Friday, November 22, 2013

ROSE OAKS COUNTY PARK: A trail tale of bluebirds and a beaver lodge.

Rose Oaks County Park  photos by Jonathan Schechter November/2013

Rose Oaks County Park is a wildland gem of the Oakland County Park System, 640 acres of woodland and wetlands nestled away in the glacially sculpted landscape of northwestern Oakland County.  Today's blog post supplements with photos my featured hiking column that appears in the Sunday, November 24 edition of The Oakland Press. The column can be found in the print edition and online at the Oakland Press website:  (Type my name in the search box and the most recent column appears) The Rose Oaks column explores the newly expanded equestrian-friendly trail system with special attention to a surprise encounter with eastern bluebirds.
A casual glance may only reveal a beaver lodge with freshly gnawed sticks on top.  But look up high on the left above the lodge and there perches a bluebird.  One of the most pervasive misconceptions about bluebirds is that they all migrate south for winter. That facts confirmed by keen-eyed observers tell the true story;  many bluebirds over winter right here in Oakland County in protected habitat  that provide berries that persist well into winter.  Rose Oaks County Park is such a place, a natural wonder of nature rich with  berry producing shrubs, wetland swales and the meadows and forest edge that bluebirds love.
The bluebird now zoomed in on with a telephoto lens. The sky blue  colors had been noted by Henry David Thoreau  long ago when he penned  his simple and accurate words,  "The bluebird carries the sky on his back". And on the gray November day I hiked the 4.5 miles or Rose Oak trails the sighting of bluebirds added happiness to my solo trek. When you hike with bluebirds you are not hiking alone.
 Moments after spotting the first bluebird  a downy woodpecker appeared behind the bluebird and set to work in the seasonal search for bugs and grubs behind the bark of the trees next to the beaver lodge

LESSON LEARNED:  An apparent desolate scene is just an illusion of  human reality.  Hike a trail with an eye for seeing and the world of nature comes alive even in the fading days of autumn. For  details on exploring all 13  Oakland County Parks visit:


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