Trail Talk 215 April 13th -20th 2022

In the last Trail Talk, the bench was on the Bayfield Woodland Trail, close to the bridge over the creek and is in memory of Joyce and Harold H. Seaman.

A garter snake on the lawn

On Thursday March 31st I had to cancel the Uneven hike as my knee was acting up.  This was my first cancellation for a reason other than being away or due to Covid restrictions.  However my knee was better for a Saturday hike on the Maitland Trail upstream from Sharpes Creek Line.  George and Wendy joined me, George wondered why I was carrying a spade, as the trail was clear of snow.  On reaching snowdrift hill there was still deep snow so the spade was put to good use, cutting steps in the drift. (On April 12th I cut a path through the drift then 2ft deep)  On my drive home I stopped to see why a birder had set up a telescope at Forsters bridge.   He was watching a bald eagle on a nest downstream of the bridge.  I had not realized there was an eagle’s nest there, even though I have stopped many times in that area.   Also in the area were a flock of mallards, mergansers and golden eyes and a few tree swallows, which were flying over the river.

In the afternoon on Tuesday April 5th the sun came out and so did three garter snakes from their hibernaculum, to enjoy the sunshine in our neighbour’s lawn.   This hibernaculum is a small below ground place where there are stones, which are above the water table where the snakes overwintered.  All were quite thin and over two feet long.   In the evening the spring peepers were in full voice in the ponds at Hullett, especially in the pond near the junction of the blue and white trails .

Hikers on the Linfield Trail on April 9th

On Saturday April 9th I joined 17 others on the Linfield Trail, organized by the Bayfield Trail Association and lead by Nathan Schoelier who oversees stewardship and conservation programs for the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority. The Linfield trail appeared in the 2010 Huron County Hiking Guide, but not in any other issue. Perhaps this is because Pavillion road has no winter maintenance on the part with the trail’s parking lot. Among other things we learned about the importance of cover crops and tree planting on sections that are unsuitable for farming. The part just East of the creek was planted with spruce and pines with the expectation that eventually deciduous trees will dominate.

A Sharp-lobed Hepatica

On Sunday April 10th in Morris Tract, the sun was shining and many coltsfoot (a yellow flower a bit like a dandelion) and sharp-lobed hepatica were finally in bloom.

Common Buckthorn is an invasive tree from Europe that crowds out native species.  The Maitland Trail will be removing more of the Common Buckthorn from the Maitland Woods.  We started on a small area near the trail entrance at “A”. and on April 30th we plan to continue the work digging up the smaller ones and using herbicide on the larger diameter ones.

Notes:

Saturday April 16th   11a.m. A Bayfield River Valley Trail Association on the Woodland Trail – meet at the David Street Entrance.

Saturday April 30th 1.30 p.m. Wildflower Hike on the Lobb trail Level 2 leisurely pace.  Please preregister with Faye Ribey 519 524 2070 or email fribey @hurontel.on.ca

Saturday May 7th 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Annual compost sale at the Columbus Hall parking lot. Proceeds to the John Hindmarsh Environmental Trust and the Maitland Trail Association. Plant donations can be dropped off between 9 a.m and 10 a.m.

Saturday May 7th 11 a.m. Bayfield River Valley Trail Association  wildflower hike at Naftel’s  Creek Conservation Area with Robert Tremain.
There is no longer a closed sign at the Hullett   parking lot at 80602 Wildlife Line, but if using it park close to the washroom to leave room to load the remaining logs

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.