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All photographs copyright by Mike Slater unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How to tell the native Phragmites from the Invasive Introduced Form

Over at the Blog "Through Handlens and Binoculars"  Scott Namestnik has a good post about how to separate the native form of Common Reed Phragmites australis ssp americanus from the invasive European P. a. ssp australis. There is also a link to an excellent  power point presentation of  "A Phragmites Field GuideDistinguishing Native and Exotic Forms of Common Reed (Phragmites australis) in the United States".  by Jil Swearingen and Kristin Saltonstall.
_____
updated Sept. 28th to fix the links.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Muhlenberg Botanic Society September 2010 Newsletter


The first Meeting is This Thursday September 16th, 2010 at 7:00 pm. We will hold our members night and fall plants exchange please see the newsletter for important information

Also note that we will now be starting our meetings 
1/2 hour earlier than we used to. 
The meetings will start 
at 7 PM.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Updated Summer Field trip list for the Muhlenberg Botanic Club (new trip added)


July 10 Saturday
Trip to Millersburg north of Harrisburg to see Platanthera peramoena, purple fringeless orchid. Prepare for wet walking.

Also, nearby we hope to see Platanthera ciliaris, yellow fringed orchid in bloom.

Easy walking. Bring your bag lunch; we will eat at the cars. There are no bathroom facilities at these sites.

Meet at 10:00 AM at
Hardee's
100 1st Street, Millersburg, PA 17061
(717) 692-3151
We will carpool from there.
Leaders:           Joan King         Ph: 717-284-5239, jsking1@lycos.com
                        Tim Draude      Ph: 717-393-7233
Contact a leader about carpooling from Lancaster.

July 24 Saturday
Valmont Industrial Park
Walk rating: easy, prepare for wet feet. You can take your lunch along or go back to the cars and eat; the site isn't far from where we park. Call or email me for carpooling: jsking1@lycos.com or 717-284-5239. There are no bathroom facilities here.
This site has Platanthera ciliaris (yellow fringed orchis), P. blephariglottis (white fringed orchis) and a hybrid between the two. There is also walking fern and we might see Gentiana linarias in bud. It's in a power cut, prepare for sun and wet feet.
From the Lancaster area. take. Rt 22 North to Reading.
Rt 61 North to Frackville, I-81 North to Exit 145 at SR 93. 
Go right off ramp (east) to Deer Run Road, right onto Deer Run Road, follow to Jaycee Drive, take left onto Jaycee Drive, follow to HT powerline crossing, park in gravel lot on right at abandoned industrial facility.
Follow the powerline easment to SE, across from Parking area about 100 yards to bog.

July 31 Saturday
Muhlenberg Meadow, Lancaster County central Park
10 am  to (approx.) 12 noon
A walk for meadow flowers and butterflies (co-sponsored but the Lancaster Butterfly and Entomological Club)
Co-Leaders: Fred Habegger and Mike Slater
Started in 1991, this restoration project spearheaded by Tim Draude and the Muhlenberg
Botanical Society has expanded to five acres. Come and view the wide array of field flowers and what techniques worked and didn’t work in turning a cornfield into a dazzling native ecosystem.
From Lancaster, go south on Rte. 222/272 for about 0.5 miles past the point where the north and south lanes rejoin. Turn left onto Golf Rd. and go about 0.6 miles to the intersection with Exhibit Farm Rd The parking area is a few hundred feet past Exhibit Farm Rd. The sign for the meadow is up against the tree line and not easily visible from the road. Park on the grass in front of the sign.

Sunday, Aug. 15
Tentative trip to Big Hollow Prairie in Centre County with the Pa. Native Plant Society. This is a limestone barrens.
 Walk rating: moderate. Bring your own bag lunch, we will eat at the cars. There are no bathroom facilities.
The prairie in Big Hollow is one of only 10 small patches of prairie remaining in Pennsylvania. It is one of the largest, with a total of perhaps 1/3 acre of prairie plants remaining.
Contact Joan King to carpool. 717-284-5239 or jsking1@lycos.com
Leave  Lancaster about 8:00 AM.

