Archives for July 2016

Cool Indoor Stuff: Andrew McCown Reads Poetry of Nielsen and Hadaway at CBMM

In these hard baked days of summer, even the greatest outdoor enthusiasts must at times seek shelter from Eastern Shore heatwaves. Thanks to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the option to enjoy an evening of Chesapeake poetry and music was an irresistible choice for the Spy on Friday night.

The CBMM hosted Andrew McCown of Echo Hill Outdoor School, and Pres Harding, grandson of famed Wingate boat builder Bronza Parks, for a concert to celebrate the Chesapeake Bay through poems and songs.

McCown, a native of Kent County and the Chester River, highlighted the local poetry of the late Pat Nielsen and Meredith Davies Hadaway. The Spy was able to capture a few of the evening’s offerings.

This video is approximately four minutes in length

Mountains out of Anthills by George Merrill

Ants have recently invaded my house.

They are tiny, visible only in a certain light. At first I’d see one or two on the kitchen counter near the sink where we normally prepare food. I assumed they’d arrived well fed before they began reconnoitering around the counter, as they evidenced no interest in any of the crumbs that accumulated around the toaster. They didn’t even go near the can where we store fat left over from cooking meats. I had always assumed that was one of their favorite delicacies. Every day two or three would appear and, as I dispatched them, I thought that was the end of it.

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 8.49.31 AMOne evening I took a break from watching TV and went into the kitchen. I had been watching the Republican convention. In the kitchen a large swarm of ants had gathered around something that I couldn’t identify. When I opened the dishwasher nearby, more were darting frantically everywhere inside the unit. I knew this was a task for professionals. I called a pest control company.

I’ve always been fascinated by ants and the stories I’d read about how versatile they are. They behave in ways similar to our own, like gathering in great numbers to forward their agenda. They also swim, fly, build bridges, do battle, farm, harvest and dig tunnels of remarkable lengths. One ant starts digging a hefty distance from another ant that also starts tunneling and sure enough, they meet smack in the middle. One exception to our behavior may be that with ants, gender discrimination is not an issue. They have no glass ceiling. The life of the entire colony revolves around one female, the queen. She keeps a colony focused and on task. In this regard at least, Democrats may behave more like ants than Republicans.

Returning to the television I could not help but imagine similarities between the large swarms of ants in my kitchen and the convention. At the convention I saw droves of individuals swarming about. Just how to tell what their individual functions might be, except for the sounds delegates make, is difficult. Delegates either cheer or boo and hiss. This indicates affirmation or censure of some individual member of the assembly who has not gotten with the program. As I understand ants, this could never happen. Once in the swarm, each ant is very clear as to its function. No ant would insinuate itself into the colony to criticize its deliberations as I saw one of the speakers do at the Republican convention. An ant in sheep’s clothing is unheard of.

Social groups are plagued regularly with loose canons that do not go along with the program and otherwise try to sabotage the group effort. Ants assemble teams in a matter of minutes. All are committed members that function as smoothly in the system as a well-oiled machine. The ants on my counter return every day, determined and good to go. This suggests to me that ants don’t have law and order problems. Apparently ants have no perverse members on the team or even criminals to slow things down or hold them back. Sadly, our organizations, political ones especially, are loaded with both.

Ants have limited intelligence. They are skilled at what they do, however. They do not think abstractly. The concern about just who in the colony or in another anthill is full of it, or who is crooked or a liar would never became a part of the collective communication. Ants know who they are and also who the others are. They are confident of their identity and don’t need to step on others to prove it.

You and I are as social as ants, and while we’re at our best in a community, we can survive on our own. Ants on their own are doomed to die. I’ve read about survivalists who build their yurts deep in the woods. They stock up on guns, blankets, canned goods and lots of coffee (constant vigilance, staying awake aids their survival) and they do fine. They retain, like the termites that have quit society, a prickly relationship to their kin. Solitary termites have a decidedly “buzz off” attitude as do survivalists.

As ants congregate into colonies, they get smarter. One or two ants are not that swift. Add a couple more and they develop problem-solving attitudes that are remarkably effective. I have friends who have served on committees and boards and they often report just the opposite; the committees never accomplish a thing.

