Trial Talk 181 August 4th 2021

A Compton’s Tortoiseshell

During the last week I travelled to Sault Ste Marie, and walked a few urban trails.  The ones on Whitefish Island are always interesting with the St Mary’s River on one side and the Locks on the other side.  There is a thriving beaver colony there and in the evening we saw five beavers swimming about and a couple were chomping on vegetation.  There were mallards, gulls, common mergansers, cormorants and an Eastern Heron there. One mallard posed for a photo.

When visiting St Joseph’s Island at a small farm, I saw several butterflies,   about five Compton’s Tortoiseshell, three Mourning Cloak a couple of Monarchs and one Northern Pearly Eye.   Along the shore a spotted sandpiper had two young chicks peeping away.   This year there have been very few warblers observed up there and I have only seen one in our area.

An ‘Oakleaf’ Mountain Ash

On visiting Algoma University I saw a very interesting tree with a very unusual leaf. Thyra said it reminded her of a mountain ash, but I doubted that as it did not have pinnated leaves, although the berries were similar to a mountain ash. On checking in my Sibley Tree Guide I found out she was right,   it was an ‘Oakleaf’ Mountain ash which is a hybrid of European Mountain Ash and Whitebeam. It is of garden origin and commonly cultivated.

At South Baymouth while waiting for the ferry a ring-billed gull posed for a photo. I don’t have a camera with a telephoto lens so I can rarely get good bird photographs but this gull was so close there was no need of an expensive camera.

A Ring-billed Gull

The Maitland Trail is having a Bioblitz from August 1st -31st. This is an attempt to help us learn about the common, rare, and invasive species of flora, and fauna that live on, or within 30 m of the trail systems we maintain. This will assist us in developing a baseline inventory of the species that live here.  Submissions are made through iNaturalist and the Maitland trail project and can be made using your phone with GPS  or camera (as long as you know the location). Details are on the Maitland trail website and in the Association’s Newsletter.

Notes:  Hikers are expected to be socially distant from others.

Monday August 9th at 11 a.m. on the Sawmill Trail Bayfield River Valley Trail Association Hike.

Saturday August 14th 9 a.m. hike on the Maitland Trail and John and Marylo Graham trails for 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Meet near 80965 Sharpes Creek Line.  Leader Patrick Capper

Maitland Trail reroute- There is a short reroute at River Line when heading upstream towards Boundary (B. Edgar) bridge. The trail entry point is now100m further North on River line. This added just over 200m to the length of the Maitland Trail. The km trail markers from 20 onwards have now been relocated to better reflect the latest estimates of the trail distances, for a total distance of the Maitland Trail of 51.6 km

Our Provincial Parks have free day use entry from Monday through Thursday until September 2nd.

Tuesday Trompers and Uneven Hikers have restarted with up to 25 hikers.  On July 20th 15 Trompers hiked the Maitland Cemetery trail and on July 21st  seven “Uneven” hikers hiked the Maitland trail near Bishop’s Road. New hikers are welcome, and are required to sign the Maitland trail waiver.  The easiest way is to sign the online waiver at  under scheduled hikes and waivers.  To be added to the Trompers notices contact Al Sanders at  To be added to the hikes on Wednesdays or Thursdays contact Patrick Capper. Both groups meet at 9 a.m., the Trompers hike for about 1 hour, the Uneven hikers hike from 1 ½ to 2 hours.

The Woodlands Nature trail is still probably closed past the bridge due to uncleared storm damage.

If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at