Trail Talk 223 June 20-27th 2022

The bench in last week’s trail talk was a very recent addition on the George G. Newton Nature Reserve Trail. The bench was built by Bob Budd in honour of his friend Bill Johnston.  It features white cedar planks from Bob’s farm, finished with beeswax collected from Bill’s bees. It is enhanced by fanciful use of old garden implements, collected by Bill, and repurposed by Bob into interesting shapes.  Both men shared a love of gardening, tools, and nature. Bill Johnston worked in the area as a landscaper, groundskeeper, and carpenter.  He volunteered in Goderich with Communities in Bloom and the Environmental Committee.  He enjoyed beekeeping, selling his honey at the Goderich Farmers Market.  In his later years he developed a market garden in Grand Manan, New Brunswick where his family farm originated.  He had a stroke while on his farm in 2017, and passed away soon after at the age of 63.

Canada Geese

On Tuesday June 21st The Tuesday Trompers  hiked the Hullett Sugar Bush trails to see the  showy lady’s slipper orchids some of which were still in bloom. Afterwards the hikers enjoyed refreshments outside in Thyra’s  garden.  Their first outdoor socializing since the start of COVID restrictions        .

A Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

To celebrate Canada day I looked up flowers etc. associated with Canada. There are three Canadian birds the Canada Goose, the Canada Warbler  and the Gray Jay (Perisoreus Canadensis) which is also called the Canada Jay and is a Northern and Western bird. There are five plants with Canada in the name Canada Lily, Canada Goldenrod, Canada Violet, Canada Hawkweed   and Canada Anemone.  Several other plants have Canada in their Latin name, such as squirrel corn, columbine and wild garlic.

There is a Canadian butterfly the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio Canadensis) which is slightly different from the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

George Cantin sitting on a bench dedicated to the memory of Tom Lobb

The bench that George Cantin is sitting on is one of the benches erected by the Huron Fringe Field Naturalists, dedicated to the memory of Tom Lobb, an extraordinary naturalist and a founding steward of this nature reserve.  Do you know which Nature Reserve?

At the Maitland Trail Annual General Meeting it was mentioned that many people are unaware that the Maitland Trail was constructed and  is now maintained by a large number of volunteers (over 50)  and is only open due their efforts and the permission of many landowners  for which we are very thankful. New members are always welcome  see


Friday July 1st 6 a.m. Canada Day stroll.  Meet at St. Christopher’s Beach pavilion across from Beach St Station, walk to the Tiger Dunlop tomb and return for breakfast.  Register with Faye 519-524-2070or Wendy  519-525-6976. This event will be cancelled if it rains.

Sunday July 3rd Hike from River Line to Sharpes Creek Line on the Maitland Trail . Meet at 80918 at Sharpes Creek Line to car pool to River Line. This section of the trail has many hills, expect to take about 2 hours. Preregister with Patrick Capper at

Sunday July 3rd 1.30-4.30 p.m. Bike tour of historic Balls Settlement area . Meet at the G2G at McGaw. See details in the Maitland Trail newsletter . Pre register with Con Melady 519-524-8730

Saturday July 23rd 9 a.m.  BRVTA Scavenger hunt at Varna. Bring the family to a Scavenger Hunt on the Varna Nature Trails!  We’ll start early at 9am and send you off with a list of items to collect along the way.  Can you find a snail shell?  A feather? Something blue?  Bring a bag to collect your treasures and we’ll gather at the end to see how we did.  This event will be great for kids, but people of all ages are welcome.

Saturday September 24th and Sunday September 25th there will be another Maitland El Camino provided there are no new COVID restrictions.  The Saturday meal will be a pot luck one at a pavilion.

Tuesday Trompers meet at 9 a.m. on Tuesday to hike for about an hour  If you wish to be on this email list, send an email to All hikers must sign the waiver, preferably the Online waiver at www.maitland

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