Ants could care less who wins the presidential election with perhaps this caveat: if Republicans win – traditionally staunch defenders of big corporations like the chemical industry – ants will not be happy campers. The good old days at campsites, picnic grounds, including my kitchen will be over. Chemicals did in almost all our insects before Rachel Carson got on the industry’s case. Who’d be left to lobby for ants against big business now?

Maybe I’m just making mountains out of anthills.

Columnist George Merrill is an Episcopal Church priest and pastoral psychotherapist.  A writer and photographer, he’s authored two books on spirituality: Reflections: Psychological and Spiritual Images of the Heart and The Bay of the Mother of God: A Yankee Discovers the Chesapeake Bay. He is a native New Yorker, previously directing counseling services in Hartford, Connecticut, and in Baltimore. George’s essays, some award winning, have appeared in regional magazines and are broadcast twice monthly on Delmarva Public Radio.

August 14 brings Watermen’s Appreciation Day, buyboats to St. Michaels


boat docking

The Talbot Watermen Association is bringing the 7th annual Watermen’s Appreciation Day to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum on Sunday, August 14, with the added attraction of the Chesapeake Buyboat Reunion being held at CBMM during the event. The event features a spirited boat docking contest, steamed crabs and other food, live music, beer, boat rides, family activities, celebrity appearances, and more.

This year, Watermen’s Day also offers the public the rare opportunity to see and board a collection of historic buyboats from around the mid-Atlantic region along CBMM’s docks and waterways, as CBMM hosts the 12th Annual Chesapeake Bay Buyboat Association’s reunion.

The festival’s “watermen’s rodeo” boat docking contest returns to the Miles River to its expanded location under the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse. Bleacher seating will be provided for spectators to the contest, with plenty of food, live music, and family activities to round out the festival.



“The boat docking contest is a major draw for this event,” said TWA President Bunky Chance. “Last year, we relocated the contest to the Lighthouse, giving spectators a larger, better vantage point while giving our boats more space on the water.”

Steamed crabs, beer, and other food and beverages will be available for purchase. The event is hosted by TWA in cooperation with CBMM, with proceeds benefiting both organizations. The pricing for steamed crabs will be set by July 29, and will be announced then on CBMM’s website,

“The market drives the price of crabs,” said Chance. “Last year, we were able to offer a dozen steamed crabs at $25, and we’re really hoping to do the same again this year. We’ll know better as we get closer to the festival.”

Beginning at 11:00 a.m., you can watch professionals in the spirited boat docking contest along Navy Point. Later in the day, children’s on-the-water activities include a Pot Pie skiff rowing competition, with prizes awarded.

Starting at noon, the day’s catch of steamed crabs—served by watermen—will be available for purchase, in addition to beer, water, soda, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, and more. Also beginning at noon, live music from the historic Tolchester Beach Bandstand will have people tapping their toes and dancing along CBMM’s waterfront.

Children and families can enjoy games and activities, with scenic river cruises aboard CBMM’s 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle offered throughout the day.



Buyboats—including Winnie Estelle—were used to haul seafood and cargo along Chesapeake Bay waterways before many of the Bay’s peninsulas were connected by bridges. As the seafood harvest declined and highways became the mode of travel, the large graceful buyboats faded from local waters, leaving no more than 30 of the oyster buyboats remaining on the Bay.

As part of the annual reunion, the buyboats and their owners will be at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum August 12-14, with dockside tours offered to CBMM guests to stand on the decks, chat with their owners, and understand the boats’ importance in history.

During Watermen’s Day, festival-goers can take part in a silent auction, with Chesapeake-related items available to the highest bidders, including work by noted Chesapeake artist Marc Castelli. The auction takes place in the Small Boat Shed, with bids taken until 4:30 p.m., and all proceeds supporting the Talbot Watermen Association.

Throughout the day, festival-goers can get an up-close view of CBMM’s floating fleet of historic Chesapeake vessels, including the 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood, a registered National Historic Landmark whose log-hull is under restoration now through 2018. During the festival, guests will also have full access to CBMM’s 12 exhibition buildings, including the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse.


buyboat reunion

“Watermen’s Day is an annual favorite among locals and guests alike,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “You can meet many of the watermen who work to bring seafood to tables across the region, while having a great time celebrating the Chesapeake in such an incredibly authentic way. And this year, we are honored to welcome the Chesapeake Bay Buyboat Association to CBMM.”

