Ephemeral Wildflowers of Tenhave Woods

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

They emerged right on schedule in the small window of time that starts soon after wild turkeys began to gobble, but will end before trees leaf out, creating patterns of dappled sunlight on the forest floor. For that’s the way it is for ephemeral wildflowers that add spectacular beauty to the woodlands of Oakland County. This year I did not miss the spectacular and still ongoing southern Oakland County show.

Signs of spring creep slowly but steadily from the southern end of our county to the ever so slightly colder and higher elevation of the more heavily wooded northern hills of Oakland County. With that in mind, last Saturday I headed to Tenhave Woods in the highly developed “flatlands” of the City of Royal Oak in the southern part of our county to greet the wildflowers of early spring that thrive in our midst. The word ephemeral, meaning transient, fleeting, or short-lived is almost always used when describing early spring woodland wildflowers. Their delicate blossoms don’t last long, but their appearance signifies that spring is firmly entrenched. Continue reading

Panda-Monium at the Detroit Zoo

A red panda looks up at the camera.

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Monday morning was pure panda-monium at the Detroit Zoo. However, neither the heavily overcast sky, nor the frigid temperatures dampened the heartwarming enthusiasm as Detroit Zoo’s latest major habitat expansion, the Holtzman Wildlife Foundation Red Panda Forest, was unveiled to an excited gathering of media, honored guests, and students from Holy Redeemer Grade School in Detroit. They were all invited for an exclusive first tour of the newly renovated and expanded home for three charismatic creatures: two-year old Ravi, three-year old Ash and 13-year-old Ta-shi. The trio are Red Pandas, an endangered species with unforgettable and intensely cute faces, but sometimes the totally adorable factor is not enough to ensure survival. Continue reading

Shop Small at Oakland County Independent Toy Stores

Shopping small is a great way to support local businesses and find the perfect gift for anyone on your list this holiday season and throughout the year. Oakland County is home to several independent toy stores that offer a variety of specialty toys and gifts. Check out our full list of independently owned toy and gift stores:

Independent Toy Stores in Oakland County

Surprise the little ones in your life with something they’ll treasure from a local toy store. Find classic kid favorites as well as the latest and greatest toys at Adventures in Toys in Birmingham, The Village Toy Shoppe in Milford, and Funky Monkey Toys in Oxford.

For the hard to shop for on your list, check out unique stores featuring Michigan-made, whimsical, and lifestyle gifts at Catching Fireflies in Berkley or Rochester, Green Hippo Gifts in Lake Orion, or Leon and Lulu in Clawson.

Looking for something specific? Check out our interactive map of toy stores and use the legend to sort by different types of specialty shops: Collectibles; Comics; Dolls; Games; Hobby; Magic; Anime, Manga & Kawaii; Blocks & Robots; Toys; and Toys & Gifts.

Map of many different toy stores across Oakland County.

Do you know of any other independent toy or gift stores in the Oakland County area? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter, by contacting us at socialmedia@oakgov.com, or leaving a comment below.


Follow along with Oakland County on FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagramPinterest, and YouTube using #OaklandCounty, or visit our website for news and events year-round.

Oakland County Holiday Lights Map

Celebrate the season with a tour of holiday light displays in and around Oakland County! Show off your decorated property or visit one of the many holiday light displays using the 2nd annual Oakland County Holiday Lights Map. Use the map below to discover festive homes like My Light Show in Waterford, community displays such as the Big, Bright Light Show in Downtown Rochester, and popular attractions like Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo.

Submit your display or find one to visit using the interactive Oakland County Holiday Lights Map. Residents, communities, and businesses in the area can submit their own properties and, once approved, they will show up on the map for others to visit in person.

Holiday Lights Map

Submit Your Holiday Lights Display

Enter your own property into the Oakland County Holiday Lights Map by following the instructions below:

  • Visit the Oakland County Holiday Lights Map webpage from your mobile device or desktop computer. Mac desktop users should use Safari or Firefox for optimal experience.
  • Press the “+ Submit Your Light Display” button on the top right corner of the webpage.
  • Upload a picture of your decorated property, the title of your holiday display, your address, and a description of what visitors should expect to see.
  • Press the “Accept Terms and Submit” button.

That’s it, you are done! Wait a few hours and check back to view your property on the Oakland County Holiday Lights Map.

Please note, all submissions will go through an approval process before showing up on the Oakland County Holiday Lights Map. Submissions without a photo will not be accepted. Only submit photos of your own property and be aware that by uploading your submission, you are encouraging people to visit your property.


Check out the 2018 Oakland County Holiday Lights Map to submit and travel to your favorite decorated displays in and around Oakland County. Before planning your trip, continue reading below to learn about three of last year’s holiday lights displays and their charitable impact upon the community.

Continue reading