Category: Maryland

A visit to the Greenbelt Farmer’s Market — and a recipe

Barry and I went to the Greenbelt Farmer’s Market in Greenbelt, Md., last Sunday, and because we had such a good time, we went back this Sunday as well. (See map below.) I hope you enjoy this gallery of photos from our market visits. To get the gallery started, click any photo and use the back and forward buttons to see the rest of ’em.

At this morning’s visit, Barry bought me a great-smelling lemon verbena body scrub bar from Mystic Water Soap this morning. I can’t wait to try it out!

When I was looking for good ways to cook fresh green beans, I found this quick, easy green bean recipe. Because I’m from Maryland, hon, I threw 1/4 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning into the spice mix. As you can see below, the beans were both flavorful and beautiful to look at!

The final result. Yummy!

If you live in the DMV, you should definitely give the Greenbelt Farmer’s Market a try. It’s a great way to spend a summer Sunday. This year (2017), the market is open every Sunday, from now until November 19, except Labor Day, so you still have plenty of chances to get there!

Here’s the map:

Hiking the Northwest Branch Trail

I like to discover beautiful places to visit in the mid-Atlantic region, and I like to share my favorite places with others. I’ve recently discovered this one, and I’m sorry it took me so long. The Northwest Branch Trail is inside the Capital Beltway, so it’s close to Washington, D.C. It’s a seven-mile, paved trail that follows the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River through leafy, wooded terrain, with rock formations on both sides. The trail connects Prince George’s County with Montgomery County, and it runs from Hyattsville, Md. all the way to the Beltway in Silver Spring. Here’s a Mesh gallery of shots I took while meandering down the trails.

The lovely, restored Adelphi Mill sits on its banks.

Adelphi Mill in Adelphi, Md., near the Northwest Branch trail. (Photo by Andrea Kenner)
Adelphi Mill in Adelphi, Md., near the Northwest Branch trail. (Photo by Andrea Kenner)

It’s cool in the summer, and almost makes you forget you’re in a dense, urban area. But please don’t forget — it’s always safer to walk with a dog or a human friend.

Where do YOU like to commune with nature? If you’re in the mid-Atlantic region, do you have any favorite places you’d like to share? Please let me know in the comments.

Hiking at Savage Mill

I’ve been to Savage Mill in Savage, Md., several times before, but never as a hiking destination. I will definitely go back there again!

Savage Mill has a funky, old-timey vibe. It has lots of places for an after-hike lunch, including the Ram’s Head Tavern. According to Wikipedia:

“The Savage Mill is a historic cotton mill complex in Savage, Maryland, which has been turned into a complex of shops and restaurants. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. It is located in the Savage Mill Historic District. Buildings in the complex date from 1822 to 1916.”

The Savage Mill is close to Savage Park, which features a number of hiking trails. We hiked on some of those trails today. Here are some pictures from the day.

Tulips in the early morning sunshine
Tulips in the early morning sunshine
Hikers on the Bollman Truss railroad bridge adjacent to the mill
Hikers on the Bollman Truss railroad bridge adjacent to the mill
Rocks and rapids on the Patuxent River
Rocks and rapids on the Patuxent River
A bridge support on the Bollman Truss bridge
A bridge support on the Bollman Truss bridge
Pansies at trail's end
Pansies at trail’s end


Today’s Photography 101 theme is “connect.” Today, I connected with a group of people who love to hike!

I’m a member of the Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group, and this evening’s hike was the first of many weekly hikes at Centennial Park in Ellicott City, Md.. for the 2015 hiking season. The evening was warm, even though there’s still snow on the ground. The snow didn’t deter these intrepid hikers, who were all excited about getting outdoors and connecting with other hikers after a long, cold winter slog!


A winter day at Brookside Gardens

This afternoon, we visited Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Md. And while it may look like the photos below were taken at two different times and in two different places, they were all taken today in snowy Maryland. That’s because Brookside Gardens has a conservatory with a beautiful array of tropical flowers and plants.

You can view the photos as a slideshow by clicking one and using the right and left arrows to scroll through them. To close the slideshow, click the x in the upper-left corner

And, if you’re interested in visiting Brookside Gardens, here are their hours and directions, along with a map.

The Amazing Acro-Cats

Me and two of the Amazing Acro-Cats (Photo by Barry Jawer)
Me and two of the Amazing Acro-Cats (Photo by Barry Jawer)

Barry and I saw the Amazing Acro-Cats at the Port Tobacco Players Theatre in La Plata, Md., on Sunday, May 5, 2013. I had a really good time, and I thought you might like to see some of the photos.

The Amazing Acro-Cats are a traveling troupe of kitty performers who hail from Chicago. The shows in La Plata helped to benefit the Humane Society of Charles County. The society brought some adoptable cats to the theater.

Poultry performer Gregory Peck on tambourine (Photo by Barry Jawer)
Poultry performer Gregory Peck on tambourine (Photo by Barry Jawer)

The multi-talented cats demonstrated spectacular feats of feline agility and style, with assistance from their “chief human,” Samantha Martin. The show culminated with a performance from The Rock Cats, an all-kitty band. Joining the cats onstage were bowling champ, Garfield the Groundhog, and noted percussionist, Gregory Peck the chicken.

