Trail Talk – September 5, 2018

Two weeks ago I mentioned invasive plants, the longer list of 88 species also includes following that I have regularly seen in our area: coltsfoot, black locust, box elder (Manitoba maple), hawthorn, periwinkle, St Johnswort, dames rocket, European birch, glossy buckthorn, goutweed, lily of the valley, Norway maple, purple crown vetch, spotted knapweed, Russian olive, and teasel. So this includes some surprises and omits others that I thought it would include, such as dandelion.

On Wednesday Communities in Bloom recognized many volunteers and volunteer organizations, one of which was the Maitland Trail Association, for their work in the Maitland Woods. Roger Goddard the Trail Crew Coordinator received the recognition on behalf of the association. There has been a lot of work on the Maitland Woods trail putting gravel down and recently adding a couple of boardwalks and maintaining all 22 of them.  Some of the early boardwalks are showing signs of age with the occasional board breaking. If you have any good 2”x 6” pressure treated boards at least 2 feet long the association could use them. They can be dropped off at the trailer near the Knights of Columbus hall.

The Friday LIFE hikers hiked the Maitland Woods on August 24th I was asked about a small tree next to the Huckins Street bridge which had clusters of blue berries. Although I have walked the trail many times it was the first time that I noticed this tree which I could not identify. The Sibley tree book was of little help, A “Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs by G. Petrides” led me to think it was a narrow leaf dogwood Cornus oblique, and, on checking on the internet this species was named silky dogwood and Walter Muma’s Ontario photos corresponded exactly. John Hazlitt published a booklet in 2009 “Maitland Woods an Urban Forest” his list included a silky dogwood, but when labeling the species at that time I was not able to find it. I have still not been able to find a smooth alder or a barberry that he listed in the booklet.

On Saturday on the Lobb trail I saw a 6” diameter puffball a few yards off the trail that I missed on my Thursday hike when it would have been nearly 4” diameter, you really have to keep your eyes open. Two deer leaping across the soy bean field were easier to spot, as was the rabbit darting out of the field. There are a lot of different mushrooms up, which may last for a short or long time. I have a hard time identifying them, but one that caught my eye was the two white ones so close together they looked like one with a double top.

I had a few days in Toronto and explored a small part of High Park where I saw lots of black and grey squirrels , lots of golden rod, poison ivy, ragweed, some milkweed and several monarch butterflies and I was surprised to see two puffballs.

Midweek Hikes

The Tuesday Trompers walk for about an hour at a moderate to slow pace starting at 9:00 AM Contact Al Sanders at allan.sanders@hurontel.on.ca

The Wednesday hikes start at 9:00 AM for 1.5 to 2 hours at a moderately fast pace. Contact pcapper99@gmail.com

The Friday L.I.F.E. hikers usually meet at 8:10 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 cphillips@onecaresupport.ca

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