A couple of weeks ago the trails have been very slippery with wet earth covered by wet leaves, and I saw many skid marks,- some made by me. On my Saturday hike on Oct 30th, although proceeding with great caution, I slowly fell, landing without injury on my elbows. At the time I did not even have anything in my hands, which was unusual. This is the time of year that I notice American Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis). Most go unnoticed earlier unless they are close to the trail, but now they shed huge leaves, which are a little like a large maple leaf, some of which land on the trail, so I stop and see where they are coming from. The trunk of a Sycamore has a very distinctive mottled bark, and the fruit is 1 ¼ “ ball hanging singly on a long stalk. There is a similar cultivated tree with fruit of 2 to 5 balls per stalk the London Planetree which is a hybrid originating in Europe and is common in cities as it is tolerant of pollution. What is called a Sycamore in Britain is really a maple tree Acer Pseudoplatanus and has typical maple keys rather than fruit balls.
Ten hikers enjoyed the Tuesday Tromp on November 2nd at Bannockburn Conservation Area, however the snow overnight kept many away on the Wednesday Uneven hike on the Taylor and Mavis trails. We then hiked the Bannockburn Tract which has a bridge over an ancient wooden culvert. There was noticeably less snow at Varna and Bannockburn than a little further North at Clinton. The following week brought out a pleasant change to warm sunny weather This resulted in quite a lot of bees at the chrysanthemums in the garden, but I rarely see any on the trails as very few wild flowers are still in bloom, however at Lobbs I did see one strange looking bee.
You may see some small blue flags along the Maitland Trail. These were installed to guide ‘The Bad Thing” runners .
The Maitland and Lobb trails are closed from November 29th to December 5th due to gun deer hunting. This does not include the Falls Reserve, GART, Maitland Woods, Millennium or Sifto trails.
The Bayfield Woodland Trail is closed until January 1st
Duck hunting season started on September 25th
The section of the Maitland trail from 7.9 km to 10.5 km is closed until the end of the year.
Tuesday Trompers hike for about an hour, contact Al Sanders at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.