ICE: A Clear and Present Danger

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The glaciers that shaped Oakland County have gifted us with beautiful lakes that support winter recreational activities of every imaginable focus. These lake activities range from high-speed ice boating to the peaceful solitude of a lone ice fisher staring solemnly into a dark hole, waiting for a fish to bite.

Sadly, winter often brings ice related accidents and sometimes fatalities. These tragedies result from a combination of four factors: excitement, poor judgment, poor decision making and inadequate information. The fact of the matter is clear; anyone that ventures onto ice must accept the fact that NO ICE IS SAFE ICE (a mantra of the United States Coast Guard). There is always risk. That is a lesson I learned last winter.

Ice that appears solid may not be; my initial crossing was uneventful.

Ice that appears solid may not be; my initial crossing was uneventful.

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2016 Black History Month Celebrations

Black History Month reading book with script.

Black History Month honors the contributions of African Americans to United States history. The celebration originally began as a week created by noted historian, scholar, educator and publisher, Carter G. Woodson in 1926. In 1976 the entire month was dedicated to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. There are many ways to celebrate the past, and future, achievements of the African American community in Southeast Michigan. Continue reading

Oakland County State of the County 2016

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson delivering the State of the Union speech.

The 2016 Oakland County State of the County will be held Wednesday, February 10th at the Auburn Hills Marriott Pontiac at 7p.m. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson will make a major announcement that will impact area businesses, residents, and those who visit the county. He will also focus on how Oakland County is reinvesting for sustainability because of the county’s deep dive into the knowledge-based economy and balanced multi-year budget. Patterson will also unveil the 2016 Elite 40 Class Winner. Continue reading

Arctic Invaders Approaching Oakland County

The Wilder Side of Oakland County
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Two-foot-tall winged ghosts of the tundra are coming to town.  Bird watchers, nature lovers, naturalists, and Oakland County Harry Potter fans are wishing for the rare opportunity to see  the snowy owls of the Far North that have traveled thousands of miles south of their native Arctic home. These beautiful birds, adapted for life in the extreme cold, are the heaviest owl of North America and one of the largest owls on Planet Earth.  Reports of snowy owls across the State of Michigan are rapidly trickling into the  Michigan Department of Natural Resources and last week, acting on a tip from an avid birder friend in Lapeer, I set out for Tuscola County in the lower part of Michigan’s “thumb”  to search for snowy owls.  In less than 90 minutes we located three – – two sleepy ones on rural roadside utility poles and one in a plowed farm field with prey in its talons.  These are the owls that I photographed to feature in this special report. Continue reading