Trail Talk 217 May 4th-11th 2022

Where is this bench?

The bench in the last Trail Talk was the H. Steenstra’s  bench on the Taylor Trail. This is the only bench I am aware of that uses concrete for part of the construction. I believe Steenstra was active in the construction of the Taylor trail.

Thirteen people went on the wildflower ramble on the Lobb trail on Saturday April 30th afternoon. Fortunately the weather was great and we saw a good variety of wild flowers: red trilliums, marsh marigolds, yellow trout lilies, white trout lilies, sharp-lobed hepatica, bloodroot, cut-leaved toothwort, blue cohosh, wild ginger, skunk cabbage, coltsfoot, twin leaf, periwinkle, and violets in blossom. We also found water cress, wild leeks, garlic mustard  and white trillium that were not yet in bloom and a group of daffodils.

A partial albino robin

Yellow trout lilies (Erythronium americanum) are more common than the white trout lilies (Erythronium albidum) which, unlike the yellow ones, rarely have mottled leaves.  I believe round-lobed hepatica is very rare in our area, but has been seen in the Port Dover area. By May 5th I had seen large flowered bellwort and a Jack-in-the-pulpit.

One interesting bird sighting in our neighbour’s lawn was a partial albino (aka leucistic) robin, this one had a white head and pinkish breast.  The white appearance is due to reduced melanin. The cause can be genetic  or environmental and may be temporary or permanent. The condition is more common in Red-tailed hawks, Willets, gulls, American robins, blackbirds and grackles.

The Buckthorn crew Jan Jamula, Cristen Watt, Filipe Maluf, Nadia Putos, Kathleen Lush, Gys Weverick, Roger Goddard, Brian McCulloch, missing John Meyers and patrick Capper

Jan Jamula mentioned she had seen a black headed grosbeak, which made us realize that what we first took for an Oriole on May 2nd was actually a black headed grosbeak, it was at the sunflower feeder and did not look quite like a normal oriole.  Hummingbirds and a red headed woodpecker have been seen in our area in early May.

The Buckthorn crew was kept very busy on April 30th cutting down some common buckthorn in the Maitland Woods and creating large piles of the cuttings on the parking lot.  The more we worked the more we realized that this effort only made a small dent in the total population of buckthorn in the woods.

Notes:

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. There will also be a guided hike in the Maitland Woods at 1 p.m.

Saturday May 7th 11a.m. to 1 p.m.  BRVTA  wildflower hike at Naftel’s Creek Conservation Area trails
Sunday May 15th 8.30a.m.  BRVTA member only  Bird watching hike at Windmill Wake and Eco lake park with George Ebers . Pre-register by emailing rjblastingjr@gmail.com.  Limit of 20 people. No dogs, pls.
Sunday May 15th  1 p.m. Spend some time looking for salamanders and frogs at Bannockburn Tract  south of Mill road – not Bannockburn conservation area. Spend about 1 hour looking for salamanders and frogs with Cristen Watt. Please avoid sunscreen and bug spray, all welcome Contact her at cristenmwatt@gmail.com

Saturday May 21st 1.30 p.m. Hike the Maitland trail and John and Marylo Graham Nature Conservancy trails for about 2 hours meet at 80965 Sharpes Creek Line. Leader Patrick Capper.

The Wild Turkey hunting season is from April 25th to May 31st so the Bayfield Woodland Trail is closed for this period.

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.