Thursday November 5

The weather today will be mostly sunny with a high near 61 and a low around 43.

Did you know? Nearby Alpine Lake Resort golf season has officially ended but they invite you to enjoy walking and playing their course on these warm days! Bring your own clubs and golf balls and get outside! Note, the pro shop won’t be open but the restaurant will be on Wed-Sat starting at 4pm.

Thanks to our dear reader, Marcia, for letting us know there was a bug on our lake temperature gauge. It is working now but, note, that it’s in shallow water so it’s fluctuating significantly with the air temperature.

Drop off your old cellphones at any Ruth Enlow Library branch to thank military members as part of the Cell Phones for Soldiers initiative.

FYI – there is funding available (ranging from $10,000 to $50,000) to early-stage businesses and/or businesses that are expanding within an opportunity zone in Maryland. Applications will be accepted online starting Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 12PM.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass are targeting crayfish and soft plastic craws on a ned rig or similar rigging is a shore (🤗)  fire way to catch them…  Learn more from the MD DNR Fishing Report from Nov 4.

Bear Creek Traders has DEALS! Get ready for the cold weather to return and shop early for Christmas!

Wednesday November 4

The weather for today will be sunny, with a high near 60 degrees and a southwest wind 3 to 6 mph. Tonight will be mostly clear, with a low around 42.  Enjoy the sun folks!

According to Jeannie, who keeps official precipitation records for the county at Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC), the average high temperature in October was 66.7 degrees, with the average low being 40.4 degrees, with 3.17 inches of rain being recorded.

I hope you all voted… 🙂  Votes are still being tallied nationally as I write these Notes Wednesday morning.  Here’s a link for local results, which are still unofficial as well, but perhaps provide a clearer picture than the national results situation.

The Garrett County Health Department has received nine additional positive COVID-19 results, bringing the current county total positives to 176. The new positive COVID-19 cases include individuals ranging from 10 years of age up to one individual in his 70s.  Currently in the county, 67 persons are isolating due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Correction: Oakland’s St. Peters Church is participating in Operation Christmas Child this year by building shoeboxes online. Fill a box from the comfort of your home and spread the Good News to children worldwide. Visit and click on the “Build a Box Online” link to help them reach their goal of 50 shoebox gifts and note the corrected website address.

Making sure all of our readers are aware of HART’s Vaccines for Life program for dogs and cats that offers core vaccines for free, along with a 10% discount on other vaccines and services, and is good for the lifetime of your dog or cat. This program lasts as long as you have your pet and as long as your pet gets an annual Wellness visit exam every year at the Bredel Clinic. A nice way to take care of Fido!

Speaking of HART, here’s a rundown of their key statistics year-to-date through October: Spays & Neuters: 558; Rescue & Transports: 584; Adoptions: 125.  The folks at HART have been busy and continue to do really good work for our furry friends.

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce invites all Chamber members to join them November 11th at 11:00 am for their November Marketing Roundtable: Consumer Media Engagement Habits 2020. Mike DeAnzeris of Meredith Publishing will be leading a deep dive on today’s media trends, what consumers want and how their actions are showing the reality of media engagement. Learn more about myth vs reality and how to build marketing plans that drive results. Free to attend but limited to Chamber members. Register to attend this webinar here .

Speaking of the Chamber, their next Business Before Hours on Tuesday, November 17th will feature a presentation by West Virginia University (WVU) on the results of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce’s year-long tourism survey of Garrett County visitors. The Tourism Update program, sponsored by Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales, will be held virtually on Zoom 8:00 am – 9:30 am. Reservations can be made by online at or by contacting Holly at the Chamber at 301.387.6171 or The cost to attend for members is $10; the cost for non-members is $15.

If you are up for some brisk fall hiking and want to check out areas a little farther afield than our great trails here in Garrett County, consider the C&O Canal.  Here’s a link to a story about attractions within five miles of the canal from Cumberland all the way “down east.”


