Homes for Bluebirds on the Polly Ann Trail

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Henry David Thoreau’s writings include a sentence that is often quoted by naturalists and outdoor writers. “The bluebird carries the sky on his back” is one of my favorite Thoreau quotes. A well placed trailside bluebird box is one of easiest and most rewarding ways to do something good for the environment and it adds increased visual enjoyment for trail users – thoughts that gave wings to this week’s blog for the birds: the Eastern Bluebirds that live in our midst along the Polly Ann Trail. Continue reading

Sights, Sounds, Scents and Signs of Spring’s Approach

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The confirmation of spring’s approach arrived on very long legs and boasted a bright red-capped head. It was just before sunrise when I spotted three statuesque Sandhill Cranes standing motionless on ice near a parking lot at Addison Oaks County Park. After a hilly, two-hour hike in a mostly snow-covered landscape, I returned to that melting patch of ice just in time to watch one of those red-crested, long-legged beauties of the wetlands stretching its wings in the morning sun. That sighting alone confirmed what the calendar already said: The final countdown to spring is well underway. Continue reading

Rose Oaks on the Dawn of December

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

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“Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and places to pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir
Rose Oaks County Park is that kind of place.

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An early morning walk through this 640 acre protected wildland in the northwest corner of Oakland County at the dawn of December offers rich rewards, reaching beyond the obvious benefits of healthy hiking and fresh air. Solitude, natural beauty, and a chance to embrace silence without distractions are three of them. The radiant glow of morning sunlight on trees enriches forest stillness, and warms the human spirit.

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