The landmark Mothapalooza event took place over the weekend, and what an event it turned out to be! Approximately 150 moth (and nature) enthusiasts converged on Shawnee State Park in southern Ohio for an action-packed and probably unprecedented mothing event, at least in terms of size and scale. People from ten or twelve states - as far as Nebraska, Connecticut, and Florida - and Canada made the scene, and saw lots of cool stuff.
When we hatched this idea last year, we had no idea so many people would be interested. But we're glad that they were, and I think that everyone had a really great time. The hours were certainly odd - the primary field trips were nocturnal, of course, and departed at 9:15 pm. Some groups did not return until 2 am or thereabouts!
Dave Wagner was a pivotal force in the spawning of Mothapalooza. He, John Howard (second from left, in green shirt), and your narrator essentially hatched the idea while doing field work in southern Ohio last year. We needed someone smart, capable, good with people, and incredibly organized to oversee the show, and found such a person in Mary Ann Barnett, who is at the far left in the photo. She did an awesome job with scads of details and the weirdness that comes with organizing a giant moth conference. It wouldn't have happened without her!
There are lots of people who deserve great thanks for helping to make Mothapalooza possible, and for contributing to its success. I want to share some more about this event and the folks who were there, but with only about eight hours of sleep over the past three days, additional Mothapalooza posts will have to wait.
Thanks to everyone who came out, and we have already discussed the possibility of Mothapalooza II!