Tuesday November 3


free clipart

Well, my message above says it all for today.  Please vote.  It is a right and a very important part of our democracy.  And, whomever you vote for, please leave the voting booth with a certain peace and a determination to support whoever our next president is, even if it is not who you voted for. We are all in this together…

And, for when you go out to vote, here’s what to expect weather-wise: Today will be sunny, with a high near 46 degrees. West wind 11 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. Tonight will be clear, with a low around 36.

That’s it for today.  Let’s all focus our energies and thoughts on our democracy and the issues at hand this election day… Please have a great day dear readers, and may your favorite candidates win…

free flag clip art

Monday November 2

Well, Happy November folks!  This year has been a doozy and is drawing to a close, and hopefully we will have a better 2021.  Nonetheless, we all have much to be thankful for, including the fact that we live in a free and great country, we live in a beautiful part of that country and that most all of us have the basic things that we need including food, shelter, etc. So while America is not perfect and there are many challenges facing us at this time, we are better off than most of the world.

It was cold, blustery and snowy (late) yesterday, with light accumulations. Today we will have isolated snow showers before 10:00 pm. Mostly cloudy through mid-morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 33 degrees. Breezy, with a west wind 20 to 22 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.  Tonight will be mostly clear, with a low around 28. Breezy, with a west wind 21to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40.

11-2-20 first snow jean

First Snow

I went to the Country Club Mall in LaVale Saturday afternoon.  There were some folks there, and it was clean and had a friendly feeling, but it was quite desolate compared to the pre-pandemic world.  With three of the four anchor stores closed, along with many of the smaller shops, I hope they can find a buyer and/or turn things around and get it filled with retailers and patrons.  I couldn’t help but think of all the jobs that have gone away due to the closures.

This month is World Kindness Month, with November 13th being World Kindness Day.  As a result, our November Cover Story talks about the history of the month, how we can all perhaps spread a little kindness around the Deep Creek Lake area and also shares some personal trials my wife and I experienced, to illustrate that we never know all that a person is experiencing and that all could use a little kindness from time to time.  Read the Cover Story to see how that all comes togther.

The Garrett County Health Department has received seven additional positive COVID-19 results, bringing the current county total positives to 167. The new positive COVID-19 cases include: one male age 0-9 years of age, one male 10-19 years, one female in her 20s, two males in their 30s, one female in her 40s and one male in his 50s. Currently in the county, 61 persons are isolating due to a positive COVID-19 test. If you know you are a close contact to a confirmed COVID-19 case, you should get tested 3-5 days after you are exposed, whether or not you have symptoms. If you develop symptoms, get tested at that time. This can be anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure. Visit for the most up-to-date COVID-19 information.

I went into a local convenience store the other day.  Six people that I could see were in the store, three had masks on and three did not, including the cashier. I just don’t get how hard it is to put a mask on to protect your fellow citizens. Masks and social distancing seem to be the easiest and most effective prevention for COVID-19 at present.  Why not be a little inconvenienced to help fellow citizens, businesses and the community?

The Deep Creek Lake Policy Review Board will hold an in-person meeting at 4:00 pm on November 10 at the Discovery Center (for board members) and online, for the public.  They will be discussing  budgets, wake zones, wake boats and other issues. Here’s the link for more information:   Login/call in Instructions for the public are as follows: Google Meet – Join by phone – 1 904 330 1017 (PIN 352775504)

The State Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has been notified that some voters have been called and asked to verify their Social Security Numbers in order to process their ballots. This is a scam. Do not give your Social Security Number (SSN) to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call and know exactly why you are providing it – for example, if you call your bank and do not have your account number, the bank representative may ask you for your SSN.

Have a great week dear readers.  And, don’t forget to vote!


