“First Day” in a Swamp of Beauty and Mystery

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

“Live in each season as it passes, breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” – Henry David Thoreau. Those timeless words set the mood perfectly for my “First Day Hike.” January 1st has come and gone, but I still smile about a hike under a spectacular crisp blue sky on the first day of 2020.

First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outdoors. That creative program began in Massachusetts in 1992 and went nationwide in 2012 under the leadership of the America’s State Parks alliance, a strategic alliance formed in 2010 that includes state park systems in all 50 states. They tend to be large gatherings on easily accessible trails that are billed as a healthful and fun way to connect with families, friends and communities, and that they are. The hikes are led by park staff and nature knowledgeable volunteers from supporting agencies. The closest official Michigan Department of Natural Resources First Day Hike for 2020 was at nearby Island Lake Recreation Area, but this year I opted out and instead headed to one of my very favorite places of solitude, peace and beauty to welcome the New Year on the Wilder Side of Oakland County. A swamp. Continue reading

October Gold: Adventures and Situational Awareness

A view of tall trees in fall colors from across a body of water. Deep oranges, yellows, and green reflect brilliantly on top of the water.

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

October heralds the peak beauty of autumn’s colors; that alone makes this month special. We are in the season of crisp morning air, fast-moving clouds, clear night sky and the last blooms of meadow wildflowers. It’s a month of roaming raccoons, woolly bear caterpillar, owls hooting, coyotes yipping, hyper-active squirrels scurrying, restless bucks in rut and osprey departing. October means scarlet sky sunsets, first frost and sudden outbursts of short-lived snowflakes. October is truly the golden month for those that love nature’s way, and perhaps the very best time to hike and explore the wilder side of Oakland County. Continue reading

Oakland County Twisters: A Historical Guide

A large two-story home with large, moving clouds above it. The sky is darkening and it appears that bad weather is on its way.

If you’re fascinated by weather, you’ll love our Tornadoes Map, created with data from local weather geek Matt Malone by Oakland County’s award-winning GIS team. It shows a limited history of the tornado paths and touchdown points, and their EF scale ratings, from 1953 – 2015. Go back to July of 1957, and view the path of an EF4 tornado that traveled 29.9 miles, almost all the way across the southern portion of Oakland County. In 1998, a funnel was spotted after having touched down near Otter Road and Sylvan Lake. It lifted without causing any damage – what a relief! Click on the map to learn more and get details on twisters that touched down here in the past.

A screenshot of a GIS Map of tornado paths and starting/touchdown points in Oakland County, Michigan ca. 1953-2015. Data provided by NOAA, OCIT, and Matt Malone of Farmington Hills GIS. Continue reading

Family-Friendly Halloween Fun in Oakland County

Little kids run around dressed up in Halloween costumes outside on a fall day.

This fall, participate in the magical, mysterious, and spooky excitement of Halloween by attending any one of the family-friendly events across Oakland County! From hayrides and pumpkin-picking, to trick-or-treating and solving corn mazes, there’s no shortage of great activities for residents of all ages to enjoy this holiday season. To see the full list of events near you, click the button below:

List of Family Friendly Oakland County Fun

Many of the events give a seasonal twist to iconic Oakland County locations. Examples include Zoo Boo at the Detroit Zoo, Halloween Science at the Cranbrook Institute of Science, and Halloween in Hollygrove in Holly. Others, such as Boo Bash in Addison Oaks, surround attendees with the beautiful fall landscape.

Wherever you go, you’re sure to have a Happy Halloween at any of these events in Oakland County.

Do you know of any other family-friendly Halloween events in the Oakland County area? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter, contact us at socialmedia@oakgov.com, or leave a comment below.


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