Trail Talk 214 April 6th 2022

Where is this bench and creek?

In the last trail talk, the bench was the Joey Salkeld bench in the Maitland Woods on the D-E blue trail. Joey Salkeld (1930-2003) farmed just south of Goderich.  At age 6 he was stricken with rheumatic fever. This restricted his joint movement and stature, but perhaps made a brilliant mind even more remarkable.  He and his father shared an ability to make things that made their lives and that of their neighbours better. The clever use of salvaged material made it possible for Joe to both farm and create in their well-equipped workshop. There were few pieces of machinery they couldn’t fix or manufacture. This made them very valuable to their community.  Perhaps Joey’s greatest feature was a wonderful sense of humour. He lived with a high degree of physical pain, lost his dear sister when she was 16 to scarlet fever and his equally dear mother early to encephalitis (challenging times then) but he was invariably cheerful. Though Joe was short of stature he was a huge inspiration to those lucky to know him. His love of life, nature and people made him a wonderful example of humanity at its best.

Some of the 260 wild turkeys

The bench was fabricated by Jim Wallace using bits of machinery and steel found in the back room of Joe’s shop. To read more about Joey see the write up in the Maitland Trail Guidebook on page 35.

Mallards and pigeons in the parking lot

On the weekend of March 26-27th I drove up to Sault Ste Marie to visit family. On the Friday drive there were some Tundra swans on the flooded fields South of Wingham and near Clifford.  The weather was cold and windy so I did not get out much on the trails. Next to the boardwalk near the Station Mall there must have been 2000 painted rocks, and in the Mall parking lots there was a large mixed flock of mallards and pigeons with many ring billed gulls nearby.  On a visit to St Joseph Island we saw a huge flock of Wild Turkeys. When I went to check I counted over 260 turkeys!

On our drive back on Monday the stormy weather had finished so the drive was good.  At home we were greeted by our first song sparrow and brown headed cowbird of spring.

What a difference a day make.  The cold and snow of Wednesday changed to the 13 degree temperature of Thursday March 31st which soon melted nearly all of the recent snowfall.

Notes:

Saturday April 9th, 2pm   A Bayfield River Valley Trail Hike .   Agriculture and Nature in Harmony, Linfield Wildlife Area, with farmer Wayne Cantelon and ABCA Lands Manager Nathan Schoelier

Sunday April 10th 1.30 p.m. Hike the Morris Tract and River Bend area Maitland trails with Patrick Capper.  We expect to take about 2 ½ hours if the weather is good, or just over an hour if the weather is poor.  This section has two big hills to go up and down, but is in a lovely forested area.
Saturday April 16th, 11am A Bayfield River Valley Trail Hike .  The Woods are Waking Up, Woodland Trail, with environmentalist Michele Martin
The Hullett blue trail parking lot at 80602 Wildlife line no longer has a closed sign although a pile of logs is still there.

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. If you wish to be on this email list, send an email to mta@maitlandtrail.ca.  All hikers must sign the waiver, preferably the Online waiver at www.maitland trail.ca

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 pcapper99@gmail.com.