Friday October 30, Saturday October 31, Sunday November 1

The weather today will be cloudy with a high near 42 and a low around 26. Northwest wind 10 to 13 mph. Saturday will be sunny with a high near 45 and a low around 34. Calm wind becoming southeast 5 to 7 mph in the morning. Sunday will be a chance of showers, mainly after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49 and a low around 25. Southwest wind 9 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

And, we’re saying it…. A chance of rain and ❄️ snow ❄️ showers starting at 9pm.

The Garrett County Health Department has released an important graphic covering the differences between quarantine and isolation related to COVID-19.

Fishing for a variety of species at Deep Creek Lake continues to be good. Northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass, trout, and yellow perch are all being caught. The upper Potomac River is still running low, so light lines, long casts, and small lures are standard fare for those fishing for smallmouth bass.

The movie theater is open for the weekend: Maybe see Monsters, Inc with a large-warm-buttery popcorn? Or, is it just me with that craving?

Garrett’s St. Peters Church is participating in Operation Christmas Child this year by building shoeboxes online. Fill a box from the comfort of your home and spread the Good News to children worldwide. Visit and click on the “Build a Box Online” link to help them reach their goal of 50 shoebox gifts.

The Firewater Kitchen + Bar is set to open mid-November! “With limitless views of the lake our outdoor space has a sprawling 1700 sq. ft. deck featuring a 32 ft. linear, gas fire pit. It’s all built around the original inspiration… a delicious & diverse menu, craft beers & fresh-made craft cocktails.”



Our Halloween events listing is here:

Remember, this Sunday, Nov. 1, (at 2 a.m.) we set our clocks back one hour to standard time as daylight saving time ends. While gaining an hour of sleep this weekend, people across the country will also be losing an hour of daylight in the evening.

Thursday October 29

The weather today will be rain and could be heavy at times. High near 53 and low around 36. East wind 8 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.

Morgantown police are asking for the public’s help in finding a missing man: Hassan “AJ” Aino, 22, of Morgantown was reported missing Sunday and, last Thursday, Aino’s Subaru Impreza was found in Garrett County.

The Northern High School Thespian Society is holding a virtual play “A Double Murder”, tomorrow, Friday, October 30, 2020, at 7:00 PM. The two brief one-acts are appropriate for ages 12 and up. If you are interested in viewing the show, please email for the link.

Glen’s Home Inspections was recently mentioned on for some of the worst situations he has seen in his home inspection career.

Just an FYI – the homecoming event scheduled for this weekend is NOT sanctioned by the Garrett County Public School system. The BOE is advising students not to attend the gathering due to COVID-19 concerns.

Halloween is coming up (and luckily, it’s just rain today and not snow as in 2012!). There are a few events going on (with more to be added by tomorrow) but please consider these safety tips shared by the Garrett County Health Department:

GC Health Dept Halloween Tips

Wednesday October 28

Today we have a chance of showers, mainly before 2:00 pm. Cloudy, with a high near 55 degrees and a west wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30% during the day, rising to 70% during the evening. This evening we have a chance of showers before 2:00 am, then rain likely after 2:00 am. Cloudy, with a low around 48.

Here’s a very nice “Fall Photo” as submitted by Charles Buffington, showing the nice colors, calm waters and docks brought up on shore for the winter.  Pretty soon all the leaves will be off the trees.  Thanks Charles.

Chuck Buffington 10-26-20

Fall Photo

There have been 39 new COVID-19 cases in Garrett County since the last case information released by the health department on October 22nd. These cases include: three  individuals 10-19 years old, six individuals in their 20s, four in their 30s, nine in their 40s, 13 in their 50s, three in their 70s and one in her 90s.  Looks like it is across all age groups. Some numbers on the Garrett County Health Department website,, will continue to be updated daily, but case number will be updated on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For more information call 301.334.7770 or 301.895.3111.

