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June 2013

Despite Christ-like parallells and overwrought action scenes, this Superman is a fun action romp

Krypton’s advanced society is about to go extinct, doomed by bad environmental choices. As the planet falls apart, Jor-El (Russell Crowe: Broken City) and his wife Lara (Ayelet Zurer: Touch) conclude the only hope for the people of Krypton is sending their son Kal to a new world with the genetic information of every one of the planet’s citizens. They settle on Earth, hoping their son will lead this new world to greatness and avoid the mistakes that killed Krypton.

You’ll enjoy it in the moment and in the ­stories you create

We couldn’t have better weather for Celebrate Maryland Outdoors Days, a state of motivation that culminates this week in the Great American Backyard Campout on June 22.     June is showing us her best side with mild temperatures, comfortable humidity, ticklish breezes, honeyed air and cloudscapes racing across blue skies.     To do our part of the celebrating, we’ve recruited Heather Boughey to tell a campfire story.

Supermoon comes just days after summer solstice

Thursday, June 20, is Midsummer’s Night, the shortest night of the year, with barely nine hours of darkness. Then, at 1:04am Friday, the sun reaches its northernmost position above the earth, marking the astronomical beginning of summer for us in the Northern Hemisphere. It is our longest day, with more than 14 hours 54 minutes of sunlight.

It’s not big plants you’re after

Last fall I met a Bay Weekly reader who had perfected the art of growing big tomato plants. Without testing the soil in his 1,500-square-foot garden, he spread half of a bag of 10-10-10, about 20 pounds. While planting his tomatoes, he added a handful of urea fertilizer, which contains 46 percent nitrogen. He used the same planting method for peppers.     His tomato plants grew to five or six feet tall, but they produced only a few small tomatoes late in the summer.

I hunted 14 species of game birds; a lion hunted me

When a herd of zebras loomed up in the sweep of our headlights, I began to believe I was in Africa.     As we’d landed at Johannesburg Airport after dark and loaded up for the two-hour drive to our lodge at Kroonstad, those zebra were my first sight of the wild Africa I’d come for.     The next morning I saw much more. As we motored to our first game-bird shooting area, plains antelope gathered behind farm fences along the road. Ostriches roamed at will.

Country music’s most popular woman singer still awesome after all these years

Always … Patsy Cline offers remarkable singing and terrific acting in the service of country legend.     Patsy Cline met ardent fan Louise Seger at a Houston concert in 1961. A brash sort, Louise introduced herself and invited Patsy to her home for a late-night breakfast. The meal turned into an overnight stay and that stay turned into several years of correspondences always signed by Patsy with the closing that gives this show its title.     I wish the story gave us as much.

In celebration of Father’s Day, dads from 19 to 94 tell us what they like best about the job

           

Jet correspondent Simeon Booker tells of his front-line reporting on the war for Civil Rights

Simeon Booker is a lucky man. He has lived to enjoy the spoils of victory.     On the sandy shores of the Chesapeake at Cove Point in southern Calvert County, the 94-year-old has enjoyed 30 years of the best the Bay has to offer. He has basked in water just outside his cottage windows, miles of beach walking, fishing, the solace of nature, the company of neighbors and friends … even the luxury of a new septic system supported in part by the Bay Restoration Fund.

The dads take fatherhood seriously, too

Phoebes are inconspicuous in plumage, but you will hear them from wooded areas loud and clear: FEEE-bee-bee-bee! Eastern phoebes, part of the flycatcher family, swoop down from understory branches to catch moths, mosquitoes and other Undesirable Flitting Objects. The generic name for flycatchers, Empidomax, is from the Greek for king of the gnats.

Animal sanctuary gets Bay-friendly upgrade

Lindsay Lohan or Amanda Bynes won’t be making cameos at Davidsonville’s upgraded rehab. This rehab — Davidsonville Wildlife Sanctuary — helps rehabilitate geese, ducks, frogs, beavers, deer, turtles and migratory birds.     The sanctuary — where injured wild creatures from emus to geese are rehabilitated — turned to the South River Federation to make a pond on the edge of the property more Bay friendly.