Getting stuck in traffic and having technical difficulties didn’t stop Don Weiss from presenting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, the Crown Jewels of the National Park System, with a little help from Monica Miller,( who was on time but not in possession of the flash drive the program was on!) The wildlife, scenery, and thermal features are like no other place in N. America, or the world. Known as the Serengeti of N. America, it was the world’s first national park. They experienced weather from the 20’s and snow to the mid-70’s and cloudless sunshine. They saw wildlife from ground squirrels to a grizzly with cubs. Flowers were everywhere and the snow-capped mountains inspired and impressed.
Thank you to Judy Stark, who made our holiday favors this year. An ornament filled with milkweed seeds.
This night was our Annual Holiday Christmas party and Cookie Exchange. The table was overflowing with goodies and the mulled cider hit the spot on a cold evening.
Tim Manka continued our annual tradition of reciting “The Night Before Christmas”
The club will be on hiatus for the winter. See you at our next meeting March 8, 2018.
From the mountains to the prairies, Mike Fialkovich showed the amazing array of nature and scenery he experienced during a trip to the Pawnee National Grasslands and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado last June. Twenty-two members enjoyed Mike’s photos of birds, flowers, trees, mammals and landscapes taken during a birding trip sponsored by W. PA Audubon and led by Brian Shema. Mike said he got seven life birds during the trip and numerous life plants, especially alpine plants from the tundra.
Walt Schaffer presented Birding Merritt Island. Merritt Island is a census-designated place in Brevard County, Florida, located on the eastern Florida coast, along the Atlantic Ocean. Walt and Dana have birded Merritt Island, Florida many times. We learned why it’s such a good place to bird as they took us on a tour of the Island.
27 attendees learned to look closely at the birds and to watch behavior. A series of photos of a wood stork highlighted fishing techniques. Another series of a reddish egret and a snowy egret showed that birds can learn hunting strategies from each other.
Our November meeting speaker unfortunately had to cancel, but Mike Fialkovich is graciously stepping in with a program about Colorado. Su Varley reported seeing a red bat, which Bob Machesney said are migrating now.
Wetland at Whiskerville Gamelands
We kicked off the first meeting of the new season with a wine/cheese spread. Our Treasurer, Dianne Machesney, presented a program about Wetlands. We learned how a wetland is made, the difference between bogs, fens, marshes and swamps. How our wetlands are endangered and what we can do to help.
Dues for the year are being collected now.
Outings are free and open to the public. Bring your friends. Trails are wheelchair accessible. Dress for the weather: wear a hat and expect muddy trails. Bring your binoculars and field guides, lunch and beverages.
July 29, Saturday, 10:00 am. Jennings Prairie, Wissahickon Nature Club. Visit the unique ecosystem at Jennings Prairie.
This is the perfect time to explore the relict prairie. The hot weather brings the stunning Blazing Star and some of the other dazzling summer flowers to peak performance. The goldenrods of fall will begin to show. Don’t miss the spectacular butterflies that grace the prairie with their breathtaking beauty. Flycatchers, vireos, tanagers, Common Yellowthroats and Cedar Waxwings sometimes make an appearance. We may come across a Red Eft, the larval form of a Red-spotted Newt.
Wear a hat and sunscreen. Bring binoculars, field guides, water and a lunch.
Directions From Pittsburgh: take I-79 North to Exit 99, New Castle/ Butler. Drive east on Route 422 roughly 5.8 miles to the Prospect Exit. Turn left (north) onto Route 528.
Continue on Route 528 for about 7 miles. Meet in the Jennings Environmental Center Parking Lot on the left (west) side of the road.
The day started out cloudy with a few scattered showers but quickly turned to increasing sun and mid-70’s. Kim and Jean, Walt and Dana, joined walk leaders Bob and Dianne at 10AM for the count. Mid-day we met up with the 8:30 AM group consisting of Glenn and Maryalice, Curt, Neil and his children, Samuel, Harvey, Ruth Ann, Rachel and Naomi. After a picnic-style lunch, we continued to the Polk Wetland to look for the Baltimore Checkerspot, which we found. 28 species of butterflies and 80 species of flowering plants were recorded . Click here to see the lists.
Vipers Bugloss Sandy Lake Gamelands
Notice: bring boots or old shoes that can get muddy. It’s been raining in that area the past two days and the dirt road we will be walking could be messy!!
Longtime member, Joel Platt, passed away Friday, June 23, 2017. He attended many of our meetings and outings. He was our Refreshment Chair – making sure the water was hot for coffee/tea by the time members arrived and keeping our inventory bin stocked. He was a kind and intelligent man, who will be missed by all.
Joel’s obituary may be found at http://www.schugar.com/obituaries?id=1382
All Members Night A Tribute to Chuck Tague.
20 plus members ( and one well-behaved dog) brought slides, photos and memories in honor of our past-President, Chuck Tague. Attendees shared a nice array of snacks and cookies as they reminisced. What a great way to celebrate the life of a man who has done so much for nature and our environment and especially for the Wissahickon Nature Club.
This was the last meeting of the season. See you in September!