Garrett County Health Department and Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) also sent out a joint press release yesterday afternoon.  Garrett County has seen a recent spike in COVID-19 cases, with an infection rate now above the state average (emphasis added). The recent spike has been linked through contract tracing conducted by the Garrett County Heath Department to an increase in social gatherings among friends and family. Please read the press release, follow the directives and tell others in your “friends, family and work circle” to do the same.  This is important and concerning.

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many hard-working Maryland residents are facing extraordinary financial, legal and food insecurity issues, which are already straining the limits of our civil justice system. To help Maryland residents address and resolve these issues, the Maryland Attorney General and Maryland Access to Justice Commission launched the COVID-19 Access to Justice Task Force. The Task Force is hosting a webinar this evening at 6:00 pm on understanding unemployment benefits. Go to the YouTube Link: Phone: 301.715.8592; Meeting ID: 992 6583 5783; Passcode: 594946

On a more positive note, don’t forget to visit the Mountain Fresh Farmers Market in Oakland today from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. This is the last Summer market for the year, with the winter markets starting on November 7th.

Well, it’s “hump day” folks and soon we will be sliding down the hump towards the completion of another week and into the weekend.  Have a great rest of the week!


Tuesday October 27

Yesterday was a bit “blah” weather-wise.  Today we will have patchy drizzle with a slight chance of light rain before 9:00 am, then a chance of rain, mainly after 10:00am. Cloudy, with a high near 53 degrees and a west wind 3 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Tonight  we have a slight chance of rain before 2am. Cloudy, with a low around 44.

Here’s a nice morning shot submitted to us by Chip Mathieson, as taken from 219.  Thanks Chip, great photo, especially that sky!

219 10-26-20 chip mathieson

Fall Morning at the Lake

Winter is coming! A winterlike storm that unloaded snow and ice from the southern Rockies and Plains over the weekend and into the start of the week and Zeta, a hurricane currently spinning over the northwestern Caribbean, are forecast to combine forces and bring the northeastern United States drenching rain and perhaps even accumulating snow in some locations before the week draws to a close, likely Thursday or Friday.  Wanted to share with our readers.

As many of you read this post, Sarah and I will be giving a presentation to members of the Mountain Maryland Tech Network (MMTN) on how businesses can and should track and assimilate learnings, threats and opportunities from the COVID pandemic into their business.  The pandemic has certainly changed things and will also likely continue to have an impact.  Smart business leaders (and non-profits individuals) will track the pandemic and its impacts on many levels and incorporate that insight into innovative business strategies and tactics. Just a thought and reminder for you business managers and owners out there.

At the October meeting of the State Board of Education, State Superintendent Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D. continued to encourage local school systems to safely return students to schools for in-person instruction in accordance with Stage 3 of Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education. State health metrics continue to remain among the lowest nationally and national research indicates that school community infection rates continue to stay well below those in the community at-large. Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) issued guidance and metrics during the summer that provides step-by-step directions for response to confirmed and suspected cases of coronavirus in schools.

Garrett College is offering an interesting workshop this week titled, Eat to Succeed: Strategies to Overcome Stress Eating and Thrive not just Survive! These days, women face even more challenges juggling work, family, leadership roles, and life, increasing stress more than ever. Learn insights into the relationship between stress and nutrition, practical strategies to overcome stress eating, and mind-body skills to help you stress less and improve your health. The conference is Thursday, from 9:30 -11:00 via Zoom and costs $39. Contact the college at 301.387.3069 for more information or to register.

The Northern High School Thespian Society is holding its first virtual play (a murder double mystery!) this Friday evening, October 30th, at 7:00 PM, just in time for Halloween! The two brief acts are appropriate for ages 12 and up. If you are interested in viewing the show, please email for the link.

The next public meeting of the Board of Commissioners is scheduled for Monday, November 2 at 4:00 pm.  The meeting will include an update from Bob Stephens of the GC Health Department and will be live streamed.  Here’s a link to more information and the agenda.

