Most of the group of roughly 25 people poses above, in front of the Eulett Center, smack in the middle of the Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy's sprawling Edge of Appalachia Preserve in Adams County (photo by David Hughes). Thanks to Chris Bedel, as always, for allowing us to invade the center! Major props to Mary Ann Barnett and Deb Bradley, who did the lion's share of planning and logistics. Ditto to John Howard, who gave a program, AND led field trips, AND selflessly shared his vast reservoir of knowledge. We also appreciate the hospitality of Randy Lakes, who allowed us to conduct nocturnal forays on his fabulous piece of property. Diane Brooks kindly brought some interesting livestock for the group to see, and helped tremendously with identifications. EVERYONE contributed in some way, especially when it came to finding interesting caterpillars in the gloom of night.
I bet we could have had 80 people attend, but space precluded that, as did a paucity of experienced caterpillar guides. This was also a trial run of sorts; it worked so well that I suspect we will try this again next September.
Photo: Judy Ganance
Both Saturday and Sunday nights, we were out in the field until the wee hours. Most caterpillars are nocturnal, so we had to become night creatures as well. A good chunk of daylight hours was spent identifying and photographing animals that we brought back to the Eulett Center. It served as an outstanding base camp. In all, about 66 species of caterpillars were wrangled and inspected, and we didn't bring back all of the species that we found. Amazingly, and thanks to good care, there was not a single case of mortality while in captivity (that I know of) and all cats were released back to the wild after the workshop.
So, I'd like to share some photos of some of the tubular prizes that we encountered. Text for each depicted species will be brief - this is more of a visual post.
There's a lot more images where these came from, and I'll post some more of them soon.