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Trail Talk 311 - May 8, 2024

This year I have seen more Red Admiral butterflies than I have ever seen.  I saw them in our garden, on the Maitland Trail near the river, on the GART, in the Maitland Woods and in the Clinton Conservation area.  Recently, I have seen several of those small blue butterflies that look white when they fold their wings on landing. They are called Northern Azures.

I also saw the first Cabbage white on April 30th. More spring flowers are now blooming, including masses of White Trilliums, Large-flowered Bellwort, Toothwort, Wood Anemone, May-apples, Twinleaf and that very invasive Garlic Mustard. The Twinleaf sightings were interesting. There are lots on the Lobb Lower trail (now closed) and I had only seen them elsewhere in the Morris Tract, but this year I saw a small patch on the MacNaughton Trail and on the Maitland Trail near Jenkins.

My other first sightings this spring include an American Toad and some Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.  I understand that Baltimore Orioles are back in my neighbourhood.


I am often surprised by noticing something of interest on a familiar trail that I had not paid attention to before.  Recently, I saw what I call an infant nurse log.  There are many examples of trees (often birch) that have obviously started out life on a nurse log that had since rotted away exposing a network of roots.  I thought that with all the rotting logs in our woods that a log with a very young tree would not be hard to find, so I have been keeping my eye out for one for quite some time. I finally discovered one on a trail that I frequently hike.  I noticed it because I had stopped to pick up some barbed wire.  It was a very young birch tree.  Another plant that I keep looking for, but have not found, is a small hemlock tree.  Mature Hemlocks are quite common but I still have not seen a small one (i.e. under 2 feet tall).



The Bayfield River Flats is closed during construction of a pedestrian bridge, scheduled to be completed by the end of May.


Thursday May 9th 7 pm MTA AGM at the Columbus Centre, 390 Parsons Court, Goderich

Saturday May 11 10am-2pm Plant and Compost Sale at the Columbus Centre including Native plants.

Saturday May 11 9:00 am Hike a trail in private property near Dublin - 7277 Highway 8. Walk through this delightful property of farm fields, across the railway tracks and back to the bush and a cabin. The walk takes you along the Bayfield River and up through the bush of old growth and recently planted bush. There will be a trip to the Dublin Restaurant after the hike. For more information and to confirm your attendance, please contact Paula Deering or 519 955-3555. This is a Level 1, leisure pace, 1.5 - 2 hours

 Saturday May 11  1:30 pm Cycle - Goderich G2G. Ride Start at Menesetung Bridge at Goderich and bike to Maitland River near Auburn and then return. Meet at parking area at Menesetung Bridge on North Harbour Road W, Goderich.  For more information and to confirm attendance contact Donald Andrew at 519-530-9019.

Sunday May 12 9 am Meet on a private road at 37153 Bishop’s Rd., then hike on the Maitland Trail to Cherrydale and back to 37153.  Coffee/tea and conversation afterwards on a riverside deck. To register contact Jonah Melville at Jonah. or George Cantin at This is a level 2 moderate pace hike for about 2 ½ hours

 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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