2019 Wildflower Pilgrimage Weekend Schedule

Friday, April 12, 2019

4:00-6:45 pm – Optional Check-in at the Appalachian Forest Museum.  Stop by the museum to grab any materials you have forgotten and your name tag.

7:30 pm:  Evening Program at the Paxton Theater  Welcome by Arc Director, Nancy Stranahan, followed by “The Bobcat, an Ohio Native and Recent Re-Colonizer” with Cheryl Mollohan and “the Secret Lives of Hooded Warblers” with Kelly Williams.

“The Bobcat, an Ohio Native and Recent Re-Colonizer”
After over a 150 year absence the bobcat has returned to Ohio. This program provides current information on both of Ohio’s native wild cats, the bobcat and mountain lion or cougar.  Research findings of when and where bobcat females den and raise their kittens in Southeast Ohio will be also be presented.

Cheryl Mollohan is a wildlife biologist with over 30 years of experience working with wildlife.  While in Arizona where she started her career, she researched black bears and wild turkeys, and worked with teachers and Project WILD.  Here in Ohio,  she taught at Hocking College in the Wildlife Resources program for 11 years, and volunteered with the Ohio Division of Wildlife on a three year  bobcat study in Southeastern Ohio. She is currently working on the Allegheny Woodrat, the rarest and most endangered mammal in Ohio.

 

“The Secret Lives of Hooded Warblers”
Ever wonder how a bird build its nest, what a female bird does while incubating eggs, or what a parent bird feeds its chick? In the Secret Lives of Hooded Warblers, Kelly Williams will share some sneak peaks into the lives, and death, of hooded warblers during the breeding season. We will see a female engineer in action as she constructs her nest with leaves, grass and spider silk. We will see and discuss some of the challenges of raising hooded warbler chicks and the work that goes into rearing the nascent young until fledging.

Kelly Williams earned her M.S. in Environmental Studies in 2008 and Ph.D. in Biology in 2013 from Ohio University. She is currently a Lecturer in Biological Sciences at OU, teaching a variety of courses from Field Ecology,  Ecology & Evolution, Anatomy and Biostatistics. She has been a US Geological Survey licensed and North American Banding Council Master Bird Bander since 2002. Her research focuses on avian ecology with an emphasis in behavioral and physiological ecology. She has studied the breeding biology of Hooded Warblers since 2010. In 2015, her research team began video recording parental behavior at the nest to better understand how individual and environmental variation affects the acquisition and allocation of resources.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

8:00 am: Hot Breakfast at the Appalachian Forest Museum. Scrambled eggs with Swiss cheese, spinach and mushrooms, turkey sausage, fruit, yogurt and granola, tea, & coffee. Side bar of granola cereal, milk, and soymilk, bread, and peanut butter.

8:30 am: Pick up your Packed Lunch! Be sure to register ahead if you are vegan or gluten-intolerant. Standard menu:  our amazing homemade Chicken Salad Sandwich with walnuts, grapes, and celery or veggie hummus sandwich with chips, apple and dessert.  

After breakfast – Saturday Field Trips to Southern Ohio’s Best Floral Showcases
You will be assigned one of your top preferences in the registration process. Hikes last until mid-afternoon. If you have time, we recommend you hiking the short but stunning Appalachian Forest Museum trails on your own sometime during the weekend.

5:30 – 6:30 pm:  Dinner in the Woods – A Wildflower Pilgrimage Tradition at the Appalachian Forest Museum
Dinner line can be entered anytime between 5:30 and 6:30. Arrive at your convenience and stay as long as you like. Just give yourself 20-25 minutes to drive to Bainbridge and walk to the Paxton Theater for the evening program.  
Fresh spinach-apple salad with Bruce’s herbed vinaigrette dressing. Hearty vegetarian chili with optional toppings of sour cream, cheddar cheese, and green onions; served with tortilla chips. Cornbread. Dessert: fresh strawberries with homemade biscuits and real whipped cream!

