2017 Pre-Conference Trips
It has become a popular Mothapalooza tradition to offer several Pre-Conference tours to participants which take place on Friday afternoon. These tours are led by some of our finest guides and give participants an in-depth look into particularly interesting habitats. This year we are adding one Post-Conference offering - a very special Photography Expedition (see below).
We have six choices of trips for you, pre-conference on Friday. If you are interested, please mark your first, second & third choice of trip on the registration form.
The Pre-Conference trips are at an additional cost of $30.00 per person, and each one has limited space.
The Post-Conference trip is at an additional cost of $50.00 per person, with a strict limit of 10 participants.
Please read the sidebar on this page for important details - thank you!
SOLD OUT!!!New This year - **Sunday Special** Join a Dynamic Duo for a Photography Expedition! Steve Gettle is an award winning photographer with a passion for nature and Jim McCormac an award winning naturalist with a passion for photography. Combine these two and you get a fantastic nature photography tour. Steve is a Nikon guy and Jim a Cannon man, so if you are working with a DSLR and wish to improve your nature photography this tour is for you. Macro photography requires a different approach. Learn the tricks of the trade for taking pictures in the field of insects (ever heard of a Wimberly Plamp?) and how to set up your camera to take beautiful pictures. This tour will start at 11:00 Sunday and continue until about 2:00 PM. Lunch is included. Strict limit of 10 participants. SOLD OUT
Friday Pre-Conference Options
1. July Jamboree in Shawnee State Forest - Field Trip Leaders: Jim McCormac, Doug Tallamy and Eric Metzler - SOLD OUT
Difficulty Level - Easy, van stops with short hikes; but must be able to get in and out of van
Transportation: Meet at Shawnee Lodge, van transportation provided.
Jim, Doug & Eric will lead participants into little known nooks and crannies of the 65,000 acre Shawnee State Forest. We’ll look for a wide variety of butterflies – Shawnee plays host to dozens of species – and various interesting day-flying moths. Special notice will be given to interesting plants, and we’ll keep a sharp eye out for caterpillars. No facet of natural history will be ignored. Bring a camera, as we’re sure to encounter lots of photogenic insects and other animals.
2. Feline Flora & Prickly Pears II: Exploring the Flora and Fauna of Lynx Prairie and Sandy Springs Cemetery! Field Trip Leaders: Jason Larson & MaLisa Spring SOLD OUT
Difficulty Level – Easy to Medium, in and out of vehicles, van stops with short hikes, some uneven trails
Transportation: Meet at Shawnee Lodge, van transportation provided
Join Jason & MaLisa in the exploration of two of Ohio's most significant natural areas! Follow in the ecological footsteps of E. Lucy and Annette Braun, as we explore the incredible diversity of Lynx Prairie. The cedar barrens of this area are prairie-like in nature, with thin, shallow soils overlying dolomite, which allow for an abundance of native grasses and wildflowers. These specialized habitats are home to a large number of rare species of plants and animals, and Lynx Prairie is no exception.
We will be visiting the prairie during it's mid-summer floral display and participants should be treated to many common, and equally beautiful, species such as Butterfly Weed, Rattlesnake Master and Whorled Milkweed. In addition, we should see many species of interesting insects, including lots of butterflies, feeding on the prairie vegetation.
After a suitable period of time admiring the prairie plants and butterflies, we will move on to Sandy Springs Cemetery. Adjacent to the Ohio River, this cemetery contains one of the best remaining examples of one of our rarest habitats, an Ohio River sand terrace. Many rare species of plants exist here, in this harsh and ever-changing habitat, including Prickly Pear Cactus, Blunt-leaved Milkweed, Dwarf Dandelion and Field Pansy. In addition, a multitude of highly specialized critters call this area home and we hope to find the likes of American Copper, Hayhurst's Scallopwing, Checkered White, Steel Blue Cricket Hunter, Festive Tiger Beetle, Velvet Ant, Stink Bug Hunter, Missouri Wolf Spider and Ant Lion.
3. Majestic Hemlock Hike – a forest in danger - Field Trip Leaders: Martin McAlister & TBD
Difficulty Level: High
Emily Dickinson wrote that the Hemlock “..satisfies an awe”. As mature Hemlocks can stand over 150 feet, awe is the right word for this amazing tree. Hemlocks can survive on less than 5% light and form dense stands in the understory. This creates a unique ecosystem that supports over 140 vertebrates including 90 different species of birds. Yet, it is predicted that these trees will be gone within 10 years. The majestic Eastern hemlock is seriously threatened as a species throughout its entire range due to the hemlock wooly adelgid, an introduced insect pest from Japan. Join us for some strenuous hiking as we visit some of Shawnee Forest's most impressive stands of hemlock and the unique ecosystems they support.
4. Hiking the Hidden Side of Lynx Prairie - Field Trip Leaders: Robyn Wright Strauss & Linda Romine SOLD OUT
Length: 1 mile
A myriad of habitats makes this off-trail trek one rife with discoveries. Prairie plants, old fields, cedar groves, and mixed hardwood forest will yield plenty of flora and fauna for all. Expect birds, butterflies, caterpillars, beetles and more on this unexplored area of the Edge of Appalachia Preserve System. As an added bonus, Dolostone outcrops and a highly rated warm water stream will provide additional opportunities for rare and unusual plants and animals.
5. Caterpillars, Critters, and Plants, Oh My! - Field Trip Leaders: Sam Jaffe and Laura Hughes - SOLD OUT
Difficulty: Easy, van stops and short hikes on trails
Length: 2 miles
Join Sam Jaffe, of the Caterpillar Lab and Laura Hughes, naturalist extraordinnaire, as they hit the best spots to look for critters that creep, crawl, and fly in and around Shawnee. No leaf or stone will be unturned. We have been out in the field with these two individually and found them to have the best critter spotting eyes we have ever seen. Put them together and imagine all the things they could find.
6. John and Steve’s Fabulous Photography Tour - Field Trip Leaders: John Howard, Steve Gettle 3.6.2017 - 4 spots left
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. John and Steve will have scouted out all the best sites beforehand to find out what is in bloom or in flight. So you won’t miss out on the best July has to offer.