Admission to the 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. rain or shine event includes the Chesapeake Bay Buyboat Reunion, boat docking contest, celebrity appearances, and live music at $18 for adults, and $8 for children 6-17, with all children five years of age and under admitted free. CBMM members along with licensed watermen and their immediate families get discounted admission at $10 per adult, and $6 per children ages 6-17. Advanced admission tickets can be purchased online at, with tickets also sold at the door the day of the event. Discounted watermen’s tickets will be available at the door the day of the event, with an active watermen’s license shown. Boat rides, steamed crabs, beer, and additional food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Free event parking will be available at St. Michaels High School, with complimentary shuttle service to CBMM running throughout the day.

For safety reasons, non-service dogs need to be kept home during CBMM festivals, including Watermen’s Appreciation Day. Leashed dogs are only permitted on CBMM’s campus during regular operating hours. Carry-on alcohol from dock or land is prohibited.

See photos from last year’s event at For more information, visit or call 410-745-2916.

Easton Utilities Names John J. Horner, Jr. Vice President of Operations

Easton Utilities is pleased to name John J. Horner, Jr. as the Vice President of Operations. Bringing over 25 years of industry experience, Mr. Horner joins Easton Utilities from Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), where he held various senior level positions. In this role, Mr. Horner will oversee the daily operational activities as well as charter and manage capital and operational projects.

The VP of Operations is a critical role in the organization, combining technical skills with analytical insight to implement policies and spearhead the overall operational plan for Easton Utilities. “John’s significant industry experience will fortify the multi-disciplined team we have at Easton Utilities,” stated Hugh E. Grunden, President and CEO of Easton Utilities.

“I look forward to working with the remarkable team at Easton Utilities and plan to focus on the customers’ expectations as we continue providing safe, reliable service to the Easton community,” said Horner.

Mr. Horner’s most recent positions were Director of Northeast Regional Electric Operations and Director of Distribution System Operations (gas and electric) for BGE. His responsibilities included strategic planning, project management and providing leadership to 500 utility employees. Mr. Horner graduated from The Johns Hopkins University with a BS in Electrical & Computer Engineering and holds an MBA from Loyola College.

Easton Utilities is a community-owned, not-for-profit utility and telecommunications company operating the Electric, Natural Gas, Water, Wastewater, Cable Television, and Internet services for the Town of Easton and portions of the surrounding area.

Free Seminar To Focus on Creating a Culture of Family Philanthropy

fblogo“Creating a Culture of Family Philanthropy” is the subject of a free seminar offered by University of Maryland Memorial Hospital Foundation scheduled for Saturday, August 13, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the Talbot Country Club in Easton.

Presented by Elizabeth Spurry, president, Tred Avon Family Wealth, and Martin Johnson, retired financial advisor, the seminar is designed to help parents, grandparents and other family members teach children how to embrace responsibility for the needs of their community. The seminar explores creative, fun and effective ways to create a culture of philanthropy in your family and also includes activities for children, who are welcome to attend with adults.

Topics addressed will include: a history of family based philanthropy – why it’s important to you and the world; when and how to teach philanthropy to children; how to set an example and inspire charitable activities in young people; tools and tricks to inspire family giving; and resources for family based philanthropy. There also will be an activity for children to help them learn how to “keep, spend and share.”

The seminar is free but seating is limited. Register in advance by contacting Janet Andrews, 410-822-1000 ext. 5792,

Trumpy Yacht Exhibition Opens at CBMM

CBMM_Trumpy_Freedom_Rosenfeld_c1930An exhibition tracing the design and construction of the distinctive Trumpy wooden yachts opens August 6 at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., focusing its attention from 1909 through 1973, when the Trumpy Yacht Yard in Annapolis, Md. produced its last boat. Named after John Trumpy Sr., the famous Naval architect and designer who crafted these regal vessels, Trumpy boats are legendary for their display of affluence, craftsmanship, and beautiful design.

