Trail Talk 87 Oct 9th 2019

Probably a red-belted polypore

As we grow older we suffer a decline in mental and physical fitness, which can be made worse by conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. A new study, published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, shows that older people who routinely partake in physical exercise can reverse the signs of aging in the brain, and dancing has the most profound effect. Although 299 hikers registered for the Maitland Camino event I was not one of them this year as there was a great Scottish country dance on that same weekend, which I thought would do my brain more good! The Camino event went well, with no mid check point evacuations or major injuries though some slipped on the mud. There were also the usual few that missed the turns. The trail is well blazed so, when you hike for a while without seeing a blaze, the chances are that you have missed a turn.

There are many different mushrooms up now. I have great difficulty identifying them as many varieties  look a lot alike, and a spore

A yellow mushroom

pattern is the only sure way of identification. Giant puffballs , morels, shaggy manes and  dryads saddle  are a few that are easy to identify. I think the photo isof the red-bleted rather than the Tinder polypore which is also known as the horseshoe mushroom.

At this time of year you can see large flocks of birds.  On a recently plowed field on Stone School line there were about 1000 gulls.  In a partly harvested corn field there on Stone School road there were about 100 geese and 100 ducks. When I stopped the car the ducks flew off but the Canada geese never moved. On Monday Sept 30th I saw about 20 mergansers on the Maitland river, the first time for several months that I have seen any mergansers on the river.

I have also seen more chipmunks on the trails recently. There were two chasing each other near the beech tree in Maitland woods. On the Tuesday hike a brown snake was spotted on the GART, unfortunately it slithered away before I saw it.


Oct 1 –Dec 31 the Maitland Trail section from 9.4 to 10.5 km will be closed.

The Bayfield Woodland trail will be closed in October due to turkey hunting season.