If you’re a cat lover — and I mean, who isn’t — you owe it to yourself to see the Amazing Acro-Cats when they visit your town!

Tuna, on cowbell. (Photo by Barry Jawer)
Tuna, on cowbell. (Photo by Barry Jawer)
Nue, the keyboardist. According to Acro-Cats, Nue's likeness "graces various packages of Tidy Cats brand litter and Purina Cat Chow." (Photo by Barry Jawer)
Nue, the keyboardist. According to Acro-Cats, Nue’s likeness “graces various packages of Tidy Cats brand litter and Purina Cat Chow.” (Photo by Barry Jawer)
On to the next town... (Photo by Andrea Kenner)
On to the next town… (Photo by Andrea Kenner)

Disc golf: A fun sport anyone can play

Got a flying disc and a pair of walking shoes? That’s all you need to start playing disc golf.



PATAPSCO VALLEY STATE PARK, CARROLL COUNTY, Md. – Disc golf is a game that’s a lot like traditional “ball golf.” The rules are pretty much the same. The main difference is that you can start playing disc golf with equipment you probably already have in your closet: A flying disc and walking shoes.

The bad news is that you’ll need to get yourself to one of the area’s disc golf courses and none are in Washington, D.C. The good news, though, is that there are about 65 disc golf courses throughout Maryland and Virginia, and some of those are within a few miles of the District. The two closest courses are in College Park, Md., and Arlington, Va. The College Park course is about a 10-minute walk from the College Park Metro station, and the Arlington course is about two miles from the Ballston Metro station.

At a disc golf tournament called Patapsco Punisher, played on the disc golf course at Patapsco Valley State Park in Carroll County, Md., April 7, more than 70 players — from professionals to newcomers — took to the tees.

Stephen J. Badger, a naturalist with the Patapsco Valley State Park, is also a tournament director and a promoter of the game.

“Disc golf is open to a wide variety of players,” Badger said. “We certainly have an eclectic mix. People from all socioeconomic groups and of all ages are out here to play. Today, we have competitors from 14 up to about age 52 or 54.”

Disc Golf
A disc golfer tees off at the Patapsco Punisher disc golf tournament at Maryland's Patapsco Valley State Park on Saturday, April 7, 2012. (Photo by Andrea Kenner/American Observer)

Badger said tournament play is open to everyone, and the tournament is divided into different expertise levels that make it possible for recreational players to play alongside the pros.

However, all of the players in the April 7 tournament were male. Badger said he has found it can be difficult for women to commit the time needed for tournament-level play.

“We’re always hoping to have new women come into the sport,” Badger said. “We do work on various promotional ways to get women into more tournaments. Sometimes we help by finding a sponsor to take care of the registration fees or add cash to their division.”

Matthew Kashima, 14, was one of the youngest players at the tournament. “My dad has always had a basket in the front yard, and I’ve just been playing in my front yard since I was two or three years old,” he said.

Kashima said he likes playing with the older guys, but “they’re a little bit slow.” Some of Kashima’s younger friends play in tournaments, too. “I have a couple of friends that live up in Pennsylvania that play, and a lot of times we get into some bigger tournaments.” Kashima said that the thing he likes best about disc golf is that “you don’t have to be in the best shape to play. It’s just a lot of fun.”

Badger said the Maryland Park Service offers disc golf clinics for people who want to improve their game. “There’s also the grassroots approach by just buying a single disc at a store and just going out and giving it a try,” Badger said.

He said some beginners use Frisbees, but “the discs don’t fly as far, and they’re certainly harder to control in a heavy wind.”

But tournament golfers don’t use Frisbees. Instead, they use specialized discs that are smaller but heavier than Frisbees. Just like “ball golfers,” many professional disc golfers select a different type of disc for different play situations, Badger said.

Course designer Jim Myers said every hole on the 18-hole course offers two tees and two baskets so that players can make the play harder or easier to suit their skill level.

“The thing that we wanted on this course was to incorporate all the elevation changes you see here and make the course something that could go from amateur play all the way out to professional play,” Myers said.

“This course here is one of the sweetest courses in the nation,” he said.

Many of the area’s disc golf courses are free, but for some require a small park entrance fee. The Patapsco Valley State Park charges a $3 entry fee for Maryland residents; the entry fee for out-of-state residents is $5. Once you’re in the park, the disc golf course itself is free.

Registration fees for tournament play varies. The entry fee for the Patapsco Punisher was $45 for pros and $25 for amateurs, but that helps to fund prizes for the top finisher. Mike Moser, the winner of this year’s Patapsco Punisher, brought home the day’s top prize: $195.

View Disc golf courses in the Washington, D.C., area in a larger map

Note: This story was originally published in the American Observer on April 28 2012.

A day at the Maryland Science Center

Are there any interactive exhibits at the Maryland Science Center at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor? I can answer that question in one word: Yes! All of the exhibits are designed to engage four of your five senses: sight, sound, touch, and smell. And if you’re willing to spend a little more than your entry fee… you can engage your sense of taste as well, at a snack bar or at the Breakers Cafe.

My husband, Barry, and I spent the day at the Maryland Science Center on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011. Here’s a little slide show to give you an idea of what our day was like.

The video features the song “See You Later” by Pitx (feat. Fireproof Babies, Bmccosar). Click credits, above, to see the complete music credit.