A Single Goal—The Art of Trumpy Yacht Building at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is made possible by the generous support of Dr. Jacob Deegan, Maryland State Arts Council, and the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council, Talbot County, and the Towns of Easton, Oxford and St Michaels.

Using models, paintings, historic photographs, artifacts such as wooden patterns and vintage signage and original drawings by John Trumpy Sr., A Single Goal explores the detailed process of wooden boat building as an art form and highlights these distinctive yachts and their furnishings and finishings.

This exhibition runs through November, 27, 2016, and is free for CBMM members or with museum admission. For more information, call 410-745-2916 or visit

PhotoFreedom, a 104-foot fantail motor yacht designed by John Trumpy and built in 1926 by Mathis Yacht Building Company in Camden, NJ. Photo by Morris Rosenfeld, courtesy of the Rosenfeld Collection, Mystic Seaport Museum.

Bay Grasses Make a Comeback, But Annual Survey is in Jeopardy

It is still early in the growing season, but scientists’ hopes are high that this year will produce a bumper crop of underwater meadows in the Chesapeake Bay.

After last year’s aerial survey documented a record 91,631 acres of submerged grasses spread over the Bay bottom, many think a new record for one of the estuary’s most critical habitats is likely, given early reports this spring of surprisingly clear water in parts of the Bay.

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 10.29.28 AM

VIMS researcher Bob Orth goes over a map where he and his team will be ground-truthing a grass bed. (Dave Harp)

But Bob Orth is not so sure.

“It’s been one weird spring,” says Orth, a researcher with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science who oversees the aerial survey.

Partially completed aerial surveys for parts of the Eastern Shore, where many of the clear water reports have originated, are indeed showing further expansions. On the Western Shore, though, beds seem to be retreating in places.

Orth has tracked the rise and fall of grass beds for three decades. During that time, he’s learned that grass abundance can vary wildly from place to place, and from year to year, for a host of reasons.

But Orth is worried that this year’s tally could be the last. He has struggled in recent years to keep the survey going. This year, he’s $100,000 short of the $516,000 needed to complete the work.

The shortfall has arisen partly because of rising costs, but also because state and federal funding has dwindled over the years as agency budgets have tightened. More than a dozen agencies have funded the survey at one time or another, but just four do so now. The lion’s share comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has chipped in increasing amounts in recent years to keep the survey going.

The potential loss of the survey has alarmed scientists. Bay grasses are an essential part of the ecosystem; they filter sediment, add oxygen to the water and provide habitat for blue crabs, fish, waterfowl and a host of other species. Grasses need good water quality — especially clarity, so sunlight can reach them and enable them to grow. The annual survey results are one of the most anticipated indicators of how the Bay is doing.

“I don’t want to be over-dramatic, but if I had to pick one piece of data, what would I want for the Bay?” asks Bill Dennison, vice president for science applications with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. “I would pick seagrasses.”

The annual survey provides one of the most crucial sets of information that he draws upon in producing his institution’s annual report card on Bay health. Beyond that, underwater grasses — unlike measures of dissolved oxygen or water clarity — represent an actual biological response to Bay conditions.

“It is more relevant, more widespread, and tells me more in an integrated sense how things are going,” Dennison says.

What’s more, restoring the grasses is an integral part of the legally binding Bay cleanup effort. State water-quality standards call for making the water clear enough to allow underwater grasses to grow on 185,000 acres of the bottom, with the distribution based on its historic abundance.

Without the survey, scientists say, it might be impossible to know if those goals are reached, thereby allowing the Chesapeake to be removed from its “pollution diet” — or at least the portion related to clear water.

“It’s one of those things that has been available for so long, everybody relies on it,” says Brooke Landry, a biologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and chair of the Bay Program’s submerged aquatic vegetation workgroup. “It is just kind of institutional. I can’t imagine moving forward with Bay restoration without it.”

Landry says her own agency, which helps fund the survey but had decreased its contributions in recent years, is examining whether it can boost support again. The two other remaining funders include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal Zone Management Program for Virginia and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

Getting a Baywide handle on underwater grass beds became a priority in 1983, after the EPA released the results of a multiyear study of the estuary’s woes that cited seagrass loss as one of its top problems.

