Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes of October

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The woods and lakeshores of Oakland County have accelerated their seasonal transition with cool breezes and colorful leaves, luring hikers and cyclists to our trails, picnickers and late season kayakers to our parks and lakes, and large numbers of residents to our cider mills. Just like humans, wildlife creatures are soaking up the sun during the shortening days of our autumn season, including the only venomous snake found in Oakland County, the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake. Continue reading

Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 Program In Search Of ‘Best Of The Best’ For 2020

A group of Oakland County's Elite 40 under 40 members

The Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 Program is looking for the ‘Best of the Best’ for the Class of 2020. If you know a young entrepreneur, community leader, teacher or any person who has made significant contributions to their chosen field and the quality of life in Oakland County and the region – here is your chance to recognize them for their good work! Nominate them today for the Elite 40 Class of 2020, or if you fit this criteria, enter yourself:

Enter or Nominate Someone You Know

“The Elite 40 Under 40 program welcomes nominations of anyone under 40 dedicated and committed to improving the quality of life for others in our region,” County Executive David Coulter said. “As Oakland County executive, I want to hear from the next Elite 40 class about how the county can work toward a future that is responsive to the energy and creativity of young entrepreneurs.”

Nominations can be made at Elite40.com between now and November 4th. Candidates may enter themselves until 5:00 p.m. on November 8th. To be eligible, a candidate must live or work in Oakland County, be 18 years of age or older, and have been born after December 31, 1980. Continue reading

Easy Hiking at Crooked Lake

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

October is not the time to stay indoors and wish you were outside. In the past few weeks I’ve had inquiries from folks that are new to the world of hiking and want to start the hiking experience on trails that are “easy to hike” while enjoying the splendor of October. Easy can be interpreted in different ways by different people. It’s been ten years this month since I hiked up what was billed as the “easy” side approach of Mount Kilimanjaro. I struggled at times in the thin air, but made it to the 19,340 foot high summit. It was not easy. Let’s forget the word easy for now; if you are looking for a trail that’s family-friendly, embraces nature, and perhaps most importantly, won’t get you lost, I have one for you. It’s a real gem with great lakeshore views, and if you hike on the weekend you will never be alone.
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Creepy Crawly Wondrous Walkingsticks

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Even with near record-breaking heat earlier this week, the season of encountering six-legged, creepy crawly things is slowly winding down. There are exceptions, and leading the pack of exceptions in Oakland County is the Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata). These well camouflaged creatures spend most of the summer in the canopy of our oak trees, but as the days shorten they descend to lower levels and surprise encounters become more frequent when they meander onto shrubs, porches, and the sunny sides of homes and outbuildings.
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Poison Sumac: An Autumn Beauty to Avoid

Autumn is the season for a plethora of nature-embracing outdoor activities under canopies of kaleidoscope colored leaves and restless winds. It’s the time to hike the woodlands, explore our network of cyclist friendly trails, fish, camp, share a quiet picnic on a lakeside hilltop, and kayak our beautiful lakes in a soon to be mosquito-free environment. It’s the season when young children chase after long-leaping leopard frogs hidden in moist meadows and collect colorful leaves for their parents. Autumn accelerates our hunt for wild mushrooms, with chicken of the woods being at the top of the list, and entices foragers to gather the last of the wild blackberries. We dodge falling black walnuts and bid farewell to Ruby-throated hummingbirds, Sandhill Cranes and Ospreys in these early days of autumn. Perhaps best of all, we are at the cusp of the season to embrace pumpkin-spiced everything! Continue reading