Nature’s Wonder – While We Stayed Home

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

“To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same fields, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It’s not easy to compress an entire season into 1,000 words but I’ll give it a try in today’s Wilder Side of Oakland County. Taking place the day before the first day of summer, consider this a phenology flashback to the ways and wonders of nature while we mostly stayed home the entire season of spring.

Phenology! It’s a word that devoted followers of nature’s way know well. Phenology is the calendar of nature’s “whens” —  when trillium blooms, when gray treefrogs first sing, when monarchs migrate, when sassafras leaves turn red, when snapping turtles cross roads, when honey bees gathered first pollen, when turkey vultures return. In more scientific terms, the Aldo Leopold Society describes phenology as “The study of periodic life-cycle events in nature that are influenced by climate and seasonal change.”  That critical sentence confirms nature’s calendar changes – sometimes slightly, sometimes dramatically. Attentive eyes note the change.

Spring was truly a beautiful season of renewal for those with a love for nature and the ways of the wild. I meandered my woods and meadows as well as few nearby wildlands armed with my camera and abundant patience almost every day from late March until the middle of June. I found peace, pleasure and endless excitement in nature’s way. The words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, which I cited above, were my guiding light of exploration; for even common flowers and wild creatures take on special beauty when we pause long enough to watch, listen, discover, and learn. Perhaps they were your guiding lights of comfort as well?

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It’s National Frog Month!

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

April is National Frog Month; it’s well underway and things are hopping. Frogs do some mighty strange things, at least in the eyes of humans. Knowing facts about the lives and abilities of frogs will enhance your frog month celebration. That’s what this special blog post is all about. Then it’s time to trek off to a vernal pond in the woodlands, or perhaps lean against a tree at the edge of wildland marsh with a favorite frog-loving friend to enjoy a fantastic frog symphony in the dawn’s early light, or twilight. This link from a 2014 National Wildlife Federation blog in celebration of National Frog Month, has fun frog activities for young children. I won’t tell anyone if you read that link in order to glean more information for yourself about the long-leaping, bug-eating, swamp-singing amphibians that inhabit Oakland County.

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