Trail Talk 253 March 15th-22nd 2023

A Burr on the Sugar bush trail
Two burrs on a pine tree

There are quite a few trees along the local trails, with burrs (also known as burls) on them.  They are often like ink blots and different people see the resemblance to different things.  They are commonly found in the form of a rounded outgrowth on a tree trunk or branch that is filled with small knots from dormant buds. Burl formation is typically a result of some form of stress such as an injury or a viral or fungal infection. My favourite one is fairly near the start of a Sugar Bush trail and the biggest I have so far seen.

I saw a raccoon peaking at me from a tree when hiking the Bayfield Woodland trail on March 2nd . Some robins have returned to our area, the first one I saw was on March 6th. Our first snowdrops were in bloom on March 13th . The Lambton museum reported about 1000 tundra swans were in the field near Greenway road on March 16th

A raccoon on the Bayfield woodland trail

The Voyageur Trail Association is putting its Newsletter into an online archive. I had quite a few of their missing newsletters, where I found some interesting tidbits.  A Norwegian skier was knocked down by a moose, but when kicks and ski poles had no effect, she remembered that moose are like horses with sensitive noses and stuck her thumb and finger in one nostril and pinched with all her might, causing the moose to leap away.  A musician commented that bears are frightened by accordions but a mouth organ (harmonica) works just as well to scare them off (I have not tested this out myself).

What has been your most unusual sight when out hiking? Please let me know.  My most unusual sighting was at the end of a hike on Whitefish island in August 1990 when we saw three elephants walking down the sidewalk near the St Mary’s river in Sault Ste Marie- the circus was in town.


Hikers taking part in Maitland Trail events should sign the 2023 Waiver on the MTA website.

Saturday April 1, 7:00pm:  Candlelight Memorial Walk, Taylor Trail, Varna
Along the Taylor Trail in Varna, volunteers of Bayfield Trails and Huron Hospice will have placed hundreds of candle-lit lanterns, lighting the pine forest path. This will create an enchanted setting, providing a thoughtful venue for participants to reflect on memories of loved ones during this peaceful one-kilometer self-guided walk.
Participants can make a donation to light a candle in memory of a loved one. Memorial names will be read during the Dedication Ceremony at 8:00 PM, while walkers warm up with a cup of hot chocolate.

Sunday April 16th 9 a.m. Hike the Maitland Trail from Boundary bridge to Auburn bridge. 3.5 hours leader Sally Brodie Details later.

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 This winter the Trompers usually hike in the Maitland Woods and on the Sifto loop/GART.

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