Trail Talk 227 August 24th 2022

A pigeon horntail
A black swallowtail caterpillar

Some interesting insects in our garden were a black swallowtail caterpillar on a dill plant and a black swallowtail butterfly. The spicebush swallowtail butterfly is similar to a black swallowtail except its ‘tail’ is much longer.  I also saw a butterfly which I first mistook for a small monarch, until I realized on looking at my photo that it was a viceroy butterfly which has similar marking but has an extra black band.

The pigeon horntail looks like a very large wasp, however it doesn’t sting or bite and is quite beneficial as it eats insects. This year everyone I have talked to has noticed a decrease in insects, butterflies and birds, probably due to a combination of unseasonal weather and the effects of widespread use of insecticides and herbicides.

Susan, Anne, George, Doug, Henrietta, and Rick climbing Snowdrift hill

On Wednesday August 17th nine of us hiked the Maitland trail between River Line and Sharpes Creek Line. We saw a great blue heron on a tree at the edge of the river. On the drive to the meeting place I stopped at Forsters bridge and saw a heron, great egret, a cormorant and a midland painted turtle as well as flocks of geese and gulls.


The Maitland Valley Conservation Authority are about to (or have already started on) replacement of the long boardwalk on the  Naftel’s Creek trail. As of August 24th the work had not yet started . A completion ceremony is planned for Saturday October 15th. Details are in the Maitland Trail Newsletter.

Sunday September 4th the second of the Maitland Trail hikes from Jenkins to Benmiller, a distance of about 12 km, which is expected to take about 3 hours. Come out to stroll along this very pretty section of the Maitland Trail, passing through, among other scenic places, the mature forest of the Morris Tract and enjoying a view of the falls at the Falls Reserve Conservation Area. Wear sturdy footwear, hat, sun screen, insect repellent and bring lots of water. For car shuttle arrangements and to confirm your attendance, please contact Sally Brodie at or Patrick Capper at This is a Level  2, moderate pace

Saturday Sept 10th at 10 a.m. 1. Hike at Maitland Woods, Goderich and get to know this beautiful and convenient location better by experiencing a walk along its trail with a knowledgeable guide. Meet in the southwest corner of the Knights of Columbus Hall parking lot. For more information and to confirm your attendance, please call or text Hugh McGregor at 519 955-6318. This is a Level 1 hike, leisurely pace, 2 hours.

Saturday September 24th and Sunday Sept 25th Hike the Maitland Camino event.  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