Trail Talk 130 August 5th 2020

A Katydid

I have noticed a lot of chicory along the edge of both Stone School road, Bannockburn line and Kitchigami road where it grows with wild carrot ( also known as Queen Anne’s lace).  Chicory has often been used as a coffee substitute, with the benefit of being caffeine free.  I tried a caffeine free substitute at work but after falling asleep at a meeting I returned to drinking coffee.  Chicory as the drink is reported as being naturally sweet with a bitter after taste, which is why I, with a sweet tooth,  have never tried it.  Detailed preparation of chicory is given at  https://www.thelittleblackcoffeecup.com/journal/chicory.   It recommended digging up the roots when moist, cutting off the tops , washing and scrubbing  the roots, shredding them and drying at 200 oF for 1 1/2 hours then roasting at 300 oF until brown and then grinding  them and brewing like coffee. I would also advise you not to dig it up in places where the roadside has been sprayed with weed killer. I also found out that chicory can have a white flower but I have never seen one.

We had a katydid in our garden, these insects are usually well camouflaged so they are more often heard than seen. As with many other species there is more than one type of katydid. This one is possibly a round headed katydid.

A Northern Pearly Eye

On Saturday evening I saw a fox near the Lobb trail, I knew other hikers had seen one in the area but this was the first time I had seen a fox for quite a long time.  I also saw a Northern Pearly Eye perched on the end of a twig.  On another day we saw a small fish in a creek on the Lobb Upper trail, I saw some fish there two years ago but none last year.  I wonder how a fish ends up there so far from the river on such a small creek.  I also spotted a white squirrel on Stone School Line near the Thompson farm. White squirrels are quite common in Exeter and are also seen in Clinton and Seaforth,  but this is farthest I have seen one from Exeter, I haven’t  heard of any being seen in Goderich.

A Red Admiral on Fran McQuail

On Sunday at a “socially distance “ Meeting,  a red admiral butterfly took quite a fancy to Fran McQuail and perched on her arm for well over 5 minutes.  Later that day another unusual sight was a small branch falling onto the ground as a kingfisher left the tree. At the Maitland river, what might have been a gull, flew up from the river with a fish and I saw a shower of water coming down from it as it struggled away with its catch.

On Monday July 27th I saw four rabbits at a garden in Benmiller, so I suspect there are no foxes or coyotes in the area, and in many other places there are more rabbits than usual this year.  On my evening hike that day  I saw a good sized giant puffball, which is much earlier than usual, as it is usually late August before I see the first giant puffballs. There are also now many other mushrooms coming up along the trails, most of which I can’t identify.

Notes   Hikers are expected to be socially distant from others.

You may still come across windfalls across the trail from the July 19th windstorm, Brian McCulloch and Mike Cicchini are still working hard to clear them.

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

The logging at Lobbs is now not expected until after the Soy bean crop has been harvested.

The reroute round the cottage at 45.3 km has been completed and has added about an extra 2km to the Maitland Trail, it has been slightly changed from the original reroute which was on three sides of a field and now about a third is in the Robertson tract instead of along the eastern edge of the field, so a hiker can get some shade on those hot sunny days.

There are no scheduled  Bayfield River Valley Association or LIFE hikes

The Tuesday Trompers  restarted on June 23rd,  the Uneven day hikers restarted on July 23rd, we go out at 8:30 a.m. for            1 ½ to 2 hours on Wednesday or Thursday whichever has an odd date, e.g Thursday Aug 13th .  Contact pcapper.

There will be an occasional Maitland Trail hike starting on August-15th at 9 a.m. at Lobb’s Trail assuming no further Covid restrictions. If  you joining us please bring your own pen to sign the waiver form. leader Patrick Capper

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.