Last weekend saw the 4th annual iteration of Mothapalooza, an event that has developed a strong following amongst natural history enthusiasts in its few years of existence. Over 160 attendees were present, and we filled the entire Shawnee State Park lodge - all 50 rooms and 25 cabins for the entire weekend. Mothing ecotourism, imagine that.
This year we had people from eleven states, and Canada. The attendees who came the furthest hailed from Mission, Texas - over 1,200 miles as the moth flies (and not many can fly that far). A star-studded cast of luminaries of the entomological world were with us, including Doug Tallamy and some of his students. Seabrooke Leckie, coauthor of the 2012 Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America was in the house, and new for this year was the inimitable Sam Jaffe, founder of the Caterpillar Lab in Keene, New Hampshire. Steve Gettle, one of North America's leading natural history photographers, was also there. Entomologists of top caliber, such as Dave Horn, Dave McShaffrey, Diane Brooks, Mike Gilligan, Derek Hennen, Rachel Shoop, Greg Raterman, Linda Romine, and Candace Talbot provided expertise in the field.
Mothapalooza has much help from sponsors, including the Ohio Division of Wildlife, Cedar Bog Association, Midwest Native Plant Society, Cincinnati Museum, Flora-Quest, Wild Ones, National Wildlife Federation, Ohio Prairie Nursery, Crane Hollow Preserve, Ohio Lepidopterists, Monarch Pathways, Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and National Moth Week.
The cast of volunteers is huge, and this lot includes many experts in the field of lepidoptera who generously donate their time. Logistics at this event are rather bizarre, with field trips departing on Friday and Saturday nights around 9:45 and often the last groups roll in around 2:30-3:00 am. Coordinating the complexities with precision is Mary Ann Barnett, our conference CEO. She puts in TONS of work to see that Mothapalooza sails smoothly. Following is the list of people who serve as invaluable volunteers and I hope I don't miss anyone!
Kyle Bailey, Kim Banks, Mary Ann Barnett, Chris Bedel, Craig Biegler, Maria Bon, Natalie Boydston, Deb Bradley, Diane Brooks, Kay Clark, Jim Davidson, Jen Dennison, Nate Donat, Judy & Francis Ganance, Ann Geise, Steve Gettle, Mike Gilligan, Derek Hennen, Scott Hogsten, Dave Horn & Roz Horn, John Howard, Sam Jaffe, Olivia Kittle, Amanda Kriner, Jason Larson and his crew, Seabrooke Leckie, Bethany Linert, Katie Lloyd, Martin McAllister, Rich McCarty, Jim McCormac, Kathy McDonald, Dave McShaffrey, Gina & Tom Patt, Greg Raterman, Linda Romine, Elisabeth Rothschild, Marcey Shafer, Colleen Sharkey, Rachel Shoop, MaLisa Spring, Candace Talbot, Doug Tallamy, Brad Von Blon, Robyn Wright-Strauss, and Mark Zloba.
I don't take all that many photos at Mothapalooza, being burdened with various duties, but I do manage to click off some documentary shots and a sampling of those follows...
We're still sorting out details and dates for Mothapalooza '17, and I'll report on that when all is settled.