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.
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.
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.
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.
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/
Mike Fialkovich presented nature in Southern California. From 234 feet below sea level at the Salton Sea to just over 8000 ft. above sea level in the San Bernardino Mountains, the Channel Islands and deserts, Mike’s program showed the wide variety of nature Southern California has to offer.
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.
Thanks to Dick Nugent for leading the New Year’s Day hike at Irwin Road, North Park.
And thanks to Kate St. John for submitting these photos.
December 15, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Don Weiss presented ” A musical tour of North America, its Grand Views, Wildlife and Flowers.” We took an armchair tour of the sights and sounds of this beautiful land and its inhabitants set to the music of Dan Gibson’s Solitudes and John Denver. From mountain scenes to migrating birds and wonderful wildflowers, we sat back and enjoyed the wide-open spaces and the tiniest creatures that share our world. http://www.donweissphotography.com
As is our tradition, we read the “Night before Christmas”, with each member taking a stanza.
This was also our annual cookie exchange.
Monica Miller shows the reindeer favors she made, with a little help from Don Weiss and Dianne Machesney.
We will be taking a winter break from meetings They will resume in February. Join us at North Park for our January 1st outing.