Trail Talk 272 August 9th 2023

A Water Strider

On our hike at Bannockburn Conservation area the amount of water in the Bannockburn river made it seem more like a creek. In one backwater there were many water striders on top of the water.  It is difficult to image how once in spring the water was so high it overflowed the bridge.

At Lobbs there was an interesting fungi forming a yellowish fuzz. It was a Sygites  megalocarpus which is a parasitic fungi that was probably on a bolete. The other interesting thing was on my hike at Lobbs the mosquitoes hardly bothered me, while in our garden there seemed to be swarms of them.

Ghost Pipe

I mentioned last week about how part of the difference in how attractive mosquitoes are to people depends on diet and clothing. There is also a huge difference in where you hike to the number of mosquitoes.  On the Lobb trail and the Maitland Trail between River Line and Sharpes Creek Line we saw hardly any mosquitoes, but when I hiked the Sugar Bush Trails there were swarms everywhere.  Most of this difference is due to the number of places  where mosquitoes  can breed in standing water,  there being many near the Sugar Bush trails.  I also noticed that the Sugar Bush had a lot of dragon flies earlier in the year but on Sunday there were hardly any to be seen.  If you think the mosquitoes are bad in Huron County you probably have not been to North Western Ontario or further North where they are often much much worse.

Trompers passing by an area of Spotted Knapweed

Hiking at Naftel’s Creek Conservation area we saw a lot of Ghost Pipes.  Unlike most plants, it is white and does not contain chlorophyll. Instead of generating food using the energy from sunlight, it is parasitic, and hosts on fungi.

On the Tuesday Tromp on the G2G near Hardwood Line there was a lot of purple loosestrife which is an invasive plant that seems to be making a comeback. It has a pretty pink flower spike and has a square stem.  Also noticeable were massive amounts  of another invasive plant , Spotted knapweed.

I was reminded recently how important it is to carry a cell phone when hiking on your own. One hiker was knocked down by a dog and hurt her ankle and had a long crawl back to where she could get help, as she had forgotten to take her phone with her and she had never had a problem with dogs on previous walks.


Saturday August 12th 10 am join BRVTA  at the Bayfield River Flats for a clean-up of garbage and a Scavenger Hunt  for Natural items, followed by hike on the Sawmill trail. After the river clean-up, all participants are invited to River Road Brewing & Hops for sorting the clean-up also to enjoy a vendor’s market and live music. All collected materials will be sorted and recycled through TerraCycle.

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.

Thursday August 31st 1-4 pm Turtle hatchling release at Morrison Dam in Exeter

Saturday September 16th and Sunday September 17th Maitland Trail El Camino hikes Register through the Maitland Trail website

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