What Nature is Saying!

A Great Egret perched on a thin, leafless tree in a wetland

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

I am a nemophilist. That’s someone who is fond of forests; a haunter of the woods. I celebrate woodlands in all seasons, but especially look forward to the spectacular forest colors of autumn, frosted pumpkins, and adventuresome hikes as nature’s last hurrah before winter arrives. Today, however, as the end of August draws near, I’m sharing nature’s subtle signals that summer is slowly fading. Increased sightings of Great Egrets, dazzling beauties of our healthy wooded wetlands, are one of nature’s first signs that summer is fading.

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Butterfly Weed: A Gift of Nature!

A monarch caterpillar crawls along butterfly weed blossoms

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Spectacular! That word alone accurately describes the eye-catching beauty of Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), our only native milkweed with showy orange blossoms. But don’t let the words “butterfly” or “weed” fool you. Butterfly Weed is a non-discriminating, pollinator-friendly plant, a fact confirmed by its attractiveness to bumblebees and honey bees. Even Ruby-throated hummingbirds visit its nectar-rich blossoms. Just a weed? Certainly not!

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Rent, Mortgage, And Utility Assistance Provides Relief to Residents Affected by COVID-19

Nearly $4 million in rent, mortgage, and utility assistance is available for qualified Oakland County residents whose payments are overdue because of hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oakland County Neighborhood and Housing Development Division is currently accepting applications for this one-time grant at www.oakgov.com/RMU until all funds are gone.

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Poison Ivy Pointers!

Two people walk through the a grassy field on a nature exploration

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Summer is a great time for outdoor adventure. It’s the season for picnics, fishing, hiking, gardening, yard work, and early-morning trail running. But don’t end up like poor Leo. Leo is now homebound and totally miserable because of poison ivy. An extremely itchy, red rash with painful blisters covers his arms, legs, neck, upper chest, and much of his face, a face that’s slathered with calamine lotion. Note: “Leo” is not an actual patient I have treated or observed while working as an ER paramedic.

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