Aug 21, Saturday 10:00 AM
Farmingdale Trail
Walk rating: easy
Noel Dorwart Park and Nature Area Township Park
East Hempfield Township
Lancaster, Pa.

Access from Good Drive, across from Park Lawn Ct.
From the intersection of Rte. 741 & Rte. 23, go east on Rte.23 0.4 miles. Turn left onto Good Drive. Go 0.2 miles, turn right into parking lot. The park sits back from the road.
GPS Coordinates N 40 03.256, W 76 21.196

We will do a 'before' look at these 70 acres of land that was once a city dump reworked into a multiuse park. There are woods, a wildflower meadow and trails along wetlands and the Little Conestoga Creek.
The area is currently heavily covered with invasive plants. A five-year plan has been developed to restore native vegetation and improve wildlife habitat.
There are no bathroom facilities at this park.


Saturday, Sept. 25 10:AM
Muhlenberg Meadow
Goldenrods and asters.

Started in 1991, this restoration project spearheaded by Tim Draude and the Muhlenberg Botanical Society has expanded to five acres. Come and view the wide array of field flowers and what techniques worked and didn’t work in turning a cornfield into a dazzling native ecosystem.
            From Lancaster, go south on Rte. 222/272 for about 0.5 miles past the point where the north and south lanes rejoin. Turn left onto Golf Rd. and go about 0.6 miles to 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Muhlenberg Botanic Society Late Spring and Summer 2010 Field Trips

Joint field trip with the PA Native Plant society
May 22-23
A Weekend Trip: Fisherman’s Paradise (Stackhouse School), south of Bellefonte, PA
Centre County. Meet at 10:00 AM Saturday
This is a joint field trip with the PA Native Plant Society
Things to bring: PA state road map, DeLorme Gazeteer, “Plants of Pennsylvania” manual, hand lens, repellants, sun block, water, adequate footwear. The sites are basically upland: no major wetlands, but it may be possible to get wet feet. Walk rating: moderate. Leader: Dr. Larry Klotz.
Saturday, May 22. In the morning we will explore the base of the cliffs along Spring Creek, then eat lunch at Stackhouse Center. In the afternoon, we will go to Big Hollow Prairies, State College. Individual participants should make overnight arrangements in State College or vicinity. Directions from Harrisburg:
Go W on Rt. 322; then N on I-99 (= Rt. 220/Rt. 26), toward Bellefonte, to Exit 73; go N on Rt. 150 (Benner Pike) ca. 0.5 mi toward Bellefonte; turn W (left) on Paradise Rd.; go ca. 1 mi. then turn W (left) on Spring Creek Rd.; go ca. 0.25 mi to Fisherman’s Paradise (Stackhouse School).

Sunday, May 23. In the morning we will meet at the Colerain Picnic Area in Rothrock State Forest, between Franklinville and Spruce Creek (village), Huntingdon County, and explore Spruce Creek, Eden Hill Rd.: Little Juniata State Forest Natural Area, then return to Colerain Picnic area for lunch. The morning's agenda will likely be determined on site, based on what is in bloom.
Directions from Rt. 322 at Boalsburg, E of State College:
  Go sw on Rt. 45 ca. 21 mi. to Colerain, then left into the Colerain Picnic Area, where we will have
lunch. In the afternoon we will go to one or more of the following:
T430, north side of Raystown Branch, just below Raystown Dam breast; SGL 112: Mill Creek
Hollow Rd.; and/or Rothrock S.F., Rocky Ridge N.A.: Frew Rd., Martin Gap Rd.


