June 28, 2014 Markleysburg Bog

Pitcher Plant

Saturday, June 28, 2014, 10:00 AM     Markleysburg Bog, Fayette  County

Leader: Loree Speedy, 724-518-6022; loreespeedy@gmail.com

Directions:  The intersection of US40 & PA381 can be reached by traveling US40 east from Uniontown, or by traveling PA 381 south from  PA Turnpike Exit 91 – Donegal (travel PA 31 east 2 miles).

At the intersection of PA 381 and US 40, travel US40 east 6 miles. Look for an oversized sign on the right reading “Truck Warning-Steep Grade.”  Turn right at the foot of this sign onto a blacktop driveway into the Mountain Fellowship Center, marked with a blue sign. Continue past the community building on the left and park along the right side of dirt road.

Prepare for wet feet. Protection at least 4 inches over the ankle is recommended as the bog is not deep.

May 3, 2014 Foxburg, PA Allegheny River Trail


Saturday, May 3, 2014, 10:00 AM

Foxburg, Clarion County & Parker Game Lands – Bear Creek Area, Butler County

Leader: Dianne Machesney

Contact Information: DIANNEM15237@aol.com;  cell: (412) 523-0368;                    home: (412) 366-7869

We will walk a nice paved trail that goes along the Allegheny River for about a mile and then turn back. Plan to have lunch at the Foxburg Inn; good food at decent prices and a glass walled dining room overlooking the river. After lunch, we will travel south about 3 miles to the Bear Creek area in the Parker Game Lands. We will walk along the road looking for wildflowers on the banks.

Directions:   From Pittsburgh, travel PA 8 north to Butler. In downtown Butler, turn right onto Cunningham St to pick up PA 68 east. Travel PA 68 east for 1.5 mile to pick up PA 38 N. Continue on PA 38 N for 21 miles to PA 58. Turn right onto PA58 and continue about 7 miles to the Foxburg Bridge over the Allegheny River. Take first right after the bridge into the parking lot.  Go to the far end and park.  If using GPS, use the address for the Foxburg Inn, 20 Main Street, Foxburg, PA 16036.


Field Trip to Duff Park — April 19, 2014

duff parkSaturday,   April 19, 2014, 1:00 PM

Duff Park, Murrysville, Westmoreland   County

Leader: Loree Speedy, 724-518-6022;    loreespeedy@gmail.com
Expect some uphill trail climbing in this lovely old-growth wooded slope.

Directions: From  Pittsburgh, take I-376 east (Parkway East) to its end
at US 22 East - Murrysville.  Travel US 22 for 5 miles to a traffic
light and Sheetz at School Rd. Turn right onto School Rd, traveling
about 1/8 of a mile, cross the bridge over Turtle Creek, and park in
the parking lot on the right.

Wolf Creek Narrows— Tuesday April 22, 2014

wolf creekTuesday, April 22, 2014, 10:00 AM
Wolf Creek Narrows, Butler County
Leader: Dianne Machesney
Contact Information: diannem15237@aol.com

cell: (412) 523-0368; home: (412) 366-7869

Directions:  From Pittsburgh take I-79 north to Exit 105. At the   end of the ramp turn left on PA 108. Travel east on PA 108 for about   0.7 miles to West Park Rd (Dairy Queen on the right). Turn left onto West Park Road (SR 1015) and drive north about 1.8 miles to SR 1020   (you can see some large silos on the right). Turn right on SR 1020   (Miller
Rd) and drive about 1.7 miles to the small parking lot on the right.
(SR 1020 is a winding road and at an almost T intersection, turn right
to stay on SR 1020.) If you reach the bridge, you have gone too far.
The parking lot is just before you reach the bridge over Wolf  Creek.

