Milkweed Bugs of October Meadows

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

October is the season of the Large Milkweed Bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus), a colorful but lesser known bug of Oakland County’s milkweed-rich meadows, fields and trailsides. They are spectacularly beautiful creatures that lure the attention of nature hungry little kids, nature savvy adults and university entomologists. However unless one walks slowly amidst the milkweed plants, and looks for them, they often go unnoticed, even with their brilliant colors. Don’t let them go unnoticed. Continue reading

Flying Dragons and Dainty Damsels

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

IMG_4475

They ruled the skies before the time of the great dinosaurs and have survived cataclysmic extinction events that eliminated other species. Masters of incredibly nimble flight who, in the blink of any eye, can change direction, speed, and elevation with aerodynamic skills that even the most modern high-tech helicopters cannot master. These voracious predators with huge eyes can accelerate to over 30 miles per hour. They are your best friends and guardians as you hike the wetland trails of Oakland County, or just relax on a warm summer evening. Of medical importance, dragonflies and damselflies capture and eat mosquitoes that may carry the West Nile Virus and the Zika virus.

Continue reading

Dog Day Cicadas!

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

IMG_6245

Cicadas! That’s what the buzz is all about. They are enriching the parklands and treed urban streets with shrill buzzing, perhaps best described akin to miniature chain saws that run fast and loud  for a few seconds — and then slowly grind to a stop. The dog-day Cicadas have emerged. They may be mostly out of sight, but they are certainly not out of mind.

Continue reading