From its beginnings at upstream springs and farm ditches to its broad estuary below Cambridge, the Choptank River is the Delmarva Peninsula’s largest river. It has been called the “noblest watercourse on the Eastern Shore.” On Thurs., Oct. 27, join longtime collaborators Tom Horton and David W. Harp for a presentation of their new book, Choptank Odyssey: Stories from a Great Chesapeake River, and learn about the Choptank’s natural history, human history, science and culture. The program begins at 4 p.m. at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center, 114 S. Washington St., Easton.
Horton, the book’s author, will read excerpts from the seven essays that comprise its narrative, while photographer Dave Harp will share some of the book’s more than 150 photographs. Discover the Choptank’s inhabitants and learn about the impact of human activity on the natural environment. You’ll become acquainted with generations of watermen and farmers, oystermen and oyster shuckers, crabbers and crab pickers, commercial fishermen, and a turkler, just to name a few. Water quality scientist Tom Fisher, oyster boat captain Wade Murphy and retired biologist and aquatic scientist W.R. Nick Carter III, to whom the book is dedicated, also offer tales of wonder and sacrifice while warning of the consequences of overpopulation and wasteful habits. Join this special program to learn how we can restore the river, reduce pollution, conserve food and fuel, and protect this special place for all time.
Harp is the staff photographer for the Chesapeake Bay Journal. With Horton, he co-produces “Voices from the Edge,” a continuing video series about the fecundity and variety of life along the edge of land and water. Horton reported on the Chesapeake Bay for the Baltimore Sun for 15 years before becoming a freelancer in 1987. His first book, Bay Country, won the John Burroughs Medal for the nation’s best natural history book of the year.
Choptank Odyssey is free and open to the public. The program is presented by Adkins Arboretum in partnership with Midshore Riverkeepers Association and Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. A book signing and reception with light refreshments and a cash wine and beer bar will follow the reading. Books will be available for sale. Advance registration is requested at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.