Trail Talk 180 July 28th 2021

At the pond in the Maitland Woods on July 17th it was very different than on my visit a week earlier, as I did not see any frogs or turtles, you never know what you may see from one day to the next.

On July 18th I visited Essentially Lavender north of Teeswater, as Thyra and other Huron Harp school members were playing there.  I saw a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell at the pond and as usual the frogs leaped into the water so quickly that I could not identify them.  Later on during the garden tour there were about ten Milbert’s tortoiseshells flying around.  One landed on my trousers and then one landed on Thyra’s hand.

The mosquitoes have been very bad in our garden and in the surrounding area, but usually have not been a problem when hiking on the area trails.  At Lobbs we met some hikers who said that part of the trail had a lot of mosquitoes and flies, but when we hiked there we did not have any problems.  I think that their dogs might have stirred up the insects in the vegetation at the edge of the trail.  I was taught that light coloured clothing and not using any scent were good ways to reduce the chances of insect bites.  On one hike up North when a group of hikers stopped for lunch, there was a swarm of flies around two ladies who had very fine hair dos, so I suspected the scent in their hair attracted the mosquitoes.  Of course insect repellent and or netted clothing may be the only way to avoid bites.  Once when in Churchill Manitoba in July, there was no question that a bug jacket and gloves were essential and when out one evening when I put my hand on my head I would normally squash a dozen or more mosquitoes.

Monarch on a Spotted Knapweed

Ticks are always a concern, and I have been fortunate in only once having found a tick which was on Chewy.  Long sleeves, a hat and long trousers tucked in, reduce the chances of picking up a tick.  The Ontario tick map that shows the nearest area where ticks have been known to carry Lyme disease is at the Pinery Provincial Park.

An Early Goldenrod

On the hike at the Maitland Cemetery I noticed that the invasive spotted knapweed has started to come into blossom. Many of our trails have areas where knapweed is taking over.  I have noticed large patches in the Falls Reserve, near B. Edgar bridge, in Hullet and at the start of the Front road trail.

Many flowers are blooming earlier than normal this year.  I have already seen goldenrods, there were a lot on the Hullett Blue trail in the vicinity of the junction with the white trail. There are about 10 different species of goldenrod that might be found in our area, the photo is I believe of Early Goldenrod (Solidago juncea).  A few Jerusalem Artichokes at the Maitland Cemetery and in the John and Marylo Graham Nature Conservancy are in bloom.

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

Bayfield River Valley Trail Association Hike: Monday August 9th at 11 a.m. on the Sawmill Trail.

Maitland Trail reroute- There is a short reroute at River Line when heading upstream towards Boundary (B. Edgar) bridge. The trail entry point is now100m further North on River line. This added just over 200m to the length of the Maitland Trail. The km trail markers from 20 onwards have now been relocated to better reflect the latest estimates of the trail distances, for a total distance of the Maitland Trail of 51.6 km

Our Provincial Parks have free day use entry from Monday through Thursday until September 2nd.

Sam, Paula, Gabi, Rick, Anne, and Richard hiking on the Maitland Trail on July 21 ( an Uneven hike)

Tuesday Trompers and Uneven Hikers have restarted with up to 25 hikers.  On July 20th 15 Trompers hiked the Maitland Cemetery trail and on July 21st  seven “Uneven” hikers hiked the Maitland trail near Bishop’s Road. New hikers are welcome, and are required to sign the Maitland trail waiver.  The easiest way is to sign the online waiver at www.maitlandtrail.ca  under scheduled hikes and waivers.  To be added to the Trompers notices contact all sanders at allan.sanders@hurontel.on.ca.  To be added to the hikes on Wednesdays or Thursdays contact Patrick Capper. Both groups meet at 9 a.m., the Trompers hike for about 1 hour, the Uneven hikers hike from 1 ½ to 2 hours.

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

The Maitland Trail is having a Bioblitz in August  see details on the website.

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