Yellow Goat’s Beard of Oakland County

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

In the sultry days of August, meadows, fields and un-mowed roadsides of rural sections of Oakland County present colorful potpourris of wildflowers of every size and shape. Many are native species, others are naturalized plants that crossed the oceans with early immigrants and now thrive in our midst. The flowers attract butterflies and insects of all sorts, as well as human admirers. Among the mix in Oakland County is Tragopogon dubius, a lesser known species with several common names including yellow goat’s beard and yellow salsify. It’s an attractive, but rather unremarkable yellow flower whose presence often goes unnoticed; however its three to four-inch globe-shaped seedhead is eye-catching and resembles a giant dandelion on steroids. And when the sunlight hits the seedhead just right, it’s stunning. Continue reading

Become a Master Gardener in Oakland County

Whether you’re a gardening pro or have newly grown a green thumb, this program is for anyone who is eager to participate and share gardening best practices!

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension is accepting applicants until August 11th to participate in the training classes for the Extension Master Gardener Program Waterford (Oakland County) that runs from August 17th to December 7th. Join a community of over 560 Oakland County volunteers all while expanding your knowledge in ways to care for your lawn, trees, flowers, and more!

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I Am Not a Chipmunk!

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

I was blissfully unaware of the existence of thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) living in Michigan, let alone in Oakland County, until a summer day ten years ago. On that day of discovery, I was wandering the Shiawassee Basin Nature Preserve in Springfield Township admiring wildflowers, dragonflies and butterflies in a small meadow. I was just a few hundred feet from the Springfield Township Civic Center when suddenly a small chipmunk-like creature popped up out of the ground in a field rich with clover, grasshoppers and bugs of all sorts. I managed one photo before its hyper-speed vanishing act commenced.

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August Business Workshops

Diverse happy interns learning new computer software listening to mentor teacher coach teaching explaining online project application on laptop, smiling multi-ethnic coworkers work together in office

Are you prepared to kickstart a new business or expand your current one? Connect with Oakland County’s One Stop Shop Business Center experts and get advice on small business loans, start-ups, and more. Register today for one of our August workshops and learn from the One Stop Shop’s business advisors as they provide the help you’ll need to take your career and business to the next level.

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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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