Trail Talk 127 July 15th 2020

Honeysuckle berries

I saw a butterfly  that was very intent on a pile of dung, most of the time it had folded wings but I managed to get a photo with partially open wings.  I could not find a likely candidate in the Audubon Butterfly book, but posted the observation on inaturalist!.  A person there identified it as a Tawny Emperor, which I realize is probably correct.

On the Tuesday Tromp at Lobbs a couple of Monarch butterflies were spotted and a small garter snake that quickly disappeared into a hole in the grass.  There were quite a few Michigan lilies out – there seem to be more this year than usual,   I have also noticed that poison ivy is flourishing – mostly at the side of the trails.

This year the honeysuckles have lots of berries mostly red, occasionally orange,   unfortunately they are mildly poisonous, except for blue honeysuckle which I have not seen, except in our garden –known as haskap, which is similar to a blueberry, but our ones faced stiff competition for its berries from the birds. There is a misconception that the regular “blueberries” are the only food that is naturally blue as haskap also has blue berries.  I see some of the black raspberries are now ripe.

Rose bedeguar gall

One interesting sight was a Rose Bedeguar gall, which is made by the Diplolepis rosea  (a gall wasp).  Last year I saw a green coloured one, but this one was bright red. The gall was used when dried and powdered to treat colic, as a diuretic, and as a remedy against toothache. The galls occur most often on young roses after dry conditions.

A wooden chute stripped from a tree

There was a very large windfall across the Morris Tract blue side trail, which has been cleared by the herculean efforts of Brian McCulloch. The tree stripped a very impressive wooden chute from a nearby tree as it fell.  If it had been a little bigger the chute could have been made into an interesting  canoe.

Although the Great Lakes are still well above their normal levels, the local rivers, especially the Bayfield and Bannockburn are very low, due to our long, hot, dry spell. The river water temperatures are high due to the hot weather and low water levels which is bad for crayfish, which are the main food for the Maitland river queen snakes.

Notes

Hikers are expected to be socially distant from others.

Just after the 29 km post the Maitland Trail crosses Bishop’s road which is a private road. It is now posted with signs,” Private Road, Absolutely NO Trespassing”.  Therefore please do not park on Bishop’s road.

All area trails are expected to be open, except for the Maitland Trail between 9.6 and 10.2 km.

Lobbs may be closed sometime for logging.

The reroute round the cottage at 45.3 km has been completed and has added about an extra 2km to the Maitland Trail.

There are no scheduled Maitland Trail Association or Bayfield River Valley Association or LIFE hikes except for the Tuesday Trompers which restarted on June 23rd.

The Maitland El Camino scheduled for September will be a virtual one, details later.

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