Why Hike Now? Why Not! Here’s Why.

An asphalt path winds through a wooded area

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

If you aren’t a hiker, you may hold unanswered questions as to why your friends seem excited about meandering through the woods for an hour or two on a chilly and overcast day, or look forward to spending a week trekking backcountry trails with a backpack tugging at their shoulders. Perhaps it’s the words of T.S. Eliot that drives the latter group, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” Today’s nature ramble however will focus on those that want to get started in the nearly cost-free, extremely healthful and lifelong, often nature-embracing, activity of hiking. Continue reading

The Big, Bright Light Show

Wide shot of a decorated downtown covered in red, green, blue, and orange holiday lights.

Celebrate the joy of the holiday season in Downtown Rochester at The Big, Bright Light Show! Up and down Main Street, buildings will be covered by more than 1 million lights. This nightly, free event lights up Downtown through January 6th, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to midnight.

Preview the dazzling lights before you go:

Since 2006, the show has become an annual tradition for thousands of people from across the region. The festivities begin each year prior to Thanksgiving during Lagniappe when the lights are turned on for the first time and the town celebrates by giving a “little something extra” to guests.

Throughout the season, spectators gather to walk through Downtown, see the many-colored lights, and shop at decorated stores. Most stores are open Monday through Saturday, until 9:00 p.m.

New this year, The Big, Bright Light Show has been extended past January 6th to illuminate every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through the Fire and Ice Festival on January 18th – 20th, giving visitors more time to enjoy the famous lights.

Blue and orange lights are draped next to a lamp post labeled "Downtown Rochester."

Learn more about The Big, Bright Light Show at Downtown Rochester’s website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Share your photos using #TheBigBrightLightshow and #ChristmasCity.


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

Oakland County Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

A young woman walking with shopping bags in hands, christmas background

The season of giving is well underway and that means many of us are scouring newspaper ads and checking the web for the best deals on holiday gifts. Several shops and stores are offering deals and deep discounts that make shopping trips and online shopping easier on the wallet, but be sure to take precautions to keep you and your accounts safe!

See our tips on special sales events, online shopping, and brick and mortar shopping to ensure safe shopping this holiday season and throughout the year. Continue reading

A Thanksgiving Feast – For the Birds

A woodpecker nibbles on suet from a caged bird feeder, while a female cardinal and several yellow finches eat black oil sunflower seeds from a hanging tray beneath it. It's a wintery day and snow is blowing sideways.

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Wintery weather arrived early in Oakland County and with it came a flurry of bird feeding questions; among the top of the list were two questions. The first was actually more of a comment with a negative connotation, but I considered it an implied question: “Squirrels keep robbing seed from my feeders!” The second most common question contained various renditions of how to attract birds “that I want to see.” The answer to both is a three-part answer; it’s all about food, location and accessibility. If you are a veteran bird feeder, you’ve probably gained lots of insight into the foods “backyard birds” prefer and how to present them and most likely have accepted the fact that squirrels are one of nature’s most resourceful, and perhaps cunning creatures. One fact is clear. If your feeder offers food they want, squirrels will spend hours, perhaps days, first exploring and then exploiting ways to reach it. But if you’re just getting started in the immensely popular hobby of winter bird feeding, today’s pre-Thanksgiving Day blog may reduce frustration over initial attempts to attract winter birds to your feeders. It’s also good to know that sometimes after a new feeder goes up, it may take a while for birds to come in and feed. I often see cardinals perched in a nearby tree when I refill my feeder, but twenty or thirty minutes may pass before they fly down to feed. Continue reading