The Waterman's Minister He is a wandering minister, plying the waters of the Chesapeake every week to bring his message to the Bay's island folk. We accompany the Minister on his rounds, and see a hidden side of the Bay that truly inspires.
Rock Hall's Buffalo Most watermen you hear about ply the Chesapeake Bay's waters for blue crabs or oysters. But there's more out there than just shellfish. Buffalo Strong, a Rock Hall waterman, knows where the good catch is, and hunts the rivers and creeks of the upper Bay for catfish.
Return of the River Dance River otters are captivating, playful marine mammals once lost to Maryland -- and successfully restored in limited but growing numbers by the DNR. Working with Robert Colona, biologist with the DNR, Professor Thomas Serfass with Frostburg University, and graduate student Abbey Burk, we follow the arrival in late winter of a fresh new batch of river otters from New York State, and watch their release to the wild along the Youghiogheny River. We also visit Mt. Nebo Wildlife Management Area in Garrett county, where Abbey Burk is monitoring a wild, breeding population of otters in this seldom seen, beautiful 2,000 acres of upland woodlands, meadows and rare ancient red-spruce bog.
Too Soon To Tell Some people say we've eaten all of the Blue Crabs the Chesapeake Bay has to offer. Others believe the alarming decline in the numbers of crabs is part of a natural cycle; they'll come back strong, given time. Scientists, too, are interested in the drama of the Chesapeake Blue Crab, its life cycle, and sudden decline. In the face of mounting evidence that crab harvests may never again rebound, researchers offer their predictions.
The Road Show There's the tiny Eastern Screech Owl that was found, injured, on a roadside. And the Black Vulture that was rescued as a chick from a burning barn in Havre De Grace. There're the Owls – Barn, Bard, Great Horned and Short-eared; the Turkey Vulture with a missing toe; the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle, and the osprey, hawks and falcons. They make up the bird portion of a company of "performers" that's half of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Scales 'n Tales program, a unique, traveling zoo that helps to educate people about the state's different species of birds. The other half that finds its way with the birds to schools, birthday parties, county fairs and other venues, are a collection of snakes that round out the complement of players.
A Walk With The Stokes Birds like 'em. Bird watchers love 'em. Don and Lillian Stokes, of MPT's Stokes Birds at Home fame, take an opportunity to bird-watch in a suburban Washington, D.C. sanctuary to take in the sights offered up by a Maryland springtime.
Tying The Fly Veteran Fly Fisherman Saul McCartney says the game is time tested. Tie the fly. Find the spot. Hit the mark. Think like the fish. Walk home happy, no matter what.
Mountain Rattle What kind of people purposely track, capture, pick up and study rattlesnakes face-to-face? The DNR's Scott Smith and Ed Thompson, and snake wrangler Marty Martin, that's who. The three men regularly climb rocky western Maryland mountain outcrops in search of rattlers to help gauge the species' population. They'll tell you the Timber Rattler is one of the most misunderstood animals in nature, and they're right. It's also one of the most feared, and pays a heavy price as a species because of it.
The Shell Game They say that slow and steady wins the race. Does that apply to turtles, too? The Maryland Department of Natural Resources wants to know more about the numbers of a famous Maryland turtle-the Terrapin, a species that lives in Eastern Shore creeks and marshes. Like most types of turtle, the Terrapin is mysterious in its movements and is difficult to track and study. Now, its fate is in question as development consumes much of the animals' ancient nesting spots. Experts are hoping a new research program will prove it's not too late.
History's Bookmark The Chesapeake Bay's long history links Maryland's eastern and western shores with tales that bring alive the rich tradition of life on the water and its legacy. Two museums on opposite sides of the Chesapeake, the Chesapeake Maritime Museum and the Calvert Marine Museum, are actively working to save the past for future generations.
Born Builders Man's ability to shape and change his environment at will has proven to be something of a double-edged sword. But one of nature's most industrious species can also change the landscape. The beaver is a fascinating creature that can turn a meadow with a stream running through it into a thriving wetlands. See why the term "busy as a beaver" is true.
The Valley Wind There are some places on earth where the wind always blows. One is a rugged cliff called High Rock, sandwiched between steep foothills straddling the Pennsylvania-Maryland border. There, hang glider pilots rendez-vouz to help one another soar on the valley winds and take in the breathtaking beauty of the mountains.
Backpack Passport: The "Outdoors Maryland" Field Guide to Camping Who hasn't pined for a revitalizing escape to nature and the great outdoors? Most of us cherish memories of dancing flames in a crackling campfire under a glittering expanse of stars. And don't forget the s'mores! Outdoors Maryland's Backpack Passport is the definitive guide to camping adventure. Backpack Passport is a primer of tried-and-true basics as well as a showcase of innovative equipment and techniques that will become an essential guide for beginning, returning and experienced campers alike. From weekend family camping to wilderness backpacking, Backpack Passport explores the "how-to's" of hassle-free camping in a journey across diverse landscapes that also highlights exciting "where-to" possibilities -- from seaside weekend family camping to quickie urban getaways to remote mountain trekking.
