Summer Solstice Solitude & Wildlife Adventure

A red fox stands in tall grass

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Summer is the season nature’s way may appear to slow, but that only holds true for those that do not venture out onto our trails or into our parks and wildlands. Walk alone in solitude in the dawn’s early light and the landscape will come alive with hidden secrets, or hike with your nature-embracing companion, and pleasures will increase through the art of sharing. Walk slowly, stop often, look, and listen, and a new world of nature will spring to life. I thought about and now share, some of my favorite creatures that thrive on the wilder side of Oakland County as the dawn of the summer solstice draws near.

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Baldfaced Hornets: Garden Guardians If Not Provoked

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

IMG_3932Baldfaced Hornets ( Dolichovespula maculate) are not bees and are not even true hornets. They along with yellow jackets are members of the wasp (Vespidae) family. Baldfaced hornets are unmistakable with their visible ivory white markings on their faces and are at home in the wildlands, rural towns, and urban cities of Oakland County. They pack a powerful wallop if provoked.

They are master craftsmen when it comes to nest construction. Unlike honeybees that create a nest of wax hidden inside a hollow tree, Baldfaced Hornets build grayish paper-like nests that approach peak size in August. The nest is constructed of chewed wood fibers that are mixed with saliva and may be over two feet from top to bottom, large enough to hide a watermelon!

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