The days are short, and darkness comes all too soon. The dawn of winter draws near. We may feel sleepy at times, but there is no long winter nap awaiting the beaver (Castor canadensis,) the largest rodent of North America. Contrary to the belief of some, beavers do not hibernate. Beavers are true architects of the wildlife world. Although these highly-skilled engineers are almost never seen in winter, the evidence of their activity is everywhere, from the most rural sections of our county to the wooded banks of the Clinton River in the city of Pontiac.
Aldo Leopold wrote: “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.” I consider myself an unabashed member of the latter group. Coyotes certainly represent “wild things,” but they are not restricted to rural sections of our county. They are extremely adaptable creatures, and it’s perfectly normal for them to be noticed not only in our State Recreation Areas, Oakland County Parks, and Huron-Clinton Metroparks, but also in our suburban and urban areas. Coyotes are found in every city and town in our county, including populous Pontiac, Royal Oak, and Rochester, nor are they strangers to the city of Detroit.
This excellent video of a coyote hunting meadow voles in a roadside field at Detroit’s Rouge Park, as a deer casually watched, was filmed last week and shared with me by my nature friend, Donna Croaker Hall.
You’d be surprised just how many everyday items are considered hazardous waste. Do you have an item you’re unsure about? View lists of accepted and non-accepted materials in the FAQ section of Advantage Oakland’s NoHaz web page, or call the NoHaz Hotline at 248-858-5656.
Separate materials in your trunk, trailer or truck bed into three types: 1) Paint 2) Electronics 3) Other household hazardous waste.*
Clearly separate items brought for disposal from other possessions in your car.
Bring acceptable materials only; liquids must be in leakproof 5-gallon containers or smaller.
Bring residential waste only, no business, institution or contractor waste.
Present your driver’s license or other proof of residency, and your ticket (either printed or on a mobile device).
Remain in your vehicle at all times.
Wear a mask when interacting with volunteers.
In 2020, residents of all member communities may participate in NoHaz Collection Events for free.Residents of non-member communities may participate in NoHaz Collection Events for a $60 fee, paid by cash or check at the event. Contact your city, village or township offices to see if another disposal program is available to you; or refer to the map to see what disposal options may be offered in your community: 2020 Program Map
By choosing to safely dispose of potentially hazardous household materials, you’re also choosing to protect your friends, family, and neighborhood from harmful chemicals and other dangers.
As the crisp days of autumn draw near, I increase my explorations of the wondrous world of our wetlands, swamps, and marshlands. They take on a special peaceful splendor in the waning days of summer, especially in the dawn’s early light. The wetland-embracing trails on the wilder side of Oakland County lure me in as surely as honey bees fly to flowers for nectar and pollen. However, this year as in the years before, I will be watchful for and ever wary of one wetland plant in particular. This plant presents a clear and present danger to humans that have the misfortune of making physical contact. Even touching or brushing against any part of this toxic trailside beauty may lead to a world of woe and in some severe cases of exposure, a visit to an emergency department follows.
“We are fortunate to have such passionate and talented leaders who are committed to their professions and improving their communities,” County Executive David Coulter said. “They truly are bringing Oakland County together for a more prosperous future. They are a wonderful testament to the diversity and talent in our county.”
During the Elite 40 reception, the class had the opportunity to network and mingle with Coulter, county officials, and each other. The room was filled with excitement as members shared their stories and successes.