Saturday, June 5: 
Unionville Barrens, Chester County, PA
Meet at 1:00 PM (note this is a time change from earlier announcements of a morning starting time!.)
This will be a joint field trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club. One of Pennsylvania's highest quality serpentine barrens, the Unionville Barrens finally received long-sought protection in 2008 from Natural Lands Trust as part of the nearly 1,100-acre ChesLen Preserve. The grasslands and blackjack oak/post oak woodlands are remnants of a landscape managed for centuries by American Indians using fire. With fire exclusion, the species-rich serpentine grasslands have shrunk from nearly 60 acres in 1937 to less than 9 acres today. That loss in area has led to species extirpation: 16 state-listed species occur there now, but 4 more seen historically are gone. The NLT plans to restore and maintain at least 40 acres of oak savanna. A 2005 report, "Protecting the Unionville Barrens" describes the site's history, flora and ecology (available at
www.continentalconservation.us under Publications). Appendix A is a survey by Janet Ebert listing 174 vascular plant species. We will see the globally rare serpentine aster (Symphyotrichum depauperatum) and many species in flower or fruit, likely including Carex bicknellii, C. richardsonii, Deschampsia cespitosa, Dichanthelium oligosanthes, D. villosissimum, Helianthemum bicknellii, Packera anonyma, Phemeranthus teretifolius, Quercus nigra and Scleria pauciflora.

Meet at 1 pm. ( Note this is a change in time) at the end of Oak School Road. Wear footgear suitable for wet walking. For directions type in "Oak School Rd., Kennett Square, PA" at maps.yahoo.com or maps.google.com, or see the directions below.

Leader: Roger Latham (rel@continentalconservation.us; office: 610-565-3405;
or cell phone--only on the morning of the field trip--4-8-4  6-8-2----9-6-4-8).
Directions:
From Lancaster area: from U.S. 30 at Gap, turn right on PA. 10; go 2.1 mi.; turn left on PA 372; go 1.3 mi.; bear right on Strasburg Rd.; go 2.5 mi.; turn right on PA 82; go 8.0 mi.; turn left on PA 842; go 1.9 mi.; turn left on Glen Hall Rd.; go 0.6 mi.; turn left on Oak School Rd.; go 0.2 mi.

From Philadelphia area: take U.S. 322 (from U.S. 1 or I-95); U.S. 202 (from I-76) just south of West Chester; turn west on PA 926; go 2.8 mi.; turn right on Creek Rd.; go 1.4 mi.; bear left on S. Creek Rd; go 1.1 mi.; bear left on PA 842; go 3.7 mi.; turn right on Glen Hall Rd.; go 0.6 mi.; turn left on Oak School Rd.; go 0.2 mi.

From northern suburbs or Pa. Turnpike Downingtown Exit #312: go south on Pa. 100 just south of
U.S. 30; bear right on Pottstown Pike; go 3.8 mi. (it becomes North High Street); turn right on W. Chestnut St. (U.S. 322 Business Rt. W.); go 5 blocks; turn left on N. Brandywine St.; go 1 block; turn right on W. Gay St. & go 1 block; turn left on Everhart Ave.; go 2 blocks; turn right on PA 842; go 6.8 mi.; turn right on Glen Hall Rd.; go 0.6 mi.; turn left on Oak School Rd.; go 0.2 mi.

From south: from U.S. 1 near Kennett Square, go north on PA 82 for 3.1 mi.; turn right on PA 842;  go 1.9 mi.; turn left on Glen Hall Rd.; go 0.6 mi.; turn left on Oak School Rd.; go 0.2 mi.


Saturday, July 24:
Valmont Industrial Park Power Cut and Wetland
We will probably leave Lancaster around 7:30 AM.
Call or email for carpooling: Call or email me for carpooling:
jsking1@lycos.com or 717-284-5239. There are no bathroom facilities here.
This site has Platanthera ciliaris (yellow fringed orchis), P. blephariglottis (white fringed orchis),
and a hybrid between the two. There is also walking fern, and we might see Gentiana linarias in
bud. It's in a power cut, so prepare for sun and wet feet. Walk rating: easy. You can take your
lunch along on the trail or go back to the cars and eat (the site isn't far from where we park). Call/
email me for carpooling: jsking1@lycos.com or 717-284-5239.
There are no bathroom facilities.

