I have lived in Michigan for 42 years and, until Mike and I moved to Highland Township (on the west edge of Oakland County, between Milford and Rose Township), I always thought you had to travel north to catch a glimpse of the beauty of Michigan wildlife. In the 13 years we have been in Highland, however, I have learned that “Pure Michigan” is not just an “up north” slogan.
Our backyard is an education in fish, fowl and friends of all kinds, with each year bringing us new adventures. We have had frogs appear in the dog bowl, groundhogs steal our compost bags, turtles climb the stairs to our deck, and turkey vultures hover in our trees. We have coyotes, wild turkeys, birds of prey, waterfowl, bass, blue gill, and pretty much every backyard critter you can think of. My favorite, though, are the babies that come each spring and summer. The fawns, chicks, bunnies, and even fox kits that populate our yard are so breath-taking that I really don’t even mind that they like to snack from our garden. And each year someone new surprises us.
This year though, has been particularly spectacular. A family of hawks that nest high in our trees had two eyases (baby hawks) this past spring. And for whatever reason, these babies are unphased by our human existence. They sit on our chimneys and fence posts, and even on our patio chairs. They get very, very close and really are something to see!
Michigan is such a beautiful place to live, and our spectacular wildlife population is closer than you think. Don’t let this summer of 2013 pass without taking a moment to appreciate Michigan wildlife. The Department of Natural Resources’ Michigan Wildlife Viewing Guide* features 121 of the best viewing places in Michigan, and there are certainly many other areas waiting to be explored. Some sites in this guide are barrier-free while others are rugged and undeveloped. No matter where you are in the state, though, there are sites in this guide only minutes away. To view the guide, click here.
* Excerpt from Michigan DNR website.