Monday October 25

Well, the rains arrived this weekend, along with the mist and cooler temperatures. Today will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 60 degrees, with a south wind 5 to 7 mph becoming west in the afternoon. This evening will be cloudy, with a low around 46.

Well folks, I have a bit of a mystery to share with you in hopes that someone out there can help solve it.  I took a walk the other day and right outside my driveway was a somewhat squished snake.  My guess is that s/he was there a day or two, and it might be noteworthy that there was a tint of blue all around.  Not sure if that was due to its age, the season, time since death or if that is the way s/he normally looks.  Here’s a photo of the poor reptile:

mike snake photo

Squished Snake: What Species?

I have my thoughts on what type of snake s/he is, based on my herpetological knowledge and some cursory search efforts, but it is inconclusive.  Please send in your guesses to and if you get it right (photo proof)/reference and I draw your name (if multiple correct entries), I will send you some Deep Creek Times “bling.”  To help you get started, here’s a link to a resource on Western Maryland snales: 

Slithering right along (I couldn’t resist that one), the US Census Bureau has completed all of their data collection efforts here and throughout America, with a result being that their efforts accounted for 99.9% of all household addresses in the US.  Here’s a link to additional information. I am guessing that our friend pictured above did not make the list!

Just heard that the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has awarded $3,865,000 in federal funds to 155 Maryland elementary schools to help children build lifelong healthy eating habits. The funds made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) provide fresh fruits and vegetables to students enrolled in participating schools statewide.

This is interesting, though I must state I am not familiar with the organization or the methodology used. There’s a new report by an organization called Construction Coverage looking at mortgage delinquency rates in the United States before and after COVID-19. Millions of American homeowners are currently enrolled in forbearance programs that enable them to temporarily defer their mortgage payments. Once total employment numbers and the economy stabilize enough, forbearances will end, and mortgage payments will resume. See where your state is by going to the report.

Today and tomorrow, the Maryland State Board of Education (Board) will meet virtually. On both days, Board members and presenters will participate in the virtual meeting, and members of the public will be able to hear the audio and see presentations in real time via live stream. Access to  livestreams (one on YouTube and the other on the Maryland State Department of Education website), agendas, and meeting materials can be accessed at the links below:

On Monday October 26, 2020, the meeting will begin at 11 a.m., and materials are available at:

On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, the meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m., and materials are available at:

Have a great Monday dear readers…

Friday October 23, Saturday October 24, Sunday October 25

The weather today will be sunny with a high near 74 and a low around 48. Increasing clouds and a chance of showers after 2am. South wind around 8 mph. Saturday will be a chance of showers, mainly before 8am. Mostly cloudy with the temperature dropping to 48 by 4pm; a low around 37. Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a high near 46 and a low around 42.

Unfortunately, rural areas seem to be getting hit harder with coronavirus cases and our local cases are now seeing a spike.

This website, a 501c3 non-profit, built by a multidisciplinary team of technologists, epidemiologists, public health experts, and public policy leaders, has Garrett County currently rated “At risk of [COVID-19] outbreak”.

GC at Risk of COVID outbreak

The Garrett County Health Department also has issued a few updates on the local COVID-19 situation. First a message from Bob Stephens, the County Health Officer: “Although Garrett County continues to remain the county with the lowest number of total cases in the state, we are on a bad trajectory.”  Contact tracing continues to show the most recent spread is through social events, and not from an influx of visitors to the county.

“COVID is being spread through those places where people expect that it would not spread,” Stephens said. “The main spread is through family, close friends, and recreational activities where people are getting together and they feel much more comfortable. For the most part, they are not following the guidelines of social distancing and wearing face coverings.”

The total number of cases as of Thursday, October 22, is 117 with 24 in isolation.

What’s New Around Town other than the increase in coronavirus? A new bridge is being installed on Route 39 and D’s Eats sets up his food truck in the town of Oakland.

You probably already know but #5 and #7 are great places to choose for a romantic date by the Southern Maryland Chronicle.

