Thursday 2

BREAST-FEEDING SUPPORT GROUP, for pregnant women; infants and toddlers welcome, sponsored by the La Leche League of Columbia AM, 10 a.m. the first Thursday of each month, Grace Community Church, 9180 Rumsey Rd., Columbia. Free. 443-857-3738.

COLUMBIA CHILDREN'S STORY TIME, for small groups and children of preschool through early elementary ages accompanied by an adult, stories about the market, songs and more, 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Thursdays, through Nov. 18, East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7730.

Friday 3

ELLICOTT CITY BRIDGE PROGRAM, play and improve skills, bring a partner and a bag lunch, coffee and tea available, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fridays, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-7279.

Saturday 4

NATIONAL FOREST HIKE, a moderate, 8.5-mile circuit on the Kennedy Peak trail in the Massanutten area of the George Washington National Forest, sponsored by the Sierra Club, Howard County Group; carpool departure, 8 a.m., from Route 32 and Broken Land Parkway, west side Park and Ride lot, Columbia. Free. 410-439-4964.

ELLICOTT CITY BUTTERFLY WALK, a specialist will teach participants how to identify butterflies during a walk in Centennial Park, beginners welcome, bring binoculars, sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club, 9 a.m., meet at Centennial Park, off Centennial Lane, far end parking lot, Ellicott City. Free; preregistration required. 410-997-7439 or www.howardbirds.org.

COLUMBIA BOOK DISCUSSION, "Loving Donovan," by Bernice L. McFadden, sponsored by the library's Black Fiction Book Club, 1 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7700.

AQUARIUM DOLPHIN PROGRAM, watch the preparation of the dolphins' food in the marine mammal kitchen, visit the life-support room and learn how dolphins are cared for, and meet dolphins up close, 2:30-4:30 p.m., National Aquarium in Baltimore, Pier 3, 501 E. Pratt St., Baltimore. $58; ages 60 and older, $54; ages 8-11, $49; preregistration required. 410-576-3833.

Sunday 5

LAUREL NATURE PROGRAMS, for all ages; bird walk, search for birds during a guided hike in refuge habitats, field guides and binoculars recommended, 8-10 a.m.; night hike, look and listen for owls, bugs, bats and more, 7-8:30 p.m., Patuxent Research Refuge, North Tract, Route 198, between Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 32, Laurel. Free; preregistration required. 301-497-5887.

Monday 6

COLUMBIA FENCING LESSONS, for adults and children ages 7 and older of all skill levels, personal protection insurance is required, equipment will be provided, one class per week held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, through Nov. 10, sponsored by the Wilde Lake Community Association, call for class schedules, program held at Slayton House, Wilde Lake Village Center, 10451 Twin Rivers Rd., Columbia. Beginners and intermediates, $60; advanced and adult beginners, $66; exact cash or check only; preregistration required. 410-730-3987.

ELLICOTT CITY LANGUAGE PROGRAM, for those with English as a second or third language, practice English skills in a group setting, presented by the English Conversation Club, 7:45-8:45 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-1950.

Tuesday 7

ELLICOTT CITY BOARD GAMES, for ages 11-17, play Scrabble, Life, Yahtzee, Monopoly and others, or bring a favorite board game, 3-4:30 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-1950.

CHESS CLUBS, for players ages 9-17 of all skill levels, some basic knowledge required, 5-7:30 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City, 410-313-1950; 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday and Sept. 22, Elkridge Branch Library, 6540 Washington Blvd., Elkridge, 410-313-5085; 7-8:30 p.m. Sept. 9 and 23, Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville, 410-313-5577. Free; preregistration required for all programs.

COLUMBIA CHORUS AUDITION, the Columbia Pro Cantare will hold auditions for all parts for the 2004-05 season, soloists and orchestra performances include Brahms's "A German Requiem," Handel's "Messiah," choral works by jazz musician Dave Brubeck and more; auditions, by appointment only; rehearsals, 7:30-10 p.m. Tuesdays, Hammond High School, 8800 Guilford Rd., Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-730-8549.

Wednesday 8

ELLICOTT CITY KNITTING GROUP, a drop-in program, participants knit and crochet afghans, blankets, baby clothes and more for local charities, hospitals and senior centers, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-7279.

ELLICOTT CITY BOOK DISCUSSION, "Five Quarters of the Orange," by Joanne Harris, sponsored by the Ellicott City Senior Book Club, 1 p.m., Ellicott City Senior Center, 9401 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-1950.

MYSTERY BOOK DISCUSSION, "Small Town," by Lawrence Block, sponsored by the Savage Mystery Book Club, 7 p.m., Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free; preregistration required. 410-880-5980.

MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB, for girls ages 11 and older accompanied by an adult, discussion of "Shadow Spinner," by Susan Fletcher, 7-8:30 p.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. 410-313-5577.

COLUMBIA SUPPORT GROUP, for parents of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, sponsored by Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder of Greater Baltimore, 7-8:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month, Loyola Graduate Center, Room 362, 8890 McGaw Rd., Columbia. Free. www.chadd-mc.org .

CATONSVILLE MOTHERS SUPPORT GROUP, for working and at-home mothers, discussion of personal needs and interests of women during their active parenting years, sponsored by Mothers and More, Southwest Baltimore Chapter, 7 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, Immanuel United Church of Christ, 1905 Edmondson Ave., Catonsville. Admission, free. 410-455-0498.

Thursday 9

COOKSVILLE GRANDPARENTS STORY TIME, for ages 3 and older, grandparents welcome, stories and songs about grandparents, and more, 4:30 p.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5579.

SUICIDE GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP, for adults recovering from the loss of a loved one by suicide, sponsored by Hospice of Howard County, 6:30-8 p.m. Thursdays, through Oct. 14, 5537 Twin Knolls Rd., Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-730-5072.

COLUMBIA DISCUSSION MEETING, a guest speaker will discuss "Birding in Remote Parts of China," sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club, doors open, 7:30 p.m.; meeting, 8 p.m., Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks Headquarters, 7120 Oakland Mills Rd., Columbia. Free. 410-461-3361 or www.howardbirds.org.

-- Compiled by LINDA JAMES

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