Trailside Pokeweed of Summer’s End

purple pokeweed berries

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

As summer heat begins to fade, Pokeweed, a native shrub-like plant, accelerates its growth and draws attention to the edge zones of many of our most popular trails and woodlands of the Oakland County landscape. It often appears under power lines and is rather common in sections of our larger parks and State Recreation Areas. Sometimes, it thrives within front and back yards of homes and near areas of new construction. At night, its ripening fruits take on a special eye-catching beauty when captured by a camera’s lens. However, by the time pumpkins are coated with frost, pokeweed mysteriously vanishes.

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Poison Sumac: Tale of a Toxic Trailside Beauty

red poison sumac

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

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.

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The 2019 Merry Mitten Classic with Oakland County Olympic Snowboarder Danny Davis

Danny Davis, a professional snowboarder from Highland, is returning home to Oakland County to host The Merry Mitten Classic on December 21st, 2019. For the second year in a row, he’s teamed up with Burton Snowboards and New Belgium Brewing Company to put on this Modified Banked Slalom Event for all ages and skill levels at Alpine Valley in White Lake. Danny, an Olympic athlete, has competed at the highest level while keeping things cool by focusing on “fun, friends, and new experiences.”

Check out highlights from last year’s Merry Mitten Classic with Danny Davis:

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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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An Oakland Audubon Birding Adventure & More!

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Oakland Audubon Society offers free, fun filled trips for birders of all ages. They are enriching family-friendly events where participants often encounter the unexpected. As expected, my hike with their “young birders” last Saturday morning at 2,454-acre Indian Springs Metropark was no exception. Thirty-six species of birds, including five different species of swallows, were encountered during our two and a half hour meander, but my two favorite species of wildlife encountered were not birds. One had scales, the other fur. It’s not every day I witness an eastern garter snake up in a tree or go face to face with a pair of young thirteen-lined ground squirrels, but on Saturday I did.

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