Five things to do outdoors this weekend
If I had a wish for the weekend it would be to switch Thursday's and Friday's glorious weather forecast with the Saturday and Sunday damp prognostication.
To borrow from the Beach Boys, wouldn't it be nice? But, to borrow from countless athletes, it is what it is. And to further borrow from a famous president, it depends on what your definition of is is. So here you go, gang, weather or not, five things to do outdoors this weekend:
1) On Saturday or Sunday, go tubing down the Little Gunpowder River with the staff of the Oregon Ridge Nature Center. This is for folks 8 and older, and kids must be accompanied by an adult. The leisurely trip will last from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., so be sure to pack a lunch and wear appropriate clothes and shoes. The cost is $10, with a $2 discount for center members. Tubers will meet along the river in North Baltimore County. To reserve a spot and get directions to the starting point, call 410-887-1815.
2) On Saturday, follow Wanda MacLachlan of the University of Maryland Extension Service for a walk in the woods to learn to identify native trees. The free program, being offered by the Howard County Conservancy, begins at 10 a.m. MacLachlan will teach participants how to use a decoder key (which they get to take home) to assist them. If it's raining, the entire thing will be held under cover. The program will be at the Conservancy's Mount Pleasant Farm on Old Frederick Road between Bethany Lane and Woodstock Road. Questions? Call 410-465-8877.
3) Join the Sierra Club Saturday on a 7-mile hike in the Hilton area of Patapsco Valley State Park. It's a moderate jaunt that will take you through some pretty scenery at the state's oldest park. Meet at 9:15 a.m. in the parking lot behind the nature center, just on the right inside the Hilton Avenue entrance. Bring water and lunch. If you need to flesh this one out, call hike leader James Perschy, 410-964-1902 or shoot him an email, email@example.com.
4) If the skies cooperate on Saturday evening, watch the Perseids meteor shower at Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area with members of the Westminster Astronomy Club, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. If cloud cover obscures the light show, the club will talk about the rocks that fall from space. The program is free, but donations are welcomed. Need more? Call 877-794-0606.
5) On Sunday, which is expected to be on the damp side, take a walk the way a raindrop would travel at Harford County's Anita C. Leight Estuary Center. You'll take a walk in the woods as well as spalsh through Otter Creek on this 90-minute detective exercise, which begins at 3 p.m. This is suitable for anyone older than 5. The cost is $2 per person. Give the center a shout at 410-612-1688 to let the staff know you're coming.