Thursday 14

AUSTRALIAN FOLK TALES, for ages 5-10, Aborigines' stories about the natural world, create an Aboriginal bark painting, 4 p.m., Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; registration required. 410-313-7880.

COLUMBIA MYSTERY BOOK CHAT, a new book club, an overview of the mystery genre, plus other book talks and discussions, 7 p.m., Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; registration required. 410-313-7860.

COLUMBIA BIRDING DISCUSSION, "Birdlife on Travels in India," a talk by Arlene Ripley, beginners welcome, sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club; doors open, 7:30 p.m.; discussion, 8 p.m.; other meetings, the second Thursday of each month, Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 7120 Oakland Mills Rd., Columbia. Free. 410-997-5366 or www.howardbirds.org.

LAUREL MILLS HISTORY TALK, "Mill History and Mill Archaeology in Maryland," learn about historical mills in Laurel and Ellicott City, on the Patapsco and Patuxent rivers; a historian and archaeologist will discuss how the mill industry created Laurel and other communities, sponsored by the Laurel Historical Society and the Maryland Humanities Council, 7:30 p.m., Laurel Pool Club House, Ninth and Main streets, Laurel. Free. 301-725-7975.

Friday 15

COLUMBIA DANCE WORKSHOPS, for dancers of all experience levels and abilities, sponsored by Student-Alumni Arts, "American," including swing dance, fox trot and country-western dancing, Friday; "Latin," including salsa, cha-cha and the Argentine tango, Nov. 12; both workshops, noon-12:30 p.m., Howard Community College, Dance Studio (A020), 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free. 410-772-4587 or www.howardcc.edu/studentarts/.

SENIORS WATERCOLOR COURSE, for beginners or experienced artists ages 55 and older; supplies must be purchased before the first class, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 1 p.m. Fridays, through Dec. 10, East Columbia 50-Plus Center, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. $50; registration required. 410-313-7279.

CHILDREN'S SCIENCE PROGRAM, for ages 6 and older, learn how to perform so-called "creepy" experiments, a hands-on program, 1:30 p.m., Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free; registration required. 410-880-5978.

COOKSVILLE YOUTH READING EVENT, for ages 11 and older, a scavenger hunt utilizing library resources, including the library catalogue, data bases and the Internet for clues; plus a mummy-wrapping contest, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. Free; registration required. 410-313-5577.

Saturday 16

AUDREY CARROLL SANCTUARY BIRDING TRIP, search for fall birds on a 130-acre sanctuary in Frederick County, beginners welcome, sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club, carpool departure, 7:30 a.m., from the Route 32 and Interstate-70 Park and Ride lot, West Friendship. Free. 410-461-3361 or www.howardbirds.org.

FLEA MARKET AND BAKE SALE, sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Savage Volunteer Fire Company, lunch also available for purchase, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., rain or shine, 8925 Lincoln St., Savage. Admission, free. 443-259-0565.

BALTIMORE PLANT SHOW AND SALE, African violets and exotic houseplants, learn about the latest growing supplies and more, sponsored by the Baltimore African Violet Club, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Catonsville United Methodist Church, 6 Melvin Ave., Catonsville. Admission, free. 301-953-7554.

COLUMBIA BABY-SITTING CLASS, for ages 11-14, learn about first aid, emergency procedures, age-appropriate activities and other baby-sitting skills, participants will receive a certificate of attendance, sponsored by the Columbia Association Teen Center, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., the Barn, Oakland Mills Village Center, 5800 Robert Oliver Pl. $48; Columbia residents, $40; registration required. 410-992-3726.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE CLUB, for those who speak English as a second or third language, practice speaking English and more in a group setting, sponsored by the English Conversation Club, 9:30-10:30 a.m. the third Saturday of each month, Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free. 410-880-5975.

ELKRIDGE CAMPFIRE ADVENTURE, for ages 4-7 accompanied by an adult, a campfire, a walk in the woods in search of the fictional Rockburn Snipe, and more; bring a large brown paper bag and a flashlight, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 7-8:30 p.m., Rockburn Branch Park, 5400 Landing Rd., Elkridge. $15; family members of paying child, free. 410-313-7275.

STARGAZING PARTY, for all ages, telescope viewing of planets, the galaxies and nebulae, the moon and other satellites, weather permitting, sponsored by the Howard Astronomical League, 8-11 p.m., Alpha Ridge Community Park, Route 99, west of Marriottsville Rd., Marriottsville. Free. 410-531-3899 or www.howardastro.org.

