Trail Talk 188 September 22nd 2021

Although the big damage from Tuesday’s August 7th storm was north of the Maitland trail, there were a lot of branches down on the section from River Line to Cherrydale road, though most were easy to clear off the trail except for  a significant windfall at about 25.5 km in the John and Marylo Graham Nature Conservancy. There were some beautiful pink fungi, Apricot Jelly at the edge of a stump.  Although they are sometimes the colour of apricot, they  can also be pink or rose coloured; the Audubon guide states, “ This attractive mushroom is edible, but more for colour and texture than taste.”  Thanks to Susan Ethelston for the photo that came out better than mine.

Wild Cucumber

You may have noticed wild cucumbers, which one hiker tried to convince his brother that they were porcupine eggs! These cucumber are just a hollow shell containing a few seeds and so are not edible.

Gray Dogwood

The Tuesday Tromp on September 14th was on Anne Melady’s trail near St. Columban. She lead us on a very pleasant trail, first near the railway track where many Gray dogwood were full of white berries. They perfectly matched the description in my field guide names which gives the alternate name of Red-panicle Dogwood,   “A small or medium-sized shrub with light gray branchlets and clusters (panicles)of white fruit supported by red stems.”  The white berries are not edible for humans but are relished by game birds and song birds.  The rest of the hike was a pleasant trail through her woodlot that she created as her COVID project,  including a bridge over the river.

Fringed Gentian

On Wednesday September 15th we hiked the Bayfield Woodland Trail, and, at last, I had a positive sighting of a Bald Eagle that was perched on a dead tree and then flew off.  The other interesting sight was Fringed Gentian that were blooming in a wet area.  In the afternoon I visited The Pinery where I had a good view of a yellow headed warbler that I am fairly sure was a Black-throated Green Warbler. There was a lot of red flagging tape on the trail I hiked, and only when I looked closely realized the tape stated, “DO NOT CUT”. Obviously a message to whoever would work on the trail not to trim these shrubs which were a dogwood with some berries.


.          Sunday September 26th, 1:30 p.m. The second of four Sunday afternoon bicycle rides on all, or part of the GART. (the others are on  Oct 10th and 24th.)   Meet at McGaw Siding on G2G, 911#81652 Lucknow Line, Ashfield Colborne Wawanosh (ACW) heading West for 12 km to Goderich Harbour and return to the start for a total of 23.2 km. Preregistration contact Con Melady 519-524-8730

Sunday September 26th 2 p.m. join the Bayfield Valley Trail Association for a hike on the Lobb trail. Expect to take 2 to 3 hours.Leaders are George Ebers and Ralph Blasting.  For more information call George at 519-482-7572.

There is no Maitland El Camino event this year, but probably one in September 2022.

Tuesday Trompers hike for about an hour contact Al Sanders at

Uneven  Hikers  hike for 1 ½ to 2 hours on Wednesdays or Thursdays contact Patrick Capper. Both groups meet at 9 a.m.

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