Trail Talk 140 October 14th 2020

A Wasp nest
A Gray TreeFrog

The yellow jackets in our garden were very interesting. They made a nest under a large flower pot and could be seen regularly going in and out of a hole at its edge. Thyra tipped it over one cool afternoon and exposed their nest. On the second night the nest disappeared, probably broken by a raccoon who ate the larva and left bits of the honeycomb structure nearby. Another interesting sight in our garden was a Gray tree frog, which was on a raspberry cane and had a very green back.  On my hike into the Falls Reserve the fall colours on the pond at Benmiller Inn were quite splendid.  On Wednesday six of us hiked the Lobb trail, three of us were startled by a stag and doe deer crashing through the brush and crossing the trail between us and the three other hikers, about 50m further ahead, who were totally unaware of the deer.   It reminded me of the only other time I have seen a similar event was many years ago on the Voyageur trail when a moose crossed the trail between us.

Part of the G2G trail

After a very unpleasant experience on a ride on the G2G back in June 2017, I had not returned to ride on the G2G until October 6th this year.  I was inspired by the great work of the Red crew,  to continue my ride going from Monkton to Milverton and back. This was a very pleasant experience with the new stone dust surface, which is so good  that it would not have been a problem for a road bicycle.  Mine is a hybrid so I made good time, stopping to see two garter snakes, a Monarch butterfly and to pick a few apples.  There were quite a few Shaggy Mane mushrooms by the side of the trail. The signposts every km were very helpful, and none of the gates had been vandalized.  For a couple of km the surface had been disturbed by horses, and there were two places where there was a groundhog hole at the edge of the trail.  My only suggestion would be to  name the roads being crossed.

The Maitland Virtual Camino had 66 participants from all over Southern Ontario but mostly from the Goderich area. They hiked where and when it suited them – the Maitland trail, Provincial parks..  some over two days, others over several days through September.  The families, couples, singles, all ages reported having fun with the bingo card.

In “Nature’s Best Hope”   D. Tallamy points out that the whole ecosystem depends on insects. Without insects nearly all plants would not get pollinated and it would not be long before we all starved to death.  Pollination occurs with a very wide variety of insects, and even the insects which don’t do any pollination usually serve a useful purpose some helping the decay of dead plants and  caterpillars act as a vital food source for many birds.  Wilson’s warblers were observed to bring at least 812 caterpillars a day to their nest.  Native trees, especially oaks, are a much better food source than non native trees for insects such as caterpillars.

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority are running a “Get Outdoors Bingo” contest from October 1st to 29th . For details go to https://www.abca/post/?ID=1106.  The hikers out on Tuesday Oct 6th fulfilled one square by hiking the Bannockburn trail.

Notes:  Hikers are expected to be socially distant from others

Turkey Hunting season is Oct 1-31st  for bow hunting, Oct 13-25th for gun hunting, when the Bayfield Woodland trail will be closed.

Deer gun hunting is from Monday November 2nd to Sunday November 8th when the Maitland Trail and Lobb trail among others will be closed.

The Woodland Arboretum Nature trail is closed across the bridge at the pond for an unknown time.

Some parts of the Maitland Woods trails may be closed for work replacing some of the boardwalks.

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

Sunday October 18th at 9 a.m. Hike the Hullett Sugar Bush trails.  Meet at 80602 Wildlife Line for a hike of about 1 ½.  Bring your own pen to sign the waiver sheet.  There is always small game hunting there but usually well away from the trails so a bright vest is advisable. Leader Patrick Capper.

Saturday  Oct 25th at 2 p.m.  Join the Bayfield Trail Association for a hike at Naftel’s

Tuesday Trompers meet at 9 a.m. every week at different trails for a one hour hike.

Uneven day hikers meet at 8:30a.m. for 1 ½ to 2 hour hike on Wednesday or Thursday whichever has an odd date, e.g Thursday October 15th   Contact pcapper.

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