From the Lancaster area: take. Rt. 22 north to Reading, then Rt. 61 north to Frackville; I-81 north
to Exit 145 at SR 93. Go right off ramp (east) to Deer Run Road, right onto Deer Run Road to
Jaycee Drive; take a left onto Jaycee Drive, follow to HT powerline crossing. Park in the gravel lot
on right at abandoned industrial facility. Follow the powerline easment to SE, across from parking
area about 100 yards to bog.

Saturday, August 21:
Farmingdale Trail (Noel Dorwart Park and Nature Area Township Park)
East Hempfield Township, Lancaster, PA
Meet at 10:00 AM Leader: Joan King: jsking1@lycos.com or 717-284-5239.
NOTE: There are no bathroom facilities here.
We will do a 'before" look at these 70 acres of land that was once a city dump, but has been
reworked into a multiuse park. There are woods, a wildflower meadow and trails along wetlands
and the Little Conestoga Creek. The area is currently heavily covered with invasive plants. A fiveyear
plan has been developed to restore native vegetation and improve wildlife habitat. There are
no bathroom facilities at this park. Walk rating: easy.
Directions: From the intersection of Rt. 741 (Rohrerstown Rd.) and Rt. 23 (Marietta Pike), go east
on Rt. 23 for 0.4 miles. Turn left onto Good Drive. Go 0.2 miles; just north of the railroad track,
turn right into parking lot (on east side, across from Park Lawn Ct.). The park sits back from the
road. GPS Coordinates N 40 03.256, W 76 21.196.

Muhlenberg Botanic Club Newsletter, May 2010

The May 2010 newsletter of the Muhlenberg Botanic Society is on line now.
Note: that the field trips times have been added or corrected from the snail mailed version!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sharing Botanical Field Trips

A new web site is now available which lists the botanically oriented field trips of a number of organizations in the Mid-Atlantic States. Botanical Field Trips is a great way to plan a weekend of botanizing in an area you are not familiar with. So take a look and plann your weekends and vacations!


The groups participating are: 


UPDATE: as of Feb 3, 2010 two more groups are participating.

the Torrey Botanical Society, New York City area

Muhlenberg Botanical Society Meetings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring 2010

Meetings are held from 7:30 to 9:00 on the third Thursday of the month in the Fred Kinsey Room, North Museum (College and Buchanan Aves.). The Museum will be open at 7:00 p.m. Enter through the back door in the parking lot; knock loudly or ring the bell if the door is locked. Meetings will start propmtly at 7:30pm so please try to arrive before 730 to avoid disturbing the meeting while it is in progress. Meetings are open to the public, so feel free to invite guests! For cancellation information in case of snow or ice, contact President Mike Slater or Vice-President
Joan King. Any decision to cancel a meeting will be made 24 hours in advance so we can notify North Museum.

February 18: Members' Night Slide Sharing and show and tell.
This is a change from our normal course of meetings, but we won't have to be concerned about having a speaker cancel in the event of adverse weather. Many of you take digital pictures of plants and their flowers, and we want as many people as possible to bring photos to share, even if only a few. If you have technical questions about how to show the images or what format to bring them in, contact Mike Slater. He would appreciate hearing from you in advance so the meeting can be organized efficiently from an audio-visual perspective. If enough people don’t come forward, he will start twisting arms, so be prepared! If you have botanically related items you want to bring for "show and tell" or some exciting new information to discuss, please bring that.