Tomorrow is Mountaintop Tabletop Board Game Day at the Ruth Enlow Library and the Charm City Junction concert.

Fishing at Deep Creek Lake is very good, as cooler water temperatures has caused many fish species to be aggressively feeding. Recreational boat traffic is down also making for a more peaceful experience.”

Our friend Russ Dijak had a few visitors this week! Russ, how in the world did you get them to pose for you?!

Thursday October 22

The weather today will be sunny with a high near 74 and a low around. 52. Southwest wind around 6 mph.

The Deep Creek Watershed Foundation is supporting the lime doser operated by the Maryland Department of the Environment to fight acid mine drainage from Cherry Creek into Deep Creek Lake. Learn more here.

On Saturday, October 24th at 7:30 pm, Charm City Junction will perform a premiere YouTube video exclusively for the GLAF audience. If you wanted the concert but DID NOT receive your link, click here to make your reservationDonations are also graciously appreciated. Just $5 – $20 can make a difference for GLAF programming!

If you regularly peruse our online marketplace, which category would you expect to see a Vintage 1954 Scott-Atwater Boat Motor listed for sale? It’s a great collector’s item and currently listed under “miscellaneous”.

Garrett 8 Cinema is pulling together showings for you! The theater is open Thursday through Sundays each week. The current and upcoming schedule can be found on our movie page.

Mike Dreisbach of Fronterra Resources (the parent company of Savage River Lodge, Cornucopia Café, Little Crossings Pantry and SRL Outdoors) is one of 40 fellows in the 2020 – 2021 Appalachian Leadership Institute. Congratulations, Mike!

A special thank you goes out to Patty O’Leary who sent in this gorgeous sunset photo!

Wednesday October 21

Today we can expect a mostly sunny day, with a high near 72 degrees and a west wind around 10 mph. Tonight will be mostly clear, with a low around 51.  Looks like a really nice day!

Here’s an action photo taken by my wife Jean.  Looks good and I know many of readers know this site very well.  Thanks Jean!

sideling hill jean t

Sideling Hill Coming Up the Mountain


The Maryland STEM festival is a virtual event that will be running through November 11th.  If you or a friend or family member, including a student are interested, you can click here to learn more.

The Garrett County Health Department has received four additional positive COVID-19 results, bringing the current county total positives to 107. The new positive COVID-19 cases are a male and a female in their 30s, and a male and a female in their 60s.. Garrett County currently has 24 persons isolating due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, including one person who is hospitalized.

Charity fraud is on the rise due to the pandemic and the fact that there are a bunch of bad actors out there trying to separate us from our hard earned money.  Maryland AG Frosh advises that If you think that you have been a victim of a charity fraud or scam, contact the Office of the Secretary of State, Charities and Legal Services Division by email: or telephone: 410-974-5534.

Now is a great time to schedule a flu shot at the Garrett County Health Department. In fact, there is a new, very easy online registration process to schedule an appointment. In order to comply with COVID-19 precautions, flu vaccines are appointment only this year. Using this online system, patients can register themselves and their children.

This registration process is open for appointments beginning in November:

  • Log on to Note: Any field marked with an asterisk is required.
  • Select desired date and location – clinics are available in Oakland and Grantsville. (If you want a Grantsville appointment, you may need to scroll down pretty far until you find one listed as Grantsville.)
  • Appointment time will be chosen near the end of the process.
  • Complete all required demographics fields, clicking “save and continue.”
  • Email is a required field. No email? Make up a “dummy email” in order to advance to the next screen.
  • Have insurance card ready to enter policy and group number. No insurance? Choose that drop-down option.

Write down the date and time of the appointment and remember to come get vaccinated!

Having problems and need assistance during the scheduling/registration process? Call the health department at 301.334.7697. A staff member will assist you over the phone.




