Trail talk 123 June 17th 2020

An Inukshuk along the trail

I went to see the new Huckins Street bridge which is certainly a work of art due to the efforts of  the work crew, a job well done.

I have placed some Inukshuks at the top of some of the hills along the trails, but recently have found some of them have totally or partially disappeared. They are all made from limestone that the builders discarded at the Huron Hospice.   It was quite a bit of effort to hike in with the stones and I am sure who ever took them it was an effort to take them out.  To save everyone a lot of effort I have a collection for anyone who wants one, free of charge, but a donation to Huron Hospice would be welcome. Please contact me if you want one.

Monday was rabbit day, Thyra saw one in the garden in the early morning, and I saw one in the afternoon when starting out along the local road allowance, then in the evening on the Front Road trail there were three rabbits, the only time I have seen more than two rabbits at the same time.

Thyra saw a deer in our garden on Tuesday morning, only the third time one has been seen near the house in ten years.

A female widow skimmer

With Social distancing meaning that regular car pooling isn’t possible it often means hiking in on a trail and then back the same way.  This often results in seeing things that were missed on the way in.  On the trail down to the railway trestle I can always find more jack-in-the pulpits on the way back (e.g. 40 on the way back versus 35 on the way in.) Similarly hiking in from River Line I spotted one lady slipper’s orchid on the way in and a different one on the way out.

Some flowers that are now blooming include the Ox-eye daisy, the wood and Canada anemone, mustard and the Black Locust trees. There is a profusion of Dame’s rocket in some areas, it is a wide spread garden escape alien, similar to phlox except it has four petals while phlox has five petals.

On Thursday night June 4th there was a humming like noise at a place near Lake Huron that was eventually tracked down to thousands of midges.  This was true of many Ontario locations near the Great Lakes  This swarming mechanism overwhelms the predators, resulting in survival of the species.  Predators include dragonflies (Anisopters) and damselflies (Zygopteras).  Dragonflies have larger head and bodies and their wings are outstretched at rest, while damselflies hold their wings above their backs and have thin delicate looking bodies.

an ebony jewelwing

Hiking on the Hullett Sugar bush trail I came across a duck egg laid next to the trail. On the Thursday morning hike at Exeter we spotted a deer, muskrat and a turtle.

Notes  A bear has been sighted at Point Farms and on the GART near Westmount line.

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 the G2G and GART may have rotating closures for maintenance.

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

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.