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

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

Directions to McDanels Boat Launch, Moraine State Park

Saturday, May 5, 2018, 10:00 AM
Wildflower Wanderings at Moraine State Park McDanels Launch Area, Butler County
Leader: Bonnie Isaac; Cell- 724-944-7160; E-mail: IsaacB@CarnegieMNH.Org
Directions: Travel I-79 north to Exit 96/ Portersville. And turn right onto PA 488. Continue 1.2 miles and turn left onto Pleasant Valley Rd at the Moraine State Park Sign. Continue 0.8 miles to US422 west. Continue west on US422 for 2 miles to the North Shore ramp. Keep right to continue on McDanels Rd. Turn right onto McDanels Rd and continue to boat launch. Meet by the North Country Scenic Trail near the purple martin houses along the entrance road.
GPS coordinates: 40.96620, -80.12570
McDanel’s is a popular area, but many people may be overlooking delicate gems of spring in the nearby woods. We will explore the woods along a portion of the North Country National Scenic Trail, hunting for these beautiful flowers of spring.

Directions to Enlow Fork Natural Area

Sunday, April 29, 2018, All Day!
Enlow Fork Natural Area, Greene County
Time: Nature events all day; 10 a.m. for the wildflower walk; come early for the 8 a.m spring migrant walk
Event Organizer: Larry Helgerman, bobolink1989@gmail.com
Directions: There are many ways to get to the EFNA; if you have never been there use the GPS coordinates 39.961076, -80.462700 with Google maps ahead of time! EFNA is located at the end of Smokey Row Rd. in PA State Game Lands 302. Signs will be posted close to the event location.
In between the main walks there will be tents set up with information on birding, wildflowers, nature, and watersheds. Food will be available for sale. Bring a chair and enjoy the day.

Directions to Friendship Hill National Historic Site

Saturday, April 28, 2018, 10:30 AM
Friendship Hill National Historic Site, Fayette County
Directions: From Pittsburgh, travel I-79 south to the Exit 14-Waynesburg. Turn left onto PA 21 east. Travel PA 21 east for 14.5 miles to PA 166 south toward Masontown. Travel PA 166 south for 17 miles to the entrance for the Friendship Hill National Historic Site on the left (this is shortly after Gallatin schools outside of New Geneva). Turn right and continue to the Gallatin House Parking Lot where we will meet.
GPS coordinates: 39.77130, -79.92380
We will meet the Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club for a walk through Sophie’s Woods, an old-growth woods along the slopes of the Monongahela River.

Directions to Linn Run State Park

Friday, April 20, 2018, 1:00 PM
Linn Run State Park, Grove Run Trail, Westmoreland County
Directions: From Pittsburgh, take the PA Turnpike east to Exit 91/Donegal. Turn left onto PA 31 and then, after a short distance, left onto PA 711. Continue on PA 711 north for about 9 miles. Turn right onto Darlington Road (this may be unmarked) and travel about 1 mile to its junction with PA 381. Continue straight onto PA 381 for a short distance, and then turn right onto Linn Run Rd. Once you enter Linn Run State Park, continue about 1 ½ miles to the Grove Run Picnic Area on the right, where we will meet.
GPS coordinates: 40.15330, -79.22680
Join Rare Plant Forum attendees for a spring wildflower walk.

April 12, 2018 Meeting

Thursday, April 12, 7:30 pm. Kirsi Jansa will present How to Face the Challenges Climate Change Presents Us Without Becoming Overwhelmed. Sustainability Pioneers, locally produced short documentaries, showcase individuals, communities and states in the US and in Europe taking bold climate action. The screening will be followed by a community conversation led by the Sustainability Pioneers director Kirsi Jansa.

Directions to March 25th Field Trip

Sunday, March 25, 2018, 1:00 PM
Bavington at Hillman State Park Game Lands, Washington County
Leader: Loree Speedy

Directions: From Pittsburgh, travel Parkway West (I-376, formerly I-279) and exit the Parkway at Exit 60 to continue on US 22 for 10 miles to the Bavington exit. Turn right at the end of the ramp, then left onto Steubenville Pike, and travel one mile to make a sharp right hand turn onto Kramer Road at the Kramer Greenhouse/Raccoon Creek Winery. (If you pass this turn, cross the highway bridge and turn around at the Bavington Roadhouse/Inn.)
Continue on Kramer Road 0.8 miles and bear left at its intersection with Raccoon Creek Rd. Continue 1/4 mile to the intersection with Knowlton Hill Rd, where we will meet.
GPS coordinates: 40.43680, -80.36670

Everyone is welcome, including non-members. Trips last 3 to 4 hours but one can leave at any time. For questions, call the field trip leader, Loree Speedy at (724) 872-5232/home; (724) 518-6022/cell or loreespeedy@gmail.com.

Directions to March 18th field trip

Sunday, March 18, 2018, 1:00 PM
Little Sewickley Creek outside of Herminie. Westmoreland County
This is a favorite trip for early spring ephemerals and Snow Trillium (Trillium nivale). 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.

Everyone is welcome, including non-members. Trips last 3 to 4 hours but one can leave at any time. For questions, call the field trip leader, Loree Speedy at (724) 872-5232/home; (724) 518-6022/cell or loreespeedy@gmail.com.