Season of the Snapping Turtle

Snapping Turtles are on the move, and sometimes those movements take these lumbering giants across yards and roads, especially when on their egg-laying missions. This is that time! I know that for a fact since I had the pleasure of assisting a roadside snapping turtle just last week. Another car stopped as well when they noticed me kneeling next to the turtle. I needed close-up photos thus the roadside kneeling. A gentleman and his young son got out to watch and warned me it might bite. I acknowledged that and showed them the proper way to move the turtle when they asked if I was going to carry it by its tail. Carrying by the tail would most likely seriously injure the turtle.

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Flight of the Eagle – a success story.

I remember a time about three decades ago when, if someone saw a bald eagle in Oakland County or most anywhere else in Michigan, it would be extremely exciting news. I live in northernmost Oakland County and for the past few months, hardly a day goes by without me and many others seeing eagles. That fact leaves me with a very good feeling and serves as a reminder that sometimes nature does find a way with a little help from her friends.

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A Prescription To Burn

Image of fire at Independence Oaks County Park

Medical professionals write prescriptions for ailments and illnesses. That fact is very well known. But did you know land managers write prescriptions for igniting fires in our fields, woodlands and marshes? Today’s Wilder Side of Oakland County nature blog was inspired by a resident asking me why there was a fire at Independence Oaks County Park a few weeks ago and “the fire department never showed up.” I was tempted to simply say, “They had a prescription to burn,” but instead I explained the fire situation they witnessed in an abbreviated version of today’s blog. I was a bit surprised by the question since the contractor’s fire suppression equipment was on site, just not the local fire department, which in this case would have been Independence Township Fire Department.

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Season of the Sandhills

Sandhill Cranes flying over water.

“High horns, low horns, silence and finally a pandemonium of trumpets, rattles, croaks and cries that almost shake the bog with its nearness, but without yet disclosing whence it comes. At last, a glint of sun reveals the approach of a great echelon of approaching birds. On motionless wing they emerge from the lifting mists, sweep a final arc of sky, and settle in clangorous descending spirals to their feeding grounds. A new day has begun on the crane marsh.”  –  A Sand County Almanac

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Bowers School Farm – Early Bird Tour

Sunday, March 5 was a spectacularly sunny day for the Bower School Farm’sWinter Birth Celebration.” Decades have passed since my previous visits to that educational working farm in Bloomfield Township. Back then when I was a firefighter/medic for Bloomfield Township Fire Department, the farm was in our emergency response area. I was delighted to have attended their special event and looked at it as a homecoming; after all the farm is my old “friend.” 

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