Cool Outdoor Stuff with Andrew McCown – Winter on the Shore


Editor’s note: It is with unusually great pleasure for the Spy to publish the latest installment of Cool Outdoor Stuff with Andrew McCown. After a rather lengthy sabbatical, the naturalist, musician, Chesapeake storyteller, and director of the Echo Hill Outdoor School, has once again returned to celebrate the natural world of our region and we, like his countless fans, could not be happier.

It seems particularly fitting that Andrew picks up the ongoing series by celebrating the remarkable natural wonders found locally even in the dead of winter.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about the Echo Hill Outdoor School, please go here.


Cool Indoor Stuff: Andrew McCown Reads Poetry of Nielsen and Hadaway at CBMM


In these hard baked days of summer, even the greatest outdoor enthusiasts must at times seek shelter from Eastern Shore heatwaves. Thanks to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the option to enjoy an evening of Chesapeake poetry and music was an irresistible choice for the Spy on Friday night.

The CBMM hosted Andrew McCown of Echo Hill Outdoor School, and Pres Harding, grandson of famed Wingate boat builder Bronza Parks, for a concert to celebrate the Chesapeake Bay through poems and songs.

McCown, a native of Kent County and the Chester River, highlighted the local poetry of the late Pat Nielsen and Meredith Davies Hadaway. The Spy was able to capture a few of the evening’s offerings.

This video is approximately four minutes in length

Cool Outdoor Stuff: A Hawaiian Break with Andrew McCown


Even the greatest lovers of the Chesapeake Bay need a break now and then, and for Captain Andrew McCown of the Echo Hill Outdoor School, that meant taking his family to Hawaii for the first time this past November.

Once settled in, it didn’t take long for Andy to see the wonders of Hawaii. In his latest episode of Cool Outdoor Stuff, he takes us to the land of flora and fauna for a special look for what makes these Pacific Islands so special.

This video is approximately four minutes in length 

Cool Outdoor Stuff with Andrew McCown: Jumpin’ Silversides, Batman!


One of the great marine mysteries, now solved by our intrepid Cool Outdoor Stuff author Cap’n Andrew McCown, is the question of why Atlantic silversides perform circus acts in the Chesapeake Bay.

Tiny as they may be, often elusive, often swarming—the trick is always the right place and time—Atlantic silversides have a thing for floating twigs, and it’s a bit more than a curious nibble.

Videoing these miniature circus leaps is daunting, but if you look close enough after the camera finds its focus, you will witness the moment. don’t blink, you might miss the show!

The Cap’n has a theory. And the Spy is buying into it. Next up, we’re going to try very small rings of fire.

Please excuse the cameraman’s elation.

Cool Outdoor Stuff: Goes Fly Fishing with Andrew McCown


Fly-fishing has long attracted writers, tempted by its simple elegance, to cast grand questions into a river of metaphysics. Isaac Walton’s Compleat Angler and Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It are great examples of writers imagining the artful sport of fly-fishing as a life lesson. But why?

Cool Outdoor Stuff’s Andrew McCown shares a few minutes showing us how it’s done as he takes us pond fishing on a local farm. The solitude almost begs for whispering as he whips the tapered line, its signature arabesque curling in the air. We begin to feel the workaday world unreel.

Cool Outdoor Stuff: Top Eastern Shore Wood for Heating Homes


There is no greater incentive to take a look at the kind of wood you can burn to heat your house when record breaking temperatures have frozen out most of the Eastern Shore this month.  This seems to be on the mind of Echo Hill Outdoor School‘s Andrew McCown in the latest installment of Cool Outdoor Stuff.

As one can predict, each wood comes with different advantages, but they also come with own history and esthetics that only Captain Andy can make captivating.


This video is approximately six minutes in length. Gibson Anthony is the videographer

Cool Outdoor Stuff: The Chesapeake’s World of Clams


With all the concerns recently related to the health of the Chesapeake Bay’s crab and oyster populations, the Upper Bay’s clams sometimes gets lost in the conversation. While it is important to note that these brackish water clams has no economic impact to speak off, due to the fact that it can only tolerate low levels of salt and therefore is not present bay wide, they are cool nonetheless.

In this latest installment of the Spy’s Cool Outdoor Stuff, Captain Andy McCown from Echo Hill Outdoor School puts the spotlight on the clam world found in the Upper Chesapeake the the wonders found in its survival skills.

This video is approximately five minutes in length. Gibson Anthony is our videographer

Cool Outdoor Stuff: Three or Four Cheers for Shoreline Fish


They might be small, but with extraordinary populations along the Chesapeake Shoreline, and with names like Atlantic Silversides, Mummichogs, Killifish, and Sheepshead minnow, these shoreline fish are one of the great wonders of the region. In the latest installment of Cool Outdoor Stuff, Andy McCown of Echo Hill Outdoor School, hits the edges of the Bay to tell the remarkable story of the shoreline fish world, but also highlights some good ecological news about the Bay and its estuaries.

This video is approximately five minutes in length

Cool Outdoor Stuff: Why We Love Bird Dogs


In this installment of Cool Outdoor Stuff, Andrew McCown of Echo Hill Outdoor School, is back in the field, but this time with his new bird dog Boone. In a case of “this dog can definitely hunt,” Andrew sets Boone off to show off his extraordinary hunting skills.

This video is approximately three minutes. Gibson Anthony is the videographer.

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