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.
On Thursday, September 13th, Bob and Dianne Machesney presented “Panama, December 2017.” Photos from their butterfly tour at the Canopy Tower and Lodge showed the flora, fauna, birds, butterflies of the area, along with some history and geography. Did you know that Panama means ” abundance of fish?” This was our annual wine and cheese reception.
Eighteen people enjoyed beautiful 84 degree, sunny weather to hike the prairie at Jennings. We saw a good variety of blooming flowers, grasses, mushrooms, birds and butterflies. Click here to see the list.
Fr. Bob, Susanne, Sharon
Colleen, Kate, Evan, Sue, Melissa and Adam
Groundnut Apios Americana
Culver’s Root Veronicastrum virginicum
Jack – that is one tall sunflower!! Helianthus giganteus
August 4, Saturday, 10:00 Jennings Prairie, by Dianne Machesney
Visit the unique ecosystem at Jennings Prairie.
This is the perfect time to explore the relict prairie. The hot weather brings the stunning Blazing Star and some of the other dazzling summer flowers to peak performance. The goldenrods of fall will begin to show. Don’t miss the spectacular butterflies that grace the prairie with their breathtaking beauty. Flycatchers, vireos, tanagers, Common Yellowthroats and Cedar Waxwings sometimes make an appearance. We may come across a Red Eft, the larval form of a Red-spotted Newt.
Outings are free and open to the public. Bring your friends. Trails are wheelchair accessible.Wear a hat and sunscreen. Bring binoculars, field guides, water and a lunch.
Directions From Pittsburgh: take I-79 North to Exit 99, New Castle/ Butler. Drive east on Route 422 roughly 5.8 miles to the Prospect Exit. Turn left (north) onto Route 528.
Continue on Route 528 for about 7 miles. Meet in the Jennings Environmental Center Parking Lot on the left (west) side of the road.
. 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.
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)
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
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.