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Information, insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

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proposal for 2020 BugGuide Gathering in FL

After a splendid 2019 Gathering at Allen Acres in July, it is hard to come up with anything that might pique the interest of entomologists to the same extent, but I'd like to propose something a bit different. I've looked into holding a 2020 Gathering at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, FL, Oct. 15-18. Why the autumn time frame? If you've ever been in FL in July, you know it is uncomfortably hot during the summer, which is great for insects but not for homeothermic vertebrates.

Park officials are willing and enthusiastic about helping us with logistics, especially for setting up lights. I will complete the necessary forms and am planning on renting a cabin in the park for the period.

Silver Springs State Park is located in the north central part of Florida, between Orlando (to the south) and Gainesville (to the north), in Ocala, a medium-sized town with ample food and lodging options. The Ocala National Forest and various other parks and greenways are also nearby.

Here are some info links:
Silver Springs State Park
Ocala National Forest
Ocala

I organized the Wisconsin Gathering in 2015 and also plan to have some guided field trips this time. While collecting specimens for private use is not allowed in the State Park, there are other nearby areas without such restrictions and, of course, photography is encouraged everywhere.

Is anybody interested in this venue/time?

Valerie Bugh

Silver Springs SP, FL event
I like the venue you have chosen (Silver Springs State Park).
I have stayed in the cabins there- they are nice.
the location is wonderfully close to good Springs such as Juniper, Alexander, Silver Glen, & Salt Springs.
When I stayed there it was called Silver River State Park, so some things have changed since 2009(?).
I'd like to attempt to attend an event because of my interest in the BugGuide information.
I'd like to show my support.

 
Yes, the state park name changed.
That happened in 2013 when the state acquired the Silver Springs attraction and merged it with the Silver River State Park. There are no more exotic animals and rides but the glass-bottom boats are still in use and there is now a canoe launch at the spring head. There is so much to do in the area that spending additional time would be easy, especially with Ocala National Forest nearby. The Juniper Springs canoe run is as gorgeous as ever.

For the gathering, I plan to visit a couple of locations outside the park but staying in Ocala just to keep driving time to a minimum. Indian Lake, Coehadjoe Park, and the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway Park are under consideration.

 
Florida Scrub Jay
In addition to bugs, I'm hoping to find and photograph a Florida Scrub Jay. I think there's a state park south of Silver Springs that has good habitat for that species. Looking forward to the BG meet-up.

Silver Springs event
My husband and I want to attend.
Jean and Bill Evoy

Silver Springs SP
The cabins are booked for this event, however I was able to reserve a camping spot at the park. There are still some tent and RV lots available for those dates.

Cabins update
I just booked cabin 8 for 3 nights. As of today, 1/28/20, only one cabin is left, #7.
Here is a direct link to the cabin reservations:
http://silversprings.com/camping/

BugGuide Gathering, Silver Springs
Valerie,

Thanks to you for planning this event. Can we plan on it and go ahead and reserve a cabin at the park? We'd like to come. It should be a very nice venue and like Marcia we are looking forward to seeing some of those southern moths.

Loren and Babs Padelford
Bellevue, NE

 
Yes!
I've already reserved one of the cabins so that we are sure to have a gathering place nearest a parking lot and a good area to have a light set-up. While the state park doesn't have any special events going on at that time, weekends are pretty popular, so early reservations are encouraged.

 
Gathering
Valerie,

Which cabin did you rent? We'd like to reserve one close by if available.

Loren Padelford
Bellevue, NE

 
No. 10
The cabins are along a one way loop, from 1 to 10. They are sort of well spaced out; we chose 10 due to proximity to extra parking and potential good light set-up areas.

Count me...
...in.

interesting venue
Hope to attend, hope to encounter some of those moths that do not travel this far north.

Sounds great!
Sounds great! I would hope to attend.

I am very interested in atten
I am very interested in attending also. I greatly enjoyed the 2018 Gathering that I attended. Being a midwesterner I wonder how worried I should be that October is hurricane season ?

 
There is a possibility.
One day after the Wisconsin Gathering in 2015, a major storm hit the area and winds toppled trees, including one that took down the line where we had a MV light set up and crashed where a tent had been the previous night. The State Parks will close if a storm threatens, but, on the other hand, Ocala is in the central part of the state and has sometimes been a refuge for travelers evacuated from coastal area parks. Luckily, there is usually more warning for hurricanes than tornadoes.

2020 BugGuide Gathering in FL
Valerie,

My husband and I are very interested in going. The location sounds amazing, and I know that Florida has some awesome insects. I think this is a great proposal!

Victoria Briseno

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