Today we tried our first car pool since the beginning of Covid.
We began at the north end of our trail which links up with the Thames Valley Trail which goes to St. Mary’s, known as the stone town. The journey begins with a southward hike through McCaig’ bush. This part of the trail in the spring can be best described as a swamp. In this late summer morning it was quite enjoyable. Our intrepid hike leader Jim was leading and acting as a shield against all the cobwebs. Charlie suggested we tag him #spiderweb. Time will tell if the name sticks.
Upon leaving the bush we head along a farmers field of soybeans. We walk on the east end of the field account the other side of fence row is so overgrown. Exiting the field at the entrance for the tractor on Third Line heading west. Half way along this road we stop for a sugar fix supplied by Roseann.
Turning left onto Mill Rd allows us to safely pass over Hwy 401. Along this road are several seemingly healthy apple trees.
Turning left again onto Fourth Line for 3.6 km. This road really shows off the agricultural roots of Elgin. The hedgerow on this road is largely as it should be.
There are Choke Cherry trees, Gray and Stiff-leaved Goldenrod and Sweet Pea. There are an abundant supply of Monarch Butterflies and even Monarch Caterpillar visible.
This generation of caterpillar will be tasked with making the journey all the way to the mountains in Central Mexico. The Monarch population is down 26% last winter. The problems are illegal logging, drought, pine beetle infestation, lack of milkweed population in all three countries. They inhabited only 2.1 hectares in Mexico. Six hectares is the amount recommended to avoid extinction.
All in all another great hike.