AN EYE FOR ORCHIDS
Karen Messick's nature photography covers the minutiae of insects to the outstretched sky. The area photographer's latest up-close subject is the orchid. The flower's variety of sharp colors, patterns and symmetry takes center stage Wednesday, when Valley Framing and Fine Art opens an exhibit of her work. The wine-and-cheese reception offers a chance to meet Messick, and the exhibit runs through May 21.
The opening at Valley Framing and Fine Art, 2 Sherwood Road, Cockeysville, is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Call 410-666-5433 or go to valleyframingand fineart.com.
Four members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra bring their polished performance skills to a smaller setting Sunday. The Catonsville Presbyterian Church will host musicians Edward Palanker on clarinet, Philip Munds on horn, Mary Woehr on piano and Ilya Finkelshteyn on cello. The foursome will perform pieces by Bach, Brahms and Reinecke.
The performance is at 3 p.m. Sunday at the church, 1400 Frederick Road, Catonsville. Call 410-747-6180 or go to catonsvillepresb.org.
STORIES TO TELL
WHAT / / East Side West Side Life Stories oral-history theater project
WHEN / / 10:30 a.m. today
WHERE / / Catonsville Senior Center, 501 N. Rolling Road
WHY / / These Baltimore seniors guide the audience through the stories of their lives as part of a Heritage Theatre Artists' Consortium project.
CONTACT / / Call 410-396-2920 or go to h-tac.com.
Saturday and Sunday, for the first time, Ladew Topiary Gardens offers entrance to its 22 acres of blooming bulbs, shrubs, trees and sculpted topiaries for free. Inspired by English and Italian gardens, Harvey Ladew purchased Pleasant Valley Farm in 1929 and set about turning it into a European garden and topiary. The estate's other features include an antique-decorated home and a 1.5-mile nature trail.
Ladew Topiary Gardens, 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, is open 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m Saturday and Sunday. Call 410-557-9466 or go to www.ladewgardens.com.
PIRACY AND REVELRY
Fells Point lets loose Saturday for an unwashed and scurvy-ridden festival. Privateer Day celebrates the unruly characters of the Age of Sail with costume contests, music, sword fights, vendors, storytelling, ship tours and a naval battle. The new Living History Camp offers period food as well as demonstrations in seamanship and weaponry.
Privateer Day is 11 a.m-6 p.m. Saturday at 900 S. Broadway. Call 410-675-8900 or go to fellspointdevelopment. com.
WHAT / / Boundary Block Party
WHEN / / 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.
WHERE / / The park median of Eutaw and McMechen streets
WHY / / To bring together the communities of Bolton Hill, Madison Park, Sandtown and Upton in a celebration with music, free food, community art and family activities.
CONTACT / / Call 410-225-2300 or go to boundary blockparty.com.