What Are You Doing Next Year?

In the pages of this illustrious paper, I get credited only as staff writer occasionally. For the most part, I’m Bay Weekly’s Calendar Editor. I’m the one who tells you what’s happening in Bay Country every day of every week.

It’s my job to rely on calendars, to get the dates right and to plan ahead. I look at a calendar every day. Every. Single. Day.

To do my job, you really need a good calendar. John Wayne watches over my desk, a strong black-and-white image to offset the bold red, pink and blue deadlines I have scribbled in the daily squares.

But alas, John has withered away to his last month. It’s time to replace the Duke. This year, I’m looking for a great local calendar that measures up to three criteria: It has to be graphically interesting. It must contain a subject that’s related to Maryland. And it must help me do a job that revolves around dates.

With the advent of make-it-yourself sites online, artists are able to market themselves to a larger audience and compete with professional calendar companies. From Internet-born and factory-made calendars, I’ve chosen 12 that could illustrate every month of your new year.


Discovering Maryland

Twelve months of varied landscape and colorful landmark photography support Maryland’s claim to be Little America, with landscapes ranging from mountains to ocean. Within each monthly display, smaller photos feature animals and other landscapes. 

The 10-by-14-inch calendar offers plenty of room to write in daily squares. Holidays and moon cycles are listed in the daily block, and the previous and following month’s calendars are displayed on each page.

American Products Publishing: $9.95; www.calendars.com.


Chesapeake Bay

Thirteen glorious photos tracing the Bay from its tributaries to the mouth make you fall in love with Chesapeake Country all over again. Locales are identified to help you plan a sightseeing trip.

The 12-by-24-inch calendar allows ample space for recording daily appointments as well as a full listing of holidays and moon cycles. Printed on paper gleaned from a managed forest, the calendar is an eco-friendly choice.

Brown Trout Publishers: $13.99; www.calendars.com.


South County Senior ShowStoppers

South County Senior ShowStoppers’ plucky band of 41 entertainers over the age of 55 live by this motto: We Aspire to Inspire Before We Expire. In the new year, they’re expanding their inspirational range from variety shows to a wall calendar. The dozen vivid images capture the sheer joy of each performance and whet your appetite for a live show.

You’ll need to be brief in your annotations, as the 11-by-17-inch calendar condenses daily space to fit in tidbits about ShowStopper performances and members. Replacing holidays and moons cycles are notes of days the centers are closed, typically coinciding with an unnamed holiday. The first fold-out and back cover condense the history of the performing group and senior centers in Anne Arundel County.

South County Senior Center Advisory Council: $10; the Senior Center, 27 Stepneys Ln., Edgewater: 410-222-1927.


Orioles 2011 Pet Calendar

Baltimore Orioles pose with man’s best friends in a collage of adorable photos to raise money for the Maryland SPCA, which receives no government or ASPCA funding. Apparently The Birds aren’t big on cats, as only Catcher Matt Wieters poses with his pair of feline friends.

The 10-by-17-inch calendar is a lovely graphic tribute to The Birds, their unnamed wives and the work of the SPCA, but it isn’t the most practical. The spiral-bound calendar gives most of its surface to pictures, leaving very little room for daily blocks. The pages mark holidays and season changes but leave out phases of the moon. The calendar is printed on recycled paper to keep the charitable effort in the green.

Opening day is April 4, by the way.

MLB and The Orioles: $15; http://mlb.mlb.com/bal/community/pet_calendar.jsp.


My Maryland

Photographer Kate Ballard got to know Maryland by traveling the state to capture the seasons for a 2011 calendar. The bright images are mostly floral close-ups plus a few land- and cityscapes.

Because Ballard published through Zazzle, calendar size and style is up to you. The web site offers size choices from small to huge plus spiral binding color choices. The daily square blocks vary in size depending on the calendar you create, but all list major holidays.

Kate Ballard: $18.95-$25.95; www.zazzle.com.


Calico Cats

For National Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, we pay tribute to Maryland’s state feline, the calico. The calico is not a breed but a color pattern: orange, black and white. Most are female, with the rare male sterile. The calendar displays these multi-colored felines at their best with mostly studio-shot photographs of regally posed cats. Beneath each photo are fun cat facts.

The daily blocks on the 12-by-24-inch calendar leave enough room for brief notes while listing major holidays and phases of the moon. The previous and following month’s days are printed at the bottom of each page. The pages are printed on paper from a managed forest.

Brown Trout Publishers: $14.99; www.calendars.com.


Maryland DNR 2011 Calendar

Winners of the Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s 2010 Photo Contest illustrate this calendar’s six categories — Wildlife, Scenic, Birds, Plants, Insects and Outdoor Recreation — and 12 months. Each month includes tips on green living plus a brief paragraph on DNR’s green initiatives.

The 11-by-17-inch calendar marks all major holidays but fails to note the phases of the moon. The daily grid leaves ample room for notes, and a previous and following month calendar makes date referencing easy. DNR has set an example by using recycled paper and soy ink.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources: $9.99; http://shopdnr.com/2011dnrcalendar.aspx.


Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

We spend the dog days of summer with Maryland’s state dog, the Chesapeake Bay retriever. Photos range from a basket full of fluffy puppies to a still of the dog careening through water.

The 13-by-21-inch calendar offers a daily grid with room for notes plus holidays and moon phases. A previous and following month calendar appears at the bottom of each page. As a bonus, four 2012 months are condensed to one page.

Willow Creek Press: $13.99; www.calendars.com.


Vintage Maryland 2011 Calendar

We kick off football season with this tribute to the artistry of Terps games of yore. Each month is illustrated with game-day program art for games played from the 1900s to the 1970s. Nine are art covers mixed with four photos. The styles range from sports photography to abstract painting to slick 1950s-style ad art. The scores of each game are included; oddly five months feature games the Terps lost.

The open calendar is a whopping 11 by 30 inches for a reason. Each page is framable. As a result, the daily squares — here, more like rectangles — give you enough room to write a small paragraph, plus major holidays and moon cycles. The previous and following month’s days appear at the top of each page.

The calendar was printed on recycled paper. Also noted are the product’s wastes and offsets. 

Asgard Press: $18.95; http://asgardpress.com.


Poe Oversized 2011 Wall Calendar

Once upon a midnight dreary, as you ponder weak and weary over many strange and curious volumes of forgotten lore — you may wonder what the date is. Celebrate a full year of the spooky Maryland master with Brooklyn-based artist Blue Bliss’ 12 digital paintings of Poe in the midst of his stories.

The spiral-bound 11-by-22-inch calendar gives you a large daily grid plus American holidays but, oddly for this subject, no phases of the moon.

Café Press: $24; www.cafepress.com/+poe_oversized_wall_calendar,187626683.


Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Use this calendar and you’ll never forget to give thanks for the Chesapeake. Each month of Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s stapled calendar shows the winners of the third annual Save the Bay Photo Contest. The 13 stunning photos — taken by CBF members — trace the Bay from Pennsylvania to Virginia, honoring people and animals that depend on its waters.

The open calendar measures 11 by 17 inches with date blocks that note major holidays, seasonal changes and phases of the moon. You’ll want to be brief with your notations. The previous and next month appear on each new page. The rectangular calendar is printed on recycled paper.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation: $15; www.cbf.org/store.


Sealife Art Wall Calendar 2011

Mississippi artist Mary Kipping doesn’t live on the Chesapeake, but she has an affinity for the Bay’s most famous crustacean. Her Sealife calendar features five crab watercolors and a cluster of oysters, though they appear on the R-less month of June. But crabs are the true stars of Kipping’s work, and they dress for every occasion, from Mardi Gras to Christmas.

The 11-by-17-inch calendar is spiral bound, with a preview of 2012 for the forward thinking. U.S. holidays are marked, and there’s plenty of room for jotting. No phases of the moon.

Café Press: $17.50; www.cafepress.com/+sealife_art_wall_calendar_2011,165176029.