Next time you visit Piney Run Park, be sure to take along your camera and plenty of film: The fourth annual Piney Run photography contestis on.

Get some good shots of a fisherman on the lake reeling in a big one. Catch the kids enjoying one of the many activities the park sponsors. Get a night shot from the pontoon boat. Photograph the sunrise through the cattails. Zoom in on the delicate petals of a wildflower.

Photos must be taken within the park's boundaries and must have been shot between October 1990 and October 1991. You can shoot your pictures in color or black-and-white. Prints must be at least 5-by-7 inches and not larger than 7-by-14. Slides will not be accepted.

Judges will be looking for good photo quality, clarity and composition, and appropriate lighting.


Piney Branch Park needs volunteers to assist with the fifth annual Apple Festival on Oct. 19.

The festival is both a day of family fun and a fund-raising event for the benefit of the park and nature center.

To volunteer, call Elaine Sweitzer, park naturalist, at 795-6043.

Also, if you're wondering what to do with that old aquarium, portable barbecue or extra hose, the nature center will be happy to accept them.


The tally is in.

There were a total of 1,031 happy hikers who paced it off from Union Mills Homestead in this year's Piedmont Pacers Annual Volksmarch.

Perfect weather and a well-designed trail garnered rave reviews from all.

Two-hundred-twenty-three of the hikers were brave enough to tackle the notorious "Hill."

Some did it with the assistance of walking canes offered for sale by the Pacers at the base of the hill.

Several hikers combined exercise with respect for the environment, picking up recyclable items as they hiked.

Proceeds from the registration fees -- $200 -- were donated to the Union Mills Homestead Foundation for the use of the facility.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, the club will sponsor a sanctioned guided walk. This is a credit-only event, with a trail rating of 4 to 4-plus.

The hike will begin from 4696 Doncrest Court, Sykesville.

Information: 795-7855.


Local fur trappers may wish to take advantage of a course being offered Sept. 6-8 at Camp Hickory in Garrett County.

Included will be sessions on Furbearer Biology and Management, Trapping and WildlifeManagement, Animal Behavior, Fur Handling and Grading and a number of other issues of interest to trappers.

Information: Michael Rhodes, (301) 334-4654 after 5 p.m., or write to William B. Wilson Sr., 9510 Perry Hall Blvd., Apt. 104, Perry Hall, 21236.


Maryland's Department of Natural Resources has announced that a single-shot, muzzle-loading pistol or revolver is now a legal weapon for hunting deerduring the muzzleloader season in all counties.

The weapon must be not less than .40-caliber, with a minimum barrel length of 6 inches, and use not less than 40 grains of black powder (or an equivalent amount of Pyrodex).

Another change should be noted by those who hunt in Frederick County: The lands lying south of Interstate 70 and east of U.S. 15 are closed to hunters using breech-loading rifles. This regulation applies as well to Worcester County south of St. Martin's River and north of U.S. 50, east of Route 589 and west of Assawoman Bay.

This year in Carroll, hunters who possess a permit to hunt from a vehicle will be allowed to take antlerless deer in place of an antlered deer without a permit.


Subscribers to the Piney Branchnewsletter, Piney Whispers, got some good advice in the July/August issue on avoiding some of the less-pleasant aspects of summertime living.

The old adage, "Leaves three, let it be," still applies to poison ivy, and readers are cautioned that they should learn to identify the plant and to avoid it as they hike.

Ticks are a menace that can carry dangerous diseases. The remedy is to check for ticks immediately after traveling through woods and tall grasses.

The paper also offers precautions about the heat, although considering our recentrun of 100-degree days, the warnings come a bit late.

But there will no doubt be plenty of days left this summer when wearing a hat and drinking plenty of water will prove to be sensible precautions.

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