Oakland County’s Quintessential “Seagull”: The Herring Gull

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Oakland County has no seagulls. Not even one. So just what are those raucous birds that fly around boats, docks, beaches and picnic areas on Memorial Day Weekend? They are not seagulls. Seagulls do not exist.

There is no such thing as a seagull. The word “Seagull” however, is an acceptable layperson’s term to describe all species of gulls whether they are soaring over ocean shoreline, following fishing boats on the Great Lakes, or just “hanging out” near picnickers at Stony Creek or Kensington Metropark, or any large park or lake in our county. My use of the word seagull today refers exclusively to our quintessential seagull, the often maligned Herring Gull (Larus argentatus). The Herring Gull is a beautiful bird, but unless it stays motionless, the beauty of this gull is often overlooked.

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Clear Skies Draw Out Cool Rides

An event-goer admires a red Chevrolet Bel Air at the weekly Culvers Car Meets

If it’s spring in Oakland County, it’s cruisin’ time.

When it comes to auto shows and festivals, few places compare to Southeast Michigan, whose central role in the rise of the four-wheeled wonder changed the world.  Here, aficionados from across the county motor to local events in their vintage automobiles, travelling along stretches of road that are sacred to the classic car community.

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Pageantry and Excitement at the Hazel Park Raceway

Lisa Tatangelo dons her festive Derby Hat.

The Hazel Park Raceway was awash in colorful sun hats as hundreds of spectators gathered to watch “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” The tenor and costume of the raceway crowd evoked the grandeur of Churchill Downs as they anticipated the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby last Saturday, May 6th.

The event spanned three clubhouse floors, an outdoor barbecue, and the raceway’s grandstand. Racegoers milled about, snacking on nachos or hot dogs while murmuring about the odds in the upcoming race. As coverage of the Kentucky Derby intensified on television, the throngs condensed around the raceway’s simulcast displays.

Then, Always Dreaming crossed the finish line. Continue reading

Adopt-A-Stream, Become A Benthos Hunter!

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

If a hiker wandered by a section of a small creek near Clarkston last Sunday they may have wondered why two women wearing waders carried small nets on long poles and slowly walked into the water. Every few minutes one would come ashore and carefully empty dark muck from the creek bottom into a pan. Another woman on shore gave directions, took notes and documented everything as I watched with the steadfast intensity of a man observing every aspect of very tiny creatures that wiggled in the muck pan in front of him. Continue reading

GOATS ON THE POLLY ANN TRAIL

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The non-motorized Polly Ann Trail is a vital and increasingly popular segment of the growing network of trails and greenways in Southeast Michigan that enhance the quality of life, provide healthful outdoor recreation opportunities, and serve as windows to the world of nature. The easily accessible 14.2 mile long Oakland County section of the Polly Ann Trail begins in Orion Township and meanders north through the Village of Oxford, Addison Township, and the Village of Leonard. Woodlands, trailside wetlands, and farmlands dominate the Wilder Side of Oakland County trail landscape as it nears the Lapeer County line. On any spring day, hikers, joggers, walkers, and cyclists will hear the territorial songs of birds and courting frogs, and may see sunning turtles, soaring hawks and an abundance of small mammals and the occasional deer.

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