Sunday, April 6, 2014

Butterfly Monitoring Workshop, March 29, 2014

I was glad Tom and I decided to come to the workshop even though rain was pouring down and we had to park in Aullwood's overflow parking lot which is a field.

The morning session  was Introduction to Moths by Mothman, Dave Horn.  He even has Mothman as his license plate.  He is Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University.  Recently he put together a pamphlet of common moths in Ohio for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  He was asked to choose about seventy which was a problem because he says there are about six hundred common species.

 Dave is an entertaining as well as knowledgeable speaker.  One of his slides was a a brief overview of moths.  It looked a little like this.

Moths...Usually cryptic  
             Mostly nocturnal
             Highly variable
             Much more diverse than butterflies (20 moths for every 1 butterfly)
             Often tiny
            Not so well understood as birds and butterflies

And then he entertained us by describing some of the moths that didn't fit this list.

The  Hummingbird Clearwing, (Hemaris thysbe),  in the photo above is one of the exceptions.  It flies during the day and nectars at flowers.  (The first time I saw one, I actually thought it was a hummingbird for a moment and wondered why it was so small. )

Most of us "know" that moths fly at night and come to lights  but in addition to the moths that come to lights at night, there are others like the Hummingbird Moth that fly during the day  and also moths that  come only to ultraviolet or black light.  Still others come to rotting fruit ( or bait made with a homemade mix of ingredients which includes beer.)

We didn't stay for the afternoon session, partly because when we left for the lunch break, the rain had turned to a mixture of sleet and snow.  Guess what the overflow parking lot was like.  Our van ended up stuck in the mud up to the frame. We finally had to give up and call Triple A. ( American Automobile Association ) The  towtruck driver braved the mud, sleet, snow and wind and pulled our van out using a cable attached to the truck.  Still can't believe how pleasant he was.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fun outing except for the getting stuck part. Our weather has improved I hope yours has also:)