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

Saddle Up And Ride On The Wilder Side Of Oakland County

 WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

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Foggy and sometimes frosty October mornings, kaleidoscopes of autumn leaves, majestic trumpeting of Sandhill Cranes, and hot pink muck buckets: they all signal it’s time to saddle up and ride the multi-use equestrian trails managed by Oakland County Parks. Although I am not a rider, I answered the call of the equestrian wild. For the next few days, I’ll be camping with horses in the woods of Addison Oaks County Park as a boots-on-the-ground observer and guest of the Addison Oaks Trail Riders for their fourth annual Camp’ N Ride Event.

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Home of the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake!

THE WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

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Massasauga rattler sunning on the Indian Springs Metropark hike-bike trail.

The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake is a true pit-viper; the only venomous snake found in Oakland County. They are well camouflaged, docile and secretive and would rather escape than strike when threatened and that may explain a fact noted by emergency medical professionals:  on the rare occasion when a rattlesnake strikes it almost always occurs on the dominated hand of an intoxicated male.  “Hey Joe, Watch at this!” may just summarize the foolish bravado behavior that precedes most encounters between two species, homo sapiens and Sistrurus catenatus catenatus.   Humans are not on the menu, but these highly skilled ambush hunters use their heat -seeking pits to target small rodents and frogs.

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