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

January 1, 2019 Field Trip

Tuesday, January 1, 2019, 12:00  noon
North Park, Irwin Road, Allegheny County

Leader: Richard Nugent:  rmnugent@live.com;  (412)  487-5549
Directions:  From PA 8 north of Pittsburgh, travel north about 7 miles from Etna to Wildwood Road. Turn left onto Wildwood Road and travel 3 miles to a major intersection and stoplight in the park at Babcock Blvd. Turn right onto Babcock Blvd, continuing a short distance to a parking lot on the left side of Babcock Blvd, just after the turn for Pearce Mill Road. Alternatively, travel I-79 north to Exit 73-Wexford. Turn right onto PA 910 and continue 5 miles to Babcock Blvd. Turn right onto Babcock Blvd and travel 2.7 miles to the parking lot on the right, just before Pearce Mill Road. 
Enjoying botany and nature on New Year’s Day is now a BSWP/Wissahickon tradition!
This trip could be canceled due to unsafe driving conditions; to learn if the trip is canceled when weather conditions are uncertain, please call Richard at 412-487-5549 the day of the hike. 

December 13, 2018 Meeting

Wissahickon Nature Club Meeting and Holiday cookie exchange 

On Thursday, December 13,  Don Weiss shared the beautiful sites and stories of his time at Glacier National Park during the first week on September. It is a lovely time of year to be in the park, with many mountain views and beautiful lakes. Although the fires and smoke the park was experiencing blocked many of the dramatic views, they did add their own photographic possibilities. There was plenty of wildlife in the National Bison Range, about 2 hours South of the park. Many birds and even a few flowers.


Our traditional annual Holiday, Christmas Cookie party followed his presentation. 

Member Pat Truschel made the beautiful Holiday Favors.

Holiday Favors
Kathy, Donna, Ryan, Susanne
Caleb and Don
Tim
Marlow
Judy, Norm, Glenn
Janet and Liz
Monica and Don

Meeting November 8, 2018

On Thursday, November 8, seventeen members braved the traffic caused by the Steelers v Panthers game ( Steelers won) and listened attentively as Polly Shaw  presented the Making of Moraine – the Creation of a State Park. This program described the time period from 1946 when Preston and Arthur met, until 1970 when the new park was formally dedicated.  Moraine State Park has been characterized as a great achievement in environmental engineering achievement so we looked at how the land use was changed from one of coal mining, oil drilling, farming, and swamp land, into today’s 16,725 acre park with a 3,225 acre lake.


Polly Shaw sets up her display table

The cover of Polly’s book about Moraine State Park and her upcoming new book about McConnells Mill State Park

Joint Field Trip with BSWP

 

Beaver Creek State Park, Ohio

Saturday, September 1, 2018. 1:00 PM
Beaver Creek State Park, Ohio
Leader: Carl Patsche , (304) 724-0139

Directions: From Pittsburgh, follow US Route 30 west to the West Virginia state line. Continue west on Route 30 through the town of East Liverpool. About 6 miles from East Liverpool, exit US Route 30 at the State Route 7, Rogers exit. Travel Route 7 north about 2 miles to the entrance to Beaver Creek State Park on the right, just past Beaver Local High School.
Continue about 2 ½ miles to the parking lot on the right, just past the Park Office, where we will meet.
GPS coordinates: 40.72677, -80.61200

 

 

 

September 13, 2018 Meeting

WINE AND CHEESE RECEPTION

On Thursday, September 13th, Bob and Dianne Machesney  presented “Panama, December 2017.”  Photos  from their butterfly tour at the Canopy Tower and Lodge showed the flora, fauna, birds, butterflies of the area, along with some history and geography.   Did you know that Panama means ” abundance of  fish?”     This was our annual wine and cheese reception. 

Trip Report Jennings August 4, 2018

Image

Eighteen people enjoyed beautiful 84 degree, sunny weather to hike the prairie at Jennings. We saw a good variety of blooming flowers, grasses, mushrooms, birds and butterflies.  Click here to see the list.

Fr. Bob, Susanne, Sharon

Colleen, Kate, Evan, Sue, Melissa and Adam

Groundnut Apios Americana

Culver’s Root Veronicastrum virginicum

Cordyceps Mushroom

Chanterelle Mushroom

 

Jack – that is one tall sunflower!! Helianthus giganteus

Water horehound Lycopus americanus

Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnate

Field Trip to Jennings August 4, 2018

August 4, Saturday, 10:00 Jennings Prairie, by Dianne Machesney
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.

May 10, 2018 Meeting

. Steve Leitkam, retired aquatic botanist with the Pennsylvania EPA,  presented Critters From My Backyard Jungle. Years ago, while working on a new business card design, Steve came up with the following blurb in an attempt to summarize a particular factor regarding his passion for nature: “Seeking out the often overlooked. Be amazed at what’s out there.” And truth be told, years later he still finds himself being amazed on a relatively regular basis; often in his own backyard. There are so many really cool things all around us that most people are completely unaware of. And often, with those sorts of things, he’s like a kid in a candy shop. Steve’s extremely close-up photos of insects, ie beetles, aphids, leafhoppers, ants, wasps and various nymph instars,  showed us a view of these tiny animals that few of us have ever seen.

This was the last meeting of the season.  See you on the trails this summer and back at Fern Hollow in September.

Constant companion, Cookie.

Reticulated Python

Trip Report Raccoon Creek Wildflower Preserve April 27 2018

Eight club members hiked the wildflower preserve on a 55 degree cloudy day led by Dianne Machesney.  Judy, Donna, Tim, Charmie,    Bob, Jessica  and Karen saw 36 flowering species. After lunch we went to Independence Marsh and saw 25 species, including Shooting Star.  Only two butterflies were spotted: E. Comma and Spring Azure.  Click here for the list of plants.

Here are some photos from the hike:   (Photos by: Dianne Machesney)

Yellow Corydalis

Wild Ginger

Wild Blue Phlox

Virginia Bluebells

Trout Lily

Squirrel Corn

Virginia Spring Beauties

Shooting Star

Lyre Leaved Rock Cress

Karen and Dianne

Harbinger of Spring

Grandiflora Trillium

Foam Flower

Early Saxifrage

Dwarf Larkspur

Cut leaf Toothwort

Blue Cohosh

Kidney leaved buttercup Photo by: Tim Prepelka