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June 2011

How to catch early summer rockfish

This is turning out to be a difficult striped bass season. Dirty water coming down the Susquehanna River and into the Chesapeake has sent resident mid-Bay fish fleeing to cleaner currents and deeper water. Only over the last two weeks is the water clearing and the fish returning.

The full moon is at its lowest, while the sun nears its peak

Week’s end finds the waxing gibbous moon high in the south at sunset, around 8:30. Thursday evening it shines to the west of golden Saturn and the blue-white star Spica, but the next night it has snuggled within 10 degrees of both, forming a loose triangle. Saturn and Spica are currently about a dozen degrees apart, but keep an eye on them over the coming months as the ringed planet edges eastward for an autumnal conjunction.

Use the right sunscreen as you have your fun

The best times of summer are the hours we spend outdoors.     I bet you’re planning plenty such hours. Aiding and abetting your plans are Bay Weekly’s 8 Days a Week and 101 Ways to Have Fun: Your Indispensable Guide to Summer on the Chesapeake.     Both are packed with things to do on land and on water, where breezes tame the worst of Chesapeake Country’s heat and humidity, and when they fail, you can jump in.

An excellent origins story is bogged down by too many mutants with no motivation

In the swinging 1960s, two mutant men set very different goals for themselves. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy: Gnomeo and Juliet) is hoping to use his telepathic abilities to score college co-eds — oh, and to unite other mutants, in hopes of celebrating the beauty of genetics. Shoah survivor Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender: Jane Eyre) is set on using his metal manipulating skills to hunt down and murder the Nazis who experimented on him and killed his mother.

X marks the spot on the Captain John Smith Trail

Once upon a time, seeking treasure meant following the dubious guidance of a hand-drawn map through grave dangers. Scurvy, mutiny, greed and confusion — not to mention blood-thirsty competitors and territory-conscious wild animals — were perils treasure hunters faced in seeking the spot on the map marked by X.     The Global Positioning System changed all that.

Dale and Debbie Jones want you to know what you eat, where it came from and how it was raised

What are you eating and where did it come from? That’s Dale and Debbie Jones’ mantra.     On Windy Willow Farm in Sunderland, the Joneses raise pastured, grass-fed beef, lamb and goat. Theirs is a relatively new business venture: they’ve been selling meat for only two years. Spend just a while talking with them, and you know what they do is more than a business. It’s a mission.

Preparing for disasters natural and unnatural

The zombies are coming!         Well, maybe.         Actually, not likely.    

And the ghosts of showtimes past

It is evening in downtown Annapolis. The courtyard of the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre on Compromise Street is alive with people. Above their heads, in bold letters, the marquee spells out Chicago ...     Annapolis’ outdoor musical theater is in performance.

And the best lure for catching them

The sun was high in the sky when I arrived at my fishing hole. Easing my skiff up to the shoreline on my electric motor, I put a little extra sunscreen on my face and arms while the water settled. The day looked to be a hot one.     A strong flood lapped high on the rock riprap along this likely looking stretch of white perch territory.

Peaches don’t like them any better than we do

Perfect-looking peaches will be hard to find this summer. Stinkbugs are already spoiling the fruit.