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Fall Foliage and Festival Report for Nov. 9-10, 2019

Map of fall foliage in MarylandWelcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for November 9 and 10 brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Snaggy Mountain oaks, photo by Scott Campbell

Snaggy Mountain oaks, photo by Scott Campbell

“A few remaining red oaks are still clinging to their leaves,” says Potomac-Garrett State Forest Manager Scott Campbell. This is without a doubt the end of the fall foliage season in the most western parts of Maryland and many northern areas in central Maryland. 

“Heavy rains and high winds have led to many leaves coming down. We are now well past peak,” reports Dan Hedderick, project forester in Flintstone. In the distance there is a small percentage of leaves still remaining on the trees, but along the roadsides in many areas the view close to the forests views have given way to a more wintry seen, where you can look deep into the wood unimpeded by leaves. “Overall, it seemed to have taken a long time to get to fall color and then once once it hit, it was over too soon,” Hedderick concludes.

Meanwhile, trees are in full color at South Mountain, reports Ranger Mary Ironside, park manager of South Mountain Recreation Area.

Cunningham Falls and Gambrill state parks are well past peak now, says Ranger Mark Spurrier. “Carroll County is also past the peak for leaf peeping, but there remain scattered groups of trees that continue to provide some nice color,” notes Katie Garst, natural resources technician with the Maryland Forest Service.

Hollofield Overlook in Patapsco Valley State Park, photo by Felicia Graves

Hollofield Overlook in Patapsco Valley State Park, photo by Felicia Graves

“In Patapsco Valley State Park, we are either at peak or passing peak, depending on the area visited,” Ranger Felicia Graves says.

Forester Frank Lopez, Harford-Cecil project manager, submitted this detailed report from Bel Air: “Occasional lingering red maples and sugar maples are at peak or just past. American beech is starting to change from the top down in the woods. American beech is a mid-fall- and winter-long process from bronze to brown to a faded/bleached tan, almost white, which persists throughout the winter on immature branches. Some dogwoods hanging on yet. It seems to be a two-month process for many flowering dogwoods, starting in September. Some white oak is a little past peak. Northern red oak are still green. Witch-hazel is past peak but still colorful. Some yellow-poplar hangs on with “dirty” gold leaves, while serviceberry is past peak.”

“Tawny reds and oranges dot Sandy Point State Park where we are looking at the backside of peak color,” says Ranger Dorna Cooper, park manager.


Beaver Marsh Loop Shoreline at Elk Neck State Park, photo by Abby Matta

Beaver Marsh Loop shoreline at Elk Neck State Park, photo by Abby Matta

Colorful PawPaws at Elk Neck State Park, photo by Abby Matta

Colorful paw-paws at Elk Neck State Park, photo by Abby Matta

“We have some popping colors here at Elk Neck State Park,”writes Abby Matta, park naturalist “The Beaver Marsh Loop is filled with with spots of red, orange, and yellow scattered among the green foliage and stands of paw-paw trees turning a bright yellow color are found throughout the park.” 

According to Park Ranger Eric Waciega, Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area is past peak foliage season, as the majority of the trees have dropped at least 50% of their leaves. “The oaks are holding some leaves at the very top of the canopy but have lost their orange hue and are now brown. The maples are mostly bare at this point and there is not much red to be seen at this time. There are still some pockets of orange where the beeches are holding their leaves, and some yellowish green sycamores along the riverbanks.”

Typical for the season, he says, “The rakes and blowers have made their annual trip out of the barn and into the hands of the Fair Hill staff as we work to keep the parking lots and walkways clear.” Eric says the best places to see some fall colors here would be around the banks of Big Elk Creek, particularly in the vicinity of the Scott’s Mill Ruins.”