March 18: Frank Plucinsky, "Tired of Winter? Think Spring!"
Dr. Plucinsky, an excellent photographer, is a retired physician with a life long interest in the natural sciences, photography, and fly fishing. He writes, "as winter lingers, our thoughts turn to the grandeur of spring. Take this photographic journey and experience the progress of favorite spring wildflowers from emerging shoots to fragile blossoms and fascinating fruits. Sweeping landscape shots contrast with macro photography close-ups that reveal intimate details of flowers that are difficult to see with the naked eye.".

April 15: Dr. Larry Klotz and Tim Draude, "Wild Flowers of the Cumberland Plateau"
Well known to our members, Dr. Larry Klotz is a recently retired Professor of Botany at Shippensburg University, and Tim Draude is the past President of the Muhlenberg Society. They will share stories and pictures of their trip to the Cumberland Plateau area of Tennessee last spring. The mixed mesophytic forests and the banks of the rivers that flow through the plateau are some of the richest wild flower areas of Eastern North America.

May 20: Dr. Roger Earl Latham, "All Grasslands and Meadows Aren’t Created Equal: Historical
Ecology as a Key to Successful Restoration and Reclamation"

Dr. Latham, who presented a program for us last year, is an ecologist and conservation biologist with Continental Conservation, Rose Valley, Pennsylvania. Studies of fossils and archaeological remains have painted a provocative picture of the evolution of grasslands over the past several million years in central and western North America, but comparatively little scientific inquiry on native grasslands has focused on the northeastern United States, where forests and wetlands attract far more attention. Dr. Latham has analyzed historical records, herbarium specimens, and indicator species and conducted fieldwork throughout Pennsylvania to identify trends in the extent and distribution of native grasslands and meadows before and after European settlement. Besides their prehistory and history, he will touch on the environmental conditions, ecological processes, and disturbance regimes that shape the species composition of a dozen long-lived native grassland/meadow types found in the state and elsewhere in the Northeast. The talk concludes with information on how lessons from historical ecology are pertinent to the creation or re-creation of native grasslands. Roger Latham has worked as a research ecologist, conservation biologist, and environmental planner for over 35 years. Since earning his Ph.D. in biology at the University of Pennsylvania, he has served as Pennsylvania Director of Science and Stewardship for The Nature Conservancy; post-doctoral researcher in biogeochemistry and fire ecology in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Geology; and Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Swarthmore College. Since 2000 he has been a full-time consultant, conducting applied research and planning for the National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Lands Trust, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, DCNR, and other organizations involved in wildland restoration and management.

Muhlenberg Field trips Spring 2010

Saturday, April 17: Reed Run, Lancaster, County, PA, 10:00 a.m.
Reed Run, in Martic Township, is a 148.7-acre nature preserve comprised of former cropland, early successional forested areas and mature forested areas. The majority of the preserve is forested, with three fields totaling about 40 acres that were in agricultural production at the time of the Conservancy's acquisition. There are two creeks that flow through the property: Reed Run parallels the inside of southern border of the preserve and Brubaker Run originates at the edge of the central field. Both creeks flow directly into the Susquehanna. Much of the forest that lies outside of the creek ravines is overrun with invasive plants, primarily ailanthus. The topography of the preserve includes 375' change in elevation from lowest to highest points (315' to 690' above sea level).

Directions:
From Lancaster City, take PA Rt. 324 South (New Danville Pk.). It turns left at New Danville and joins Rt. 741 for a short distance. Where Rt. 741 turns left at a stop light, continue straight ahead and follow Rt. 324 over the Pequea Creek and through Marticville. At Pennsy Rd., turn right, continuing on Rt. 324 through a tunnel (use caution!). In less than a mile, turn left on River Rd., following it past Bridge Valley Rd. At Houserock Rd., angle off to the right. Follow it for .9 of a mile to a stop sign; turn left on Westview and quickly right again onto Houserock Road. Look to the left for the Conservancy sign on the grassy hillside. The parking area is on Houserock Road.