7:30 pm:  Saturday Evening Presentation– “The Allegheny Woodrat – Rarest of Rodents”with Cheryl MollohanandWhat the Timber Rattlesnakes of Tar Hollow Have Taught Us” with Rita Apanius and Denis Case at the Paxton Theater in Bainbridge

“The Allegheny Woodrat – Rarest of Rodents”

Allegheny Woodrats are an endangered species in Ohio, and with a single population of well less than 100 remaining in Ohio, the rarest of Ohio rodents. Today, Allegheny Woodrats only occur in Adams County, but were once more widespread in Ohio. Woodrats have many names including pack rat, trader rat, treasure rat, and here in Ohio, cliff rat. They are well known for their collecting efforts, which often include anything new, shiny, or otherwise unique found in their nightly collecting trips in their home range. Not to be confused with the introduced Norway Rat, Allegheny Woodrats are Ohio natives. Unlike the Norway rat that most of us are familiar with, woodrats are charming and appealing in both appearance and nature, and given the opportunity will happily co-habit with humans. This program presents the results of the speaker’s over 20 years of woodrat research in Ohio, and provides information on current research which includes results of the genetic analysis of Ohio’s woodrats and next steps in efforts to save this last remaining Ohio population of these charming animals.

“What the Timber Rattlesnakes of Tar Hollow Have Taught Us”

Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) are classified as “Endangered” by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife (DOW).  The animal was formerly distributed over most of the state, from the Lake Erie Islands to the Ohio River.  The primary causes of endangerment are habitat loss and increased mortality, including persecution by humans. Today the species is reduced to a handful of known locations, with only three areas thought to contain viable populations.  One of these is the Tar Hollow region of Ohio, in eastern Ross County and parts of western Hocking and Vinton Counties.

Since 2012, we have radio-tracked 14 different snakes in the Tar Hollow region, resulting in approximately 1,000 encounters.   We participated as volunteers for a project undertaken by Mr. Doug Wynn, under contract to the DOW.  The principal objective of the project is to use radio telemetry to locate winter dens (hibernacula), which are critical habitat components for timber rattlesnake conservation.

Information will be presented about three important findings:  (1) Winter denning areas and their characteristics, (2) “Hiding” behavior and its management implications and (3) Formation of denning areas and old growth forests.

Margarita (Rita) Apanius earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Biological Sciences at the Ohio State University. Professional experience included conducting field surveys and environmental assessments of aquatic and terrestrial resources for Federal and State agencies. Denis Case earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Hiram College and a Master’s Degree from Bowling Green State University.  For most of his professional he was employed as a wildlife biologist by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife (DOW).  His primary responsibilities involved programs for endangered terrestrial species and wildlife diversity.  Since retirement, Rita and Denis have devoted much of their time to volunteer activities.  These include endangered wildlife projects for the DOW and conservation efforts for the Appalachia Ohio land trust.

 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

8:00 am: Hot Breakfast at the Appalachian Forest Museum. Beer pancakes with butter & syrup, turkey sausage, and fruit cups of bananas, apples, dates and walnuts smothered in orange juice.

8:30 – Pick up your Packed Lunch! Be sure to register ahead if you are vegan or gluten-intolerant. Standard Menu: Vegan Berbere Lentil Wrap OR Berbere Lentil Wrap with Chicken. Both lunches come with carrot sticks, clementine orange, and a no-bake chocolate-peanut butter-oatmeal cookie.

After Breakfast:  Sunday Field Trips to Southern Ohio’s Best Floral Showcases
You will be assigned one of your top preferences in the registration process. Hikes last until mid-afternoon. If you have time, we recommend you hiking the short but stunning Appalachian Forest Museum trails on your own sometime during the weekend.

Drive safely home, or hike on your own.  We highly recommend the short but wildflower-rich Museum trails – Valley of the Ancients and Etawah Woods. You are welcome to stay until dusk.

Wildflower Pilgrimage – Art for Sale at the Appalachian Forest Museum

Ann Geise – Original paintings, giclee prints, and paper prints of birds and nature themes in oil and watercolor, cards and other artwork will be available from this Batavia, Ohio native artist. Ann holds a biology degree from Northern Kentucky University. Combining her natural history knowledge and artistic skills, Ann worked as Artist and Exhibits Manager for Cincinnati Nature Center for 19 years where she designed and illustrated the center’s publications and educational exhibits. An engaging naturalist, she will also be leading hikes during the weekend.

Tom Croce – Photography Workshop leader, Tom Croce, will be selling prints throughout the weekend.

 

AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO REGISTERING FOR THE PILGRIMAGE, consider reserving a space in Tom Croce’s Photography Workshop the same weekend with all the same meals and evening presentations. A few of Tom’s photos are below.

Native bee Photo Courtesy of John Howard
Native bee Photo Courtesy of John Howard