The past week was the second time in a month that there has been a significant number of branches and trees down across the trail, this time due to at least 3 inches of rain and some strong wind gusts. When you read this, most or all will have been cleared. Both the Maitland and Bayfield rivers were at a height normally only seen in the spring. I noticed that the river peaked on Friday and was down very slightly on Saturday morning Sept 25th on the section I hiked so parts of the trail were only flooded for a short time. The rain also resulted in many more mushrooms coming up. As usual I could not identify most of them, except Chicken of the woods, Chicken fat, Turkey tails, Fly agaric, Giant Puffballs and Oak loving Gymnopus. The oak loving name was a bit off putting as they were under white pines, however the description states they are found under oaks and pines. Their name is Gymnopus dryophilus, but they used to be named Collybia dryophila, this makes it difficult when using an older mushroom guide. They are also interesting in that Syzygospora mycetophila (a white fungus) parasitzes only these gymnopus. I saw eleven puffballs on the 2 ½ km section of the Maitland trail between Londesboro road and River Line and in Robertson tract there was a puffball measured at 16 inches by 13 inches- the largest one I have ever seen.
On September 29th I saw my 50th bird species since May 18th , the last ten being Song Sparrow, Double Crested Cormorant, Caspian Tern, Common Merganser, Cedar Waxwing, Great Egret, Bald Eagle, Red Breasted Nuthatch, including two seen outside Huron County- a Black and White Warbler, and a Black-throated Green Warbler
On October 4th my Shih Tzu Chewy celebrated his 15th birthday. He has accompanied me on the local trails for 12 ½ years. I got him when he was 2 years old and four months ago he had slowed down so much that I just gave him short walks around the garden and then hiked on the trails without him.
Duck hunting season started on September 25th
Deer Bow Hunting started on October 1st which means the section of the Maitland trail from 7.9 km to 10.5 km is closed until the end of the year.
Wild Turkey season Bow hunting October 1st-31st, Shot gun season October 12th -24th .
October 9th 1.00 p.m. Fall Colour Hike on the Lobb trail with Faye Ribey 519-524-2070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org This hike will be timed during the peak colour change of the leaves, so the date may change by approximately one week. Check the Maitland trail website.
Sunday October 10th 1:30 p.m. The third of four Sunday afternoon bicycle rides on all, or part of the GART. Distance 12.2km Meet at McGaw Siding at G2G 81652 Lucknow Line includes a significant hill climb. Preregister with Sally Brodie 226-378-1648.
Saturday October 23rd 9 a.m. Meet at 36833 Londesboro Road and hike through Morris Tract to River Bend and to 10.5 km point and loop back. Expect to take about 2 ½ hours. Contact Patrick Capper email@example.com
Sunday October 24th 1:30 p.m. the last of the four bicycle rides. 19.9 km starting at 911#81652 Lucknow Line, includes Little Lakes road. Preregister with Con Melady 519-524-8730.
Tuesday Trompers hike for about an hour contact Al Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.