Jerusalem Artichokes: Not Just for Bees!

Bee and Jerusalem artichoke blossom

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Honey bees know a good thing when they see one. They found the ten-foot-tall object of my quest first — a cluster of brilliant, yellow, eye-catching flowers that bloomed during the first week of October. The bees were harvesting the bright orange pollen of Jerusalem artichokes for their near final foraging flights of the season. That was almost two weeks ago. I returned a few days ago for the tubers.

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It’s Totally Tamarack Time!

yellow tamarack trees

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The ephemeral beauty of eye-catching October tree colors faded as the winds of November strengthened. But what a month it was to explore nature’s artistic way in Oakland County and the rest of Michigan. Hikers and trail runners often paused in our parks to observe perhaps the best kaleidoscope of leaf colors in a decade, a gift from Mother Nature that coincided with an equally colorful forest floor display of fantastic fungi. Gone are the bold, brilliant shades of deep orange of sugar maples. Gone are the reddish hues of sassafras, sumacs, and red maples. Gone are the dazzling, wind-driven yellow “sparkles” of aspen leaves that quaked in gusts of wind.

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Spooky Creatures and the Myths that Surround Them

full moon

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Today’s not-so-scary Halloween blog is all about creatures we may falsely perceive as dangerous, unpredictable, or even ugly. They are the creatures we tend to look at in a negative fashion, especially those that we have been conditioned to fear through experiences or commonly shared misinformation and myths. On the day before Halloween, with those thoughts in mind, here’s a light and lively look at these creatures and some of the myths associated with them. I think you’ll soon find that they’re not-so-spooky after all.

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Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Everywhere!

pumpkin patch up close

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Halloween is just around the corner and one very recognizable sign of the season is everywhere. Pumpkins are transforming into an incredible array of spooky jack-o-lanterns that perch patiently on porches, waiting to delight masked goblins, witches, and superheroes. Others wait to be chosen from roadside stands, and hundreds more, of every conceivable size, are for sale at the Oakland County Farmers Market. Grocery store displays of pumpkins are placed strategically near the door to draw attention, almost as if they are pleading, “Pick me! Pick me!”

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