Trail Talk 148 December 9th 2020

Asters in bloom

On Sunday afternoon I bicycled on the G2G from Ariss to Guelph.  On the 5km trail from Ariss to the Silvercreek Road kiosk I met 40 walkers and five cyclists.   I then drove to Riverside park at Woolwich Street, this detour caused by the active railway line. Then cycled down the Riverside trails but never did find the John Galt park kiosk. Part of the trail was right beside the active railway line with a fence separating the trail from it. When I cycled the Woodlawn Memorial park cemetery I saw what may be the last wildflowers of the year, some New England asters and thin leaved asters.  On my G2G trips I have been very consistent in accidentally making the detours longer than necessary, due to confusion about what route to take.

I received a note from Fred Lange who now lives on Orchard Line and when living in West Montrose put up the mailbox in 1990 of the Kissing Bridge that I showed in last week’s Trail Talk.

On Nov 26th I saw a turkey tail mushroom on the trail, this one was the most similar to an actual turkey tail that I have ever seen.

Faye Ribey at Bannockburn

On Nov 29th at the small pond on the creek just past the second cut off on the Lobb’s Upper trail I had a good view of two small fish (about 6 inches long) and for the first time saw six small minnows as well. I still can’t figure out how they got there as it is not close to the Maitland river and the creek is quite small. I wonder how the fish find enough food to sustain them.

On Tuesday  December 1st only two of us came out for the Tromp at Bannockburn.  The area was very beautiful with the fresh snow on the trees.  We saw turkey tracks and one turkey quickly disappearing from view. In the late afternoon I hiked on the Front road trail and saw a large bird fly above the trail in front of me. I thought it must be an owl, which I confirmed when it perched on a branch and looked at me.  I could not get a photo until it flew further away, but I believe it was a Barred owl. I have never seen one before.

Probably a barred owl at the Front road trail

When we have snow it is interesting to study all the animal tracks. Even with the help of the book “Animal Tracks of Ontario,” I often find it difficult to determine what creature made some tracks. Deer, raccoon, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit and opossum are usually easy, but it is often difficult to determine if a track was made by a large fox, or small coyote.  Both walk in straight lines, compared to domestic dogs which tend to wander around a lot and their tracks are described as “erratic and confused”. This certainly applies to Chewy!

Diana Beresford –Kroeger is a strong advocate for lots of trees in cities so I am sure is proud of Bayfield and Goderich. She write,” City forests help to abate smog laden air. Trees during daylight hours are prodigious oxygenators. As oxygen moves upwards it helps separate smog, dispersing it.  Trees in sunlight move and orient the leaves of their canopy to harvest the atmosphere, they need carbon dioxide, which they split into carbon and oxygen. Many trees have leaf hairs which comb the atmosphere of pollution, big and small. Rain and mists wash off the leaves very easily , carrying all the pollutants with it.

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

Saturdays Dec 12th – Feb 27th at 10 am. Hikes at Varna (Taylor and Mavis Trails)

The Bayfield River Valley Trail will lead guided hikes every Saturday except Dec 26th, for up to 25 people after signing appropriate waivers etc.

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 23rd    Contact pcapper.

If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at