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May 2013

Are stunning visuals enough to conceal the plot holes in this animated tale of good vs. evil?

Teenager M.K. (Amanda Seyfried: The Big Wedding) is forced to move back in with her father (Jason Sudeikis: Movie 43) after the death of her mother. A veritable stranger to her, Dad is far more interested in tiny people who he believes live in the forest than in his mourning child.     Dear old dad might not be as crazy as M.K. believes.

Are you guilty? Looking out from the window of my room at Heritage Harbor Rehabilitation Center, I see mountains of mulch suffocating the trees. The sight is enough to undo my promising rehab after falling off a ladder while cleaning gutters on May 13.     Over the 30 years I served as Extension Specialist in Ornamental Horticulture with statewide responsibilities, I concluded that most problems associated with landscapes were related to over-mulching.

Checklist for a happy summer

Accidents happen on the water. Boats sink, unsinkable boats capsize, people fall overboard, vessels collide. The Chesapeake can become violent in an instant. During our hot summers, storm cells can form and travel down the Bay at high speed, sometimes giving little or no warning of their approach, especially near or after dark. They can have winds in excess of 70 knots.     Never think it won’t happen to you. It is always wise to be prepared.

Big entertainment with 17 singers and dancers, 30 songs and dances and 100 costumes

Swing! was a gusty and lusty blast from the past on Friday night at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre. At 53 degrees with gale-force winds, it felt like Winter Garden Theatre. President Carolyn Kirby said she hadn’t seen the like since the cast were babes. But as the program notes, “Swing was never a time or place — it has always been a state of mind.” In the end, mind triumphed over season.

You’ll have to explore Canes Venatici

As evening twilight gives way to darkness, the first star to appear is likely no star at all but rather Venus, so bright you may be able to spot it in the west-northwest before sunset. By the time the sun does set, there should be no mistaking Venus, although the evening star does have company.

Pet Rock at Downs Park

Opening the Bayside concert series, Pet Rock plays oldies but goodies. Bring lawn seating. 6pm at Downs Park concert pavilion, Pasadena. $5/vehicle: 410-222-6230. 

Rock the Dock

Clay Hunt and Pure Delight play this week’s concert under the Bandshell. 4-8pm at Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa: 410-257-5596;

KIDS Blue Crabs

Kids age 6 to 9 capture and release blue crabs and other small Bay creatures. Bring a bathing suit, water shoes, towel and sunscreen. 2-3:30pm at Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary, Prince Frederick. $5 w/discounts; rsvp: 410-535-5327; 

Pups and Wine • free

Meet your newest furry family member, sip local wine and see local artists’ newest works at the Humane Society of Calvert County event to benefit this no-kill shelter. 1-5pm at Perigeaux Winery, St. Leonard: 301-648-8278; 

North Beach House & Garden Tour

Walk right in to eight North Beach homes, businesses and gardens at the 28th annual House and Garden Club’s tour. The town has plenty of places to stop for refreshments, so schedule extra time. 1-5pm from St. Anthony’s parking lot, North Beach. $10; rsvp: 410-286-3988;