Trail Talk 183 August 18th 2021

A Spicebush butterfly

We had a good hike on Friday on the Maitland Trail section near Bishop’s Road. At the first clearing we saw a large butterfly, that looked as though it would fly off into  the forest, but instead settled at the edge for a photograph – a Giant Swallowtail. (The featured photo).  The previous Friday I saw at Spicebush Swallowtail in the same area, both of these are relatively uncommon in our area and are the first ones I have seen this year.  Then as another surprise, when stopping at Forster’s bridge on Sharpes Creek Line, what I thought from a distance were two herons, turned out to be two Great Egrets.  The previous time I stopped there I saw an Eastern Heron, then noticed a strange reflection in the water from the power line and realized it was an Eastern Kingfisher, which then dove into the river, but came up empty handed.

On Wednesday August 11th I had two more rewarding stops at Forster’s Bridge. At 8:45 I saw one Great Egret in the river, and then stopping on the return from a hike in Morris Tract I watched a Caspian Tern dive into the river, though it did not appear to have caught anything.  On our Morris Tract hike we saw a red spotted salamander (aka red spotted newt).   We also saw that the Maitland Trail alongside the pond had again been flooded by beaver activity, and they also caused a medium sized flood at the bottom of Black Hole road by the gate

Although my phone does not have a GPS system, I thought that if I recorded my photo location with my GPS this might work.  When I tested this out I found that what I recorded as 43o 35.951’ had to be converted into 43.598o to agree with the iNaturalist system.  Another wonder of modern technology!

A new bench At Naftel’s

On a Monday hike on Naftel’s Creek Conservation area trails I found the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority had installed two nice benches since I had last visited there in May.

The Tuesday Tromp on August 10th  was at Point Farms with 15 out, and used the very welcome free vehicle parking.

At this time of year there are a great variety of mushrooms to be seen, the Orange Mycenas were in the Morris Tract and on August 12th I saw my first puffball of the year on the Lobb trail.

Orange Mycena

On August 21st it will be 10th anniversary of the tornedo that hit Goderich and area including parts of the Maitland Trail. The most damaged section of the trail was the part in the Morris Tract from about 12.8 to 13.8 km which was cleared with the very welcome help of chain saw crews from other Ontario hiking clubs.  Now, only when you look closely at the cut logs and lack of large trees can you realize the extent of the damage done to the trail.

I have found the mosquitoes very bad on the South side of Clinton but have not usually had a problem on the Maitland Trail, one exception was on Sunday August 8th on the trail at the Auburn end.

I heard from Brent Pollack that a black legged tick collected from his trouser leg on June 5th 2019 at a Woodlot in Port Albert carried Lyme disease but fortunately had not bitten him. So it pays to be vigilant.

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

August 23-29th G2G Trail grooming between Kissing Bridge and Blyth. Sections will be closed for the work which is expected to be finished on Aug 27th at Blyth.

Sunday September 12th, 1:30 p.m. The first of four Sunday afternoon bicycle rides on all, or part of the GART. (the others are on Sept 26th , Oct 10th and 24th.)  On Sept 12th meet at the trail by River Ridge Crescent to ride 6.1 km to McGaw and return the same way. Register with Sally Brodie 226-378-1648.  Full details are in the Maitland Trail Association newsletter.

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.  . 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.