Trail Talk – May 16, 2018

The Saturday’s May 5th wildflower hike at Jenkins had five hikers out enjoying the many wildflowers which were flowering due to the warm weather. As well as the ones mentioned in previous trail talks there were bellworts, red trilliums (also known as wake robins), wild ginger, white trout lilies, anemones, wild strawberries and twin leaf. May apples were up but not flowering on that day. Dandelions, which are alien are now out in full force. As well as the common dandelion there are three others, the red seeded dandelion (leaves deeply cut), fall dandelion (shiny cut leaves) and dwarf dandelion which is not alien.

There were 16 walkers out in the Maitland Wood walks on Sunday May 6th enjoying the fine weather, and the many flowers, and we saw an unidentified frog leaping into a pond, the first one I’ve seen this year. The labeled Red Bud did not survive the winter.

The snow had finally gone from the hill near Sharpes Creek line on Sunday May 6th and there were not too many windfalls on that section from the stormy Thursday. I saw two kayakers floating down the Maitland River. That was also the first day I had seen a significant number of insects, and the first spiders webs across the trails.

On Monday I was thinking that I had not seen any fish in the Bayfield river so far this year, and also that, all the diving ducks seem to have left the rivers. However on my afternoon walk across the Menesetung bridge I was amazed to see a school of probably 2000 fish all about eight inches long, eight larger black ones and six very large wide gray ones. There were also eight red-breasted mergansers. On the Sifto loop the Lily of the Valley were coming up, but not yet in flower. These are the domestic variety, the wild ones have a much more modest flower.

On Wednesday May 9th Mary Lyn noticed the snowy owl was still at the junction of Blacks Point road and Porters Hill line, it must think it is still winter!.

In 2017 the average number of Tuesday Trompers was 17, with a maximum of 32 and minimum of 4, with 77 people out at least once; we visited 33 different trails. On May 8th, 20 Tuesday Trompers enjoyed a hike at Bannockburn, we were watched by a Turkey vulture, but did not see the green heron that was spotted there several days ago. We saw some of the small blue butterflies that are now flitting around, it is very difficult to make out which variety they are as they don’t stay still for long. I commented that although we saw many wild flowers that the Jack-in-the-pulpits were not up yet, then in the afternoon I saw two in the Maitland Woods.

On Thursday morning I saw two American Toads mating in the Bayfield rive, my first sight of frogs/toads mating.

We have now seen the Ruby-throated Humming bird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Baltimore Oriole in our garden so there should be a good variety of birds to see on the bird outings with Roger.

The benefits of physical activity on heart health, and mental health are well known. Now a study by UCLA reported in the Toronto Star (April 29th) on people between 45 and 75 indicates that activity is good for your memory, based on the effect on the medial temporal lobe. I hate to think what my memory would be like if I had not been so physically active!

Note that the Bayfield Woodlands Trail is closed April 25th to May 31st for Turkey Hunting. There is also a closure until May 21st on the Maitland trail between 44 and 46 km due to a landslide.

Upcoming Hikes

Thursday May 17th at 6:30 PM Bird Watching Walk led by Roger Goddard. Meet at the Rock on N. Harbour Rd. Very slow pace, bring binoculars if you have them.

Saturday May 19th 9:00 AM Hullett Marsh bird watching; 3 hours very slow pace. Car pool at Harvey’s 8:15 am or meet at the parking lot at 40677 Conservation road. Leader Roger Goddard; Bring binoculars.

Wednesday May 23rd 7:30 PM; Menesetung Bridge Association A.G.M. at Beach Street Station.

Saturday May 26th 10:00 a.m. Naftel’s Creek Walk in the Woods; Leisurely pace 1.5 hours. Leaders Hugh and Colleen McGregor 519-524-8543..

Mid-Week Hikes

The Tuesday Trompers walk for about an hour at a moderate to slow pace starting at 9:00 AM. Contact Al Sanders at

The Wednesday hikes start at 9:00 AM  for 1.5 to 2 hours at a moderately fast pace. Contact

The Friday L.I.F.E. hikers usually meet at 8:15 AM at the Betty Cardno Centre in Clinton and hike for 1.5 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