General Meeting Minutes – January 26, 2016

In attendance: Carlin, Robert, Emily, Peter, Ken, Joel, Matthew W., Mark D.

Past Business

  • The mailing list transfer: it’s done. Everyone on the old list should have received an email or two telling them how to opt in to the new mailing list. The Mailing List page of the website has been updated. Speaking of the website …
  • The website: Carlin both intends and expects to send out a message to the TriTrogs to let us all know how to post (trip reports!) to the website. He’ll take care of transferring the recent trip reports that were posted to Blogger.
  • Ken brought his copy of the monograph from Breathing Cave so that people would know what a monograph looked like in person.

New Business

  • Grotto dues: pay them. It’s only $15 for the year. Give your cash or a check to an officer or pay online.
  • Youth groups: Joel offered to get in touch with the Boy Scouts leader who came to the last meeting. Joel and Ken will coordinate and deliver a talk to let them know what to expect and what’s required.
  • Darwin Day: The Museum of Natural Sciences will celebrate Darwin Day on February 13, 2016. They were impressed by the TriTrog bat booth last year and expect us to participate again this year. Rob will organize and muster troops. Volunteers needed. The museum encourages us to seek out future opportunities to volunteer our time in exchange for the free, after-hours meeting space it provides every month.

Trip Reports

  • New Year, New River:
    Joel, Rob, Rachel, Ken, and Beth went to New River Cave on the first weekend of the new year. They saw forty or so hibernating bats and took a few pictures while sneaking past very very quietly. A few were identified as Northern long-eared bats which were listed last year as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. The others were Big brown bats. Joel posted his detailed trip report here.
  • Sheep Cave Survey:
    Ken, Mark, and Emily celebrated the end of Tanya’s brief caving hiatus by dragging her to the coldest, trashiest cave in the county. Sheep Cave was not really all entrance, it just felt that way. We surveyed 300 feet but were never more than 50 feet from one of the two big, junk-filled entrances. Everything metal (huge spools of barbed wire, a vintage freezer, unrecognizable rusty appliances and machinery) was right where we wanted to be standing to take readings. A couple leads are left, probably not amounting to much. One smells bad, the other may require getting wet. We all would have liked to get to a deeper, warmer section of the cave, if only one had existed. It was snowing when we came out. Ken’s trip report is here.
  • Florida has dry caves?!
    Carlin went to Florida over his winter break and used up some excess vacation while hunting for the elusive dry Florida cave. In Jackson County he visited Florida Caverns State Park and The Ovens cave system, accessible only by paddling across the Chipola River. In Alachua County he went to Warren Cave, where he encountered several Tri-colored bats and stepped on only some of the small frogs crowding the entrance. At four miles in length, it’s Florida’s longest dry cave by far. Then, having read a report on the caves of Miami and recalling the description of razor rock, he decided not to bother with any of the caves there.

Upcoming Trips

  • Feb 27 – Hancock Cave Bat Count

Elections

We did some democracy. The 2016 officers:

Ken Walsh, Chair
Robert Harris, Vice-chair
Carlin Kartchner, Webmaster
Emily Graham, Secretary
Joel Johnson, Treasurer