Oakland County Is Coyote Country!

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The eastern coyote (Canis latrans) is an intelligent, curious, and highly adaptable animal. Although once confined to the great American deserts and prairies where they were targets of ceaseless eradication campaigns, coyotes have now colonized our nation from coast to coast. “Unlike wolves, which succumbed quickly to predator control measures, decades of intensive persecution did not eradicate coyotes – the unrelenting pressure on them did invoke an ancient coyote biological imperative: It triggered larger litters of pups and colonization behavior that pushed them into new settings everywhere.” – Dan Flores in his 2016 book Coyote America. Continue reading

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, 2017

St. Patrick's Day parade participants walking in Royal Oak.

St. Patrick’s Day may not be until March 17th, but communities in and around Oakland County are already gearing up for the festivities. From live music, dances, and theatrical productions – to hearty meals, races, and parades – there’s a St. Patrick’s Day event for everyone! So whether or not you trace your ancestry back to the emerald isle, remember that everyone’s a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

Use our list of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in and around Oakland County to make the most out of this special day!

Who was St. Patrick?

  • St. Patrick was originally born in England, and was kidnapped by Irish pirates where he was sold into slavery. After his escape from bondage he became a missionary in Ireland.
  • A hero in Ireland, there are 60 churches and cathedrals named “St. Patrick’s,” with the most famous being in Dublin.
  • The wearing of green is associated with the green hills and shamrocks of the Emerald Isle, although traditionally the color blue was associated with St. Patrick.
  • The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held in New York, but the first observance of the day was in 1737 by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston.
  • In 1996 the first St. Patrick’s Day Festival was held in Ireland as a three-day event, that has since grown to a five day festival that draws roughly 1 million visitors to the area.

Parade marchers sitting on the back of an old model T.

St. Patrick’s Day in Michigan

In Michigan, the largest wave of Irish immigrants came in 1815 when one million Irish Catholics settled in the Detroit area. Today’s festivities commemorate St. Patrick with parades and merrymaking, celebrating Irish heritage in Southeast Michigan and the contributions they made to the American cultural landscape.

Think your family can be traced back to the early Irish settlers of the area? Find a record of your ancestors at the Archives of Michigan to discover more about your family history.


Visit the Oakland County website, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for more news and fun year round.

More Than A Walk In The Woods: Graham Lakes Trail

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

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Bald Mountain State Recreation Area is a 4,637-acre multi-use wildland managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR describes the landscape accurately with their frequently used sentence of, “The Park contains some of the steepest hills and most rugged terrain in southeast Michigan and features fifteen miles of marked hiking trails.” I knew that. I thought I knew all of the Bald Mountain State Recreation Area trails very well. I did not. Somehow, in all my many adventures at Bald Mountain, I missed four miles of forested trail that circles West Graham Lake, East Graham Lake, and hidden vernal ponds. As John Muir wrote, and I have shared before, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” Once again his words were accurate, and they will be for you as well, if you walk slowly, stop often, look and listen. Continue reading

Groundhog Day and Signs of Spring: Fallacies, Facts, and Fun

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

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THE BIG DAY IS ALMOST HERE! Crowds will soon gather around televisions for the final countdown. When will he appear? What will he do? Punxsutawney Phil, the furry weatherman from Pennsylvania has been slumbering in his hibernating den since late autumn. But on February 2nd Phil will stop procrastinating and make a statement at Gobblers Knob in front of an array of cameras. As crowds surge forward for a better view, he will yawn once or twice, and then without further ado will predict the weather. If he sees his shadow, he dives back into his den and we have six more weeks of winter. If there is no shadow, he lounges topside and that signals that spring will soon embrace the countryside. It’s a great tall tale, and Phil always has a 50% chance of being right.  Continue reading