In the last trail talk, the bench was one of the many logs surrounding the Clinton Conservation area parking lot. The photo was unusual as it showed the front view of Margot, Sadie and me, this was because you can a sit on these log facing either direction. Although it would appear I was giving Margot a hug, in fact I was just reaching over to support Sadie who had been slipping off the log. On Monday March 14th and 16th the Bayfield river was again overflowing the culverts.
On Thursday morning March 10th I was very surprised to find that I was the only person hiking on the Lobb trails. While on the upper trail before the first cut off, I heard several chickadees. I held out my hand with some sunflower seeds and two chickadees soon came to get the seeds.
On my Monday morning hike on March 14th on the Sugar bush white trail, I saw three deer cross over a field, and later saw and heard three robins, a downy woodpecker, a white throated nuthatch and several unidentified birds. This was the first time this year that I have had more than one wildlife sighting while hiking in that area. On Tuesday when again on the Sugar Bush trail, I heard and saw a pileated woodpecker. I quite often hear them but rarely both see and hear them.
On Wednesday March 16th I hiked the Maitland trail between Sharpes Creek Line and the creek at 32.9 km. There was a lot of snow on snowdrift hill, so I cut steps in the drifts to get down the hill. The trail was a mix of deep snow, medium to light snow, bare ground, wet areas (crossed with the boardwalks) and bare trail. I was delighted to see through the mist six tundra swans on the river (opposite the Lobb trail hill), then later on spotted 36 swans on the river. I don’t recall ever seeing more than one or two swans on the Maitland river upstream of the Goderich area. I have noticed is that the geese on the rivers are now usually very quiet unless you get too close to them however, when the swans were close to the geese, they were making the usual amount of noise that is typical of them in the fall.
Some skunk cabbage are now poking up, the purple part being the flower.
On March 17th on the “Uneven” hike at Lobbs which was very icy. We saw two flights of Tundra swans, one of about 35 the other of about 50 birds. Our snow drops, that have been just showing white buds, finally blossomed, there is a good number of them at the start of the George Newton trail and a few on the Menesetung trail. On that afternoon when the temperature reached 17o C there were 30 honey bees on the blue scilla at the edge of the lawn. An Mourning cloak butterfly was also seen in the garden.
In the house there was a Small Magpie moth. These moths are originally from Europe and the larva eats bindweed, mint and nettles and are usually seen outside in June and July. One was seen inside a house in Wisconsin on February 20th . It is a mystery as to what they were doing at this time of year.
At https://www.lambtonmuseums.ca their report now shows that on March 21stt the Tundra swans had moved North.
Saturday March 26th 7-9pm self guided candlelit walk on the Taylor trail. (no dogs. Donate to light a candle $30,$50 or $100. All proceeds to children’s room at Huron Hospice. Donations and more information at www.huronhospice.ca/events. 8 p.m. dedication ceremony at Trailhead
The Hullett blue trail from the parking lot at 80602 was still closed on March 21st as not all the logs had yet been removed.
The Wawanosh Nature Centre trails are now open to the public.
The Falls Reserve is closed until the end of May, except for the Maitland Trail’s main trail with white blazes and the blue blazed trail. This is due to work on installing a new septic system.
Tuesday Tromper’s meet at 9 a.m.on Tuesdays to 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. and are open to non-members provided they sign the MTA on-line waiver.
If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at firstname.lastname@example.org.