Sunday, July 31, 2011

Maryland Summer Wildflowers

Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts know that Maryland is home to an incredible array of wildflowers. Summer is peak time, with new species blooming every few days.

Pastures, meadows, roadsides and other wild areas are home to species such as black eyed susans, butterfly flowers, goldenrod and other species.

Some of the lesser known Maryland wildflowers are found in wooded areas, swamps and other areas where they are rarely seen by people.

The following photos showcase just a few of the more common wildflowers that bloom throughout Maryland each summer.

Black Eyed Susan

Butterfly Flower

Cardinal Flower


Monday, July 25, 2011

Maryland From the Bay For the Bay Dine Out

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)  has announced a list of restaurants that will be participating in a week-long celebration to promote Maryland seafood. Some of the restaurants include Clyde's, Hank's Oyster Bar, DC Coast, McCormick & Schmick's, Matchbox, and Equinox.

From the Bay, For the Bay Dine Out  will run October 2-9, 2011, with more than 200 restaurants already committed to participate. DNR anticipates that more than 300 total restaurants will take part in the celebration.

During the promotion, restaurants will feature fresh Maryland Seafood dishes. Each restaurant has agreed to donate a dollar from every Maryland seafood dinner sold during the week to the Oyster Recovery Partnership, a non-profit organization working to rebuild the Chesapeake Bay’s native oyster population.

For more information and to view the full list of participating restaurants please visit

Consumers can download the From the Bay, For the Bay mobile web app, on the fisheries mobile page on any web-capable mobile device.

source: MD DNR

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How to Cook Maryland Blue Crabs

Serving Maryland blue crabs is an annual tradition for residents around the state. These delicious crabs are among the most famous crabs in the world.  Crabs are usually available from local seafood markets, wholesalers or even direct from commercial watermen.

Most suppliers offer crabs either live and ready to cook, or already steamed. Pre-cooked crabs are a good option in some cases, but for the freshest possible crab feast, nothing beats preparing and cooking crabs at home and serving them hot.

Before cooking crabs, they should be inspected and rinsed, but never allowed to sit submerged in water as this can kill them. Maryland blue crabs can be cooked in a variety of ways, including steaming, boiling, frying or other methods.

The traditional method for steaming crabs in Maryland is steaming.Crabs can be steamed whole, or the top shell can be removed and the body rinsed prior to steaming. In either case, crabs are usually sprinkled heavily with crab seasoning before steaming. This spicy seasoning flavors the crabs during the steaming process.

Medium sized or large seafood steamers are the easiest option for steaming crabs. When an outdoor burner is available, steaming crabs outside is always a good idea. This keeps strong odors outside and makes cleanup much easier.

Most experts recommend that crabs be steamed for about 30 minutes after a rolling boil is reached. Crabs are better if they are kept above the waterline, rather than being immersed during the steaming process.

After steaming, crabs can be served hot or allowed to cool before enjoying. At family celebrations and other seafood feasts, Maryland crabs are usually served with ice cold beer, melted butter, fresh corn on the cob and crackers.

To aid in picking out crab meat, a small paring knife, wooden mallet and claw-cracker are all useful. In addition, crab pickers will need the table lined with newspapers and lots of paper towels as extracting crab meat from the shell is a messy task.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Outdoors Maryland Wins Emmy Awards

The television show "Outdoors Maryland" recently won two regional Emmy awards. The nature and recreation series is co-produced by Maryland Public Television (MPT) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The Emmy Award is the industry's benchmark for the recognition of television excellence. Outdoors Maryland, now in its 23rd season on public television, has won 32 Emmys since it began its run in 1988. The series’ latest Emmys were awarded June 25 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The program, broadcast each Tuesday night at 7:30 on MPT is considered the mid-Atlantic’s premiere video guide to nature and recreation.

The 2011 Emmy award for Best Magazine Program Feature went to a segment, The Sacred Places. The story follows three friends as they explore the wilds of the Chesapeake Bay by kayak. The story captures the extraordinary beauty of the remote islands in Maryland’s south-central Bay, showcasing the vibrant life of rare salt-marshes, and seeking inspiration in dazzling sunsets and sunrises.

The series also won a second Emmy for Best Magazine Program. Episode 2204 told three important natural resource stories; Maryland DNR’s annual Fishing Challenge; the controversy surrounding the Tiger Beetle habitat at Calvert Cliffs; and the State’s purchase of pristine shoreline and open space in Southern Maryland.

For more information about Outdoors Maryland visit

source: MD DNR