RSS Feed

Tag Archives: fall foliage

Fall Festivals

‘Tis the season. October. When everyone decides to host a fall festival. My favorite. Which is attended by hundreds of kindred spirits in Howard County.

fall-fest-and-basil-011

The one at the Howard County Conservancy this Sunday the 2nd of October. It’s $10 a car. A bargain for all you get to experience. It mixes history with agriculture with children’s activities with good food, and so much more. 11-3. The weather should clear up before Sunday. Come out and have a relaxing fun Sunday afternoon.

Standing Room Only

I love it when the free programs out at the Conservancy far exceed our expectations. Like today.

fandf marsden and dinner 010

Fifty two people. Ten of them little ones. For Frank Marsden’s talk and walk about finding wildlife in winter.

fandf marsden and dinner 008

Frank told us everything we always wanted to know about scat, but were afraid to ask. Like determining the diet from the color, texture and “ingredients” found. Like how grey fox and red fox are different. How we never see grey fox as they sleep in trees.

We went out for a ninety minute hike, looking for signs of wildlife. We did find deer tracks.

fandf marsden and dinner 015

We also found out that our former ground hog habitat, a large number of interconnected holes up in the meadow, have been abandoned by the ground hogs, and are now inhabited by fox. How do we know that? The smell of fox urine, a sure sign that fox have moved in and are marking their territory.

fandf marsden and dinner 020

We had a lovely day out there, even if it was a bit windy.

fandf marsden and dinner 022

The meadows are lovely this time of year, and by taking a leisurely hike, you can find many signs of the wildlife living here. Take a hike some day. There are four miles of marked trails, and with no leaves on the trees, you can see far across the ridges to neighboring towns.

Twilight Hiking for the Family

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

conservancy shots and basil pesto 035

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.

conservancy fall field trips 054

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

conservancy fall field trips 102

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

conservancy fall field trips 038

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

Ethanol Free

We finally gave up and had to find an ethanol free gas station. I swear that ethanol is doing us more harm than high fructose corn syrup. Neither one of them is good for us.

littlestown and baughers 001

The closest place for us to buy it is in Littlestown PA. Full serve. In the rain today we drove up to fill up the gas cans for the snow blower, the lawn mower and the leaf vacuum. So far, in the past year, the string trimmer, snow blower and lawn mower all had carburetor work, because of the E10 gas gumming them up.

Other than the Eastern shore of MD, where the marinas are located, there are few choices near us. Charles Town WV. Front Royal VA. The one above in Littlestown. All on our short list are sources when we go on other trips in those areas.

We were really careful with our small engine equipment, draining when not in use. Using the additives. This has been the year we had major issues, including losing the lawn mower for 10 days while it was fixed. Thankfully, the tractor is diesel powered.

So, on a rainy Monday we drove 40 miles to get gas. Decided to stop on the way back at Baughers in Westminster to get a few items. Like my husbands favorite ice cream. Pumpkin.

littlestown and baughers 034

The last quart in the case. Perfect for his birthday dinner this week.

As for Littlestown, it is just up Rte. 97 a few miles north of the Mason Dixon Line. On the way to Gettysburg.

littlestown and baughers 009

Downtown is already decorated for Christmas. It reminds us so much of my husband’s home town in PA.

As for finding ethanol free gas, here is a great website.

And if you aren’t using ethanol free gas in your 2 cycle engines, it’s only a matter of time before it bites you too. Now, back to our regularly scheduled leaf removal.

autumn shots 090

Three Years Old

Posted on

My blogaversary is today. Three years ago, I started it to record my retirement journey. I took a few CSA pictures and started posting, inspired by a couple of local bloggers who recorded what they got from their Breezy Willow CSAs. I added my fall CSA bounty into that mix.

roof and food fall 2011 050

Kitchen Scribble and Allura. Kat at Kitchen Scribble still blogs, but Allura is no longer active.

Between howchow, the biggest local food blog, and the hocoblogs pages, I pretty much learned what was interesting to others, to get them to read my blog, and to find topics to keep it going.

And, somewhere between the Old “Dark Days” challenge, where I began that locavore journey in earnest, and today, I turned my focus from unconscious consumer of whatever was on sale or looked good, to a proponent of small businesses/farms/local purveyors and much more. I honestly think I became that advocate because of the blogging. I didn’t start out to write a food blog. More like a “here is what interests me where I live” blog.

DSC_0030

What interests me the most these days is my community. Which includes most of Central Maryland. Still a pretty decent place to live. Even when the weather is awful. I haven’t tired of exploring it. Or of writing about it.

Stay tuned for a winter of exploration. Going to places brand new to us, rediscovering some old haunts that we haven’t visited in a long time. Winter isn’t a time for hibernation.

It’s also a time to really enjoy the outdoors. Want to join us for a hike this coming Saturday? A family hike out at the Mt. Pleasant site of the Howard County Conservancy. Groups of different ages, and paces, who will explore the grasslands and woodlands with volunteer naturalists leading the way. Free. 10am, November 8. The long term weather forecast looks good.

conservancy descriptive writing 006

The pot people are waiting to greet us.

Sunday Drives

Posted on

It’s the height of leaf peeping season here in Central Maryland. That cool couple of nights really made a difference in the depth of the colors. Sunday drives will be rewarded with stunning views like these.

larriland and more like sunset 035

This was Larriland, but today I want to recommend heading farther afield. So to speak. Like to Sugarloaf Mountain, to visit the winery, maybe hike a few of the trails and check out the artisans in the Dickerson area.

Wineries have tremendous views in the fall, when the vines turn color to match the scenery.

DSCN0300

Some grape leaves on the vines turn red. Others yellow or orange.

If you want other close options that include time spent driving on back roads filled with color. Consider Black Ankle, just out Liberty Road. Or maybe Breaux just south of Harpers Ferry. Breaux now sits on a road with at least a half dozen other wineries. We haven’t tried any of them yet, except for Notaviva. We may have to plan a trip soon. Besides, Harpers Ferry alone is worth the drive.

If you want a new place to find pumpkins and apples, check out Baughers in Westminster.

westminster 035

Besides the farm, just west of the city off of Rte. 140, the restaurant near McDaniels College has some of the best ice cream, and lots more at the farm stand.

This is also the last weekend for the Fall Festival at Gaver Farm, outside of Mt. Airy.

Any of these local farms have their final weekend events, too. Like Larriland for their straw maze for the little ones, Sharps, Mullinix, for those maze enthusiasts and apple/pumpkin pickers.

Who needs to drive all the way to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, when there are all sorts of events in Howard, Carroll and Frederick Counties.

Before autumn leaves us, it’s a great weekend to enjoy the local colors. All of them.

autumn in the meadow milkweed 084

Fall Festivals

It’s festival season. The changing of the seasons and the leaves brings out the best of this area. The best weather and views in Howard County.

big wines and fall foliage 071

The leaves are already starting to turn color. The month of October is full of festivals, and mazes, and pumpkin picking, and more.

My favorite, of course. The fall festival at the Howard County Conservancy.

Hay rides. Pony rides. Crafts. Animals. Story telling. Basket weaving. And so much more.

conservancy descriptive writing 005

Definitely something to do this coming Sunday.

As for other festivals. There are certainly many of them out there. Highland Days. The corn maze at Sharp’s Farm. Pumpkin picking and more at Larriland.

I am certainly looking forward to many fun days out and about. Enjoying the weather and the colorful leaves.