Next Meeting December 14, 2017

Monica Miller and Don Weiss will present Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, the Crown Jewels of the National Park System.  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.

 

This night will also be our Annual Holiday Christmas party and Cookie Exchange.

November 9, 2017 Meeting

 

COLORDO

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.

October 12, 2017 Meeting

 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.

Sept. 14, 2017 Meeting “Wetlands”

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.

 

Jennings Trip Report: 7/29/17

Even though Pittsburgh and south saw 2-3 inches of rain the night before,  Jennings was dry and the sun was shining for our annual walk through the prairie. We found 62 species in flower including a new one for our records, Featherfleece, Stenanthium  gramineum. Click here to see the list of what we found.  After lunch, six of us went to Moraine to see the Spotted Coralroot.

Photos by Dianne Machesney and Tom Moser.

Jennings Prairie: July 29, 2017

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.

Sandy Lake Butterfly Count Trip Report July 8, 2017

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

Moth Mullein

Chicory

Bouncing Bet

Bee Balm

Angelica

Sad news

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

May 4, 2017 Meeting

 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!