Trail Talk 230 September 21st 2022

The first time I saw giant puffballs this year was on Sunday September 11th.  When I studied them several years ago I discovered that they approximately doubled in volume every day (the volume of a sphere is 4/3 πr3). E.g. a 6 cm diameter puffball, grew to about 7.6 cm diameter in one day. Puffballs are edible , most commonly sliced and cooked with butter and garlic.

A Closed gentian

On Monday I hiked the Maitland Trail near Bishop’s road and was pleased to discover eight closed gentians in bloom, the grass cutting work crew having carefully avoided them.

An European mantis

One day when I was away Thyra was very surprised to see two mink chasing each other across the lawn, the first time we had seen one in our area.  We have occasionally spotted mink near the Menesetung bridge, and I heard of one being seen near Naftel’s creek.  Another surprise was to find a European mantis in a bucket that I had contained apples. Apparently about one quarter of the time the female mantis will eat the male mantis after mating.

On my evening walk on the Hullett Sugar Bush blue trail I was surprised to see a small leopard frog leap off the trail. Normally I see frogs in the long grass, mostly on the white trail, one year I counted 35 on a fall hike there. Usually the green frogs disappear to fast to photograph, but the leopard frogs often stop after one or two leaps.

A leopard frog

I more often see toads than frogs, this year most of them were very small ones, but the recent visitor to our patio was the largest I have seen.  The difference between frogs and toads is that frogs have long legs, longer than their head and body, which are made for hopping. Toads, on the other hand, have much shorter legs and prefer to crawl around rather than hop. Frogs have smooth, somewhat slimy skin. Toads have dry, warty skin. When I am well away from water I more often see toads than frogs.

Hugh McGregor had nine hikers on the September 10th walk in the Maitland Woods, two of them had recently moved from Brisbane Australia so were very interested in the Huron County plants.


The NCC and Maitland Trail Work crew have now finished removing the invasive buckthorn from the reroute near the pond at Riverbend (12.7km) so the reroute will now become part of the main trail and so avoid the part adjacent to the pond that beavers regularly flood.

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 September 6th the work on the boardwalk had not been started. A completion ceremony is planned for Saturday October 15th. Details are in the Maitland Trail Newsletter.

Saturday September 24th and Sunday Sept 25th Hike the El Camino del Sinuoso Rio Maitland .  51.6km Auburn to Goderich or a shorter distance. Cost $30 adults, $10 Youth, includes maps, shuttles , checkpoints and more.  Register at

October 1st to 31st Bayfield Woodland Trail closed for Turkey hunting Bow hunting for the month, (turkey gun hunting 11th -23rd)

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