Dinosauria at the Detroit Zoo!

This summer, the Detroit Zoo in Oakland County is going prehistoric with the famous Dinosauria exhibit. The largest outdoor dinosaur exhibit of its kind in the country, Dinosauria features over 40 lifelike animatronic dinosaurs that shift, roar, and spit. The zoo’s most exciting summer attraction, presented by the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, began on May 25th and runs through September 3rd, 2018.

Check out this video to see this zoorassic world in action!

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Hiking the “Hiker T. Moose”

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Hiker T. Moose, that’s the name of a trail, not a moose that hikes. This was my destination on the wilder side of Oakland County two weeks ago under a quiet gray sky, a scene enlivened by serenading songbirds birds, the emergence of woodland wildflowers, and the overhead flight of Sandhill Cranes. Almost six years had passed since my last trek on that oddly named trail and back then my exploration was on cross-country skis. On that day the shoreline of the Shiawassee River was laced in ice and all but obscured in swirling snows. And just like back then, there were no encounters with moose this time either along that meandering portal to nature’s way known as the “Hiker T. Moose” trail.

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Turtle Woods Preserve

Turtle Woods Preserve

“Imagine a place within a busy city, where shady swamps harbor endangered spotted turtles, ancient reptiles whose dark shells glow with spots of brilliant yellow, gliding just below the water’s surface. Then imagine moving a short distance into a glacial lakeplain prairie, with fields of native grasses and flowers from the time when the glaciers last melted from the land of Southeast Michigan.”

Turtle Woods Preserve

Those words first appeared in the Summer 2000 issue of the Oakland Land Conservancy newsletter in reference to a parcel of undeveloped land on the north side of Square Lake Road between John R and Dequindre in the highly urbanized City of Troy. Fast forward to May 2018. Efforts of the former Oakland Land Conservancy, which eventually merged with other conservancies, and finally morphed into the Six Rivers Land Conservancy finally bore fruit in the form of the new Turtle Woods Preserve. Continue reading

Secrets of Cranberry Lake Park

Cranberry Lake Park

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

On sultry summer days the beautiful wooded swamps and protected wetlands of Cranberry Lake Park occasionally transform into short term havens for blood-thirsty mosquitoes and squadrons of dive-bombing deer flies. That is nature’s way all across the Wilder Side of Oakland County. I still remember a hot and humid late summer day when I meandered into that Oakland Township Park on a hunt for a few blackberries. I raced back to my vehicle a few minutes later with my arms flailing after becoming an involuntarily blood donor for what felt like millions of mosquitoes.

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The Hunt for Morel Mushrooms is On Again!

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The hunt for elusive morel mushrooms is underway. With a bit of knowledge, and the willingness to walk slowly while scanning the forest floor, your gourmet reward of fantastic fungi might just be sizzling in a frying pan before the lilacs bloom.

Safety First: If you are not 100% certain you actually found a morel mushroom, don’t eat it. That is just common sense. A Facebook posting may not be the best way to make a positive identification. Morel mushrooms vary in size, color and sometimes shape. And of course never mix different kinds of mushrooms in your collection bag. Michigan State University Extension has identified at least 50 types of poisonous mushrooms found in Michigan, among them the false morels.

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