It is with deep sorrow that the Wissahickon Nature Club announces the death, on Friday June 17, 2016, of our Past President, Chuck Tague. View the obituary from the Daytona Beach News: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/news-journalonline/obituary.aspx?n=charles-r-tague-chuck&pid=180427639
Sympathy cards may be mailed to his wife, Joan, at their home address:
22 Creek Bluff Way, Ormand Beach, FL 32174
May 7, Saturday, 10:00 a.m. Raccoon Creek State Park Wildflower Reserve, by Dianne Machesney. Bring a picnic lunch.
June 3, Friday, 10:00 a.m. Buzzard Swamp, Marionville, by Bob Machesney. This will be for dragonflies and butterflies. Bring a net. Dress for ticks. 4 mile loop. Bathroom available in parking lot. No picnic tables.
June 11, Saturday, Wissahickon Annual Picnic, Mingo Creek State Park. Nature walks before and after lunch beginning at 10:00am. Click here for details.
June 24, Friday, 10:00 a.m. Whiskerville Gamelands by Bob Machesney. This will be for dragonflies and butterflies. Bring a net. Dress for ticks. 4 mile loop. No bathrooms. Rain date will be June 26. Directions From Pittsburgh: 79N to 422E to Rt 8 N. Go 1.2 miles to Rt 308N. Go 14.2 miles to Annandale (past Montour High School) turn right onto Branchton Rd. (SR 4010) Go 2.4 miles to Whiskerville. Turn left onto Kohlmeyer Rd. Go 2.2 miles, across SRCreek Bridge/RR grade. Turn right into parking lot.
August 6, Saturday, 10:00 a.m. Jennings Prairie by Dianne Machesney. Directions From Pittsburgh: 79N to 422E roughly 5.8 miles to 528N. Go 7 miles. Meet in the Jennings Prairie parking lot on the left (west) side of the road.
Even though the day started off cloudy and threatening rain in Pittsburgh, by the time we arrived in Butler County the sky cleared and the sun came out. The temperature was in the mid-70’s perfect for finding dragonflies and butterflies.
Four club members braved the muddy path to the various ponds and were rewarded with 22 species of dragonflies, 18 species of butterflies and 34 species of wildflowers. Click here to see the list. Thanks to Dick Nugent for submitting the bird species seen. Click here to see his list.
12 spotted skimmer
After eating our bag lunches in the gravel parking lot, we headed to Jennings Prairie where we found 48 wildflowers in bloom and two more species of butterflies.
Thanks to all who attended our anniversary picnic and to those who submitted photos.
Read the report submitted by Monica Miller here.
Even though it was raining in Pittsburgh, the weather in Marionville was warm and dry with a slight breeze. Very pleasant. Five club members walked the 4.6 mile loop around the swamp and saw a nice variety of butterflies and dragonflies. Click here for the list of species found today.
Pepper and Salt Skipper
Pink Lady Slipper
Some photos submitted by Don Weiss:
12 spotted skimmer
Bluet damselfly species
And some photos from Monica Miller:
Arched Hooktip Moth
June 11, 2016 Saturday 10:00 AM
Picnic at Mingo Creek State Park – Shelter 4 ( Near the Ebenezer Bridge)
Join us as we celebrate the Wissahickon Nature Club’s 75th Anniversary.
Wissahickon will provide kielbasa, hot dogs, charcoal, buns, paper plates and condiments.
Bring your own beverages.
Please bring a side dish to share. Shelter 4 is equipped with electricity, so crock-pots are welcome.
Bring field guides and binoculars. Wear hiking shoes, a hat and sun block.
Everybody’s welcome -not just Wissahickon Nature Club members.
>From Pittsburgh via I-79: Take I-79 South to Exit 43. Turn right and follow to stop sign. Turn right on Route 519 South and follow to Route 136 East. Follow signs for Mingo Creek Park (left turn into park) and the Park Office. Just past the Park Office (office on right), make a left to Shelter 4, through the Ebenezer Covered Bridge.