The annual survey began the next year, with VIMS mapping Virginia and an EPA contractor mapping Maryland. It counted 38,224 acres, the lowest amount on record.

Orth’s team at VIMS took over the whole operation three years later, and has conducted it every year since except 1988, when there was no funding.

It’s a job that starts in mid-May in the Lower Bay, where grass beds show up first, and continues north through the summer, typically wrapping up in September or October.

The process is drawn out because the window of opportunity to get usable photos of grass beds is small, requiring low wind, minimal clouds, low tides, clear water and a low angle of the sun striking the water — all at the same time.

“The very first, most important step to this entire program, has always been flying with the right conditions,” Orth says. “We could go an entire month in the summertime without one good day.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 10.28.48 AM

The window for getting the right mix of conditions in a given day is small: typically within 90 minutes of a low tide in the early morning. The light and tide conditions might be right in late afternoon, but it’s usually too hazy then, especially in summer.

“It’s a hair-pulling operation,” Orth says. “You have to take advantage of every open window.”

When the weather forecast predicts favorable conditions for flying the next day, Orth and the crew from Air Photographics, the West Virginia aviation firm that does the actual photography, begin talking early in the afternoon before. They touch base after each forecast update into the early morning hours to make sure conditions haven’t changed before making a final call on whether the flight is a “go.”

Some areas surveyed present unique problems. To fly near Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, the Army requires that someone from the installation be on the plane. The military also removes images of its land before the photos go to VIMS for mapping.

“We’ve got to call to make sure they’re not shooting artillery up in the air, which happens during the week,” Orth says. “A lot of times we can only fly Aberdeen Proving Grounds on the weekend.”

The tidal Potomac River near the District of Columbia also presents challenges because of security issues associated with the nation’s Capital, and an armed police officer has to be on board during those flights.

Despite the funding crunch and logistical challenges, right now there are no plausible substitutes for the flights, Orth says. Satellites pass too infrequently to reliably hit all of the right conditions for photography, and they encounter much more interference from the atmosphere.

The biggest expense isn’t the flights, but the staff and high-powered computers needed to fit the mosaic of 2,500 overlapping photos together, and determine which patches of light and dark are grass beds, and which are sandy bottom, floating macro-algae or something else.

Grasses may look different, depending on how far underwater they are and whether they are in fresh or saltwater. “It’s like being an artist,” Orth says. “You develop a sense for what’s grass and what’s not grass.”

Protocols developed over the years guide what’s mapped, and help the 4.5-member interpretation team estimate the density of each bed. When there’s a question, Orth — who originally did all of the interpretation himself — is called in to make the final determination. He also gives the final sign-off on all maps.

A network of contacts, from biologists to riverkeepers, provides information about potential new areas to check. It also helps verify beds in areas where questions remain after examining the photos.

From 13,500 feet, an amazingly sharp set of images emerges. Scars left by the propellers of boats that ventured into dense beds are clearly visible.

The images also provide insights into how beds persist and expand. On one photo, Orth pointed out a plume of clear water flowing at ebb tide from a large grass bed into murky water. In future years, he says, that swath of clear water will likely prove to be an avenue for the grass bed to expand.

“You’ve got large amounts of water that’s filtered by this bed,” he says. “You can see how clear the water is that comes out of these grass beds.”

Over the years, the survey has shown wide fluctuations in the grass beds’ extent. They typically decline after severe storms and in years with high runoff, when more water-clouding nutrients and sediment are flushed into the Bay. In drier years, they often rebound.

But the full story of the grasses in any given year isn’t complete with the calculation of the total Baywide acreage. It plays out in the smaller, more regional and local changes that the survey has helped to detail.

In general, grasses in freshwater areas have been rebounding as water quality has improved. But in mid-Bay waters dominated by widgeon grass, the vegetation has waxed and waned based upon annual conditions. And in the high-salinity waters of the lower Bay, the eelgrass prevalent there has gradually declined.

Eelgrass prefers cool water temperatures and the survey helped to document the extent to which it died back during heat waves in 2005 and 2010 — events from which those beds still have not fully recovered.

Survey results have also shown how grass beds dramatically rebounded in the upper tidal Patuxent River after wastewater treatment plants were upgraded in the 1990s, and how the Susquehanna Flats took a big hit but survived the devastating flood of muddy water during Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. Just last year, the survey documented a surge of new grass in many Upper Bay areas, such as the Elk and Bohemia rivers.