Tuesday October 20

Yesterday was mixed weather-wise, with some rain in the afternoon.  Today we have a slight chance of showers before 2:00 pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 66 degrees, with a southwest wind around 8 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low around 53.

Here’s a nice picture taken a few days ago by Bob Bona of the Yough River near Crellin.  Thanks Bob, nice photo.

yough by crellin bob bon 10-10-20

Colorful River

The Garrett County Health Department has received eight additional positive COVID-19 results, bringing the current county total positives to 103. The new positive COVID-19 cases are all female, with one each in their teens, 20s, 40s, 60s, and 70s, and three in their 50s. All of the individuals are being advised to isolate at home or to seek immediate medical attention based on their signs and symptoms. For more information call 301-334-7770 or 301-895-3111.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s Daily Notes column, our individual and collective efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 are important and the recent surge a bit scary, based on the recent uptick in Garrett County cases. According to Bob Stephens, Garrett County Health Officer, “If we as a community want our businesses, schools and churches to remain open, we need to renew our efforts to keep Garrett County safe and healthy.”

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is considering some changes in regulations relative to a number of fishing and boating issues, including zebra mussels.  They are seeking comment until November 3rd.  Follow this link to their newsletter with more details.

Speaking of DNR, we just received the latest edition of their HabiChat Stewards of Backyard Wildlife Newsletter.  They announced two interesting programs, one is on bats and the other is on snakes.  One is free and the other is only $5. Please consider signing-up and learning about both these beneficial critters!

The Garrett County Health Department, in cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and local law enforcement agencies, will participate in the next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This event will take place on October 24th, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at three local locations, providing the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Participants may bring their medication patches and pills, including pet medications, for disposal to one of the three local medication drop box locations:

  • Sherriff’s Department, Oakland
  • Oakland City Hall
  • Maryland State Police Barracks, McHenry




Monday October 19

It was a bit “crisp” this weekend, but was very nice and great walking weather as well, even with the clouds moving in Sunday afternoon.  Today we expect a chance of showers, mainly after 10:00 am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58 degrees and a calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 40%. We have a  chance of showers before 9:00 pm this evening, then a chance of rain, mainly after 2:00 am, with a low around 50.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued their winter 20/21 forecast for the nation.  They cover temperature, precipitation (Including drought forecasts) and other factors by region.  Very well-done and interesting and you can check it out here.

Speaking of the weather, here’s a weather-impacted photo of my entire grape crop for the season. Yep, I harvested a total of eight (8) “grapes” for the season on Saturday.  This is my third season, with the first yielding a few, which I pruned early to strengthen the vines, the second yielding nothing and now this pitiful “crop.” I heard many local folks did not get a harvest this year, but I think my biggest problem is not enough sun.  Next year…

2020 grape harvest

Mike’s 2020 Grape Harvest

Heard on Friday that trout stocking continues in and around Garrett County.  Here’s the latest scoop for all you fisher people. It is a link to the latest DNR newsletter on fish stocking.

And, speaking of fish, and I don’t mean the frozen kind either, here’s a link to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fall Fish Zone newsletter on fishing and boating. It talks about bluegills, trout, celebrating first fish caught by youngsters and more.

Based on my grape farming success – or lack thereof – as documented earlier, it is good for this furball that I am not in charge of growing all of the pumpkins in the area. This is a really nice “action photo” as submitted by  Vicki Schwinabart.  Thanks for sharing Vicki, very nice work.

vicki schwinabart 10-18-20

Fall Feast

I am going to end on a very important, somewhat somber note relative to a mini-surge in Garrett County COVID-19 cases, as indicated in a news release from the Garrett County Health Department/Joint Information Team.  This is important enough for me to include the release in its entirety right here and also in our Latest News section.  Please read and heed.  We need to protect our residents and visitors and also our local economy, businesses and their employees:


