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Trail Talk 301 - February 29, 2024

When I decided to hike the Maitland Trail for our team’s Coldest Night of the Year hike, the section from 80918 Sharpes Creek Line was in great shape with no snow, except for a little bit on snowdrift hill.  How things have changed since then! On Friday Feb16th, there was a five-foot deep snowdrift across the trail. I had left an old, repaired aluminum shovel there for digging out the snow but unfortunately somebody removed it, so I had to use an even more battered up shovel for the job.  When I returned three days later, I had to repeat these efforts which included some more extensive drifts.  On Wednesday Feb 21st, Lise Ellacott and the rest of the midweek hikers had no trouble hiking the cleared path.

            I was reading in the Focus the problems the Goderich By-law enforcement team have with animal control. This included concerns about coyotes.  I can’t imagine them catching one with a catch stick as coyotes are much too smart.   On Feb 18th at 1 a.m. my “game” camera took a photo of a coyote on our property. Unlike the Goderich resident, I am happy we have a coyote, and hope that it catches some feral cats.  The reason I don’t like feral cats is that they kill many birds, which are threatened not only from cats, but pesticides, crashing into windows, and loss of habitat.


American Bird Conservancy website has many different options for treating windows to prevent bird collisions. One I like is Bird Divert that uses translucent UV decals which are invisible to humans. They also state that hawk silhouettes are ineffective.

            My recent sightings include seeing hundreds of Shortwing snowflies (Allocapnia vivipara) on top of the snow on Feb 21st.  They can survive down to -6oC.  On the Maitland River there were mergansers, buffleheads and flocks as large as 35 Golden Eye and 250 Canada Geese. 


      It is always interesting to notice a plant that had been hiding in plain view. A case in point was to realize that there was an Eastern Redcedar (sometimes termed Eastern Red Cedar- Juniperus virginiana) next to the Sifto Loop trail.

            As of Feb 21st the Goderich Coldest Night of the year fundraiser had raised $84,000 towards its goal of $130,000 with 240 walkers registered. Thanks go to all the walkers and supporters.



Friday March 8th 4 pm the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association are hosting a heritage walk.

            Sunday March 17th 10 am St Patricks Day hike on the G2G .  Meet at the end of Hardwood Line Auburn next to the Microwave Tower. Hike in and back for about 1 ½ hours at a moderate pace.  For more information and to confirm your attendance, please contact Patrick Capper at  

 All participants taking part in the Maitland Trail events should sign the waiver for 2024, preferably the online version.

            Tuesday Trompers meet at 9 a.m. on Tuesday to hike for about an hour. If you wish to be on this email list, send an email to

            Midweek Hikers hike for 1 ½ to 2 hours on Wednesdays or Thursdays, contact Patrick Capper.

Both groups meet at 9 a.m. and are open to non-members provided they sign the MTA On-line waiver.

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



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