Leader: Joan King. Trail rating: moderate. Bring a bag lunch; the hike should take about 3 hours.

The Joint Field Trip of the Muhlenberg and the PA Native Plant Society is set for Saturday and Sunday, May 22 and 23.

Saturday, June 5: Unionville Barrens, Chester County, PA
This will be a joint field trip with the Philadelphia Botanical Club. One of Pennsylvania's highest-quality serpentine barrens, the Unionville Barrens finally received long-sought protection in 2008 from Natural Lands Trust as part of the nearly 1,100-acre ChesLen Preserve. The grasslands and blackjack oak/post oak woodlands are remnants of a landscape managed for centuries by American Indians using fire. With fire exclusion, the species-rich serpentine grasslands have shrunk from nearly 60 acres in 1937 to less than 9 acres today. That loss in area has led to species extirpation: 16 state-listed species occur there now, but 4 more seen historically are gone. The NLT plans to restore and maintain at least 40 acres of oak savanna. A 2005 report, "Protecting the Unionville Barrens" describes the site's history, flora and ecology (available at www.continentalconservation.us under Publications). Appendix A is a survey by Janet Ebert listing 174 vascular plant species. We will see the globally rare serpentine aster
(Symphyotrichum depauperatum) and many species in flower or fruit, likely including Carex bicknellii, C. richardsonii, Deschampsia cespitosa, Dichanthelium oligosanthes, D. villosissimum, Helianthemum bicknellii, Packera anonyma, Phemeranthus teretifolius, Quercus nigra and Scleria pauciflora.

Meet at 10 a.m. at the end of Oak School Road. Wear footgear suitable for wet walking.

For directions:
type in "Oak School Rd., Kennett Square, PA" at maps.yahoo.com or maps.google.com, or see the
directions below. Leader: Roger Latham (office: 610-565-3405, rel-AT-continentalconservation.us ; cell phone to call only on the morning of the field trip: 484-682-9648).

Directions:
From Lancaster area: from U.S. 30 at Gap, turn right on PA. 10 & go 2.1 mi.; turn left on PA 372 & go 1.3 mi.; bear right on Strasburg Rd. & go 2.5 mi.; turn right on PA 82 & go 8.0 mi.; turn left on PA 842 & go 1.9 mi.; turn left on Glen Hall Rd. & go 0.6 mi.; turn left on Oak School Rd. & go 0.2 mi.
From Philadelphia area: take U.S. 322 (from U.S. 1 or I-95) & U.S. 202 (from I-76) just south of West Chester; turn west on PA 926 & go 2.8 mi.; turn right on Creek Rd. & go 1.4 mi.; bear left on S. Creek Rd. & go 1.1 mi.; bear left on PA 842 & go 3.7 mi.; turn right on Glen Hall Rd. & go 0.6 mi.; turn left on Oak School Rd. & go 0.2 mi.

From northern suburbs or Pa. Turnpike, Downingtown Exit #312: go south on Pa. 100 just south of U.S. 30; bear right on Pottstown Pike & go 3.8 mi. (it becomes North High Street); turn right on W. Chestnut St. (U.S. 322 Business Rt. W.) & go 5 blocks; turn left on N. Brandywine St. & go 1 block; turn right on W. Gay St. & go 1 block; turn left on Everhart Ave. & go 2 blocks; turn right on PA 842 & go 6.8 mi.; turn right on Glen Hall Rd. & go 0.6 mi.; turn left on Oak School Rd. & go 0.2 mi.

From south: from U.S. 1 near Kennett Square, go north on PA 82 for 3.1 mi.; turn right on PA 842 & go 1.9 mi.; turn left on Glen Hall Rd. & go 0.6 mi.; turn left on Oak School Rd. & go 0.2 mi.

Muhlenberg Bulletin, January 2010

The January 2010 "Muhlenberg Bulletin" the newsletter of the Muhlenberg Botanical Society is now available in PDF format.