An Early Morning Lake Sixteen Environmental Adventure

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

150 Tennis Balls, 91-Acres of Water, 18 Volunteers, and the Ghost of Mastodons: An Early Morning Lake Sixteen Environmental Adventure

Oakland County would be a lesser place if it was not for our beautiful lakes, wetlands, rivers and streams. With those thoughts in mind, I loaded my kayak onto the roof of my jeep on the last Wednesday of August for a bit of participatory, investigative reporting on Lake Sixteen.

The early morning fog lifted just as I pulled into the small parking area near a fishing pier and a non-motorized boat launch site on Lake Sixteen, a 91-acre lake on the east side of Orion Oaks County Park. Lake Sixteen is one of the hundreds, or some say more than a thousand local lakes that sparkle in the early morning light of fading summer. Here’s what Oakland County’s Prosper Magazine wrote last October about the numerous lakes that enrich our lives, and provide diverse habitat for hundreds of species of wildlife and great outdoor recreation for residents of our county.

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Huron Swamp: The Greatest Treasure of Indian Springs

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

“Nothing exists for itself alone, but only in relation to other forms of life.” – Charles Darwin.

The Huron Swamp slowly awakened in the dawn’s early light. An unseen Barred Owl hooted as the sky lightened. Although these swamp-loving owls with “soulful brown eyes” wing silently between the swamp’s white oaks, red maples, and tamaracks, their distinctive melody of “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” confirmed their presence. Ten minutes passed. A sudden splash in the shallows was the signature of a raccoon, or perhaps a mink. Fresh muddy tracks on the wooden boardwalk told me it could have been either. Suddenly a Pileated Woodpecker’s resonating wuk-wuk-wuk alarm call indicated an intruder. Perhaps it was me. But my intrusion was in search of swamp magic.

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November: A Great Month for Hiking

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTYimg_1212

November trails are mosquito free. The air is rich and crisp. Crowds are gone. In November, leafless woodlands are home to peaceful solitude and delicate beauty. Go for a hike on the trails of our county and you just may embrace the timeless words of Henry David Thoreau, “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

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