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Hey There, Autumn

This week we bring you 50-plus ways to revel in the new season

     Autumn comes to us in many ways.
     Meteorological autumn, now three weeks past, came with just the right gifts to be welcome. Clear, dry, comfortable days … cool nights that demanded a light blanket … blue skies that made imaginations soar and sent painters scurrying to capture them … clouds that looked gathered for a new entertainment called Cloud Bounce: For benefits like those, we could let summer go.
     Astrological autumn, now upon us, turned the tables, bringing summer back for a last stand — after, alas, the swimming pools have locked us out.
     Anticipatory autumn will surely, one weekend next month, remind us that winter is on its other side. 
     So we come to autumn in many ways.
     This week’s paper brings you 50.
     Our annual welcome to fall, 50 Ways to Leave Your Summer, recompenses us for the ending of the season we idealize.
     As well as recompense, 50 Ways reminds you of the delights autumn brings. In this assemblage, you’ll find pleasures that reprise the best of summer, like Calverton School’s autumn-introducing September 22 concert on the lawn with Troy Ramey and Bryan Frates.
     You’ll find distinctly autumnal entertainments: apple orchards, corn mazes, Halloween hauntings, hayrides, Oktoberfests and pumpkin patches. 
You’ll find boat shows, with three giants coming to us: TrawlerFest at Stevensville September 28 to 30, the U.S. Sailboat Show at City Dock October 5 to 9 and U.S. Powerboat Show, October 12 to 15.
     Many of our 50 Ways, which will keep you occupied all the way to Thanksgiving, lure you outside in this temperate respite between summer’s pressure cooker and winter’s freezer.
     Festivals invite you to parks and historic places throughout Chesapeake Country. American Chestnut Land Trust, Calvert Marine Museum, Camp Whippoorwill (with the Girl Scouts), Goshen Farm, Historic Sotterley Plantation, Kinder Farm Park, Patuxent River Park and Quiet Waters Park are among the many places doubly worth visiting for fall festivals.
     In keeping with the harvest season, many autumnal events invite you to eat well, often at nature’s table. Dining in the Field returns for a second year, setting a long table for 100 or so diners at Briscoe Farms so you look down on the Patuxent as you’re served local dishes created by great Maryland chefs, including PBS Coastal Cooking host John Shields of Gertrude’s in Baltimore.
     For smaller plates and wider sampling, try Taste of South County or Harvest Taste of Solomons.
     To balance all that good eating — and prepare you for the Thanksgiving feast — our 50 Ways end with a half-dozen runs and fun walks.
     As if 50 Ways were not ample, you get one more season-welcoming treat in this week’s paper. Nature and wildlife photographer Mark Hendricks guides you on a tour of autumnal color in our great Chesapeake watershed.
     I’m a summer lover, but this issue is incentive enough for me to be glad to enter autumn.