Pipestone Creek Trail Reopened

It was 2014 the last time we hiked the eastern section of Pipestone Creek. Each year, the land was falling in even more, especially in the first section where the gorge was growing ever inward into a hay field. The trail had always been challenging to hike because of its ups and down, particularly on the left (northern) bank where it is steep and narrow. This summer, we decided to repair the trail to get it back in shape.For this hike, 12 people can out, even though the weather was cool and there was the possibility of rain. But it never did rain. It was a perfect day for hiking.

The leaves are just starting to turn colour. The flowers are mostly gone. But the forests are full of mushrooms. Here are a few of them.

In Waskahegan tradition, whenever we open or re-open a trail, we celebrate with a champagne toast. And that’s just what we did at the deck overlooking a particularly beautiful section of the creek.

Thanks to John for leading the hike and to Trail Maintenance for all their work on the trail. You can find more photos on our Flickr album.

Fort Ethier to Bigstone Creek – Cancelled

Unfortunately we had to cancel this Sunday’s hike (Fort Ethier to Bigstone Creek, September 16th).

It is one of our more challenging hikes due to the change in terrain, but also a very scenic one as we follow the creek.

So with the rain/snow John checked the trail Saturday morning and determining it was too wet and slick.  He couldn’t make it up the first hill, even with the ropes, and that wasn’t even the toughest hill.

Hope to reschedule when it warms and dries up.

What to do about ticks

Now that we’ve learned that ticks are going to be a problem this year, what do we do now?

Carissa Wasyliw, a Natural Area Manager at Nature Conservancy of Canada (and Waskahegan director-at-large) gives us her recommendations about preventing ticks:

Rabbit with ticks

It is recommended that a person covers up when they are in areas such as long grass, bush, and other areas where ticks thrive. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to keep your skin protected from ticks. Throw on a hat (make sure to tuck your hair under it), and wear high boots-tucking your pants into your socks or boots may provide extra protection.

Use insect repellent on areas of your body and clothing that may come in contact with grass and brush. Deet products have proven to be highly effective in repelling ticks. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any natural repellents on the market, but I know they are being researched and developed. Finally, check your clothes and body for ticks after being outdoors. They like to be in warm and dark places, such as the waste-band of your pants, or in your hair, etc.

If you do find a tick, remove it!

Gently grasp the tick’s head and mouth parts with tweezers. Slowly pull the tick straight up off the skin – do not squeeze, jerk or twist it. Clean the bite area with soap and water or antiseptic. Save the tick in a clean, empty container. Add a small piece of tissue or cotton ball, lightly moistened with water, into the container. You can submit the tick in for testing to find out if it is a carrier of lyme disease.

Don’t apply matches, cigarettes or petroleum jelly to the tick, or squash it.