Welcome to theFall Foliage and Festival Reportfor the weekend of Nov. 10 and 11, brought to you by theMaryland Department of Natural Resources.

The good news is that leaf peepers have an excellent chance of catching fall foliage at its peak in many parts of the state. However, predictions are that this is a very small window of opportunity. So plan to get outdoors in the next few days and catch the best color for autumn 2018.

Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area
Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area

“We are in peak colors in Calvert and Prince George’s counties,” reports Forester Brian Stupak. “Poplars, maples, gums and hickories are in full color. Oaks are starting to enter peak color but we are also seeing a lot of leaf drop, mostly due to the recent rain storms. Still, the change in colors is really evident.”

Ranger Dorna Cooper saysSandy Point State Parkon the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay is at peak, with orange the primary color. “However, lots of leaves are already off due to windy conditions.” The foliage is similar in Annapolis, where brilliant oranges and yellows welcome the sunshine.

“We have seen some significant color change over the last week in Anne Arundel County and I believe we are at peak.But leaves are dropping quickly with the recent rain and winds and there’s more on the way,” adds Forester Justin Arseneault.

Southern Dorchester County
Southern Dorchester County

“Kent and Queen Anne’s counties are at peak with vibrant oranges, yellows and reds,” Forester Teri Batchelor comments. “Reflections on the water are beautiful.”

“Maples and beautiful trees can be found all along Route 404 and parts of Route 50 heading to Easton,” says Jen Selfridge of theWildlife and Heritage Service. “We are reaching peak. Everything popped over the past weekend.”

“Thanks to the huge storm that just blew through, a lot of the leaves in Dorchester County are down and those that remain are slightly muted,” according toHarriet Tubman Underground Railroad State ParkRanger Angela Crenshaw.

“Cecil County is past peak color for the year. The wind and rain over the last week have brought many leaves down,”Elk Neck State ForestRanger Shawn Day reports.

Assateague State Park Corridor
Assateague State Park Corridor

Forester Rob Clarke on the lower Eastern Shore says, “I would say our peak colors were this past weekend. Most of the trees very quickly turned from green to brown and the recent wind conditions have brought down the majority of the foliage.”

Park Manager Angela Baldwin says the Assateague gateway is still showing some bright yellows and orange. “Our fall rainbow may be fading but beautiful blue skies and sunshine fillAssateague State Parktoday.”

“In Washington County we went from lackluster to leafless in about 48 hours,” says Forester Aaron Cook.

The Nest, by Eric Tardif, Waterfowl Festival 2018 Featured Artist
The Nest, by Eric Tardif, Waterfowl Festival 2018 featured artist

Easton hostsWaterfowl Festival 2018Friday through Sunday with art, artists, 15 different exhibits, and exciting outdoor activities including the popular Retriever and Raptor Demonstrations, Dock Dogs Competition, Kids’ Fishing Derby and more. The World Championship Duck and Goose Calling contests will take place Saturday at Easton High School. This annual event is dedicated to waterfowl conservation, promotion of wildlife art and celebration of life on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The45th Maryland Irish Festivalcomes to the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium this weekend. Come celebrate Irish culture will traditional music, step dancing, authentic Irish food and drinks, cultural exhibits, a speaker series and a children’s area. Proceeds benefit Irish Charities of Maryland.

TheMaryland Alpaca and Fleece Festivalat Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship this weekend is perhaps the best fall fiber festival on the East Coast. Whether you knit, crochet, spin, weave or just love to shop, you will enjoy this fuzzy fall festival with live animals, fiber, demos and seminars. Stock up now for your cozy winter projects with unique yarns and fibers from alpaca, Angora rabbit, mohair, wool and blends. Find those one-of-a-kind project supplies, get new ideas and learn creatively. The events runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m Saturday and Sunday; admission is free.

Experience the fascinating story of Port Tobacco in Charles County, including Native Americans, missionaries, colonists, revolutionaries, assassins, spies, slaves, merchants, farmers, an arsonist and everyone in between!Explore the Port Tobacco Historic Villagethis weekend; admission is free.

On Saturday,Rocky Gap State Parkis hosting a free Wigwam Program on Bone Artifact Replication. Roy Brown, a longtime student of primitive technology, will speak on bone technology and display a variety of American Indian bone tools based on the archaeological and ethnological record. He will also demonstrate their use and manufacture. Meet at 11 a.m. at the Wigwam located in the Youth Group Loop of the park’s campground. There will also be a Lakeside Loop Hike Saturday. Join Naturalist Katelynn on a 2-hour/5-mile hike around Lake Habeeb. The Lakeside Loop Trail is fairly level with great views of the water. Hikers meet at noon at the Touch of Nature parking lot.