Visit the Department of Natural Resources for more camping information.
Out of Place & Time It's like visiting a lost world as you walk through Cranesville Swamp. Known as a "frost pocket," this ancient leftover from the ice age contains plants that aren't found anywhere else in the state -- and haven't been, for the last 10,000 years or so.
Outdoor Adventures Eco-tourism sounds like a new word to many people, but it's really just a new twist on an old idea: playing in Maryland's beautiful and diverse out-of-doors. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources wants more Marylanders to enjoy the recreational opportunities across the state, and the department's Nita Settina takes viewers across the state biking, canoeing and fly fishing to showcase some of the possibilities.
Humming in the Garden It's easier than you ever thought to attract hummingbirds to your own backyard! The Ruby Throated Humming bird is Maryland's native species. It weighs only a tenth of an ounce and is attracted to nectar supplied by native plants or attentive homeowners. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Wild Acres program helps homeowners attract wildlife to their own backyards, such as different species of Hummingbirds.
Snakes of Maryland: A Field Guide Mystery rules the long spine of their natural history. Whether reviled or revered, snakes have captured our imaginations through the ages. More than 2,400 species of snakes are known in the world. True to their elusive, mysterious nature, the exact number of species in Maryland is unknown -- somewhere between 24 and 27. Outdoors Maryland walked the state's mountains, coastal plain and forests in search of Maryland's snakes, and found them - on hot rocks, in dark crevices and under prickly brush. "Snakes of Maryland: A Field Guide" demystifies the lowly snake by bringing together three top-notch experts on reptiles and amphibians of the region: the Maryland Department of Natural Resource's Ed Thompson and Scott Smith, and rattlesnake wrangler legend Marty Martin.
Paddling to Paradise There's a new world of tourism emerging on Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. One where visitors paddle along trails rather than hike them on land, and where the stresses of urban living are absorbed by the silence of marshy wilderness. One of the finest of such places to visit is Jane's Island.
Strange & Curious Ways They are immigrants to our shores, rarely seen though more common in number. The Seka Deer, a tiny elk, makes its Maryland home on the Eastern Shore, adding to the beauty of a region whose allure is legendary.
The Four-point-Four Four-point-four is precisely how far it is at the point where the great steel twin spans of the Bay Bridge straddle the Chesapeake and tie together Maryland's western and eastern shores. From here, hardy souls each year plunge into the Chesapeake's green water and joyfully, methodically swim tens of thousands of strokes in their journey to finish the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Swim.
Chesapeake Forests What must be done to protect the integrity of land and industry at the same time? If handled properly, it's an opportunity for government, industry and the public to find solutions together.
Digging the Past If Dinosaur fossils are discovered at a Maryland locale, and digging has begun to unearth them...can dino-crazed kids be far behind? Predictably, they're on the case and hot on the trail of imprints of the past.
Schooner Schooling Kids take the the open Chesapeake Bay to learn as much as they can about what makes it the great estuary that it is, thanks to the Living Classroom Foundation.
A Rural Legacy As sprawl spills outward from urban areas into rural parts of the state, government is stemming the loss of important parcels that represent an historic legacy to Marylanders. They've originated the Rural Legacy program, which buys and sets aside land that is threatened by development.
Hooked on Fishing The Maryland Department of Natural Resources gives kids a chance to learn about the bay and critters that live in it as a way to help them find alternatives to risky behavior.
Jewels of the Forest It is an avocation so fraught with potential catastrophe that only a handful of experts walk the Maryland woods in search of wild mushrooms. Why do they do it? These fascinating and, many times, poisonous native fungi, are safe only in the hands of practiced mushroom hunters, many of whom regularly gather together in their quest for these jewels of the forest.
Search & Rescue Dogs prove once again why the adage "man's best friend" is so accurate in describing canines and their love of, and obedience to, their human masters, in this segment that explores the training of dogs for use in search and rescue missions.
Climb On The cliffs at Maryland Heights pose a sheer climbing challenge for two Marylanders whose goal is to make it to the top without a fall.
Wild Backyards "Wild Backyards" visits homes in Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, and Howard Counties and tells the tales of habitat creators who share their secrets of success in luring many native species of birds, mammals, butterflies and frogs. "Wild Backyards" features an impressive collection of simple-to-create-and-manage, scaled wildlife sanctuaries created by local homeowners. The program offers a wealth of information on how to match desirable wildlife with habitat design, making the best use of backyard space available, and caring for, and maintaining, a mini-Eden.