Five things to do outdoors this weekend

Sun? Really? This weekend?

Let's make the most of it before the rain returns. Here's five things to get you started:

1) Eat some barbecue and cheer on wounded warriors on Armed Forces Day at the Marines Helping Marines Foundation Fishing Tournament at Anchor Marina in North East. Veterans recovering at Walter Reed and Bethesda hospitals will participate as two-mans to raise money for the Foundation, which helps pay for weekend retreats for wounded veterans in outpatient care and assists military service members and their families in time of need. Boats will launch from the Anchor Marina at first safe light, usually right around 6 a.m., and return at 1 p.m. for the weigh-in. A barbecue will begin at 12:30 at the Nauti-Goose Restaurant, 200 Cherry St. The cost is $10 per adult, $3 for children.

2) Learn to canoe and take a leisurely paddle at the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center in Abingdon. The lesson is suitable for anyone over the age of 8. The cost is $10 per person. Call 410-612-1688 to reserve a spot.  

3) They won't teach you how to ride a thoroughbred or pick a Preakness winner, but members of the 4-H Club on Saturday will give you the ABC's of ponies and donkeys at a free demonstration at The Howard County Conservancy's 232-acre Mount Pleasant farm on Old Frederick Road. The event begins at 10 a.m. Call 410-465-8877 or visit the conservancy website for more.

4) The Howard County Sierra Club is leading an 11-mile hike Saturday along the Appalachian Trail, from Washington Monument State Park to Annapolis Rocki and back. Bring lunch and water. Meet at the Bagel Bin on U.S. 40 in the Enchanted Shopping Center for an 8:30 a.m. push off. Call Tim Ryan before 9:30 p.m. today, 410-248-2974 or if you need details.

5) In May Jupiter, Venus and Mercury will be in a line with Mars just below them--if you know where to look. The Westminster Astronomy Club will be at Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area Saturday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. to point you and your family in the right direction. Program is rain or shine. Time machines will be provided. Call 877-794-0606 to save a spot. The event is free, but they wouldn't say no to a donation.

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