The Eastern Garter Snake, a Common “Garden” Snake

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. A summer vegetable garden is not only beautiful, but in the eyes of an Eastern Garter Snake, it’s an oasis of plenty. There, slugs, snails, spiders, grasshoppers, millipedes, bugs, and the occasional low-to-the-ground tree frogs may be hunted. Thamnophis sirtalis, more commonly known as the Eastern Garter Snake, is without a doubt the most commonly seen snake of Oakland County.

A bit of name clarification may be in order as well, for as much as garter snakes are attracted to gardens, there is no such snake species as a “Garden Snake” or “Gardener Snake.” The incorrect name Garden Snake seems to stay with us, and is sometimes repeated by teachers and even park professionals without a strong knowledge of snake species. Continue reading

Eastern Bluebirds On the Dawn of Summer

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

With its brilliant royal blue back, and rusty-red brown breast there is no mistaking a male Eastern Bluebird. They are heralded as one of the first Oakland County birds of spring. Naturalists and writers have long associated the arrival of bluebirds with spring. On March 2, 1859, Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The bluebird comes and with his warble drills the ice and sets free the rivers and ponds and frozen grounds.” It is now the 23rd day of June in 2017 and the heat of the summer has already arrived. Bluebirds keep warbling, not to melt ice, but to announce round two of their nesting season. The fact of the matter is clear, many of our bluebirds did not migrate and ate old berries and fruits all winter, with occasional visits to suet feeders.

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Your Race, Your Run – Summer Running in Oakland County

The pop of the gun sends hundreds or even thousands of runners and walkers of all ages into the street. As foot meets pavement, racers journey toward the finish line.

While participants compete for health and sport, most also compete to draw awareness and support to a wide range of charitable causes. Often, the proceeds generated by running events are donated to specific charities, providing participants with a great reason to support their loved ones and run in Oakland County.

Avid and amateur runners to summer walkers are invited to put their feet to the pavement and run (or walk) any number of the races scheduled during the summer months. Use our Summer Running List to find a race near you!

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Fireworks Fly for the Fourth of July

As dusk sets, everyone settles into their lawn chairs and blankets. The light from the sun disappears leaving nothing but a quiet chatter underneath a sky of stars.

A high pitched whistle sounds as the first firework is lit. The next 30 minutes are filled with resounding booms, snaps and crackles as red, white and blue colors decorate the night sky.

Fireworks displays are set off in honor of Independence Day all over the U.S. including many communities in and around Oakland County.

 

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