With the lack of group hikes I have decided to start showing one picture a week taken along a trail and seeing how well readers know the Huron Country trails. I will explain where the picture was taken the following week. This week there is a picture of a yellow device with number 7 on top.
I mentioned clothing being left on a trail last week. This past Friday there was John Deere cap left on the Maitland Trail between the 49 and 50 km markers. It is surprising what can be dropped and not missed.
The Maitland trail near Bishop’s road was gorgeous with the fresh snow hanging onto the tree branches. There was an ash tree near the trail that had three very neat holes made by a pileated woodpecker. We saw one in our garden for the first time recently. The male has a longer red crest on its head and there is a red line from the throat to the bill which the female doesn’t have. Pileated woodpeckers are quite unmistakable, as they are about 16.5 inches long compared to a hairy woodpecker at 9.25 inches long. They are the only woodpecker to make these enormous holes, the ones in my photo are nowhere near the largest I have seen, but I don’t recall seeing three such neat ones. I more often hear them than see them when hiking, though it is very common to see the holes they make.
Pine cone nuts are a popular food for chipmunks and squirrels. I have often seen squirrel’s midden – a pile of inedible cone parts, but had not noticed the small debris near a hole in the snow – probably made by a chipmunk.
Isn’t it amazing how mild the weather was this January! Usually by this time of year I have had to put on my full winter gear to keep warm. When it gets to about minus 10 Chewy stops and holds his paw up as it is too cold for comfort, but it has not happened so far this winter, however he has refused to go out when it was minus 7 recently. Fresh snow has made the trails far less slippery, and allowed me to get out on my snowshoes for a few times, I like to pack the trail to make it easier for Chewy to walk on, especially if the packed trail is left for a day or two to harden up.
The Coldest night of the year walk is on Feb20th and is a fund raiser for support those who are homeless http://cnoy.org/location/goderich s, precariously housed, etc. in Huron County. Details will be in your local paper or go to the Website http://cnoy.org/location/goderich . You can walk as an individual or as part of a virtual team. The idea is to walk 2 km or 5 km and donate to the charity.
Notes: Hikers are expected to be socially distant from others.
All scheduled hikes are postponed due to the lockdown
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.
However the trails are all open and it is always good to get out and enjoy nature.
If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at firstname.lastname@example.org.