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Fall Fest is On!

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Tired of being indoors from the rain? Want to get out and have a fun Sunday at the Howard County Conservancy? The festival tomorrow the 4th of October is still going to take place. Minus a few things, like the hay rides. Slippery, wet trails where they usually ride will make it impossible to hold the rides without creating ruts, which encourage erosion.

Besides that change, the rest will still take place. Pumpkin painting. Crafts and storytelling.

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You can visit the animals, including the alpacas from Pearl Moon.

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The square dancers will be inside the Gudelsky Center. The historic farmhouse will be open for tours.

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The blacksmiths will be operating. So will the chair caners, the woodturners, the basketweavers, and more.

The cost. Just $10 a car. Bring neighbors, relatives and friends. The more the merrier. Time is 11am-3pm. Food trucks will be there with waffles, BBQ, and other goodies.

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See you there?

Batten Down the Hatches

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Do we or don’t we? The forecast from the hurricane center is typical at this time. No one knows how fast or what path the storm will take. Will it bypass us or will we get really bad weather?

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This scenario has happened quite a few times in the past few years. It seems to be more the norm the past five years, than in the previous decades we have lived here.

We also get bombarded with social media. Data here. Data there. Data everywhere. Sometimes much more than we really need or want.

Already events have been canceled. The Highland Days. Rescheduled to Halloween. Football games changing times. We are victims of TMI. Not all of it based on facts. Just on speculation.

Let’s face it. Mother Nature can’t be tamed. We can’t predict what will happen. We can take precautions. Get ready. Download the new MD Emergency Management APP. Sign up for local alerts.

Whatever we do, it won’t change the weather. But being prepared is a good thing. Even when the predictions aren’t correct. At least we weren’t caught unaware.

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Here’s hoping we don’t have floods. Or power outages. Or wind damages.

Maybe if we keep having these warnings, people will learn how to be prepared. And they will have what it takes to stay safe.

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Me, I’ll just keep listening. And getting those basic supplies in place. Like water. Batteries. And non perishables.

I still haven’t figured out why people run out and buy toilet paper. Maybe because there aren’t any more Sears catalogs to use in an emergency?

Our Daily Bread

In Baltimore, a Catholic Charity run hot meal program serving 700 meals daily. Plus an employment center. For the past ten years, the Lewis family of Clarksville has sponsored a fun polo match day to raise money for the center. To date, they had already raised over $450,000. This year’s event was the tenth and “final” match day, as they are retiring as hosts.

We were fortunate to win a tailgate pass at the silent auction last May, at the annual Wine in the Garden HC Conservancy fund raiser. The Lewis family had donated the pass.

I wish we had taken the opportunity to attend this amazing day in years past, as it was truly a special experience. One that almost transcends time.

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It’s fun to watch the players on their mounts, but it’s also fun to watch the spectators.

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We got to divot stomp. We met some really nice people. Got up close and personal with beautiful horses.

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Thanks to the Doetsch family who provides their field for the event. They live just across Rte. 32 from the Lewis family, who live on Ten Oaks Rd. The original site of the matches, before they outgrew the fields just off the Ten Oaks/Brighton Dam circle.

We took friends with us to tailgate.

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We wandered around to see the horses.

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We stomped divots at the break between matches.

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We brought local foods and wine to enjoy while watching.

I do hope they find some support to keep the traditional going. Thanks to Mary Agnes Lewis and her family for their long standing support of Our Daily Bread. As I understand, she has been volunteering in some form or another for more than 30 years.

She is truly a wonderful Howard Countian.

Twilight Hiking for the Family

Out on the Howard County Conservancy trails at Mt. Pleasant. Friday night, 5-7 pm.

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This is the description from the web site.

“Walk through the meadow and along the stream to the woodland campfire ring. Listen to the birds singing at dusk. Gather around the crackling fire and hear legend-stories about the Equinox, sing old-time songs, roast marshmallows, and enjoy s’mores. Hike back in time to watch the sun set over horizon –exactly due west – and hear other interesting astronomical facts about the Fall Equinox.”

You can look for milkweed.

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Or maybe check out all the walnuts that have fallen from the trees along the trail.

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Pre-register if you can, so we know how much food to buy and how many volunteers we may need.

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Loving the fact that we are well into my favorite season around here.

Addicted To Kiwiberries

Every fall when these little berries show up in our fruit share, I marvel at just how good they are.

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Kiwiberries from Kiwiberry Organics, in PA. What amazes me on their web site is the nutritional information for these berries.

Besides their high quantities of vitamins and minerals, they just taste great.

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I like just snacking on them or putting them in salads, but I have been tempted to make jam from them. Or to create a berry nectar to freeze and use all winter. The problem I have is keeping enough of them around to do those things.

According to the web site, you can find them at Wegmans, Trader Joes and Whole Foods, but I have never seen them.

We get them three or four times in our CSA fruit share. In fact, we are getting them again this Tuesday.

They supposedly like the weather around here and the farm in PA grows the largest amount in the world, according to their information. I do know we could buy plants and try to grow them ourselves. I may just do that next year. They would be a welcome addition to my garden.

Never A Dull Moment

After all, where else can you find the Air Force Thunderbirds practicing in your back yard? Besides at their home base, that is.

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This was the second pass over the house that I saw. The first one, I didn’t have the camera. They are performing this weekend at Andrews Air Force Base.

I gather they come up here to get out of the National and Dulles air space. We are a bit west of the BWI air space too. This is the second evening they have been here. I heard them last night but didn’t know until later when I checked Facebook that it was the Thunderbirds.

I also got a good shot of the final formation as they were heading back to the base.

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I’m not sure how many people can stand in their yard and watch this. Just another night in West Howard County.


Some of my favorite fall activities on the local farm scene.

The farms in this area have created many opportunities for people to enjoy the properties, pick some fruit, go on hayrides or get lost in a corn maze.

You can’t go wrong picking these events. There’s something to do most weekends.

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Right now.

Clark’s is always open. They even have dinosaurs, I hear, to go along with the Enchanted Forest attractions in the pine tree trails. So many things to do there, and really close to town.

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Larriland is open for pick your own, has a straw maze for the little ones, and has hayrides to the pumpkin patch.

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Gaver Farm just west of Mt. Airy is already open with their corn maze.

Starting next week.

Mullinix Maze opens next Friday the 25th with their huge corn maze, out by Western Regional Park.

Farm Heritage Days at the Farm Museum across from the Fairgrounds is next weekend.

Sharp’s Farm opens next weekend, too.

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In October.

TLV Tree Farm in Glenelg has something different every weekend out at the farm.

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Baugher’s in Westminster has their fall festival events every weekend in October, as well.

Good to see so many choices to get out, pick apples or pumpkins, go on hayrides, check out a petting zoo, or two, or three.

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Support our local farms, who offer much more than the farmer’s markets. These agritourism events help their bottom line, and keep them healthy to be there every year, giving us fresh fruit and vegetables.


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