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.
Friday, June 28, 2019 at 10:00 am. Leader: Dianne and Bob Machesney
(H) 412-366-7869 (C) 412-523-0368
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Bonnie and Tara
Tuesday, January 1, 2019, 12:00 noon
North Park, Irwin Road, Allegheny County
Leader: Richard Nugent: email@example.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.
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.
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.