Trail Talk 271 August 2nd 2023

Further to my mention of fireflies, I found that the best time to see them is at dusk there when I recently  counted 70 flashes in two minutes.

There was an interesting study in Zambia on the effect of human odor on attracting mosquitoes. A fan blew the body odor of six volunteers into a tent with mosquitoes. Volunteers with high levels of carboxylic acid attracted the most mosquitoes and human with lots of eucalyptol in their body odor attracted the least (eucalyptol in found in rosemary, basil, bay leaves and Buddha tea).  The results may not apply to Canadian mosquitoes , but it does indicate that what you eat can affect how attractive you are to mosquitoes.

Tuesday Trompers on the Newest Maitland Woods boardwalk

On Tuesday July 25th there were lots of hikers in the Maitland Woods with 20 Tuesday Trompers out and 9 Strollers and at least one other walker and two policemen.  The walker reported finding a skunk with its head stuck in a glass bottle.  She managed to catch it and remove the bottle and as a thank you got sprayed by the skunk.  Discussing this the general opinion was that if she had had a towel or blanket and threw it over the skunk while removing the bottle it would have reduced the chances of being sprayed. However, this was not an option when in the middle of the Maitland Woods.  I was also reminded of a friend who set a trap hoping to catch a cat, but caught a skunk instead and similarly got sprayed when releasing it.  I have a bottle of “Skunk Odor Remover” in case my dog ever got sprayed, but so far have not had to use it. The American Kennel club suggests a DIY of one quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (no stronger), ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap.

Although there are quite a lot of red and black raspberries ready for picking and eating, as of writing on July 26th the blackberries although abundant in some areas were not yet ripe.

Wild Bergamot

Keep an eye out for Cardinal flowers which should soon be in bloom in the Maitland Woods as well as other places.  Purple wild bergamot is now in bloom and often attracts butterflies. Butterflies are less frequent this year though I have seen many northern crescents and cabbage whites , some monarchs, mourning cloaks, red admirals, red spotted purples, commas, great spangled fritillaries, wood nymphs , northern pearly eyes, skippers  and Canadian tiger swallowtails.


Saturday, August 6th  9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Bishop’s Road to Cherrydale.

Come out and enjoy a leisurely hike from 37153 Bishop’s Road to rest/outhouse area near Cherrydale, and return for coffee afterwards on riverside deck. Note: some hills on trail For more information and to confirm your attendance, please contact George Cantin at or 519 871-1686. This is a Level 1-2, leisurely pace, 2.5 hours.

Saturday August 12th 10 am BRVTA  Scavenger Hunt and clean-up on the River flats trail

Sunday, August 13th  9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Cycle the Pinery Park Please pre-register with Donald Andrew 519-530-9019 call or text for full details.   Start at the parking lot at Lambton Museum on Hwy 21 almost east of the park gates to bike the Savanna Trail.

Saturday September 16th and Sunday September 17th Maitland Trail El Camino hikes

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