Trail Talk 182 August 11th 2021

By the time you read this, the Maitland Trail Bioblitz will be well under way.   I have made a few submissions and have found that it has been easy to find over 30 submissions within an hour on the trail. Details can be found on the Maitland Trail Website and in the Maitland Trail Associaiton Newsletter.

Long headed Thimbleweed

Most of my submissions have been flowers, but also some mushrooms, vines, ferns, trees, insects and butterflies. I find bird submissions the greatest problem as most birds don’t stay still for very long and I don’t have a telephoto lens. I have spotted some turtles but no frogs in the first few days of August.  I am also handicapped by not having GPS on my phone so I do my best to estimate the location based on the iNaturalist map and the Maitland Trail Guidebook.  I have found that it has been much easier to locate where my photos were taken using the satellite map that the Toronto Zoo uses for frog and turtle reporting. For instance this clearly shows the pond on the GART near Lucknow Line, which did not show up on the iNaturalist map.

The iNaturalist system is free to everyone, you just have to create an account and then  send in nature photographs and locate them using your GPS system or their map.  The system has helped me identify plants such as Long-headed Thimbleweed and Small-flowered Leafcup.  Sometimes a plant is given an unfamiliar name such as Solomon’s Plume, I had only known it as False Solomon’s Seal and so I had to check the Latin name to make sure it was the same plant. It also suggested red currant for a Highbush Cranberry, and then only accepted American Highbush Cranberry for a name. (I still prefer the name in my “Tree and Shrub” book of Cranberry Viburnum.) iNaturalist also recognizes plants no longer in bloom such as Blue Cohosh and Early Meadow-rue.  The system has the most trouble (as most of us do) in identifying mushrooms, especially if the photo does not include a good view of the underside and stem.

A Ground Cherry

The Tuesday Tromp on August 3rd was on the Wawanosh Valley Conservation Area trails.  As

A Clearwing Hummingbird moth on Wild Bergamot

described by a hiker, the wild flowers at the junction of the orange and yellow trails were spectacular(see featured image).  This is a huge butterfly garden created by Maitland Valley Conservation Authority that is filled with native plants including Purple Coneflowers, Wild Bergamot, Sunflowers, Queen Anne’s Lace (aka Wild Carrot) and Vervain. I returned after the hike to feast my eyes on the life there.  There were at least six Monarchs, a Clearwing Hummingbird moth, a butterfly that was either an Aphrodite or Great Spangled Fritillary and a Banded Longhorn beetle.  I noticed that the Monarchs preferred the Coneflowers and the bees, moth and beetles preferred the Wild Bergamot.

On our August 5th hike I noticed a red trillium with a red capsule and found out that, “Eventually the flower petals wither, leaving behind a fruit that ripens to a dark red berry-like capsule.”. This is the first time I have noticed one. I also saw a plant with small bladders, a Ground Cherry, a native version of a Chinese Lantern.

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

Saturday August 14th 9 a.m. hike on the Maitland Trail and John and Marylo Graham trails for 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Meet near 80965 Sharpes Creek Line.  Leader Patrick Capper pcapper99@gmail.com

There is no Maitland El Camino event this year, but it is anticipated that there will be one in September 2022.

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.

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

Tuesday Trompers and Uneven Hikers have restarted with up to 25 hikers.  On August 3rd  13 Trompers hiked the Wawanosh Valley Conservation Area trails  and on August 5th   five “Uneven” hikers hiked the Maitland trail from River Line to Sharpes Creek Line. 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 Al 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.

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