Over the years, biologists have used information from the survey in scores of scientific papers that parse why grasses come and go in various places.

Scientists aren’t the only ones that use the imagery, though. The biggest users have turned out to be federal and state regulatory agencies that need to know whether various projects, such as dredging, shoreline alterations or proposed aquaculture sites would hurt grass beds.

Without the survey, someone would have to visit the site in person. But if it was the wrong season or the wrong year, they might not see a grass bed that is present at other times. “We can look at the historical picture and say, ‘you don’t want to lease this area because it has had, and probably will have, grass again,’” Orth says.

Despite its wide use, the grasses survey suffers from the same funding problems as many other monitoring programs, says the University of Maryland’s Dennison, who is co-chair of a Bay Program committee that analyzes monitoring needs and results. “Monitoring is difficult to justify and continue to fund,” he says. “It is not very sexy.”

Further, much of the available monitoring money is tied to specific programs and can’t easily be switched to support the aerial survey, he says, even though it is vital in assessing the impact of billions of dollars of pollution control efforts.

“It is money well-spent,” Dennison says. “I don’t see why we should have to work this hard to keep one of the essential building blocks of this monitoring program hanging together.”

Rich Batiuk, associate director for science with the EPA Bay Program Office, says while his agency has ramped up funding in recent years to help cover shortfalls, that isn’t sustainable.

He and Landry, the submerged grass workgroup chair, are organizing a workshop with users of the data, including regulatory agencies, researchers and others, to try to build a broader coalition of funders, explore ways to reduce costs while meeting data needs, and further integrate aerial and ground surveys.

“In order to maintain the survey for decades to come, we have to figure out a different path forward with a more diverse array of funders,” Batiuk says.

Meanwhile, Orth’s staff will be sorting through this year’s images looking for surprises that emerge in each new survey.

Last year’s survey was full of them, as it found grass beds in areas where they had never before been seen. In the Choptank River, new areas had to be surveyed to find them all.

“It just blew us away,” Orth says. “Whether those beds will persist this year, I don’t know. That is going to be the $64,000 question.”

The same might be says for the survey itself.

By Karl Blankenship, Bay Journal News Service

Karl Blankenship is editor of the Bay Journal and executive director of Chesapeake Media Service. He has served as editor of the Bay Journal since its inception in 1991.

Distributed by the Bay Journal News Service

Food Friday: Shake Off the Summer Heat

Your blender can be the adult equivalent of a visit from the Good Humor man. One day you can enjoy a nice long-lasting cup of lemon Italian ice, and the next a raspberry pop. Tomorrow a Toasted Almond, and on Saturday a chocolate eclair ice cream bar. One benefit of being a grown up is that you don’t have to save your allowance to enjoy these deelish summer treats. And not all of them rely on booze, so you can be cool AND respectable.

Julia Turner, ace editor of Slate magazine, waxed poetical about Nose-to-Tail Lemonade just about a year ago, during a hot spell in New York City on the Slate Culture Gabfest podcast – it must have been a slow culture week. She was enchanted by the notion of tossing entire lemons (minus the seeds) with some sugar and water into a blender, and the results being absolutely delicious and refreshing – the perfect answer to protractedly blistering summer afternoons.
New York Magazine published the recipe:
Quarter one lemon. Remove the seeds and some of the thick pith at the ends and sides of the slices. Place in a blender with two tablespoons of sugar and some ice cubes. Cover with ice-cold water (about 1 1/2 cups), and blend on high for a minute or so until smooth. So efficient.

While it is not exactly a raspberry ice pop from my youth, I think this multi-multi-step recipe for Frosé from Bon Appétit Magazine will refresh your parched summer soul:

The next drink calls for some cooking – roasting the almonds – so I am avoiding it, but you go ahead and try it.You probably won’t break a sweat, and that is something to brag about this week!

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh was a seminal book for me. Harriet was not one of the cool kids. She was a loner, who enjoyed writing, tomato sandwiches, and sometimes an egg cream. I was bitterly disappointed when I got off the leash in New York City for the first time, and beelined into an Orange Julius to try my inaugural egg cream. It was not the stuff of my imagination – which leaned heavily toward Rococo and hyperbolic.

