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!
June Bernard presented Magical Monarchs.
We discovered interesting facts about the life cycle of these bright orange and black butterflies, their amazing metamorphosis and their incredible annual 3,000-mile tricountry migration. Monarchs begin to arrive from Mexico in our
area mid-May to early June. June provided information on
where to find eggs and caterpillars, examples of simple
equipment needed to raise and release them and gardening
tips on which nectar and host plants will attract them. We learned
how we can become citizen scientists by tagging and
releasing Monarchs for the fall migration through the University
of Kansas’ Monarch Watch program. Monarch butterflies are in
decline due to rapid loss of habitat across North America.
The rains held off and eight of us had a very successful walk in the Cedar Creek Gorge. We were delighted to meet Holly Peck, whose grandfather Werner Buker was a longtime member of the Botanical Society.
He volunteered at the Carnegie Museum herbarium for 40 years and collected thousands of specimens. Holly has all his slides, each is identified. I Hope we can talk her into giving a talk and show!
We saw 20 some blooming flowers, the highlights were Snow Trillium, Harbinger of Spring, Hepatica, Twin Leaf and Blue Bells. We saw at least 20 not-blooming or non-flowering plants, most notable were Few-flowered Valerian, Blue-eyed Mary, Liverwort, Scarlet Cup and Crowded Parchment mushrooms. We also saw several Mergansers and Spring Azure butterflies.
Submitted by Judy Stark, Trip leader
Check out the May 4, 2017 newsletter for a list of upcoming outings.