Trail Talk 90 October 30th 2019

A sycamore leaf

On the Thursday hike we saw an American toad which was rather lethargic in the cool morning.  I noticed a shrub at the top of the hill in the Falls Reserve that had a lot of red berries that I did not recognize.  It looked a bit like a honeysuckle but the leaves were alternate and not opposite. The red fruit had silver flecks indicated that it was the invasive autumn olive (elaeagnus umbellata).  So far this is the only place I have noticed the plant.  On the Friday hike we spotted an eagle that was probably an immature bald eagle. There was a very large leaf on the trail from an American sycamore tree, the bark of which is usually mottled. It is interesting that the English sycamore (which is part of the maple family) has a smooth bark.  The London planetree is a cultivated hybrid and similar to a sycamore but has two or more fruit balls on the long five inch stalk compared to one on a sycamore.    The small, about one inch nuts on the ground are most likely from bitternut hickory (also known as pignut hickory), the large two inch green nuts are most likely to be from a black walnut.

There are still a few flowers in bloom, including white asters, spotted knapweed and a pretty yellow and orange one known as butter and eggs which is an alien toadflax.

Butter and eggs toadflax

On my Tuesday afternoon hike I saw a mouse (probably a deer mouse) on the trail running around in tight circles- this is most likely due to a brain disease.  On Wednesday morning we saw a small garter snake that had probably been just run over by a vehicle.

On a few days Chewy has decided not to come with me on my morning hike. He seems to manage O.K. if I take him out after lunch, so I’m not sure if his bad leg or poor eyesight is the main reason for his wanting to stay inside.


Oct 1 –Dec 31 the Maitland Trail section from 9.4 to 10.5 km will be closed.

Oct 1-31 The Bayfield Woodland trail will be closed due to turkey hunting season.

Oct 1-31 Wild Turkey bow hunting

November 4th to 10th the Maitland Trail, Bayfield Woodland Trail and Lobb trails will be closed for deer gun hunting

Nov 2nd 10 a.m. Bayfield River Valley Trail Association AGM Lions Hall Bayfield.
November 2nd  6 pm and 7:30 pm Owl prowl at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Office Workshop 71108 Morrison Line, RR 3 Exeter. Full details at

Two 90 minute sessions at 6:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. with a short talk on owls, followed by the night looking and listening for owls. Each begins with a short talk on owls by conservation educators from Ausable Bayfield Conservation. One group stays in the workshop to meet live owls with Conservation Halton staff, or dissect a pellet, or have their picture taken with Otis the Owl (a human-sized costumed owl). The second group ventures on a night hike, with conservation educators, to call in and look for owls that live in the conservation area near Exeter. After 30 minutes, the groups switch.

Friday November 8th 7:30 p.m. Maitland Trail Membership meeting at the Livery in Goderich. Speaker Roger Lewington on the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy.

Saturday November 9th 9 a.m. Hike the Exeter trails moderately fast pace about 2 hours

Meet at the parking lot at 71042 Morrison Line . We will hike both the Mac Naughton –Morrison Trails and the Morrison Dam Conservation area trail. Leader Patrick Capper email


The Tuesday Trompers walk for about an hour at a moderate to slow pace starting at  9 a.m. Contact Al Sanders at

The Uneven Hikers meet on Wednesday or Thursday. Hikes start at 9 a.m. for 1 ½ to 2 hours at a moderately fast pace. We hike only on the odd dates. e.g Thursday Oct 31st  and Nov 7th and Wednesday Nov 13th  .   Contact

The Friday L.I.F.E. hikers usually meet at 8:10 at the Betty Cardno Centre in Clinton  and hike for 1 ½ hours to 2 hours, one group at a moderate the other group at a moderately fast pace. Contact

If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at