The Ghost Flower of Oakland County

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Indian Pipe (Monotopra uniflora) is emerging in the moist woodlands of the wilder side of Oakland County. Recently its growth has been accelerated by rains and warmth. Ghost Flower is another common name for this strange and beautiful plant that has a near total lack of pigmentation. Its ghostly, waxy white coloration leads some to call it the “Corpse Plant.”

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The Mighty Praying Mantis

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Summer has started with a sizzle and environmental conditions are excellent for a creature that many kids and adults love: the Praying Mantis, an odd-looking insect that has walked the earth since the Cretaceous Period. The fossil record confirms some evolutionary changes occurred over the past 100 million years that added to their success as the ultimate modern day hunting machine: most noticeably those efficient prey-grasping spines on their forelegs.

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“In Wildness is The Preservation of The World,” and it Starts with You

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

“A bear’s wild nature is evolved, over hundreds of thousands of years, to carry the impulse to roam at will over a territory of hundreds of square miles. When you put a bear in a cage, it paces relentlessly back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, until its paws bleed. The bleeding paws tell the zookeeper, if she is listening, a story; a story of wide open space, of rushing rivers teeming with fish, of wriggling grubs in the moist soil under the rocks, of the fragrance of wild blueberries carried for miles on the wind.”

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Eastern Bluebirds On the Dawn of Summer

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

With its brilliant royal blue back, and rusty-red brown breast there is no mistaking a male Eastern Bluebird. They are heralded as one of the first Oakland County birds of spring. Naturalists and writers have long associated the arrival of bluebirds with spring. On March 2, 1859, Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The bluebird comes and with his warble drills the ice and sets free the rivers and ponds and frozen grounds.” It is now the 23rd day of June in 2017 and the heat of the summer has already arrived. Bluebirds keep warbling, not to melt ice, but to announce round two of their nesting season. The fact of the matter is clear, many of our bluebirds did not migrate and ate old berries and fruits all winter, with occasional visits to suet feeders.

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Rose Oaks County Park: A Wildland Gem of Oakland County

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY


“From her somber, sullenness on a misty morning in autumn, to the excitement and bustle of life on a warm summer day, there is always something interesting to see at Rose Oaks.” Those words of Kegan Schildberg, the Natural Areas Stewardship Lead for Oakland County Parks, paints the near perfect picture of a park that was designed by retreating glaciers some 11,000 years ago and now offers peaceful and passive recreation on the Wilder Side of Oakland County.

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