John Canning presented “Riverview Park & Early Years of Wissahickon Hollow and Nature Club”. John brought his “North Side” friends, Nancy- the Ranger at Riverview Park – and Ed. He had a dvd of old photos from the 1800’s which showed the beauty of the Allegheny Commons Park and the buildings of Old Allegheny City.
Riverview Park was created for the city folk to have a place to get away into nature. It was situated on the trolley line, and many neighborhoods were able to easily access it.
Riverview once had a zoo and a swimming pool. John spent his childhood playing in Riverview’s creeks and going to Summer Camp at the Wissahickon cabin, which was built in 1913. When the zoo closed, the nature cabin housed some live animals, such as snakes, frogs and a opossum.
Our Wissahickon Nature Club had its inception in 1941 at Riverview Park and took its name from the creek and cabin of the same name, where it held its meetings. When the cabin burned down, meetings were moved to other venues and today we meet at Fern Hollow Nature Center.
Kate St. John presented Peregrine Falcons – A Success Story.
Kate has been watching peregrines since the 90’s. She explained the history of Peregrines in PA and the story of their successful reintroduction. She told the family histories of Dorothy, Hope and Morela and covered some of the other breeding pairs in our area.
This was our annual Christmas Cookie party. Members brought cookies, ate cookies, took cookies home!
We will take our annual winter break January and February 2020 .
Donna Foyle presented Introduced and Endemic Birds from Three Hawaiian Islands. Even from a young age, Donna was fascinated with birds. She got her first camera at age 7 and the rest is history. Donna was on a bird tour in February with three other birder friends. Her photos were fantastic of beautiful introduced birds and also a few natives. Many birds are threatened because of introduced predators, ie rats and disease carrying mosquitoes. One albatross that she photographed had a leg band. She was able to trace the number to find out that it was probably seven years old, sex undetermined.
Mike Fialkovich presented “Birds and Nature in Southern Texas”.
In November, 2018, Mike joined an Audubon Society of W. Pennsylvania tour to the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas to see the area’s famed birds, Mike shared his photographs of the birds, other wildlife and plants that the group experienced during the trip.
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
Directions: 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.
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.
Little Sewickley Creek outside of Herminie.
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.