Long time member and past president, Tim Manka, passed away September 4, 2019. He will be remembered for his love of science and nature. His stories from past park ranger jobs, boy scouts and years of teaching at Shaler High School added interest to our meetings. He was always willing to share “treasures” from his archival library, and enjoyed partaking of the cookie table. It was a long standing Wissahickon tradition that he did an animated rendition of “The Night Before Christmas” at our annual cookie exchange meeting. His absence at our meetings will be felt by all.
Viewing will be at Neid Funeral Home on Washington Street in Swissvale on Friday, September 27, 2019 from 2-4 pm and 6-8pm. and Saturday September 28 at 9:30 am, followed by a service.
We will kick off the new club year with a wine and cheese social and a presentation by member, Don Weiss. He will lead us on a scenic tour of the State of Washington. His photos will highlight birds, animals, flowers, scenic views and a few butterflies.
Come at 7:00 pm to socialize. Bring a snack/cheese or dessert to share. The meeting will start at 7:30 pm at Fern Hollow Nature Center, 1901 Glen Mitchell Road, Sewickley, PA 15143. The club will provide the wine.
Our seven members were rewarded with clear blue skies, low humidity and high 70’s temperatures. We saw 79 species of flowers in bloom, fresh beaver signs, birds, butterflies, moth, dragonflies and mushrooms.
Friday, July 26, 2019 10:00 AM Jennings Prairie, Leaders: Dianne and Bob Machesney (C) 412-523-0368 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.
Outings are free and open to the public. Bring your friends. Trails are wheelchair accessible.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.
Friday, June 28, 2019 at 10:00 am. Leader: Dianne and Bob Machesney
(H) 412-366-7869 (C) 412-523-0368
Directions: 79 North to route 488 exit- Portersville. Left at the exit to rte. 19.Take rte 19 north 13 miles make right on Black Road. Pass the corn silos. At bottom of hill is 4 way intersection. Turn left on Nelson rd .About 1/2 mile turn right onto #2 Mine Rd. Pass swamps on either side of road. At the rise in the road turn right into gravel/grass parking lot, where we will meet. Just past the parking lot is the railroad grade on the left that goes thru Shollards wetland where we will be walking. The gated road in the parking lot goes back to Black Swamp and many ponds.
Ryan Tomazin presented Holistic Birding: Seeing Without Seeing, Hearing Without Hearing. The slideshow and audio focused on trying to deepen our senses beyond the obvious, for when birds don’t behave and sing nicely in full view. The theories draw upon Ryan’s personal experiences with our eclectic feathered brethren. He has deliberately blurred out his chosen picture in order to punctuate his presentation.
This was our last meeting of the season. Next meeting September 12th. See you on the trail.
On an overcast day, we walked the first mile of the trail before it started to drizzle. Wearing rain gear and using our umbrellas, we finished the round trip without getting wet. We saw 29 species in flower and two in bud.
Photos By: Dianne Machesney
Flowers in Bloom
Garlic Mustard, Winter cress, Dandelion, Common chickweed, Grandiflora trillium, Corn salad, Wild ginger, Purple Deadnettle, Wild geranium, yellow corydalis, spring beauty, Solomon seal - bud, ground ivy, common blue violet, smooth yellow violet, greater celandine, rock cress, early saxifrage, kidney leaved buttercup, wild blue phlox, northern white violet, coltsfoot, long spur violet, red trillium, dog violet, foam flower, broad leaved toothwort, bishop's cap, Dutchman's britches, dogwood trees, wild hydrangea in bud.
Thursday, April 11, 7:30 pm. Dianne Machesney presented The Spotted Lanternﬂy. Dianne Machesney is a Penn State Master Gardener and a naturalist with a life long love of gardening and nature. The Spotted Lanternfly is a particularly devastating invasive insect making its way westward across Pennsylvania. Dianne addressed what we all need to look out for as we prepare for this serious agricultural pest, and what to do if you find one. Call 1-888-4BAD-FLY 1-888-422-3359.
Members were good sports and wore the paper Spotted Lanternfly hats, provided as a good way to remember what to look for. As an encore, information was given about the Asian Jumping Worm, another invasive that is already present in W. PA.
Little Sewickley Creek outside of Herminie.
This is a favorite trip for early spring ephemerals and Snow
Trillium. The walk is easy along an old railroad grade.
Directions: Take the PA Turnpike to Exit 67-Route
30/Irwin/Greensburg. Take the Route 30 East/Greensburg ramp. At the first
stoplight on Route 30, turn right onto Arona Road, then another right after 0.5
mile onto unmarked Wendel Road. Travel this road 3.7 miles to a T. Turn right
at the T and continue 1 mile to Herminie to a 4-way stop (VFD on corner).
Continue straight to the next stop sign and turn left. Proceed through 2 more
stop signs, end at a T, and turn right. Continue past the Dairy Queen on your
right and continue down a hill; we will meet just before the highway bridge.
Park on the left side.
These directions are difficult as roads are unmarked and state roads through Herminie sometimes look like alleys. If you can use them, the GPS coordinates will likely take you by a more direct route. GPS coordinates: 40.26050, -79.72700.