Trail Talk 132 August 19th 2020

Common Sunflower

On our Tuesday Tromp at Wawanosh Valley Conservation Area we found some giant puffballs, they were in two different places, my photo is of two of them among the pine needles. It made me look back as to what date I first saw puff balls in previous years.  This depends on location as well as weather conditions and my first sightings were in different places.  This year the first sight was on July 27th at Woodlands Nature trail , then more on August 11th at Wawanosh.   Last year I did not see any until Sept 12th. I came across my notes on some other years : Aug 15th in 2018,  Aug 17th in 2017, August 26th in 2016, Aug 22nd in 2013 and Aug 31st in 2011. The interesting thing about puffballs is that they usually double in volume every day,  this means between 1 and 2  inches  increase in diameter until about 10 or 12inch (for the ones I have seen) and then they turn brown.

There are a lot of sunflowers out at this time of year, and now or a bit later on the Jerusalem Artichoke will be in flower, which has broad thick rough leaves and can grow to 6 to 10 feet tall. There is a nice patch in the John and MaryLo Graham Nature Reserve.  What I first took to be a sunflower turned out to be a coneflower. My photo does not show the lower leaves which are divided, and that the stem is not smooth but has fine grey hairs. If you are trying to identify a plant it is worth noting if the leaves are opposite, smooth or rough, the colour of the underside , the leaf veins, the grouping of the leaves, the colour of the stalk , whether it is rough, smooth or hairy etc. some of these features are often not clear in a photograph.

Culverts on the Bayfield river at the Clinton Conservation area

On Wednesday evening I hiked the Clinton Conservation Area trails with Chewy.  I paused to move some branches from the culverts that the beavers had placed there, and Chewy had disappeared! All I could see was his leash leading into a culvert.  Last Saturday there was so little water there that Chewy could walk across the river without a problem, this time when he went into the water for a drink, he got swept into n empty culvert fortunately he soon reappeared and swam to shore.  This is only about the third or fourth time I have seen him swim. I try to keep the culverts clear so that only with very high water levels is it impossible to cross over without getting wet feet.

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 contact them at or phone 519-524-6497.


Hikers are expected to be socially distant from others.

Saturday Sept 12th at 9 a.m. Hike on the Maitland Trail and John and MaryLo Graham Nature Conservancy trails for about 1 ½ hours at a moderate pace. Meet near 80965 Sharpes Creek Line, just South of Bishop’s Rd. Bring your own pen to sign the waiver sheet.  leader Patrick Capper.

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

The G2G trail has some closures for maintenance work.

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 the original reroute 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 is also a blue side trail between Pinery Line and the N end of that part of the Robertson Tract reroute.

The Maitland El Camino scheduled for September will be a virtual one See details, if you sign up cost is $10 and you can have a chance to win prizes .

Bayfield River Valley Association will have hikes on Oct 25th at Naftel’s and on Nov 17that the Mavis and Taylor trails  both hikes start at 2 p.m.

Tuesday Trompers  restarted on June 23rd