This Saturday in Westminster, theCarroll County Christmas Farmers Market’s Art Guild Showwill feature 12 local artists along with 65 regular market vendors with all local gourmet foods, organic meats, home baked goods, crafts, seasonal decorations and plants.

In Southern Maryland, don’t miss theGreeting of the Geeseat theMerkle Wildlife SanctuarySaturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The local Piscataway Tribe will alternate between performing traditional dances and demonstrations, including basket making, doll making and oyster roasting. Additional events include a local art show, hayrides and a Scales & Tales display. Light refreshments will be served; admission is free.

Apple Cider Making
Apple Cider Making

Come celebrateBenjamin Banneker’s Birthdaybeginning at noon Saturday at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum in Baltimore.Costumed interpreters, hands-on activities, colonial games. Learn about Benjamin Banneker and how he lived. Historic Bannaky House will be open for guided tours; admission is free.

Discover the inner richness behind Thanksgiving’s mascot, the North American wild turkey, at theWild Turkey Talk & Craft programin theHilton Area of Patapsco Valley State ParkSaturday. Design your own wild turkey camouflage using natural materials to figure out how they stay hidden and safe. Afterward, anyone age 5 or older can make a decorative craft worthy of the dinner table centerpiece. Cost is $1 per craft.

Learn aboutBeneficial Bats – The Truths and MythsatSandy Point State ParkSaturday afternoon. Find out how you can attract and protect them. We may even listen to some bats as they hunt for food in the park (weather permitting). This is an outdoor program, so dress for the weather. Attendees should reserve a space by emailingClaudia Padilla.

Sunday, Nov. 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Governor Larry Hogan is calling on Marylanders to toll bells Sunday at 11 a.m. in remembrance of the veterans of that war. AWorld War I Centennial Remembrance and Veterans Day Ceremonywill be held 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at 100 State Circle in Annapolis. Join Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton, World War I Centennial Commission Director David Craig, World War I Centennial Commission Chair Joseph Suarez and other guests as they mark and recognize the sacrifice and service of all Maryland veterans, especially those who served in World War I.

Veterans Day Parade in Leonardtown, courtesy of St. Mary's County Tourism
Veterans Day Parade in Leonardtown, courtesy of St. Mary’s County Tourism

The86th Brunswick Veterans Day Paradein Frederick County is one of the oldest and Maryland’s largest parade in observance of Veterans Day. The parade begins on East Potomac Street (at City Park) with line-up Sunday at 11 a.m. Then at 1:30 p.m. aVeterans Day Memorial Ceremonywill honor veterans with “Echo Taps,” in which brass musicians line Market and 2nd Street in Frederick playing Taps in turn, passing the call from Mount Olivet to Memorial Park. Afterward, stay for a 3 p.m. event at the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick to honor America’s veterans with a free performance from theU.S. Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants. Led by Colonel Larry H. Lang and stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., this premier musical unit inspires patriotism and military service in fellow citizens, honors those who serve and represents the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. to millions of people worldwide. The event is free, but tickets are required.

On Sunday, St. Mary’s County honors veterans and active duty military in one of the largestVeterans Day Paradesin Maryland. The parade kicks off in Leonardtown Square at 10 a.m., with a memorial wreath-laying ceremony afterward.

Also Sunday,Storytelling Hourbegins at 1 p.m. at theSoldiers Delight Visitor Center. A volunteer ranger will read a nature-themed story. This program was created with younger children in mind but anyone is welcome. The event is held rain or shine; admission is free, with donations welcome.

Join the Carroll County Equestrian Council atMorgan Run Natural Environment Areafor aTrail Work DaySunday from 9 a.m. to noon. Meet in the parking lot off Ben Rose Lane. Please come dressed for dirty trail work and bring water. Ages 10 and up. Please call 410-461-5005 to register.

Visit with Ranger Nik Sunday at 1 p.m. for fun crafts, games and hand-on nature items at theSeneca Creek State ParkNature Nook. Then stay to enjoy making apple cider the old-fashioned way at 3 p.m.

For more information or to see a full listing ofMaryland Department of Natural Resourcesevents, meetings and programs, please check out theonline calendar.

Enjoy your weekend, Maryland! As always, if you would like to share photos of your autumn adventures,please send them our way!

“The leaves fall, the wind blows and the farm country
slowly changes from the summer cottons to the winter wools.”

? Henry Beston