Mix-Cloverlawn gets two new stiles

Mowing an Mud Lake area

Ten volunteers came out to work on the trail in preparation for this Sunday’s hike. The weather was perfect—a reasonable 20 degrees with gentle breezes. And the mosquitoes seem to have disappeared.

It was just the right condition for putting in stiles. One went over a newly-built fence. The other was installed in the field just north of Source of the Blackmud. This is the spot where for years we had been rolling under a fence to get through to the High Spot “B”. We will appreciate this enormously when we climb over with improved grace on Sunday.

The work party split into three groups. Two groups went in opposite directions to mow, clip, and chainsaw. Gary and Brad did the excellent stile work.

Pipestone Creek A49 to A51 and beyond

Twenty-three people came out to hike the Pipestone Creek trail on a beautiful sunny day.

The terrain ranges from open fields to leafy woods to deep dark forests. We found the heat and humidity withering at times, but there were some spots with cooling breezes. The trail conditions were impeccable, have just been cleared the Wednesday before.

From the start, 17 hikers opted to walk at the regular Waskahegan pace. They continued to the lunch spot at the end of a high meadow with a view of the creek below. Along the way they encountered a skittish herd of cattle and a screeching hawk. Their total hike distance was 10.6 km.

The remaining 6 hikers took a slower pace to investigate and photograph the trail’s abundant flora. For them, the trail had some unexpected treats—wood lilies, a plant that might be an orchid, and a lot of large butterflies, including a yellow swallowtail. The flower group got as far as the bridge at A50 and hiked a total distance of 6.8 km.

On the return, the two groups converged at a stile less than a kilometer from the cars. This hike was our first time we attempted to have a both regular-paced group and a slow group. It worked well.

As I was with the flower group and obsessed as usual with flowers, I missed getting pictures of the larger group. All I have is what’s here and on Flickr. But I heard the regular group say they really enjoyed the hike. There were a lot of smiling faces.

In our Flickr album, you’ll find more than 35 different flower species.

Pipestone Creek Trail Maintenance

Nine volunteers came out to clip, mow, repair signs, and clear away fallen trees in preparation for the hike on Sunday.

After organizing our equipment and tools at the bridge, we split into two work parties and headed in opposite directions. One group went west on the south bank of the Pipestone, and while the other went to the north bank and headed east.

With the temperature at 29C or higher, it was a relief to spend a good portion of our time in the forested parts of the trail, especially where the trees are most ancient.

Accompanying the west-directed work party was our plant expert Jerry Shaw. One of the special features of this part of the Pipestone Creek trail is the variety of flora. This Sunday, hikers who wish do a shorter distance and spend more time enjoying the flowers will split off into a separate slower group. For our benefit, Jerry put stakes next to specimens of several uncommon species. Thanks to Jerry, flower lovers on Sunday’s hike are in for a treat.

When we finished our work, we all met in Millet at Ivy’s for coffee, courtesy of the Waskahegan Trail Association.

View more pictures on Flickr