Cormorants in Oakland County and Beyond

Cormorant on beach with outspread wings

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Double-crested Cormorants are one of the most fascinating and peculiar-looking birds of Oakland County. Their sightings occur most often in May during northward migrations and again in early September as they head south from their colonies located along the shores of our Great Lakes. Many that are now passing through are likely to have departed colonies located on or near Lake Michigan’s Beaver Island Archipelago in northwest Lower Michigan.

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What Nature is Saying!

A Great Egret perched on a thin, leafless tree in a wetland

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

I am a nemophilist. That’s someone who is fond of forests; a haunter of the woods. I celebrate woodlands in all seasons, but especially look forward to the spectacular forest colors of autumn, frosted pumpkins, and adventuresome hikes as nature’s last hurrah before winter arrives. Today, however, as the end of August draws near, I’m sharing nature’s subtle signals that summer is slowly fading. Increased sightings of Great Egrets, dazzling beauties of our healthy wooded wetlands, are one of nature’s first signs that summer is fading.

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Butterfly Weed: A Gift of Nature!

A monarch caterpillar crawls along butterfly weed blossoms

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Spectacular! That word alone accurately describes the eye-catching beauty of Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), our only native milkweed with showy orange blossoms. But don’t let the words “butterfly” or “weed” fool you. Butterfly Weed is a non-discriminating, pollinator-friendly plant, a fact confirmed by its attractiveness to bumblebees and honey bees. Even Ruby-throated hummingbirds visit its nectar-rich blossoms. Just a weed? Certainly not!

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Poison Ivy Pointers!

Two people walk through the a grassy field on a nature exploration

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Summer is a great time for outdoor adventure. It’s the season for picnics, fishing, hiking, gardening, yard work, and early-morning trail running. But don’t end up like poor Leo. Leo is now homebound and totally miserable because of poison ivy. An extremely itchy, red rash with painful blisters covers his arms, legs, neck, upper chest, and much of his face, a face that’s slathered with calamine lotion. Note: “Leo” is not an actual patient I have treated or observed while working as an ER paramedic.

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