WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY
Oakland County Parks are impressive on so many fronts. The year-round recreational opportunities are endless and provide tons of family fun. Yet, for the month of April, it’s the natural resources, abundant wildlife and incredible beauty that are at the top of my list. All of these things can be easy to find along the nearly 70 miles of trails that embrace the lakes, meadows, woodlands and glacially sculpted hills of the 13 Oakland County Parks. There are trails for every ability and age and even trails for equestrians. Some trails are hill-huggers, where those that dream of the Appalachian Trail can get leg muscles into shape. There are even paved looped trails that are perfect for a family walk with a baby stroller and grandparents. You’ll definitely want to consider April to be your month to reconnect with nature.
I’ll share a secret here: The quiet walker sees the most. Although wildlife is abundant, most species along the trails, except perhaps for squirrels, are people wary. If you walk quietly, early in the day, stop often and perhaps sit on a log and just listen, a world of wildlife unfolds. What might you see? How about Sandhill Cranes, Wild Turkey, Eastern Bluebirds, Canada Geese on nests or defending their territory, Turkey Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks soaring, Great Blue Heron and American Egrets fishing, Osprey diving for fish, Red-winged Blackbirds flashing their colors, migrating Vireos and Warblers. You may even catch a fleeting glimpse of a Pileated Woodpecker.
Farmers Markets in Oakland County have flowers & plants to make your yard beautiful and fresh foods to make you healthy.
The International City/County Management Association stated that, “local farmers markets create a vibrant shopping experience that benefits area farmers, businesses and consumers by keeping wealth in the local community and strengthening the local economy”.
Why You Should Shop at Local Farmers Markets
The best reason is to have access to fresh, locally grown foods that are bred for flavor. Farmers markets have fruits and vegetables at the peak of the growing season, so produce is at its freshest and tastes the best.
The food is typically grown near where you live, not thousands of miles away or even in another country. Shopping at farmers markets supports your local farmers. When produce is grown and purchased locally, the money remains in the community and stimulates the local economy.
Buying locally grown produce encourages more regional farming and preserves open spaces. You can also meet the farmers who grow your food and you can ask when it was picked, how it was grown, and you can find out different ways to prepare it.
Support the farms, farmers and the products of the Oakland County and the State of Michigan at any of the local Farmers Markets.
Visit our Farmers Market Page for a continually updated listing of the many Farmers Markets in Oakland County. Most markets run May through October.
Be one of the first to hear Oakland County’s 2015-2017 economic forecast at the 30th Annual Oakland County Economic Outlook Forecast Luncheon on April 30th. Register now as this annual event draws more than 600 business, education and government leaders from Southeastern Michigan each year, and is expected to sell out quickly.
Over 600 people attended the sold out 2014 Economic Outlook Luncheon.
WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than they seek.” Those timeless words of John Muir came to life in a most unexpected way in the first week of April, during an off-the-beaten-trail woodland hike in northern Oakland County. The intent of the early morning exploration was to photograph wood frogs in their vernal breeding pools, and perhaps catch a glimpse of Sandhill Cranes in their flamboyant courtship dance. Their images were captured – and then things got exciting.
Wood frog waiting for night in his vernal breeding pond.
Sandhill Cranes at the edge of their marsh nesting habitat.
On April 18, independent music stores across the United States and the world, will take part in Record Store Day, a celebration of local music stores that began in 2007, as a way to spread the word about the unique culture surrounding independently owned record stores. For U.S. stores to participate, they need to be a brick and mortar store in the community, whose product line is 50% retail music, with 70% ownership in the state of the stores operation. Continue reading