Sunday, January 27, 2013

Moon shadows and night tracks

Full moon over Oakland County, Michigan 1/26/2013        

photos by Jonathan Schechter

Nothing like a nearly windless winter night under a full moon to walk in silent woods.
Moon shadows dance.
A distant owl calls to the world.
Tracks in snow tell tales.
The world is at peace.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

photos by Jonathan Schechter 1/21/2013   

Avalanche hazards are not restricted to the mountains of our western states.
At Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (near Empire, Michigan)  a clear and
 present danger results from powerful winds on shifting sands capped with layers of snow.
But it is a natural living wonderland like none other!

Monday, January 14, 2013

FIRE AND ICE FESTIVAL ARRIVES SOON: Bring on the snow in Oakland County!

Fire and Ice photos from 2010 and 2012 by Jonathan Schechter

Looks like Mother Nature is bringing snow back to Oakland County!  And just in time,
 for we are less than two weeks away from the sixth annual Fire and Ice Festival in
 downtown Rochester, Michigan to be held January 25, 26, 27.
The festival is a family friendly salute to winter and there are no charges for
 any of the winter events. Translation: FREE! 
Dog sledding!
Tube sledding hill!
Ice Skating!
Snow shoeing!
Cross-country skiing!
Ice carving demonstrations!
Marshmallow roasting!
A Taste/Fest beer tent!
And plenty of fun just walking around town!

To add to the fun a spectacular fireworks display begins at 8 pm on Friday and Saturday
 night near the corner of East Third and Water Streets and a concert by the teen singing 
group  TRUE, precedes  fireworks each night.  It's also a great time to walk down the streets 
and visit with local merchants.  Another bonus: The Big Bright Light Show will illuminate  downtown stores in a rainbow of colors from 6 pm to midnight each day of the festival.

If you love nature and close to home winter adventure it's time to remind Mother Nature 
to  let it snow and snow and snow. 
And more good news, your children can borrow snowshoes!
 Last year the winter festival was cancelled: Why? No snow.

Update and details from our Oakland County Parks Department:

Friday, January 11, 2013

ROBINS & BLUEBIRDS: False prophets of spring!

Robin   January 2013 photo by Jonathan Schechter

Robins are looked at by many as a sign of spring and television newscasters often become
 nearly breathless with excitement when reporting  "They are  back!"
 Fact of the matter is clear; many robins spend the winter in Michigan and feast
 on abundant dried berries and seek shelter in thickets. But when suburban lawns thaw, usually
 in late March or early April, we see them more often as they resume their love for 
worm-slurping. The eastern bluebird is another false prophet of spring. Although many do 
fly further south, just as many hunker down for the winter in shrubby areas and thickets and
 even visit bird feeders as my photos below show from the first week of January.

Eastern bluebirds in my yard, January 6, 2013