Get back to nature

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published September 30, 2015

 May apples, a perennial plant, pop up on the trail in April.

May apples, a perennial plant, pop up on the trail in April.

File photo by Erin Sanchez


ORCHARD LAKE — The Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society, in conjunction with the Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary and the city of Orchard Lake, will offer residents a chance to explore the changing seasons during the Autumn Nature Walk at 2 p.m. Oct. 18.

Guided by Naturalist Carol Fink, the free hike is part of a nature series held twice a year at the Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary — on Pontiac Trail, just west of Old Orchard Trail — in celebration of spring and autumn.

“It’s one of the things we do every year because it’s such a special place. We want people to see the beauty of our woods in the most glorious seasons,” Fink said.

The nature walk is one of the Historical Society’s highest-attendance programs, and people of all ages are encouraged to experience the outdoors during the family event.

During the hike, walkers will learn about the local flora and fauna, meet woodland friends — deer, coyotes, squirrels, chipmunks, birds — and see how the Earth is preparing for the winter season. Fink said they may see signs of migration, different plants and the changing colors.  

“To me, these woods are very intimate woods. They’re not the largest walking section in town, but they’re very intimate. It’s more like the corner gourmet store than the big food chain,” Fink said. “(The walk is) a time to reconnect with nature and slow ourselves down. That’s what I want people to come away with — a reconnection of real time.”

Fink will bring a nature display — which includes animal skins, feathers, furs and bones, and rocks — for people to touch, and walkers will participate in a scavenger hunt.

“I bring all of my field guides and lots of other nature information that people can see in their own backyard, and you never know what else pops up. That’s the beauty of the woods,” Fink said.

Historical Society President Gina Gregory said Fink has many interesting perspectives to share, and that people will enjoy the event.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature at a sanctuary so close by to residents in our community,” Gregory said.

The walk lasts about an hour, and Fink said people should dress for the weather and bring a camera. For more information, visit The walk will start at the head of the trail. Participants should meet in the parking lot of the Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary.