Chicory: Queen of the Roadside!

blue chicory blossoms

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The sultry days of summer are here. Goldfinches flutter over meadows. Dragonflies patrol the sky. Bullfrogs sound off from ponds. Tomatoes ripen on vines.Crickets sing to the night. Rabbits are everywhere. Thunder rumbles. But it’s chicory (Cichorium intybus) that really proclaims that the heat of summer is on.

Chicory is one of our most abundant midsummer flowers but sadly, it also carries the demeaning title of being classified as a weed. I guess that’s technically correct since it’s a non-native plant that grows profusely along many rural roadsides and other areas that have disturbed, well-drained soils that are bathed in full sunshine. However, their beautiful periwinkle blue flowers on spindly stalks make them an unmistakable sign of summer. It’s abundance in mid-August also reminds me summer is at its peak and the season will soon fade away.

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Flying Dragons of Summer!

An upclose Yellow-legged Meadowhawk

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Dragonflies have ruled the skies of planet Earth since before the time of the great dinosaurs. They survived cataclysmic extinction events that eliminated other species and set back human evolution In the blink of an eye, dragonflies can change their flight direction, speed, and elevation with aerodynamic skills that even the most advanced, high-tech drone cannot master. Dragonflies can detect, track, pursue, intercept, catch, and consume flying prey that are plucked from the air. Perhaps this makes them one of nature’s finest tuned killing machines, true masters of aerial predation. Some of these perching “flying dragons” appear to smile, just as this Yellow-legged Meadowhawk seemed to do. 

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Pleasurable Summer Paddles

Kayaking in Oakland County, Michigan

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

An early morning paddle as the sun climbs over the horizon is the perfect way to start a nature-embracing summer day in the wilder side of Oakland County. The morning mist is magical as water drips off paddles and Great Blue Herons stalk the shallows. For the night owls, paddle out into a magical time of day, a few hours before dusk to catch the moon’s shadow shimmering on the water and beavers slapping their broad tails against the water to warn of your stealthy approach. Regardless of your time preference, Oakland County waters await your canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddle board adventures!

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Hit the Slopes in Oakland County

skiandsnowboardfeaturedphoto

Winter weather is here so it’s time for some early season shredding at the three ski and snowboard resorts in Oakland County. Skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes at Alpine Valley in White Lake, Mt. Holly in Holly, and Pine Knob in Clarkston. From beginner hills with tow ropes and Wonder Carpets to terrain parks and racing – there is something at each resort for everyone!

Check out our video and see all of the winter fun there is to be had on the slopes in Oakland County.

Whether you are a beginner or experienced skier or snowboarder, each resort offers rentals, lessons, school clubs, season passes, and other programs to complete your winter weather excursion close to home. While you’re there, skiers, snowboarders, and even spectators can take advantage of the lodge, pro shops, and events at each resort.

Learn more about each of the ski and snowboard resorts in Oakland County below. Before heading out to the slopes, contact each resort for current snow conditions, run and terrain park statuses, as well as what other feature and amenities that will be open during your trip.

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Oakland County Skiing and Snowboarding at Pine Knob

Pine Knob's lodge sits at the bottom of the slopes.

One of three ski areas in Oakland County, Pine Knob welcomes skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels with 14 trail runs, six chairlifts, four rope tows, three terrain parks, and two wonder carpets. Brave the well-groomed 300 foot vertical, attend a lesson, or relax in the lodge. Pine Knob, “Motor City’s closest ski resort,” is a short drive away for hours of outdoor fun and excitement!

Located in Independence Township, Pine Knob is open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturdays, and 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sundays. Check out this video of their slopes before you visit:

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