Teri Batchelor, Forest Service upper shore project manager, writes that in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties many leaves are down on the ground after strong winds last week, with some residual yellow leaves on maples. “Larger downtown urban oaks have some burgundy and sycamores are almost bare with a handful of yellowish/green residual leavers and mostly brown crunchy leaves all over the ground. In the fields, farms, and woods planted red oaks are still green in the mid canopy of 20-year-old plantings in Kent County,” she notes. “Sawtooth oaks are still green and they will hang on as brown leaves on the trees until after you have raked up every other leaf in your yard. “
Cedarville State Forest Pond, photo by Daniel Akwo

Cedarville State Forest Pond, photo by Daniel Akwo

“In Calvert and Prince George’s counties, we are about 85-90% peak colors, but a few trees have lost most of their leaves. However, most trees are in full color and it looks like a very nice fall season and weekend ahead, especially with the recent dip in the temperatures,” notes Brian Stupak, project manager for the Forest Service in Prince Frederick.

From nearby Cedarville State Forest, Daniel Akwo sent this photo of Cedarville Pond.

“I would say that we are definitely at peak right now,” says Ranger Dawn Letts, park manager of the Point Lookout Complex. 

Ranger Dana Paterra of Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park in Dorchester County, says “the colors in Tubman country are really starting to pop this week!”

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, photo by Dana Patera

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, photo by Dana Paterra

On the far Eastern Shore, the Assateague area still some has bright yellows and reds along the corridor and a chance of more color is yet to come. 

Rackliffe House Kitchen Garden, Assateague State Park, photo by Angela Baldwin

Rackliffe House kitchen garden, Assateague State Park, photo by Angela Baldwin

“Fall is a great time to visit our Rackliffe Trail, which begins behind the Assateague Island Visitors Center and winds back through the mainland forest, opening up to a stunning view of the historic Rackliffe House, a 1740s plantation house,” Assateague State Park Manager Angela Baldwin says. 

“Fall colors along the trail are enhanced by some bright pinks and yellows still remaining on some of our perennials in Rackliffe’s Kitchen Garden. This is one of our lesser known areas at Assateague State Park, but it surely is worth the trip!” 

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Podgin for Oysters, a Nancy Tankersley Waterfowl Painting

Podgin for Oysters, a Nancy Tankersley Waterfowl Painting

In Talbot County this weekend, look for a new decoy, view the latest and greatest wildlife art, watch retrievers in action, and listen to the virtuosos of duck and goose calling. Easton’s annual Waterfowl Festival is a celebration of Eastern Shore sporting traditions and conservation. This year’s featured artist is local painter Nancy Tankersley, an Easton resident. If you’ve been to this festival in the past, you already know how much there is to see and do and learn about for every member of the family. And, if you have never been to the Waterfowl Festival, it’s time to find out what the excitement is all about. We can assure you that it is worth your time to peruse the schedule of events and plan ahead so you don’t miss anything. 

Cambridge KiteFest

Cambridge Kite Festival

Bring family and friends to the Kite Festival at Sailwinds Park in Cambridge on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. This free festival features kites of all shapes and sizes on the shores of the Choptank River. It’s free fun for all ages. Bring your own kite, buy one at the fest or watch expert kite flyers in action. Plus, there will be bungee bounce, face painting, music, and food.

Captain John Smith’s Shallop Replica is back in Vienna in celebration of the Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit and Dorchester County’s 350th Anniversary! The replica is of the small boat that Capt. John Smith used in 1608 to explore the Chesapeake. Vienna was one of his stops more than 400 years ago. The shallop will be on public view daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. through mid-November at the Nanticoke River Discovery Center.

American Indian Heritage Day at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum

American Indian Heritage Day at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum

Christmas at the Peake, a holiday craft show at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills this weekend provides the perfect opportunity to pick up one-of-a-kind gifts for friends and family. There will be shopping, food, and fun! Admission is $2 and proceeds go to local humane societies.

