Seven Trails for May

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” That often quoted sentence from John Muir takes on a special meaning for me in May, for May is the month that I am most often asked, “Where should I hike?” There is no easy answer, but May is the perfect season to enter the world of hiking for pleasure, and if the word “hiking” sounds too rigorous, just call it “meandering.” The results will be the same; for hiking is fun, healthful and there are bonuses in May: The beauty of ephemeral woodland wildflowers, the delightful songs of birds, and the choruses of frogs and trilling of toads will be your trail companions. Meander along slowly on your new adventure, stop often, look and listen and you will find more than you seek.

Today I share snippets of seven trails that are perfect for Oakland County trail meanderers, trails where the magic and music of nature’s way in May unfolds. Continue reading

Run or Walk “The Brooksie Way” on September 23rd in Oakland County!

A group of runners, men and women, cross the starting line at the 2017 Brooksie Way Half Marathon race. Bystanders watch and cheer them as they stand under trees in the background. The sun is shining.

Will you be one of the thousands of walkers and runners participating in the 11th Annual McLaren Brooksie Way Half Marathon, 10k and 5k? This year’s Brooksie Way will take place on Sunday, September 23rd on the beautiful grounds of Oakland University.

This family friendly event offers fun race options for your little ones too. Sign them up for the Diaper Dash, Toddler Trot, or Big Kids Race, on Saturday, September 22nd at Meadow Brook Amphitheatre and give them the same race experience as Mom and Dad!

Register for The Brooksie Way!

Check out our video and see how much fun there is to be had at The Brooksie Way!

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Season of the Spittlebugs

Spittlebug

Wilder Side of Oakland County

Strange frothy bubbles are appearing on the stems of meadow wildflowers and garden plantings. They shimmer in summer sunlight and appear in mass along the uncut edge zones of sun-soaked trails, including the big three trail favorites of Oakland County: Paint Creek, Polly Ann, and Clinton River. Walk the shoreline of any lake in Oakland County that has a wild weedy edge and they are nearly impossible to miss. Little kids are not shy about describing what those whitish bubbles look like, or feel like, when inquisitive young fingers explore and poke into the mysterious frothy mass.

Giggles follow the finger poke and some take delight in squealing loudly, “It looks like spit!” They are right, it does, but the details of where that froth really comes from is something I sometimes refrain from sharing with little ones on the trails. The answer would make their giggles totally uncontrollable and confused parents might cringe and say, “Really?” I’ll save the answer on the creation of the spittle for the end.

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MAY’S WOODLAND WILDFLOWERS MAKE WAY FOR JUNE

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Spring wildflowers of Oakland County woodlands capture our hearts, stir memories and draw the attention of woodland hikers, nature lovers and sometimes white-tailed deer. The flowers of May are short-lived flowers, and must emerge from the moist soil, grow rapidly, flower and produce seeds before the abundant oaks that named our county Oakland County leaf out and block the sun from the forest floor. The days of muted, dappled light seemingly dancing on the forest floor are rapidly fading. Shade will soon dominate and end the show of the ephemeral flowers. Now is the time to go for a woodland wildflower hike on the wilder side of Oakland County while their blooms remain; and there may even be a bonus, late-emerging morel mushrooms.

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The Magic of May: A Time to Discover Nature’s Way

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Rains on the first day of May accelerated the growth of delicate woodland wildflowers and the spring prize of the fungi world, morel mushrooms. It sent frogs to every puddle and pond, and skunks meandering for grubs at dusk. May sees Sandhill Cranes and Osprey back on their nests. Turkey Vultures now perch on rural barn roofs to catch the morning sun. Turtles bask on logs and goslings explore their shoreline world. Snapping turtles and northern water snakes swim through the shallows. Fawns wobble in dappled sunlight, and beavers come on shore in the cover of darkness to fell trees for their home improvement projects. This is the way of the magical month of growth and birth and renewal, a month we call May, a time to discover and share nature’s way. Continue reading