Trail Talk 260 May 17th 2023

Susan Ethelston, Janet Deline, Brian McCulloch and John Hepburn pulling up garlic mustard

On Thursday May 4th five of us tackled the garlic mustard on the GART/G2G between Lucknow Line and Sharpes Creek Line, collecting about  40 lbs which were put into black garbage bags. While returning to our vehicles we saw an Eastern phoebe,( a new species for me), three garter snakes sunning themselves, a red admiral butterfly, an oil beetle as well as about 30 Midland painted turtles at the ponds. Later work added another 20 pounds of garlic mustard.  Unfortunately next year there will still be garlic mustard in this location because some plants snapped off leaving the root behind, a few were missed and there are probably hundreds of seeds from previous years that may germinate.  I noticed about 100 meters on the North side of the trail was covered in periwinkles, another invasive alien, but it had the advantage of excluding garlic mustard from the patch.

As of May 11th most of the garlic mustard is in blossom (small white flowers) but not yet with seed pods. The moist soil has helped to enable it to be pulled up with its long tap root. There were still enormous amounts all over our area trails.

Participants on the Bannockburn Tract walk
Bill Crawford giving treats to Duke, Snow, Charlie and Chewy

On May 6th over 30 hikers were with Dave Pullen who gave a history of the Bannockburn Tract, while Robert Tremain talked about the flora. In the afternoon Faye Ribey lead a wildflower hike at the Lobb trail. Some of the twin leaf plants were still in blossom while others had a “helmet” seed pod.  The leaves of wood anemone and wild geranium are very similar, and only when in blossom is it easy to tell them apart. The anemone has white and the geranium has pink blossoms.  If you hiked the Lobb trail in the mornings you will have almost certainly met three regular dog walkers, Colleen with Snow, Ingy with Charlie and Bill with Duke in the earlier years, then Scout.  Bill Crawford, in his eighties recently died after a fairly short illness, and will be missed by the hikers and the dogs he gave treats to.

On May 10th I saw the first jack-in-the-pulpit, and on May 11th saw four of them on the Lobb trail.  These had a green flaplike spathe, more often the spathe has purplish brown stripes. On the East part of the Morrison Dam Conservation area trails usually over 100 of them can be seen.


Spring turkey hunt is from April 25th to May 31st.  This year the Bayfield Woodland trail will remain open.

Thursday May 18th and May 25th at 6.30 pm Join Roger Goddard for a birding hike at the rock on North Harbour road. For more information and to confirm your attendance, please contact Roger Goddard at 519 612-

1236 or This is a Level 1, slow pace, 1.5 – 2 hours.

Saturday May 20th 8.30 am Bird watching hike at Windmill farm, restricted to up to 20 BRVTA members pre-register by emailing Ralph Blasting at

Saturday May 27th 1.30 pm-4.30pm Bike ride on the G2G Auburn to Blyth approx. 20 km (with option of a longer ride) with Don Andrews. For more information and to register for this event, please contact Donald Andrew at 519 530-9019 call or text.

Sunday May 28th 10.30am to 1.30 pm Hike for Hospice on the Taylor and Mavis trails at Varna

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

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