Trail Talk 147 December 2nd 2020

On Saturday afternoon I bicycled on the G2G from Elmira to Ariss.  The trail was being well used despite the cool day with about 30 walkers out and about half that number of dogs and two cyclists.  I have found very few wild cucumbers this year on the local trails but there was a string of over 60 wild cucumbers at the edge of the trail near Ariss. Wild Cucumber is reported as toxic but is thought to have some medicinal or herbal values. Aboriginal peoples used teas made from its roots for stomach or kidney ailments. It was, apparently, added to love potions and the roots were used in poultices for headaches. Its dense growth form may offer shelter to various wildlife species, and its large seeds certainly provide birds and small mammals with a source of food.

Kissing Bridge mailbox

I had assumed that the Kissing Bridge was right on the G2G, but realized that it is not, but is on the detour in West Montrose.  I was happy to see that the house next to it had a miniature copy of it as their mailbox.  Years ago when cycling on my Penny Farthing I started a large photo collection of interesting mailboxes, but this is the only one I have added in the past couple of years.

This wild winds on Sunday Nov 15th resulted in many windfalls, so I have not been surprised to find windfalls on nearly every trail  I have hiked on since then. Fortunately most were easy to step over or get around after a little bit of work.  We have to thank Brian McCullough and crew who have been kept very busy clearing with the chain saw clearing the many large windfalls.

Hemlock Varnish shelf

On the section between River Line and Sharpes Creek Line there was a hemlock log with a nice collection of Hemlock Varnish shelf mushrooms.

Honeylocust leaf

Diana Beresford –Kroeger writes that , “The Honey Locust is an interesting tree, some of the leaves are doubly compound (as are the leaves of the Kentucky Coffee tree)  and when the sun goes down each leaflet folds into a closed position using the midvein, much like folding a newspaper. This gives the tree the ability to survive with very little water and in dense pollution. The pods are high in protein and excellent cattle feed, and the beans can be eaten by humans like any other bean.  The wood is resistant to termite attack and resists rotting. The bright red thorns can penetrate flesh aseptically , meaning they don’t cause infection . Stenocarpine, a local anesthetic is extracted from the honey locust, this causes pollinating insects to fall around the tree, so increasing the nitrogen soil content. The tree also produces fustin, a potent anti-carcinogenic agent, and fisetin, a biochemical that inhibits aflatoxin that occurs in moulds.”

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

The Maitland Trail and Lobb trail will be closed from Monday November 30th  to Sunday December 6th due to deer gun hunting season.

The Woodlands Nature trail is still probably closed past the bridge due to uncleared storm damage.

The Lobb trail may be closed for logging, timing uncertain.

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

Uneven day hikers meet at 9 a.m.  for 1 ½ to 2 hour hike on Wednesday or Thursday whichever has an odd date, e.g Wednesday December 23rdh    Contact pcapper.

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