Early October is an exciting time to explore nature’s way and enjoy the crisp days of autumn in Oakland County, or wherever your travels may take you as the kaleidoscope of leaf colors unfolds. It’s the season to embrace the quickening pace of nature as days shorten, leaves cascade downwards and mosquitoes vanish. If you walk slowly, stop often, look and listen, and keep your eyes scanning, every twist and turn on a trail brings discoveries even if it’s a trail you trek frequently.
A few weeks ago I was on one of my usual slow-paced nature-embracing solo treks around Crooked Lake at Independence Oaks County Park. The park is only a few miles from me, and it has been my go-to location if I feel the desire to get outside and meander without driving very far. I usually walk around that lake several times a week with no particular goal in my mind, beyond a wish to be outside.
Autumn has arrived. The exact moment of the Autumnal Equinox occurred on September 23 at 2:50 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time. On that day we had equal amounts of day and night. Hours of daylight are ever so slowly decreasing and will continue to do so until the arrival of the Winter Solstice when days once again begin to lengthen.
There is a noticeable quickening of the pace of nature and although the temperatures are above the norm it’s the decreasing hours of daylight that set the pace. The dawn of autumn is one of my favorite times to explore our parks, walk our trails, or just set up my lawn chair and watch and listen to nature’s way. Here are just a few signs of the season that bid farewell to summer and greet the splendor of autumn in Oakland County.
The Oakland County Parks (OCP) Natural Resources team is working diligently year-round to promote healthy ecosystems in our communities. This includes surveying, monitoring and – when appropriate – taking strategic action to protect natural spaces and sensitive species across the county. Here are some highlights of the important work OCP Natural Resources staff focused on this spring and summer:
As a member of Welcoming America, Oakland County is participating in a movement of inclusive communities around the United States that believe when everyone feels safe and that they belong, then the community is more prosperous.
In April 2019, Commissioner William Miller delivered the very first Welcoming Resolution to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. This was a pivotal moment because it kicked off what was to become Welcoming Oakland, a consortium of agencies and organizations that operate in the immigrant and refugee space within the county. In early 2020, County Executive David Coulter directed the county to become a member of Welcoming America.
Welcoming Oakland’s roadmap for the county includes participation in Resilience and Emergency Management for Inclusive Communities seminars; working to fill food security needs in immigrant communities; translation assistance; and connecting immigrants in need with much-needed services in the county.
The roadmap to a more inclusive, welcoming, and safe Oakland County with access and open doors for everyone is never far from our hearts.
Welcoming Week Celebrations
Welcoming Week is a time to bring together organizations, communities and neighbors of all backgrounds to build strong connections and affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places. Honor the vast array of cultures that make up the fabric of our communities by attending a local Welcoming Week celebration below:
One need not travel far to embrace nature’s way and come home with a smile. That’s what I did this morning to beat the heat and possible storms expected later in the afternoon. As for the words “this morning,” I am referring back to Wednesday, August 9 – a day when the afternoon temperatures flirted with the 90-degree mark. With those thoughts in mind, I armed myself with a mug of iced coffee, my camera, and a notepad and headed off to the 2.2-mile-long River Loop Trail of Independence Oaks County Park expecting to be the only trail user. I could not have been more wrong. I probably encountered two dozen people on my intentionally slow-paced trek and suspect they had the same idea to hike early to beat the afternoon heat.