In the Dawn’s Early Light



In the dawn’s early light, an almost magical mist rises from peaceful lakes, reminding us of nature’s raw beauty reflected in the cold days of late autumn. Continue reading


A Head Start Program for Turtles



The Detroit Zoo (located in Royal Oak) is 90 miles south of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw County.  But for 27 young Blanding’s turtles that slid from warm human hands into the cool duckweed-coated backwaters of the Shiawassee at the end of August, that journey to freedom took two years. These turtles were saved from near certain consumption by raccoons when they were still yummy munchies in their eggs. Multiple agencies worked on the project, a reminder to all who appreciate the wilder side of nature that all things are connected.

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Poison Sumac: Our Wetland Beauty with a Dark Secret



Erika Cole Pratt of Ann Arbor Parks admires a beautiful poison sumac tree in a Rose Township wetland.

Swamp walkers and wetland trail hikers need to keep a sharp lookout for one of the most beautiful plants of our wetlands: Toxicodendron vernix, better known as poison sumac. This scraggly, shrub-like small tree thrives in the swamps, bogs, marshes and other wetlands of Oakland County. It is one of the first plants to dress in spectacular autumn colors that can best be described as flaming orange with a dark red hue. Poison sumac, as alluring and beautiful as it may be, presents a far more prevalent hazard to hikers than an encounter with Michigan’s only venomous snake, the massasauga rattlesnake. In these early days of September, poison sumac stands out drastically among the trailside – let the color and leaf pattern be a warning of its clear and present danger.

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The Dog Days of Summer & Cool Cat Nights

Dog Days of Summer

The Oakland County Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center has been hard at work all summer to save more lives. Since June 1st, the Center has helped more than 680 animals find or return to their forever home!

This Saturday, the Center is hosting its final summer pet adoption event. The Dog Days of Summer & Cool Cat Nights will be held on August 9th from 10am – 4pm at the Oakland County Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center in Auburn Hills (click HERE for location & contact information), and will be offering a special discount on adoptions.

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Exploring the Shiawassee River – by kayak and paddle board


“Conserving the woods , fields, streams, wetlands and other natural resources in the headwaters of the Clinton, Flint, Shiawassee and Huron rivers”North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy ( )

The North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy believes in conservation collaboration for, and public awareness of, the wilder side of Oakland County. Last Sunday they sponsored a public paddle on the Shiawassee River. There is no better way to embrace the raw radiance of the wild rivers of our county than from a canoe, kayak — or even a paddleboard. The seven-mile stretch of the Shiawassee that was paddled meanders through meadows and woodlands and flows under train tracks and through culverts with tiny rapids and even passes over a small beaver dam on her journey from Holly to Fenton. It’s an exciting adventure, for the Shiawassee River is as old as the glacial retreat that enriched Oakland County with lakes and rivers and as new as the most recent paddle.

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Fantastic bug-eyed frogs of Oakland County

The Wilder Side of Oakland County is almost everywhere—if you are a frog!

A  'bug-eyed' green frog waits in silent ambush among a carpet of duckweed.

A ‘bug-eyed’ green frog waits in silent ambush among a carpet of duckweed.

Frogs are found in misty swamps, big puddles, shallow lakes and sometimes in these humid days at the dawn of summer— high up on tree limbs. There are approximately 90 species of frogs in the United States. The most seen species this time of year in Oakland County are the green frog, bullfrog and gray treefrog. Frogs are much loved by great blue herons, snapping turtles, raccoons and Ryan. The first three species eat them. Ryan does not. He appreciates them.

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#100KChallenge: Father’s Day Bow Wow

The Oakland County Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center is participating in the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) #100KChallenge! The $100K Challenge is a contest in which 50 shelters across the country compete to break their own records saving the lives of animals. Throughout the months of June, July and August 2014, each competing shelter must save more dogs, cats, puppies and kittens than they did during the same three months in 2013.

On Saturday, June 14th, the Center is holding a special Father’s Day Bow Wow event – the first event scheduled to help the center reach its goal to adopt out 2,014 pets during the months of June, July and August!

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