October 16, 2020 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE –

Garrett County Notified of Seven Additional COVID-19 Cases

By Garrett County Joint Information Center Team

The Garrett County Health Department received seven additional positive COVID-19 results, bringing the current county total positives to 95. The new positive COVID-19 cases include:

  • Two females in their 40s, both with symptoms and isolating at home
  • One male in his 60s, with symptoms, isolating at home
  • Three teens, two male and one female, all with symptoms and isolating at home
  • One female in her 50s, with symptoms, isolating at home

“We are currently experiencing a surge in cases in Garrett County,” said Health Officer Bob Stephens.  “Contact tracing continues to reveal that the primary spread is through family, friends and social gatherings.  As the restrictions have been relaxed, it is more important than ever that community members be compliant with social distancing and face covering practices to prevent the spread of COVID.”

“I am very concerned that a continued surge in cases will require reimposing restrictions that we have worked so hard to relax,” Stephens said. “If we as a community want our businesses, schools and churches to remain open, we need to renew our efforts to keep Garrett County safe and healthy.”

For more information call 301-334-7770 or 301-895-3111.

Friday October 16, Saturday October 17, Sunday October 18

The weather today will be cloudy then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 45 and a low around 32. Widespread frost overnight, mainly after 5am. Saturday will start with the frost mainly before 9 am. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 50 and a low around 36. Sunday will be mostly sunny with a high near 58 and a low around 42.

We found this write-up and thought the advice was solid; in light of COVID-19, parks throughout Maryland have been overwhelmed this year. Try visiting Casselman River Bridge State Park and Sang Run State Park. Both lovely options that are a bit off of the beaten path.

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Office of the Secretary and representatives from MDOT’s business units met virtually last Friday with Garrett County officials. This was just one meeting of 24 around the state to update local officials and the public on the Hogan administration’s Draft FY 2021-2026 Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP), which details MDOT’s $13.4 billion six-year capital budget and transportation investments.

MDOT Administrator Tim Smith said MDOT has focused on construction this year: “We’re in the homestretch of the $63 million U.S. 219 realignment between (Interstate) 68 and Old Salisbury Road, so we’re planning on having that open to traffic by the end of the year,” he said. The $4.2 million intersection improvement at U.S. 219 and Mosser Road and the $1.7 million Wilson Run structure on Route 219 at Center Street projects were recently completed locally.

The Deep Creek Winter Sports Team has opened registration for the upcoming winter season!

The month of October is recognized as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Local businesses have played a vital role in allowing Garrett County Public Schools (GCPS) students with disabilities to engage in work-based learning experiences.

The Garrett County Health Department offers the “Play Hard, Live Clean” campaign to every student in the Garrett County school system to promote a clean lifestyle.

Try to make it out to the Blood Drive, today, at Garrett County Health Dept. It will be held 9am – 5pm.

You should still plan to come to visit this weekend (if you’re not already here!!) — we are past “peak” on the foliage report because some wind and rain took down leaves but there are still pockets of great color!

I took this photo yesterday at Swallow Falls State Park. Not quite as vibrant as a few days ago but still really spectacular!

Cooling water temperatures have several species of fish active at Deep Creek Lake: Northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, yellow perch and walleye are biting. “Spinnerbaits and spoons are popular baits for northern pike; tubes, jigs and small crankbaits for smallmouth bass; and crankbaits and soft plastic craw baits for largemouth bass. Both smallmouth and largemouth bass are feeding heavily on crayfish and will often have a reddened snout this time of the year from nailing crayfish on the rocky bottom. Drifting live minnows is working well for catching yellow perch and walleye.”

More trout were stocked this week:

  • North Branch Potomac River (Delayed Harvest): 600 rainbow trout
  • North Branch Potomac River, Gorman (Delayed Harvest): 600 rainbow trout
  • North Branch Potomac River, Kitzmiller (Catch and Release): 1,000 rainbow trout

The movie theater is open today through Sunday. Check out the schedule.

Have a great weekend!