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.

Directions to Trillium Trail

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Sunday, April 15, 2018, 1:00 P.M.
Trillium Trail, Fox Chapel Borough
Allegheny County
Leader: Loree Speedy – 724-518-6022 cell; loreespeedy@gmail.com
Directions: Take PA 28 to Exit 8 in Fox Chapel. At the exit, turn left and follow Fox Chapel Rd for 1 mile. After passing Delafield Rd, make a left turn into Squaw Run Rd. Follow Squaw Run Rd for 1.6 mile. Turn left into the parking lot of the Trillium Trail, where we meet.
GPS coordinates: 40.52030, -79.90060
Trillium Trail is a 1 3/4 mile loop on Squaw Run Road in Fox Chapel. The parking lot is very small, so park carefully. There are pull-offs along the highway nearby.

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 Core Arboretum April 8, 2018

Sunday, April 8, 2018, 2:00 PM
Core Arboretum, Morgantown, West Virginia
Leaders: Core Arboretum staff and volunteers

Pittsburghers can reach Core Arboretum in 1 hour and 15 minutes, so there is no reason not to get a jump on spring by heading south to a mostly old-growth forest on a steep hillside and level floodplain of the Monongahela River.
Visit www.arboretum.wvu.edu for more scheduled trips and information if you cannot attend this one.
Directions: From Pittsburgh, take I-79 South to Exit 155 towards WV-7 / West Virginia University. Turn left onto Chaplin Rd. Chaplin Rd. turns slightly right at the Sheetz and becomes US-19 S / Monongahela Blvd. Travel US 19 S for 1.6 miles to the parking lot for Core Arboretum on the right. We will meet at the parking lot.
GPS coordinates: 39.64690, -79.97740.

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.

Meeting March 8, 2018

On Thursday, March 8, 7:30 pm. Brian M. Wargo presented Hawkwatching, an Ocean in the Sky. Dr. Brian M. Wargo  showcased the esoteric and often unknown activity of Hawkwatching using pictures and stories, which he has documented in his book, Bird: An Exploration of Hawkwatching. The audience was quizzed on naming photos of hawks in flight, from different angles.  Brian pointed out  characteristics that help in IDing hawks. He showed examples of his record keeping and spreadsheets for 80 different hawk watch sites. He hopes to encourage the next generation to volunteer at hawk watches since this gathered info is so valuable.  He said he chose the photo for the cover of his book because he is always cold and this is how he is usually dressed for hawkwatching!  Brian is the President and Saturday Counter for the Allegheny Front Hawk Watch.  You can view his latest count data at:  www.hawkcount.org.

Save the Dates 2018 Nature Walks

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The following club outings have been scheduled.  More info below as date approaches.

1. Sunday, April 15, 1:00 – Trillium Trail, Fox Chapel, Loree Speedy – C:724-518-6022, loreespeedy@gmail.com

2. Friday, April 20, 1:00 – Linn Run State Park, Grove Run Trail, Westmoreland County – Loree Speedy

3. Sunday, April 22, 1:00 – Bradys Run Park, Beaver County, Judy Stark – C: 41 2-327-9527, starkj2@aol.com

4. Friday, April 27, 10:00 – Raccoon Creek Wildflower Reserve, Beaver County – Dianne Machesney – C: 412-523-0368, diannem15237@aol.com

6. Saturday, April 28, 10:00 – Friendship Hill National Historic Site, Fayette County – Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club

7. Sunday, April 29, All Day – Enlow Fork Natural Area, Greene County, http://enlowfork.tripod.com/

8. Saturday, May 5, 10:00 – Moraine State Park, McDanels Launch Area, Butler County – Bonnie Isaac – C: 724-944-7160, IsaacB@CarnegieMNH.org

9. Sunday, May 6, 1:00 – Butler-Freeport Trail, Monroe Road Trailhead, Butler County – Adam Haritan, LearnYourLand.com

10. Monday, May 7, 10:00 – Wolf Creek Narrows, Butler County – Dianne Machesney

11. Saturday, May 12, 1:00 – Limestone Run, S.G.L. 51 near Dunbar, Fayette County – Loree Speedy

12. Saturday, May 19, Cedar Creek Gorge, Westmoreland County – Mark Bowers, C: 724-454-4012, monarda55@gmail.com

13.June 9, 2018: Coopers Rock in West Virginia with Allison Cusick, near Morgantown, WV

14. June 10, 2018: McCune Trail, Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County

15. June 16, 2018: Chalk Hill Bog, S.G.L. 51, Fayette County

16. June 23, 2018: Eden Hall Campus, Chatham University, Gibsonia, Allegheny County with Bonnie Isaac

17. July 21, 2018: Duff Park from the new entrance, Murrysville, Westmoreland County

 

Meeting December 14, 2017

Getting stuck in traffic and having technical difficulties didn’t stop Don Weiss from  presenting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park, the Crown Jewels of the National Park System, with a little help from Monica Miller,( who was on time but not in possession of the flash drive the program was on!)  The wildlife, scenery, and thermal features are like no other place in N. America, or the world.  Known as the Serengeti of N. America, it was the world’s first national park.  They experienced weather from the 20’s and snow to the mid-70’s and cloudless sunshine.  They saw wildlife from ground squirrels to a grizzly with cubs.  Flowers were  everywhere and the snow-capped mountains inspired and impressed.

Thank you to Judy Stark, who made our holiday favors this year.  An ornament filled with milkweed seeds.

 

This night was our Annual Holiday Christmas party and Cookie Exchange. The table was overflowing with goodies and the mulled cider hit the spot on a cold evening.

 

Tim Manka continued our annual tradition of reciting “The Night Before Christmas”

The club will be on hiatus for the winter.  See you at our next meeting March 8, 2018.

November 9, 2017 Meeting

 

COLORDO

From the mountains to the prairies, Mike Fialkovich showed the amazing array of nature and scenery he experienced during a trip to the Pawnee National Grasslands and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado last June. Twenty-two members enjoyed Mike’s photos of birds, flowers, trees, mammals and landscapes taken during a birding trip sponsored by  W. PA Audubon and led by Brian Shema. Mike said he got seven life birds during the trip and numerous life plants, especially alpine plants from the tundra.