Trail Talk 122 June 10th 2020

Allium

First my apologies for misplacing the Bannockburn Tract, it is on Bannockburn Line South of Mill road not North of Mill road.

The Maitland Trail work crew have now installed the new bridge in the Maitland Woods near Huckins Street. There will be an official opening at some later date.

The Maitland Trail between 9.6 and 10.2 km is closed until about the end of June.

The GART and from highway 21 to the Maitland River may still be closed for work also some sections of the G2G may be closed for work.

Ragwort

On Saturday the hill at 33 km on the Maitland Trail lived up the name I gave it of “Lady Slipper Hill” as I spotted 32 yellow lady’s-slipper orchids in bloom there.  Most have a single bloom on the stalk but occasionally there are two blooms.   When living in the Sault Ste Marie area I only ever saw the pink lady’s slipper orchid, also known as Moccasin flower. I wonder if both the yellow and pink ones are found somewhere between here and Sault Ste Marie.

Hiking in from Sharpes Creek Line I spotted some allium at the end of the field where the chicken manure is stored. They are an escaped domestic ornamental onion.  Wild onions have a similar less showy bloom.  I am always pleased to notice a plant on a trail that I have not previously noticed.  This was also the case hiking the Hullett white trail where ragwort was in bloom. Ragwort is not in any way related to ragweed.  A more common ragwort is the alien groundsel which is very common in waste areas. On the Hullett Sugar Bush trail there is a short stretch in full sun that had in the order of 50 dragonflies.  I had trouble identifying them until I found out that the female common whitetail  dragonfly, has a brown body rather than a white body of the male.   Later on there was a leopard frog which was well camouflaged, and unusual in that it did not move.  Usually frogs hop quickly into the water and disappear from sight before I can take a photograph.

Female Whitetail Dragonfly

 

The appearance of dragonflies is a good reminder that this is the time of year that you may need some sort of insect repellent, and also something to drink.  I always thought if only you could have an escort of dragonflies they would be the perfect mosquito repellent.   I remember when my sister from the U.K. came for a visit and reacted very badly to black fly bights, whereas I had just a few blood spots that did not even itch.  The reaction to poison ivy too can vary tremendously, some people who have no reaction can later become very sensitive to the poison.

I have finally said a fond farewell to my green Mountain Equipment Co-op packsack.  I have had for at least 25 years, and I think putting the mallet in it too many times resulted in its final demise.

Notes

Check the websites to be sure that the trails are still open

Hikers are expected to be socially distant from others.

All area trails are expected to be open, except for the Maitland Trail between 9.6 and 10.2 km.

and possibly the GART between Hwy 21 and the end at Auburn for tree trimming, and parts of the G2G for improvements.

The reroute round the cottage at 45.3 km has been completed and has added about an extra 2km to the Maitland Trail.

There are no scheduled Maitland Trail Association or Bayfield River Valley Association or LIFE hikes.

If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at pcapper99@gmail.com.