Visit Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum‘s re-created Indian Village on Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. for American Indian Heritage Day. Native Americans have made, and continue to make, lasting contributions to the social, political, and cultural fabric of this nation. Enjoy a day of celebration through dance arts and crafts and other fun activities. Free admission.

Veterans Day Parade in Leonardtown

Veterans Day Parade in Leonardtown

On Sunday from 1 – 2 p.m. honor the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Salute to Veterans Parade starts at 1 p.m. at the Courthouse on Charles Street in La Plata. Bring the kids, and come enjoy an old-fashioned, hometown parade! On Monday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Historic Downtown Leonardtown, St. Mary’s County honors veterans and active duty military with the 44th annual Veterans Day Parade and Memorial Ceremony – one of the largest in Maryland. A memorial wreath-laying ceremony follows the parade.

In Westminster Saturday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., the Carroll County Christmas Farmers Market’s Art Guild Show is a combination of the art guild’s display and sale along with 55 regular farmers market vendors selling handmade crafts, gourmet foods, home baked goods, nuts, jams and jellies, honey, eggs, plants, and seasonal decorations. Breakfast and lunch available. Sounds yummy!

The Maryland Irish Festival will feature traditional Irish food and drink, internationally recognized musical groups, children’s activities, cultural exhibits from Ireland, festive contests, a speaker series, and various vendors. A large dedicated kid’s play area with bouncy castles, activities, and games will be a treat for the young ones. Presented annually by Irish Charities of Maryland, this weekend-long festival is held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. Admission fees support the many charitable causes of the Maryland Irish community.

Explore the largest ski swap on the East Coast on Saturday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Ruhl Maryland National Guard Armory in Towson. The Baltimore Ski & Snowboard Swap includes skis, snowboards, boots, poles, outerwear jackets, gloves, helmets, bags, and packs – anything to do with having fun in winter. Admission is free.

Maryland Alpaca and Fleece Festival

Maryland Alpaca and Fleece Festival

Come to the Howard County Fairgrounds this weekend from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for the Maryland Alpaca and Fleece Festival featuring live animals, fiber, handmade items, classes, and an alpaca fleece sale. Whether you knit, crochet, spin, weave, or just love to shop, now’s the time to stock up for your winter projects.

One Fort: Three Wars at Fort Frederick State Park

One Fort: Three Wars at Fort Frederick State Park

To honor our nation’s veterans, discover the part soldiers at Fort Frederick played during three defining American conflicts: the French and Indian War, American Revolution, and Civil War. One Fort: Three Wars will allow visitors to experience the lives of the men and women of those eras through living history demonstrations. Highlights include military drill, musket firing demonstrations, and more. Hours are Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Park entrance fees apply.

Pay tribute to our veterans and active military in Frederick County at one of the oldest Veterans Day parades in the nation. The Brunswick Veterans Day Parade will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, following opening ceremonies at 1 p.m.

Brass musicians will line Frederick’s Market and 2nd Street on Monday from 10:30 – 11 a.m. Echo Taps is a moving Veterans Day memorial ceremony where each musician will play Taps in turn, passing the call from Mt. Olivet to Memorial Park in Frederick. A ceremony honoring veterans follows Echo Taps.

Enjoy this colorful and fun-filled November weekend, Maryland! 

“A cool November morning!
Today I rose much earlier than usual
I watch the night stealing away
Like an accused convict under cover
Sunlight peeks through the leaves.
In the haze of overhanging mist,
Only the blurred silhouette of trees in sight
The crows have begun their raucous call
The leaves of grass are misted with dew
A cool zephyr blows from the south
Clouds float like shredded cotton
Even Sirius, the brightest star has paled

Life is slowly beginning to unfold
And men like shadows have begun to move
The sun has now climbed to the Eastern hills
In scintillating glory like a mighty king
Shattering the mist with his lance like beams
I enjoy the sweetness of this morn
In serene silence, I stand and watch
The light that slowly fills the Earth,
Dispelling all trace of darkness!

― Valsa George
A November Morning