2016 Pre-Conference Field Trips - 2017 Trips are still in the planning stages!!
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 is no exception! We have five choices of trips for you. If you are interested, please mark your first, second & third choice of trip on the registration form.
These trips are at an additional cost of $30.00 per person, and each one has limited space.
Please read the sidebar on this page for important details - thank you!
1. SOLD OUT - Highlights of Summer in Shawnee State Forest 4/2/2016 - SOLD OUT!! Field Trip Leaders: Jim McCormac & Dave McShaffrey
Difficulty Level - Easy, van stops with short hikes; but must be able to get in and out of van regularly Transportation: Meet at Shawnee Lodge, van transportation provided. Jim & Dave 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. SOLD OUT - Feline Flora & Prickly Pears: Exploring the Flora and Fauna of Lynx Prairie and Sandy Springs Cemetery! 4/7/16 - SOLD OUT!
Field Trip Leaders: Amanda Kriner & Jason Larson
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 Amanda and Jason 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 at the height of the summer floral display and participants should be treated to rare, and equally beautiful, species such as American Bluehearts, Crested Coralroot, Rattlesnake Master, Scaly Blazing Star and Western Sunflower. In addition, we should see many species of interesting insects 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, Festive Tiger Beetle, Velvet Ant, Missouri Wolf Spider and Ant Lion.
3. Exploring the Land Between: The Sunshine Corridor SOLD OUT
Field Trip Leaders: Martin McAllister & Kim Banks
Difficulty: Moderate, off trail
Length: 1.5-2 miles
The Nature Conservancy is actively acquiring a land bridge along the Sunshine Ridge between the 18,000 acre Edge of Appalachia Preserve and 65,000 Shawnee State Forest. It is one of the greatest conservation initiatives in Ohio to protect large tracts of wooded land and to join these two great undeveloped landscapes.
Join TNC Program Director, Martin McAllister to explore some of the recent acquisitions in this wooded wonderland by car and trail. Highlights will include exploring some of Ohio’s most remote landscapes and a side trip to see progress being made on one of Ohio’s largest hiking trail construction initiatives scheduled for completion in the fall of 2016.
4. SOLD OUT - The Devil’s Teacup and Pope’s Pulpit 4/2/2016 - SOLD OUT!!
Field Trip Leaders: Robyn Wright Strauss & Seabrooke Leckie
Length: 1 mile
Explore the diverse geology and habitats the Edge has to offer on this delightful off-trail stroll. Xeric limestone prairies, interesting rock formations, and towering forests await discovery in this portion of The Wilderness Preserve.
The prairies will be in full swing with blooming species of blazing star, early goldenrods, yellow composites, and bonesets. Traversing the ridge connecting the Pope’s Pulpit and Devil’s Teacup perched high above Ohio Brush Creek is especially satisfying in summer with a high diversity of prairie plants, butterflies and lots of forest edges to search for caterpillars.
5. SOLD OUT - In the Shadow of Buzzardroost Rock - SOLD OUT!!
Field Trip Leaders: Chris Bedel & Sam Jaffe
Difficulty: Difficult, off trail
Length: 2 miles
Follow in the footsteps of Elizabeth Brockslager, botany enthusiast and friend to E. Lucy Braun, on this off trail ramble below Buzzardroost Rock and beyond. Part of this route follows the original trail to the roost (now closed) that was frequented by Elizabeth and E. Lucy.
Towering cliffs eventually give way to a string of named xeric limestone prairies: Post, Homestead and Desert that grace the southwestern flanks of this iconic rock ridge. Habitat changes are frequent which will provide for great plant diversity and the open prairie edges will allow for great caterpillar and butterfly viewing.