The Wonder Workshop – The Hidden World of Insects
Firefly spectacles by Night & Discovery Walks by Day 
Field ID – Storytelling – Ecology – Hidden Lives – the rare & the beautiful – chemical warfare & camouflage –  Insect Art and poetry

June 22 – 24, 2018

Guest Leaders: Kate Redmond, the “Bug Lady” from Wisconsin and
John Howard, Southern Ohio expert field naturalist

Held at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary with field trips to other Arc preserves $325/person includes six meals and all curriculum.
Optional lodging at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary – $30/night per person shared; $60/night private 

(Registration will be closed starting Monday, June 18th. If you are registering after this date, please call 937-365-1935. You will not be guaranteed a spot after June 18th.) 

A world of wonder! In June the greatest show on earth is performing in Ohio’s unmowed fields and forest edges. June is the season for firefly spectacles, the flight of the giant silkmoths, and the emphemeral Hairstreak butterflies. The season is filled with the midsummer flush of a dizzying diversity of insects that pursue their brief but dramatic lives right below the average person’s awareness. This workshop is the remedy.

Firefly Showcases. On Friday night we will immerse ourselves in the firefly spectacle at Ridgeview Farm, where we will see thousands of fireflies – representing six species – lighting up the meadows as far as we can see. Saturday night will be spent in the wilds of Adams County where our eyes will feast on a quite different firefly display that includes Chinese Lanterns, fireflies that glow for a strikingly long duration.

Insect Discovery Hikes. On Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning  we will wander the fields,  finding the little lives hiding among the leaves and stones – from trapdoor spiders to Edward’s Hairstreak  Butterflies. All the while listening to their EXTRAORDINARY stories. Your workshop fees include a Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America book.

Learn Natural History through Storytelling. This workshop is a memorable way to begin or continue your familiarity with the major groupings and sometimes the exact species of Ohio’s insects, anchored new knowledge through the time-honored art of storytelling. You will hear tales so filled with danger, adventure, deception and specialized skills that they will be remembered long enough to be retold to  your own students, children, grandchildren, and friends. So join us and strip decades off your age. The key word is exploration. The curriculum will be whatever amazing suite of experiences nature presents us. With a guaranteed cast of thousands, we know we will not be disappointed. 

Introduction to Leaders. Leading this trip are two consummate naturalists, storytellers, skilled photographers, and insect experts. John Howard can find insects better than anyone we know, possessing the curiosity and energy of a six year old and but with the wisdom of an elder. Kate Redmond is a storytelling puffball. Just poke her and stories will stream out! Aka BugLady, Kate has been writing monthly and eventually weekly insect stories since 2007, bearing such titles as the Twelve Bugs of Christmas and Bugs without Bios . Click here for her archive of stories.  We challenge you to present  Kate and John with a “bug” that leaves them speechless.

This workshop will demonstrate that learning entomology can and should be great fun. To make sure we don’t get too much in our left brain, we will begin each meal with a few readings of sometimes humorous, often inspiring insect poems.

Courtesy of
Courtesy of
Photo By Kate Redmond

Some of the cool creatures we might find include Northern Metalmark Butterfly, Halloween Pennant, Edward’s Hairstreak Butterfly, and Trapdoor Spider.

Black Widow Spider by John Howard