Meeting December 12, 2019

Kate St. John presented Peregrine Falcons – A Success Story.

Kate has been watching peregrines since the 90’s. She explained the history of Peregrines in PA and the story of their successful reintroduction. She told the family histories of Dorothy, Hope and Morela and covered some of the other breeding pairs in our area.

22 members prepare to enjoy Kate’s program.

This was our annual Christmas Cookie party. Members brought cookies, ate cookies, took cookies home!

Kim likes the hot apple cider
So does Amanda
Kathy and Loree
A snowy Christmas favor
Thanks to Monica for making our annual Christmas favors.

We will take our annual winter break January and February 2020 .

November 14, 2019 Meeting

Donna Foyle presented Introduced and Endemic Birds from Three Hawaiian Islands. Even from a young age, Donna was fascinated with birds. She got her first camera at age 7 and the rest is history. Donna was on a bird tour in February with three other birder friends. Her photos were fantastic of beautiful introduced birds and also a few natives. Many birds are threatened because of introduced predators, ie rats and disease carrying mosquitoes. One albatross that she photographed had a leg band. She was able to trace the number to find out that it was probably seven years old, sex undetermined.

Monica introduced our speaker

October, 2019 Meeting

Mike Fialkovich presented “Birds and Nature in Southern Texas”.

In November, 2018, Mike joined an Audubon Society of W. Pennsylvania tour to the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas to see the area’s famed birds, Mike shared his photographs of the birds, other wildlife and plants that the group experienced during the trip.

Mike, our speaker
Su, the bionic women!
Kathy, Monica, Don and Bob
John and Kim
Norm and Judy
Pat and new member, Jasmine.

Trip Report Jennings Prairie 7/26/19

Kate, Melissa, Dick, Kathy, Ryan, Bob and Henry the beagle.

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.

See the list here:

Jennings Prairie
Six acres are being cleared to enlarge the space for the rattlesnakes
See that bird?
Small flowered fringed purple orchid

Shollard’s Wetland Field Trip

cattails

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.

Shollards parking lot GPS coordinates:

N41.11441 —W80.19218   Elevation 1233 feet above sea level. 

No facilities here. Pack a lunch and a chair .

May 9, 2019 Meeting

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.

Trip Report B/F Trail: Monroe Rd

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.

Yellow corydalis
Wild blue phlox
Early saxifrage. There were 50+ individuals.
Coltsfoot
Spring Beauties
Red Trillium
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.

Change of Speaker April 11, 2019

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.

Is there a bug on me?!!

Field Trip with Botanical Society of W. PA.

Sunday, March 31, 2019, 1:00 PM

Little Sewickley Creek outside of Herminie. Westmoreland County

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.

Meeting March 14, 2019

Bonnie Isaac presented Herbarium Happenings. Bonnie Isaac, a Pennsylvania native, is the Collection Manager of Botany at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. She has been employed by the museum since 1989. Bonnie received her Bachelors & Masters degrees in Biological Sciences with emphasis in Plant Sciences from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio and an International Diploma in Herbarium Techniques, from the Kew Royal Botanical Garden in Kew, England. Bonnie serves on the Pennsylvania Botany Symposium Committee, the Pennsylvania Vascular Plant Technical Committee of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey, and as President of the Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania. When not botanizing, Bonnie enjoys hunting, traveling, gardening and snorkeling.

Janet, Eileen and Odie

We learned what a herbarium is, what is stored there, how to take and dry a sample for the collection and how today’s technology is giving us even more insight into plant DNA . The herbarium has a weekly blog featuring specimens from their collection at:https://www.masonheberling.com/collected-on-this-day

Colleen and Ed talk to Bonnie after her presentation.
St. Patrick’s Day cookies from Janet.
Monica gets the meeting started on time.

Bonnie and Tara