April 12th Meeting

Thursday, April 12, 7:30 pm.

Kirsi Jansa presented How to Face the Challenges Climate Change Presents Us Without Becoming Overwhelmed. Sustainability Pioneers – maker of locally produced short documentaries- showcased individuals, communities and states in the US and in Europe taking bold climate action. Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto was highlighted, as was Frick Environmental Center.   The screening was followed by comments and input from the audience about how climate change affects them personally.

RESOURCES FOR CLIMATE ACTION

Links to the sites Kirsi mentioned: Sustainability Pioneers ​short documentaries free online at ​www.sustainabilitypioneers.com Sustainability Pioneers on Facebook: ​https://www.facebook.com/SustainabilityPioneers/

Gas Rush Stories​ short documentaries free online at​ ​ ​www.gasrushstories.com Gas Rush Stories on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Gas-Rush-Stories-217836678335199/

Creatives for Climate collaborative​: ​https://creatives4climate.wordpress.com Creatives for Climate on Facebook: ​https://www.facebook.com/creatives4climate/

Book  ” Active Hope”  by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone​ ​https://www.activehope.info

SWITCH TO RENEWABLE ENERGY The official electric shopping website of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PA PUC)​http://www.papowerswitch.com To make sure you get what you want and won’t run into unexpected price-hikes in the future, here’s guidance by ​PennFuture​. https://www.pennfuture.org/Files/Admin/TakethePowerBack%5FSteps%2Dto%2DTake%2Dfor%2D Parents.pdf

Earth Day at the Frick Environmental Center https://www.facebook.com/events/1823146207989568/?event_time_id=1823146211322901

Make your climate promise DearTomorrow​ ​https://www.deartomorrow.org/en/home/

New documentary with Jeff Bridges Living in the Future’s Past – TRAILER​ ​https://vimeo.com/243404072 Official site ​https://www.livinginthefuturespastfilm.com

Meeting March 8, 2018

On Thursday, March 8, 7:30 pm. Brian M. Wargo presented Hawkwatching, an Ocean in the Sky. Dr. Brian M. Wargo  showcased the esoteric and often unknown activity of Hawkwatching using pictures and stories, which he has documented in his book, Bird: An Exploration of Hawkwatching. The audience was quizzed on naming photos of hawks in flight, from different angles.  Brian pointed out  characteristics that help in IDing hawks. He showed examples of his record keeping and spreadsheets for 80 different hawk watch sites. He hopes to encourage the next generation to volunteer at hawk watches since this gathered info is so valuable.  He said he chose the photo for the cover of his book because he is always cold and this is how he is usually dressed for hawkwatching!  Brian is the President and Saturday Counter for the Allegheny Front Hawk Watch.  You can view his latest count data at:  www.hawkcount.org.

Meeting December 14, 2017

Getting stuck in traffic and having technical difficulties didn’t stop Don Weiss from  presenting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, the Crown Jewels of the National Park System, with a little help from Monica Miller,( who was on time but not in possession of the flash drive the program was on!)  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.

Thank you to Judy Stark, who made our holiday favors this year.  An ornament filled with milkweed seeds.

 

This night was our Annual Holiday Christmas party and Cookie Exchange. The table was overflowing with goodies and the mulled cider hit the spot on a cold evening.

 

Tim Manka continued our annual tradition of reciting “The Night Before Christmas”

The club will be on hiatus for the winter.  See you at our next meeting March 8, 2018.

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.

 

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!

April 20, 2017 Meeting 7PM

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.

April 6, 2017 Meeting

Doug Oster presented Getting Started Early in the Garden. . Even though he was battling a scratchy throat, Doug gave a great presentation, using lots of examples from his own home garden.  He recommends all organic gardening, lots of mulch to keep the weeds down, using homemade compost and starting seeds early under grow lights. Peas were planted on St. Patrick’s Day and radishes last winter for microgreen addition to salads today.   Corydalis lutea is a nice early blooming perennial.   Check out his newsletter at http://everybodygardens.triblive.com/newsletters/

 

March 9, 2017 Meeting

The Eastern Coyote is present in all 67 counties of Pennsylvania.  WCO Thomas Kline educated us on the coyote’s traits,  habitat and some common misconceptions.

He had a video of suburban coyotes that had been radio-collared.  They were then able to follow them at night and record their behavior.  Coyotes are the number one predator of Canada geese, eating both the eggs and the young. They are opportunistic, feeding on whatever is easiest to obtain.  Road kill and small mammals make up a large part of their diet. They will also eat fruit, like fallen apples and wild grapes, when available.