Trail Talk 131 August 12th 2020

Blue Vervain
Purple Loosestrife

I keep on discovering plants, insects etc. that I am unfamiliar with.  Often I find out what they are from a field guide, followed by searching on the internet when necessary.  I don’t have a “whats it” app on my phone, so when I still can’t identify the plant or creature, then  I post my photo as an observation on inaturalist. Usually someone there can identify it.

The plant Blue Vervain was growing at the bottom of River Line. At first I thought it was an alien loosestrife as it had a square stem, but I was glad to find it is a native plant.  I saw some purple Loosestrife at the corner of Base Line Country Rd 8 and Blyth Road. It was close to another invasive alien Himalayan Balsam and native cattails which may eventually disappear under the alien invasion.  Other alien invasive plants listed at  are Giant Hogweed, Common Buckthorn, Japanese knotweed, Garlic Mustard, Dog Strangling vine and Wild Parsnip.  I have found it impossible to find a proper list of invasive species, e.g only some mention phragmites.

Jarred Ambush Bug

The list I have come across don’t mention spotted knapweed  as very invasive but I have dug up thousands of knotweed from our property. Recently I noticed a small insect on one flower, it turned out to be a jarred ambush bug. Although small, they are known to capture insects up to ten times their size.  I read that they were beneficial to your garden, but in the same article it mentioned that they can kill and capture bees, which is not at all beneficial! I also saw a white spotted knapweed, the first white one I have seen,  and on it was a soldier beetle, another insect eater.

The work on the G2G is progressing well reaching the section between Walton and Blyth during the past week, with volunteers out helping to cut back the brush to allow good equipment access.  There is still a problem with ATVs – the lease with the Ontario Government does not allow motorized vehicles on the G2G, except for snowmobiles on the trail and vehicles used by OPP officers and maintenance crews.

If you are not a Maitland Trail Association member you may not be aware that Camp Menesetung is looking for canoeing and camping hiking gear as they are planning on starting a program for 12 year olds. If you have something such as paddles that they may want, contact them at or phone 519-524-6497


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

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 Bayfield River Valley Association or LIFE hikes.

Tuesday Trompers  restarted on June 23rd, and the Uneven day hikers restarted on July 23rd, we go out at 8:30a.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 The first is on August 15th at 9 a.m. at the Lobb trail 81077 Maitland Line for about 1 ½ hours at a moderate pace. Bring your own pen to sign the waiver sheet.  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