February 07, 2013GROSSE POINTE FARMS — McKayla Hasting, 6, of Grosse Pointe Farms, is at the age when she can have it all.
Asked which of two raptors — a great horned owl or turkey vulture — she liked best last weekend at Farms Winterfest, she said, "I liked both the best. I liked the feathers."
Violet Whitmore, 9, of the City of Grosse Pointe, is learning life's limitations.
"I liked the great horned owl because it can turn its head and the eyes are huge," she said.
Wild animals from the Howell Nature Center headlined the winter festival on the Hill, Saturday, Feb. 2, Groundhog Day.
Featured guest, Woody, a groundhog, received a mayoral proclamation announcing the first Groundhog Day in the Farms since the community was incorporated as a village in 1892.
"This is a fun day," said Mayor James Farquhar, wearing a top hat.
Earlier that morning in Howell, Woody, a resident of the center since 1998, predicted an early spring.
"She's been wrong only three times out of 14 predictions," said Taryn Mountain, one of the center's wildlife presenters. "She also predicts Super Bowl winners. This year, she picked the (Baltimore) Ravens."
Numerous business and organizations sponsored Winterfest and about 30 ice sculptures throughout the Hill.
Sub-freezing temperatures made perfect conditions to sculpt blocks of ice, according to Vince Terrana, a sculptor from Finesse Ice.
"Ice should be the same temperature as the air," said Terrana, of St. Clair Shores. "If the ice is too cold, it can crack. If the air's colder than the ice, the ice can crack."
The first step in sculpting ice drawing a paper template of the subject being created.
"We fuse the template to the ice with water," Terrana said while carving a steam locomotive near the gazebo on Kercheval near Richard Elementary School. "Then, we use a chain saw to shape it. We use disc sanders, grinders and chisels to shape it."
Winterfest on the Hill was sponsored by:
Grosse Pointe Farms,
Hill Business Association,
Russell Development Company,
Grosse Pointe News,
Bologna Building Company and Kercheval Development,
Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe,
Grosse Pointe Farms Foundation,
PNC Bank and
Henry Ford Cottage Hospital and Medical Center.