Monday, August 15, 2016

Mothapalooza Update

Hello naturalists! Mothapalooza was great, and the staff had the opportunity to learn a lot about our native moth species! Here are some photos taken by the staff over the 3 day period of the event:

Sycamore Tussock Caterpillar

Small Eyed Sphinx
Regal Moth
Tersa Sphinx
Imperial Moth
Laurel Sphinx
Huckleberry Sphinx
Harris's Three Spot
Hercules Beetle

Carolina Sphinx

Beautiful Wood Nymph

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Hello fellow naturalists! The nature center will be closed this Thursday, August 4th, through Monday, August 8th. The entirety of the staff will be at Shawnee State Park, In Scioto County for Mothapalooza! Mothapalooza is a yearly event where naturalists of all kinds join together to learn about and experience the wonder of moths. The weekend is made up of field trips, talks by leading experts, and break-out sessions meant to educate about the more than 3,000 estimated species of moths that reside in Ohio alone. This is an amazing amount of diversity, when you consider that Ohio is only known to have about 140 species of butterflies! Here is a list of some moths that we might expect to see on our trip to Shawnee:
Rosy Maple Moth. Image by  Bill Hubick

Cecropia moth. photo source

Luna moth. Source: Alan Cressler

Friday, July 29, 2016


Perhaps the most overlooked of our native snakes is the Brownsnake (Storeria dekayi dekayi) Ohio is home to a mix of both Northern Brownsnakes (DeKay’s Snake) And Midland Brownsnakes. These subspecies both have two rows of dark spots running down their backs. These subspecies can interbreed, creating an intergrade species. The docile snakes never bite when picked up, their only real defense is to use their musk glands to create a foul scent when first captured. These secretive snakes are commonly found under stones, logs, and boards. As Brownsnakes only grow to be about 8”-12”, they feed mostly on snails, slugs, worms, and soft bodied insects.
A juvenile Brownsnake that was brought into the nature center yesterday.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Perseid Meteor Shower

On August 12-13th, the Perseid Meteor Shower will be making an appearance in our skies! This year the event should be especially impressive, as we are expecting "outbursts", meaning that the meteors will be seen at double the normal rates. Make sure you don't miss out on this popular celestial event, it only happens once a year! Call 419-884-3764 for more details.

Credit: Ruslan Merzlyakov/RMS Photography

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Magnificent Moths!

Many interesting moths can be found at the nature center. A moth enthusiast may be able to identify a wide array of species on the property. A mothing sheet (a plain white bedsheet) and a light go a long way in attracting moths later at night! Check out how it's done this Saturday at 9:30pm at Gorman!
A male Black-waved Flannel Moth (Lagoa crispata)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Hemlock Falls

Good morning nature lovers! Yesterday the staff of Gorman made a trip out to Hemlock Falls, another portion of land that is taken care of by the Richland County Parks District. There we worked on invasive removal (garlic mustard, dame's rocket, and lesser celandine) and learned more about the rare plants that can be found at the falls! While we did get several bags worth of plant materials, the concentration of invasive species was much less than we had expected. This is very uplifting to see as it is truly a beautiful place to behold, and definitely has plenty of biodiversity worth protecting! If you'd like to visit Hemlock Falls, please contact both the Gorman Nature Center (419) 884-3764, as well as the Mohican Outdoor School (419) 938-6671 to let them know to unlock the gate and allow you to park at the entrance of the falls.There is also now a spur that connects with the Clearfork Valley Trail that allows for visitation. Just remember, PLEASE STAY ON THE TRAILS! There are plenty of rare plants on the property that should not be disturbed!

The top of Hemlock Falls

Polyphemus moth found on the property

The very beginning of the trail

The interns and director of Gorman learn about the amazing rock structures at Hemlock Falls

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pollinator Friendly Practices

Happy pollinator festival everyone! Today is the first day of our 2nd Annual Pollinator Festival. Stop by to learn more about how you can help out your native pollinators and grow awesome gardens with native plants! We currently have Ohio native plants for sale courtesy of Gale Martin from Natives in Harmony, as well as displays from ODNR, Wild Ones, and the Richland Area Beekeepers Association. Stop by today until 5 or tomorrow from 10-5 for more information and nature walks! 

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