Monday, September 27, 2010

Eagles at Chincoteague

A couple of weeks ago we went on another trip to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Now, every time we’ve gone there we heard about eagles. There used to be a video monitor in the visitor’s center, which showed some baby eagles in a nest. But, we never saw any until this last trip. Note that there are two here, and one flew by just as we saw these. This was on the wildlife loop in the late afternoon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tobacco at the Maryland State Fair

One thing that I always enjoy at the Maryland State Fair is seeing the many different varieties of things that people grow in our state. There are heirloom watermelons such as Moon and Stars ( a personal favorite), nuts such as walnuts and pecans, grains, and hay. One thing I always seeing on display are the tobacco hands, such as this one, which one a blue ribbon. I hate smoking and the tobacco industry, but I do like this because it hints at local history.

Currently tobacco farming on Maryland is on the wane, but it was once a big industry. During Colonial times tobacco was a big moneymaker. At first, workers were brought over from England but over the years African Americans took over this work. It takes a lot of work to harvest a field of tobacco. The local tobacco industry suffered after the Civil War, was revived during World War I, and then waned again. Now, many Maryland tobacco farmers have given up the crop in favor of other, more profitable things like vegetables. To see a recreation of a Colonial tobacco plantation, consider visiting the Spray Tobacco Plantation in St. Mary’s City, Maryland.