Trail Talk 224 July 13-20th 2022

The bench in memory of Tom Lobb was another very recent addition on the George G. Newton Nature Reserve. Helen Lobb submitted this remembrance of Tom, ”In a phrase as quoted by Steve Bowers “Tom was a true champion of the Woods!” Tom had an amazing amount of knowledge about plants, fungi, amphibians, reptiles and birds. He was self taught by studying books and nature. He shared his love of nature with his nieces and nephews whom he would take on regular walks on the Lobb trail and other trails in the area.

If you ever went on a hike with Tom, do not be in a hurry, Tom loved to share his many observations with anyone who had the privilege of being on his guided nature walk. He was quiet, spoken but passionate about nature. Tom was a farmer by trade and a naturalist at heart.”

Where is this bench with Ria Feddes and Anne Storey?

On my way back along Sharpes Creek I stopped at Forsters bridge, and saw two swallows stop at a patch of mud. So I walked down to the river and saw many mud nests under the very noisy bridge which has a lot of truck traffic.  It made we realize that what I had assumed were tree swallows were in fact cliff swallows.

I also saw two juvenile pied-billed grebes on the Hullett pond on the White trail.

Other recent discoveries were three plants on our property, an Amur Maple, an European Ash and  a Glossy Buckthorn.  The Ash caught my attention as it has 9 or 11 leaflets, which is more than found on our common white ash and less than on our black walnuts.  Wikipedia mentioned the European ash is part of the Olive family, which surprised me, but on checking the Olive family includes forsythia, privet, olive, jasmine, lilac and ash which all have opposite leaves. The Glossy buckthorn is an Invasive species but our one is quite small.  I like to keep one example of an invasive species so visitors can learn how to recognize them.

A Red Milkweed Beetle

On the Tuesday Tromp near St Columban we saw quite a few milkweeds, some of which had a monarch caterpillar, chomping away at the leaves. On another milkweed I saw a red milkweed beetle


Congratulations to the Maitland Trail work crew who have now completed the replacement of #18 boardwalk in the Maitland Woods.

Work on the Hullett bridge on the Blue Trail as of July 13th

Work on the bridge on the  Hullett Sugar Bush on the blue trail 600m from the Wildlife Line parking lot is slowly progressing. On July 13th  one of the new large support beams is in place and a second ready to be placed.

I have also learnt that the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority is about to (or have already started on) replacement of the long boardwalk on the Naftel’s Creek trail.

Saturday July 23rd 9 a.m. BRVTA Scavenger hunt 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.  (Note this was originally scheduled for 2 p.m.)

Thursday July 28th to Monday August  1st Nature Conservancy BioBlitz to see details  go to, What you can do , events to learn more or to sign up. Last year there were 35,000 observations and 4200 species reported.

Saturday August 6th 9.30 Explore the Natural World. Meet at 77759 London Rd (from Clinton on Hwy 4 this the second driveway on the right after the yellow “Hidden” sign – before Huronview on the left). Leisurely pace about 1 ½ hours (Rain date Sunday Aug 7th). We will look at the 40 tree species that are commonly found in the wild, plus many shrubs, some of which are native.  We will also look at wild flowers, butterflies and other insects which we may be able to identify.  Then we will walk down to the Clinton Conservation area to see what we can find on the trail there.  Pre Register with Patrick Capper  at

Saturday September 24th and Sunday 25th  The Maitland Camino event, hike the full 51.3 km in 2 days or only parts of it.  Instead of the Saturday Harvest supper there will be a Saturday pot luck supper at a pavilion. Details to follow.

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