Field Trip to Jennings August 4, 2018

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.

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 Brady’s Creek Outing April 22, 2018

Checking out the partridge berry and wintergreen

About 15 folks attended this walk led by Judy Stark. After snow the previous week we were treated with a sunny and warm day. We walked the road on the forested hill behind the Maple Syrup buildings and back around the lake. We saw about a dozen flowering plants, Bloodroot being the most prolific.  (Photos by: Judy Stark)

Here is the list:
bloodroot
sharp-lobed hepatica
grandiflora trillium
trout lily
Virginia spring beauty
cut-leaved toothwart
two-leaved toothwart
blue cohosh
trailing arbutys
kidney-leaved buttercup
wild ginger
Virginia Bluebells
————————–
partridgeberry
teaberry
striped wintergreen

Kim searches Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide

Bloodroot

Grandiflora Trillium

Sharp lobed hepatica

Virginia Spring Beauty

Trailing Arbutus

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 Cedar Creek Gorge

Saturday, May 19, 2018, 1:00 PM
Cedar Creek Gorge, Westmoreland County
Leaders: Mark Bowers, cell 724-454-4012; monarda55@gmail.com

Directions: From Pittsburgh, travel PA 51 south to its junction with PA 201 (just after Bills and Willowbrook Plaza). Continuing on PA 51, travel 2 additional miles to the traffic light for Concord Ln (gas station and Burger King on left) and turn left. (This traffic light at Concord Ln can also be reached by I-70 exit 46B and continuing north on PA 51 for a very short distance). Traveling on Concord Ln, bear right at fork and then turn right onto Municipal Dr. Continue about 0.6 mile past Timm’s Lane, and turn left into the main entrance to Cedar Creek Park. Follow this road downhill, cross the bike trail, and turn left to continue through a series of parking lots until you reach the farthest parking lot, near the Gorge Trail.
GPS coordinates: 40.17830, -79.77820
Cedar Creek, known for Snow Trillium in March and Bluebells in April, has many interesting calciphiles in the upper slopes and an explosion of Few-flowered Valerians on the floodplain in mid-May.
Saturday, May 26, 2018, 10:00 AM

Directions to Limestone Rd, SGL 51, Dunbar

Saturday, May 12, 2018, 1:00 PM
Limestone Run, S.G.L. 51 near Dunbar, Fayette County
Leader: Loree Speedy – 724-518-6022 cell; loreespeedy@gmail.com
Directions: Exit the I-76 PA Turnpike at Exit 75 New Stanton and head south on US 119 to Connellsville. Once you cross the bridge over the Yough just before Connellsville, set your mileage. Continue on US 119 south for 3.5 miles to a make a left turn onto Dunbar Rd at the traffic light. Proceed downhill and through the town of Dunbar by following signs to Ohiopyle (right after the RR tracks, left at the stop sign). From the stop sign, proceed 3 miles on the state road (passing a shooting range on the left) to a dirt game land road. The paved road turns to the left, but you will turn rightish onto the dirt game land road, just before a game commission facility. (If you pass the Public Hunting sign, turn around safely). Continue along this road about 1 mile to the parking area at the end.
GPS coordinates: 39.94478, -79.57903 (This is the beginning of dirt game land road. Continue 1 mile to parking area.)