your own kayak or canoe and PFD.
Length: ~3-4 miles

For nearly sixty years The Nature Conservancy and the Cincinnati Museum Center have slowly assembled an 18,000 preserve that is unrivaled by other privately protected areas in the east. If the edge of the Appalachian Escarpment is the spine of this preserve, then Ohio Brush Creek is its bloodstream. Join TNC Program Director, Martin McAllister to explore the Edge of Appalachia Preserve from the unique perspective of a canoe (or kayak.) Water levels will dictate exact locations and float times. In case of unsafe water levels, a hike will be offered to an impressive overlook above Ohio Brush Creek and to explore the various plant communities that flank this scenic valley.

10. Rieveschl Preserve Ramble
Your Guides: Chris Bedel, Preserve Director & Robyn Wright Strauss, Chief Naturalist, Cincinnati Museum Center
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1 mile or less

This hike will be an easy ramble along the gated gravel road into the Rieveschl Preserve and adjacent McKee Cemetery to look for early summer caterpillars. Forest edges are the prime locations for finding these leaf-eating specialists and this hike offers ample opportunity. This road into the forested foothills of The Appalachians will allow a leisurely pace for careful study of good roadside plant diversity. Scenic wonders like forested cliffs and slump blocks grace the upper reaches of this scenic stroll while cedar barrens and field round out the balance. Diversity is the name of the game on this one!

11. Smoky Hollow Revealed
Your Guides: Rich McCarty, Naturalist, The Nature Conservancy & Derek Hennen
Difficulty: Difficult, off trail
Length 2 miles

Be one of the first to visit the newest 1200 acre jewel in The Edge of Appalachia Preserve’s crown—Smoky Hollow. This immense, mostly wooded parcel along St Rt 52 is bisected with cliffs and small steams cutting into the steep wooded Ohio River Hills. Open fields along the lower slopes will allow for exploring open habitat while old road beds reach deep into the interior. Being the newest acquisition, participants will be the first visitors to document this area beyond the known occurrences for state endangered woodrats and green salamanders.
2016's Saturday Trips - Of note