Wild Moments with Winter Trumpeters

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Seeing a Trumpeter Swan for the very first time can be an unforgettable and beautiful experience. They are truly majestic birds with snowy white feathers; jet-black bills, feet, and legs; and a wingspan of almost eight feet. They are stunning, even when at rest on an icy creek or at the edge of a partially frozen pond. Not that long ago, it was next to impossible to view a trumpeter anywhere in Michigan, let alone in Oakland County. Continue reading

2020 Fire & Ice Festival in Oakland County

The Fire & Ice Festival in Downtown Rochester is back January 17th–19th for another year of family fun and winter festivities that you can enjoy for FREE. The three-day community celebration will be packed with events like tube sledding, ice skating, dog sled rides, cross-country skiing, ice sculptures along Main Street, fireworks on Friday and Saturday night, The Big, Bright Light Show, live music, TasteFest, and so much more!

The Fire & Ice Festival will be the inaugural event to commemorate Oakland County’s bicentennial year.

“We can’t think of a better way to kick off celebrating Oakland County’s 200th year than with the Fire & Ice Festival in Downtown Rochester,” said County Executive David Coulter. “We welcome everyone to attend our free winter festival to take part in the winter fun.”

The Fire & Ice Festival runs from 5 – 9 p.m. Friday, January 17; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday, January 18; and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday, January 19. The fireworks are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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“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

Nature’s Way Almanac 2020

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

January

January is the month that some lament the onslaught of winter storms, but for those that love the ways of nature, it’s a month of grand adventure and discovery. It’s a time to hike and breathe deeply under evergreen trees and, if Mother Nature cooperates, snowshoe on backcountry trails. It’s a refreshing time of renewal. Pileated Woodpeckers, our red-crested forest giant and the largest woodpecker of North America, chisel deep rectangular shaped holes into dead trees in their search for carpenter ants and other meaty morsels. January 10th bring us the wolf moon. There are no wolves in Oakland County, but listen for the night howling and yips of eastern coyotes that have adapted to our ways on that full moon night. January is full speed ahead for cottontail rabbits. Some scrounge under bird feeders for food while others stay hidden under shrubs, venturing about after dark in a world full of predators. Continue reading

January Business Workshops  

2020 new year goal,plan,action text on notepad with office accessories.Business motivation,inspiration concepts

Begin this new decade on the right track by starting a new business or expanding your current one with the help of Oakland County’s One Stop Shop Business Center. Start your new year off strong by attending one of the low-or-no-cost business workshops this month and let the business center experts advise you on small business loans, understanding cash flow, more. Continue reading