Wolf Creek Narrows is known for its spectacular display of spring
wildflowers – Virginia bluebells and golden saxifrage in the hemlock
hardwood forest and white trillium in the mature stands of sugar
maple, all along a high-quality stream  meandering through towering

First Field Trip of the 2014 Season- Cedar Creek Gorge

Snow Trillium   Cedar Creek Gorge


Sunday, April 6, 2014,   1:00 PM
Cedar Creek Gorge, Westmoreland County

Leader: Mark Bowers, 724-454-4012; 4beagles@verizon.net
Directions:  From Pittsburgh, travel PA 51 south to its junction   with
PA 201 (just after Bills and Willowbrook Plaza). Continuing on PA   51,
travel 2 additional miles to the traffic light for Concord Ln   (gas
station and Burger King on left) and turn left.  (This   traffic light
at Concord Ln can also be reached by I-70 exit 46B and   continuing
north on PA 51 for a very short distance). Traveling on Concord Ln,
bear right at fork and then turn right onto Municipal Dr.  Continue
about 0.6 mile past Timm’s Lane, and turn left into the main   entrance
to Cedar Creek Park. Follow this road downhill, cross the bike trail,
and turn left to continue through a series of parking lots until you
reach the farthest parking lot, near the Gorge Trail.

There will be early spring plants popping out along the stream, but
wear sturdy shoes if you wish to make the climb to see Snow Trillium.

Annual Cookie Exchange-December 19th

Don’t miss our last meeting of the season featuring our annual cookie exchange.   The club will provide the hot apple cider and guests should bring a batch of their favorite holiday cookies to share.  Our speaker for the evening will be Mike Fialkovich.  His program is about the ecology of the State of Washington. See the “meetings” tab for more details.   We’ll see everyone in March when our programs resume.christmas-cookie-swap

Trip Report: Preston Park: Aug. 10, 2013

Purple Loosestrife

Twelve attendees were treated to a private tour of the Preston Park  grounds by Buffalo Township Employee and volunteer docent, Marcie Love. She was in for a big surprise.  Never having hosted a nature group, she was unaware that we travel at “the speed of botany”. She gave us some excellent historic information, but we were always lagging behind looking at the plants.

The park hosts seven of the tallest trees in Pennsylvania, and they have been registered at www.pabigtrees.com.  These champions are marked with pink ribbons, but will eventually get permanent markers.  See the field notes for the trip here.

preston1preston3Joann Schreiber and feathrfleece The skinny bridge Judy shoots a deer! Weeping Siberian Pine preston6 Ponderosa Pine Pacific  silver Fir  docent Marcie Love, Donna, Judy, Bob, Dick, Melissashrubby st johns wort Preston's lab/house The Big Grass Prairie

Outing – Preston Park, August 10


Saturday, August 10, 2013, 10:00 a.m.

Preston Park, Butler Township, Butler County

Leader: Dave Heltzell of Volunteers of Preston Park.

A joint outing of the Botanical Society of Western PA and Wissahickon Nature Club.

Preston Park is an 88-acre English garden donated to Butler Township by Dr. Frank Preston, founder of Preston Laboratories, and Mrs. Jane Preston. Dr. Preston, a glass scientist, ornithologist, and ecologist, created and designed an English garden as a place to live, work and enjoy nature.  Dr. Preston apparently walked the entire property daily at dawn, in accordance with his origins in England where a deep interest in nature is a great pastime.

Park Volunteer Dave Heltzell will introduce us to the park’s significant historical and cultural resources, including Dr. Preston’s glass research laboratory. Preston Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is now maintained by Butler Township. For more information, visit Butler Township’s Preston Park website

Directions: Travel I-79 north to Exit 83 – PA 528 toward Evans City. Travel PA 528 north for 2.6 miles to a T. Turn right at the T and continue east on PA 68 for 9 miles to Whitestown Rd (the first traffic light after the Butler Farm Show on the right).Turn right onto Whitestown Rd and continue 1 mile to turn right onto South Eberhart Road. Park entrance will be on the left.  The GPS address is 415 South Eberhart Road, Butler, PA  16

Outings are free and open to the public.

Trip Report: Jennings Prairie: July 29, 2013

It started as a cool, sunny day in the mid-60′s, probably the first time we hiked the prairie and didn’t have to worry about sunstroke!  We found 73 species of wildflower species in bloom, and 19 species of butterflies.  Two new species for our master list were pinesap and featherfleece.  We found the Small Flowered Purple Fringed orchis, but in lesser numbers than the previous year. Click here for a list of our sightings.

bridge monica

featherfleecepinesapjennings3Wissahikcon hike at Jennings

azure monica cardinel flower monica jennings monica purple orchis monica

downy skullcap monica miller black cohosh joe pye weed blazing star with viceroy