Sunday 17

LAUREL PUPPET PROGRAM, for all ages, a puppet show about the life of a hamster, 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., Patuxent Research Refuge, National Wildlife Visitor Center, off Powder Mill Road, between Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 197, Laurel. Free. 301-497-5887.

Monday 18

COLUMBIA FOOD AND CONVERSATION, for seniors, "The Kitchen Table," conversation and a ham-and-cheese on rye sandwich, 4:30-6 p.m. Mondays, East Columbia 50-Plus Center, 6600 Cradlerock Way. $2.75; registration required. 410-313-7680.

ELLICOTT CITY LIBRARY PROGRAM, for ages 7 and older, learn about bats through stories and activities, 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-1955.

COLUMBIA PERSONAL FINANCE SEMINAR, "Take Charge of Your Money," local specialists, small group discussions and more, sponsored by Howard Community College Business and Computer Systems division, Maryland Cooperative Extension, Howard County Office on Aging, Howard County Office of Consumer Affairs, and Columbia Bank, 7-9 p.m. Mondays, through Nov. 22, Instructional Lab Building, Room 310, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. $25; registration required. 410-313-2707.

COLUMBIA CHESS CLUB, for children ages 9 and older and adults of all skill levels with some basic knowledge, sponsored by the Howard County Chess Club, 7 p.m. Monday and Oct. 25, Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; registration required. 410-313-7860.

COLUMBIA DANCE CLASS, an intermediate modern dance master class taught by choreographer and performer Vincent Thomas, sponsored by the Howard Community College Dance Department, 2-3 p.m., 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. $10; Howard Community College students, free; registration required. 410-772-4940.

Tuesday 19

COOKSVILLE BOOK DISCUSSION, for ages 13 and older, "The Doom Stone," by Paul Zindel, sponsored by the library's Teen Book Club, 3-4:30 p.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. 410-313-5577.

LAUREL NATURE PROGRAM, for ages 5-7, learn about the gray wolf, a hands-on, interactive program, 4-5 p.m., Patuxent Research Refuge, National Wildlife Visitor Center, off Powder Mill Road, between Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 197, Laurel. Free; registration required. 301-497-5887.

COLUMBIA BOOK DISCUSSION, for ages 9-12 accompanied by an adult, "The Canning Season," by Polly Horvath, sponsored by the Parent-Child Book Club, 7-8 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free; registration required. 410-313-7730.

ELLICOTT CITY VAMPIRE DISCUSSION, for ages 11-18, learn about the latest books and movies about vampires, 7-8:30 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; registration required. 410-313-1950.

ELKRIDGE PARENT-TEEN BOOK CLUB, for ages 10-13 accompanied by an adult, an introductory meeting, group will select books for year, 7-8:45 p.m., Elkridge Branch Library, 6540 Washington Blvd., Elkridge. Free; registration required. 410-313-5085.

Wednesday 20

ELLICOTT CITY E-MAIL CLASS, learn how to read, send and answer electronic messages, also learn how to create address directories and organize messages, 11 a.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; registration required. 410-313-1950.

SENIORS PIZZA PARTY, for ages 55 and older, a party with pizza, spooky and "creepy treats"; wear a costume or a disguise; plus prizes and entertainment, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Savage Senior Center, 9525 Durness Lane, Laurel; noon-1 p.m. Oct. 26, Colonial Landing Apartments, 6391 Rowanberry Dr., Elkridge. $2; registration required. 410-313-7279.

ELLICOTT CITY MEETING, will discuss group activities and fundraising events; open to anyone interested in joining the organization, sponsored by the Columbia Lions Club, 6:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of each month, Tiber River Tavern, 3733 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City. Free; annual membership dues, $80. 410-964-8685

BREAST-FEEDING SUPPORT GROUP, for pregnant women and mothers, infants and toddlers are welcome, discusses "Breastfeeding and the Family," sponsored by the La Leche League of Columbia PM, 7 p.m., Grace Community Church, 9180 Rumsey Rd., Columbia. Free. 443-857-3738.

COLUMBIA BOOK TALK, and discussion of gay and lesbian literature, sponsored by Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of Howard County, 7 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free; registration required. 410-313-7700.

BOOK DISCUSSION, "Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man," by Susan Faludi, sponsored by the Third Wednesday Book Club, 7 p.m., Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free; registration required. 410-880-5980.

Thursday 21

NOONTIME BOOK CLUB, discusses "The Wife: A Novel," by Meg Wolitzer, noon, Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; registration required. 410-313-7860.

ELLICOTT CITY BOOK DISCUSSION, "The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction," Chris Keene and Anne Chappell lead a discussion on the facts behind the book, 7 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; registration required. 410-313-1950.

-- Compiled by LINDA JAMES

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