West Friendship: Celestial Searchers Club ends year with a celebratory party

The night sky the week of Dec. 13 was nothing short of magnificent. For those who took the time to peer at the moon or the still sky, the beauty of winter was evident. Joel Goodman, founder of the Celestial Searchers and NatureSphere curator at the Robinson Nature Center on Cedar Lane, found time to point out the majesty of the December sky to the students who participate in the Celestial Searchers Young Astronomers Club.

The club members met Dec. 21 for a celebratory holiday meeting with a discussion about the Star of Bethlehem, refreshments and an art project for the kids and the parents. As in all years, the club members designed and fashioned an "astro" card. Goodman spoke to the club membership about the fantastic annual Geminid meteor shower peaks which were visible Dec. 13 and 14.

The club meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the art room at Bushy Park Elementary. Interested? Email Goodman at stardocjg@aol.com.

Last chance to join in an evening of unparalleled music. If you still haven't filled out your New Year's Eve social calendar, consider joining fans of the Columbia Pro Cantare for an intimate evening of music at a private home in Ellicott City. The soiree will include jazz selections, New Orleans Classics, and Poulenc's "Sonata for Trumpet, Horn and Trombone."

The evening event is set for 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. with proceeds from the ticketed event to benefit the Pro Cantare Chorus. Musical artists will include Jared Denhard on harp, trombone, euphonium, banjo and ukulele, Ronald Mutchnik on violin, Marshall White on piano and coronet and Richard Roberts on horn.

Interested music lovers may inquire about tickets at 410-799-9321, 301-854-0107 or by going to the Pro Cantare website at http://www.procantare.org. Tickets for the event which celebrates the Pro Cantare's 35th anniversary are $30. The evening includes music, food, beverages and a raffle.

The Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks has announced its deer management program for 2012. Several opportunities are available for citizens who like to help maintain a stable, balanced white-tailed deer population through a managed deer hunt.

The managed hunts will include a combination of bow and shotgun hunting in Howard County parks. The parks will be closed during the hunting hours of dawn until noon. A bow and shotgun hunt is set for Jan. 12 at the Alpha Ridge Park.

For information on this program or to register, visit the Department of Recreation and Parks website at http://www.howardcountymd.gov/deermanagement.htm or call 410-313-1675.

Several more chances to see Brother Gerry's fabulous train garden in the Manor House at the Shrine of St. Anthony on Folly Quarter Road. The set up is open to the public Jan. 8, 15, 22 and 29 from 1 to 3 p.m.

The children I've seen viewing the train garden can't decide which is more irresistible- the train set up, which even includes miniature "Shrek" and "Star Wars" figures, or the magnificent glittery tree in the historic Manor House Foyer. The train garden open house will continue Sundays in January, 3-5 p.m.

Happy New Year to all in the community.

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