Chicory: Queen of the Roadside!

blue chicory blossoms

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The sultry days of summer are here. Goldfinches flutter over meadows. Dragonflies patrol the sky. Bullfrogs sound off from ponds. Tomatoes ripen on vines.Crickets sing to the night. Rabbits are everywhere. Thunder rumbles. But it’s chicory (Cichorium intybus) that really proclaims that the heat of summer is on.

Chicory is one of our most abundant midsummer flowers but sadly, it also carries the demeaning title of being classified as a weed. I guess that’s technically correct since it’s a non-native plant that grows profusely along many rural roadsides and other areas that have disturbed, well-drained soils that are bathed in full sunshine. However, their beautiful periwinkle blue flowers on spindly stalks make them an unmistakable sign of summer. It’s abundance in mid-August also reminds me summer is at its peak and the season will soon fade away.

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Flying Dragons of Summer!

An upclose Yellow-legged Meadowhawk

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Dragonflies have ruled the skies of planet Earth since before the time of the great dinosaurs. They survived cataclysmic extinction events that eliminated other species and set back human evolution In the blink of an eye, dragonflies can change their flight direction, speed, and elevation with aerodynamic skills that even the most advanced, high-tech drone cannot master. Dragonflies can detect, track, pursue, intercept, catch, and consume flying prey that are plucked from the air. Perhaps this makes them one of nature’s finest tuned killing machines, true masters of aerial predation. Some of these perching “flying dragons” appear to smile, just as this Yellow-legged Meadowhawk seemed to do. 

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See Spring in Bloom on an Oakland County Trail

Oakland County and its surrounding areas offer miles and miles of trails for your fitness and enjoyment! Now that the snow is gone for good (fingers crossed), it’s a splendid time to get outside and take in the much-needed sights and sounds of spring. Whether you want to take a quiet stroll, jog through a park, bike with friends, or saddle up on a horse, there’s a trail for you.

View a partial list below to find a trail in your area. If you love maps, visit our Trails Page for an interactive trail viewer map. The map will allow you to sort by parks and trails, take note of a trail’s surface area, and view a trail’s elevation by clicking on it.

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It’s Spring – Let’s Hike an Oakland County Trail

Now that spring is finally here, there’s no better time to get outside and take in the sounds and sights of spring. Did you know that Oakland County and its surrounding areas offer miles and miles of trails for your enjoyment? Whether you want to jog through a park, stroll through to check out spring flowers, take a family bike ride, or saddle up on a horse, there’s a perfect trail for you. Continue reading

Turkey Tales on Oakland Trails

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Coyotes, foxes and great horned owls take keen interest in the wild turkey flocks that inhabit the oak-rich woodlands and brushy fields of the wilder side of Oakland County. When luck and hunting skill is on their side, this trio of stealthy predators often feasts on fine, feathery dinners.

These images of a coyote hunting and a wild turkey in the same field were captured by an infrared activated wildlife camera in northern Oakland County.
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