2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observations in Oakland County

Washington: Martin Luther King, Jr memorial monument on September 2, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Honor Martin Luther King, Jr. this upcoming MLK Day on Monday, January 20th, by attending an event or participating in a day of service. Observed as a national day of service, Martin Luther King Jr. Day encourages all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Learn more about the MLK Day of Service on their website,  where you can also search for volunteer opportunities or register a project. Additionally, the United Way and Volunteer Match have additional resources and opportunities to make it a “day on, not a day off.”

List of MLK Observations in Oakland County

Continue reading

West Bloomfield’s Wilder Side

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The wilder side of nature is often thought to be found only in faraway places, destinations that take hours of travel and detailed planning to get to. Henry David Thoreau sought out the wilder side and wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” In reality, pockets of wild nature not only survive in Oakland County, but often thrive, making the division between wild nature and suburban living blurry at times. Continue reading

Seven Trails for May

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” That often quoted sentence from John Muir takes on a special meaning for me in May, for May is the month that I am most often asked, “Where should I hike?” There is no easy answer, but May is the perfect season to enter the world of hiking for pleasure, and if the word “hiking” sounds too rigorous, just call it “meandering.” The results will be the same; for hiking is fun, healthful and there are bonuses in May: The beauty of ephemeral woodland wildflowers, the delightful songs of birds, and the choruses of frogs and trilling of toads will be your trail companions. Meander along slowly on your new adventure, stop often, look and listen and you will find more than you seek.

Today I share snippets of seven trails that are perfect for Oakland County trail meanderers, trails where the magic and music of nature’s way in May unfolds. 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.

Raptors Enthrall West Bloomfield Families

A close-up photograph of a Barred Owl taken indoors. The owl, with large brown eyes, a yellow beak, and brown-and-white-striped plumage, looks at the camera.

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The first snows of the season came early this year, adding majestic beauty to the woods of Oakland County. Walk quietly in woodlands at dusk and the rhythmic music of our “eight hooter,” the Barred Owl, may enliven your journey into nature’s way with its unique musical repertoire. It’s perhaps best described as mournful, rather rhythmic eight-hoot baritone melody of “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for y’all?” Sharp listeners will note the distinctive ending, a drawled-out note that is sometimes described as a southern twang. I am lucky, for every now and then I hear and see Barred Owls just a few hundred yards from my house. However, on Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of going eye to eye with a Barred Owl, and other species of raptors, from within the comfort of the Marshbank Lodge, a beautiful facility of West Bloomfield Parks located within Marshbank Park, an easy to access 108-acre park in a suburban neighborhood of the Wilder Side of Oakland County.

A barred owl, sits perched on branch on a snowy, winter day. It has brown-and-white-striped plumage and its eyes are closed. Continue reading