Sunday, March 5 was a spectacularly sunny day for the Bower School Farm’s “Winter Birth Celebration.” Decades have passed since my previous visits to that educational working farm in Bloomfield Township. Back then when I was a firefighter/medic for Bloomfield Township Fire Department, the farm was in our emergency response area. I was delighted to have attended their special event and looked at it as a homecoming; after all the farm is my old “friend.”Continue reading
Wilder Side of Oakland County
Mother Nature has been fickle this past week with a predictable mix of frost, snow and a few beautiful blue sky days followed by downbursts of sleet that created icy roads, felled trees and closed roads and schools. I look at the rapidly changing weather patterns as a solid confirmation of spring being just over the horizon. I’m just not sure how far away that horizon may be, and this cardinal and red-winged blackbird may wonder the same now that a winter storm warning of heavy wet snow for Southeast Michigan has been issued for this first Friday of March.Continue reading
A River Runs Through It
The Nels Kimball Preserve is a true jewel of Oakland County. After exploring the preserve’s trails recently, I discovered that even some of my most ardent nature-embracing friends are unaware of its existence.
The preserve is a primitive site just minutes from downtown Clarkston. It’s a pleasure to explore in any season; perhaps with one exception. Don’t go there in shorts and t-shirts on a very humid August day as I did last year. If you do, the mosquitos will be thankful for your presence.Continue reading
Where Did They Go? A Tale of Two Creatures
WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY
While the weather outside may be frightful, as the old saying goes, winter is one of the most exciting times to hike and explore. Winter adventures often lead to cool encounters and memorable discoveries in the “wilds” of Oakland County; especially near the shorelines of our lakes and marshes.
Your outdoor adventuring can be enhanced by slowing down, looking about, and listening to what Mother Nature is saying. Last week, a child asked me where all the animals go in winter. Today I’ll share the tale of two creatures that some incorrectly call cousins, but both went “mostly missing” at the dawn of winter — beavers and muskrats. We’ll start with a look at the largest rodent of Oakland County, the beaver!Continue reading
A New Year for the Birds
WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY
“Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?” – Nature historian David Attenborough
January 5th was more than the first Thursday of the month. It was National Bird Day, an annual event I was totally unaware of until a few days after the event. After that date passed by, I was politely chastised by a friend of mine who is an avid birder for missing that day as a blog topic. I decided late is better than never, especially after reading the words of David Attenborough’s.
I’ve already made a notation in my 2024 calendar to promote National Bird Day next year; before the fact, not afterwards, and am enthusiastically thinking about birds now with my feeders exploding with activity. Hearing the deep hooting of a Great Horned Owl last night sealed the deal, and so now with a cup of coffee in my hand I sit down and write as the morning sun casts its glow.Continue reading