>From Pittsburgh via Route 51: Take Route 51 South to PA Toll Route 43 South. Pay $1 toll and take Exit 44. Turn right on Route 136 West. Follow signs for Mingo Creek Park (right turn into park) and the Park Office. Just past the Park Office (office on right), make a left to Shelter 4, through the Ebenezer Covered Bridge.
>From New Stanton: Take I-70 West to PA Toll Route 43 North (towards Pittsburgh). Take Exit 44 (toll 50
cents) and turn left on Route 136 West. Follow signs for Mingo Creek Park (right turn into park) and the Park Office. Just past the Park Office (office on right), make a left to Shelter 4, through the Ebenezer Covered Bridge.
>From South Hills via Route 88: Take Route 88 South until you’re approaching where a REALLY HIGH bridge (Route 43, Joe Montana Bridge) passes over it. Make a right onto Ginger Hill Road at a little sign on your right that says “Mingo Creek 2 miles”. Make the next immediate right onto Little Mingo Road. Follow this until you get to the park entrance on your left. Turn left into the park and take the main park road through, following the signs for the Park Office. The first bridge you will pass is the Henry Bridge — not Ebenezer; continue straight and do not go through it. Just past the Park Office (office on right), make a left to Shelter 4, through the Ebenezer Covered Bridge.
Or visit http://www.co.washington.pa.us/downloads/167.pdf
Saturday, May 23 was cool and cloudy, but two of us were treated to some lovely displays of wildflowers at Boyce Mayview park in Upper St. Clair. From the Boyce Rd. parking lot, we hiked the Wetlands, Duckbill and Trillium Trails. Highlights were gorgeous hillsides of Blue Phlox and Toadshade Trilliium, and a lovely patch of Large Flowered Bellwort. Also seen were Dutchman’s Breeches, Toothwort, Larkspur, Golden Alexanders and Lesser Celandine. Past their prime were Trout Lilies, Hepatica, Spring Beauty and Bloodroot. We got a good look at a Towhee, but missed the Blue Herons and Great White Egrets seen earlier.
Submitted by Leader: Judy Stark
Click here for a list of the flowering species we found and more photos.
On a cloudless morning, ten people attended our nature walk at Raccoon. The temperatures went from mid 50’s to low 70’s for the 3 mile loop on the Jennings and Audubon Trails. Over 50 species were in bloom and another handful in bud.
The hills sides were covered with Dwarf larkspur and the lowlands we re dense with spring cress and golden ragwort. Violets abounded. The trillium were waning but were still beautiful. Goldenseal was still in bloom.
Common Blue Violet
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Dwarf Larkspur
The highlight of the day for me was the abundance of the submerged aquatic buttercup, yellow water crowsfoot, Ranuculus flabellaris, which was a life plant for all attending.
Yellow Water Crowsfoot
Our speaker, Donna Foyle, talked about her birding trip to St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. She stayed four nights at the village of Gambell, which has no motorized vehicles except ATVs. About 600 Yupik native Americans call Gambell home. All supplies, food, building materials,clothes, televisions, ATVs etc. must be flown in.
The second leg of the trip was in Nome, where they saw glaciers with blue ice, melting into the sea.
Donna purchased a hand carved ivory walrus tusk image of a whale as a souvenir. The residents depend on tourists to supplement their incomes.
The rocks were samples of the hard-to-walk beach area. This was the last meeting of the club year. See you again on the trails and back at Fern Hollow Nature Center in September.
Our speaker, Norm Diebold and his wife, Linda gave us an introduction to Bee Farming. His hives reside at Fern Hollow Nature Center and are used for educational purposes.
We learned there are seven recognized species of honey bees and 20,000 other bee species. They have been around for 30 million years. A typical hive will have 20,000 to 30,000 bees. Queens can live for 2-3 years. All the workers are female and drones are male. The worker bees can sting only once and it causes their death. Queens and drones can sting multiple times.
Norm talked about the ways bees communicate with pheromones, how they gather nectar to make honey, store pollen and seal cracks in the hive with propolis. Honey is antibacterial and never goes bad.
He went into a lot of detail about hive management and winter survival. The biggest problem is managing/preventing mite infestations. There were many questions, and Norm patiently answered them all.