Trail Talk 128 July 22nd 2020

Last trail talk I mentioned how low the Bayfield river was but before the article went to press there was heavy rain on July 9th and 10th so that on my Friday evening hike the water would have been over the culverts at the Clinton Conservation area, had I not earlier cleared some of the blocked culverts.

A harmless garter snake

On the Thursday hike another garter snake was spotted on the trail and seemed to be in no especial hurry to escape ,so I was able to get a photo of it.

A robber fly

There was an insect on my car’s door handle when parked at Lobbs, thanks to the help of an inaturalist! I discovered it was “robber fly” Efferia aestuans.  These flies eat other insects, so they are generally beneficial if found in your garden.

It is easy to quickly dismiss plants such as milkweed and Joe-Pye weed , however there are several varieties of them.  Common milkweed as a stout downy plant with domed somewhat drooping flower clusters, purple milkweed has deep magenta red flowers and more pointed leaves, four leaved milkweed has pink, lavender or white flowers with leaves in whorls of four, and swamp milkweed has dull pink flowers and then lance shaped leaves.

Spotted Joe-Pye weed

Spotted Joe-Pye weed has stems of deep or spotted purple and not waxy, and leaves in fours and fives and found in wet area .  Sweet Joe-Pye weed usually has waxy green stems with leaves in whorls of 3 or 4 with an odor of vanilla when crushed. Both of these are found in our area but hollow Joe-Pye weed is not usually found in our area. Purple boneset ( leaves piercing the stem) is also in the same family.

Note:  Hikers are expected to be socially distant from others.

The Maitland Trail between 9.6 and 10.2 km is expected to be closed until the end of the year

Lobbs may be closed in the fall for logging.

The reroute round the cottage at 45.3 km has been completed and has added about an extra 2 km 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.  There will be an occasional Maitland Trail hike starting in mid August, assuming no further Covid restrictions.

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