A simple, classic egg cream is just the perfect, easy, cooling non-blender drink that does not rely on fancy, can-only-be-gotten-at-Whole-Foods ingredients. No fuss, no muss, just like those tomato sandwiches – which could only be improved with a couple of pieces of bacon, I think.

To make an egg cream you will need…
Unflavored seltzer water
Milk of your choice
Chocolate syrup
Practically poetical.

Our lovely and endlessly inventive friends at Food52 have a no-recipe milkshake primer that will get you ready to be creative with whatever you have on hand to make a delicious milkshake or two or three. You’ll need your blender, some ice cream, some milk and your imagination. Add alcohol or not. Bananas, graham crackers, blueberries, maple syrup, chocolate syrup, Oreos, cinnamon, M&Ms, leftover brownies, whipped cream – the world is your blender. Use it!

It’s almost August, so we are halfway through the sizzling summer. We need lots of ingenuity to get us through these hot dog days. Persevere! Be resourceful! Make shakes!

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
– Henry James

Talbot Historical Society Project Rewind: Finding the Opera Singer on the Miles

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 7.04.27 AM

John Charles Thomas 1891-1960, was known as the “Beloved Baritone of American Opera and Popular Music”. After attending the Peabody Institute in Baltimore in 1910 John Charles Thomas’s singing career first was spent performing Broadway plays in New York for nine years, then in 1925 he debuted in his first of many operas. He also pioneered music radio broadcasts, made recordings and acted in a silent film. This Talbot Historical Society Collection photo shows John Charles Thomas enjoying his second home at Ingleton on the Miles River in Talbot County. He loved golfing, yachting , racing speedboats and fishing. From 1938-1942 he was the Pres. of Easton’s Talbot Country Club. He also did local concerts to benefit Talbot County Charities! Facts: “John Charles Thomas” Wikipedia , and local knowledge facts from Mike Mielke and Tom Hill.

Contact: Cathy Hill to share your old photos. Comment, Like our page and join THS!

Candleberry Gallery Offers Variety of Events in August

Erick Sahler St Michaels

Erick Sahler “St Michaels”

In August, the Candleberry Gallery at 210 S. Talbot Street in St. Michaels will offer a variety of fun events to tempt visitors to come inside on the hot days of summer. The Gallery features over 40 local artisans showcasing art of all types — glass, painting, metal, photography, jewelry, collage, leather, prints, weaving, and so much more.

Come see two of our newest artists — Erick Sahler of Salisbury and Wende Woodham of Stevensville. Erick Sahler is well-known for his graphic designs featuring Eastern Shore town landmarks. His colorful hand-pulled serigraphs and smaller postcards make great souvenirs of summer days on the Shore. Wende Woodham weaves brightly colored ribbons to create fanciful seaside scenes. Her whimsical depictions of Eastern Shore scenes will make you smile.

Wende Woodham heron

Wende Woodham “heron”

The Featured Artist for the month of August is Bob Shaffer. Bob creates one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces with beautiful natural hand-cut gemstones. He has been interested in fossils, rocks, and minerals all his life, studying geology in college and expanding into the lapidary arts. He has been cutting stones for about 40 years, and has taught faceting for about 20 years. Bob uses the best rough stones he can find to form into a high quality final piece. His exquisite necklaces and rings make great gifts for someone special. See Bob’s art and techniques at a reception on Friday, August 5, from 3 to 5 pm.

Candleberry’s special exhibition for the month will feature the beautiful oil paintings of Joyce Zeigler. Joyce is a renowned local painter whose flowers, barnyard animals, and local scenes brighten the homes of so many collectors. Come meet Joyce on Sunday, August 7, from 3 to 5 pm.

Learn a fun new art technique by taking a batik class with Bridget Whited, recent Talbot County Teacher of the Year. Working with dyes and hot wax, participants will create a beautiful design on cloth. Please register in advance to join Bridget on Thursday, August 11, from 6 to 9 pm. All materials and expert instruction included for $60. Call Candleberry Gallery at 410-745-2420 to sign up.