Trail Talk 185 September 1st 2021

My poor photo of a Green Heron
Beech nuts and husks

On Friday August 20th I hiked the Riverbend loop, there was a bit of a puddle at the gate on Black Hole road and a puddle on the trail at the edge of the pond, both were avoidable.  Unfortunately I lost my ball cap, so on Saturday I returned, but this time did the full loop starting at Jenkins and hiking along Black Hole road and returning on the main Maitland Trail, and found my cap where I had dropped it. At the pond near the gate I saw a Green heron perched on a tree, but too far away for a good photo with my camera.  When I entered my poor photo to iNaturalist, the system immediately came up with Green Heron, which I knew was correct after seeing clearly with binoculars. I noticed there were quite a few beech nut shells on the ground.  The beech fruit has a four part husk with hooked prickles, opening at maturity to reveal one to three nuts. No doubt the squirrels and mice quickly consume these, as I had never seen any until Thursday when I closely checked the ground at the Beech Trees near the 31 km mark on the Maitland Trail. I wonder why these were a very common sight when I lived in England but uncommon here.

On Sunday I had a short hike at Wawanosh Nature Centre, the butterfly garden was past its prime, as the wild bergamot were no longer in bloom.   There were over six Great Spangled Fritillary butterflies flying around, but none settled long enough to be photographed.  I find it extremely difficult to tell the difference between a Great Spangled Fritillary and an Aphrodite which has an extra black dot near the forward wing base, but otherwise looks identical to the Great Spangled..

My stops at Forster’s bridge continue to be rewarding.  Although I have not always seen a Great Egret, I have usually seen a Great Heron and a Belted Kingfisher and a group of gulls. I have also seen two turtles basking on a rock, up to three Killdeer, three cormorants and up to 150 Canada Geese.

Some hikers wonder why there are not more weekend hikes.  One reason is there are only a few volunteers as hike leaders.  Also there is often a low turnout. On Saturday August 14th I had to hike on my own, which has some advantages as I could stop more often to look for birds and frogs.

Jack-in-the-pulpit

The Tuesday August  24th , eleven Trompers hiked a loop at Pinery Line where we saw a hummingbird, and two hikers went home with a Giant Puffball. The puffball seen on the previous Thursday was still about six inches diameter and was turning brown, probably not getting any larger due to the dry conditions.  On Wednesday five of us hiked the Maitland Trail at the Falls Reserve. The water level in the Maitland River was very low.  We saw a nice Jack-in-the-pulpit with bright red berries.

 

Notes:

Saturday September 11th 9 a.m. Hike the Maitland Trail from River Line to Cherrydale road about 16 km-,requires car pooling. Contact pcapper99@gmail.com

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.

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.