Features (Things)

Take advantage of the quiet — and of migration — to go birding

     Winter is a wonderful time to study nature in Chesapeake Country. Yes, you read that correctly, the dreaded season of cold and snow. Before I am lambasted for being a warm-weather heretic, let me explain my reasoning.
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     With the coming weeks offering events and attractions promising to wow you, amaze you and fill your hearts with holiday wonder and glad tidings, how do you choose which of the season’s pageants makes it on to your calendar?
     Here’s a bit of guidance that may help you to inspire a new tradition or rediscover a forgotten favorite.
 
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Coming our way from Kootenai National Forest, Montana
     Christmas is coming to our nation’s capitol.
     In a 47-year tradition, the Christmas tree that shines throughout December on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol is cut in one of the nation’s states.
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A commuter’s love song

I love the Bay Bridge. Even when I’m in a line of slow-moving homebound traffic, even when I’m behind a carload of Bay-gazing tourists or even when facing winds, rains or snows that challenge the journey, I still love it.
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Spirits of the ­Rising Sun Inn

Had I never lived in Crownsville’s historic Rising Sun Inn, I’d have scoffed at folks who believed in the supernatural. But once my brother and I rented the Inn and moved in, peculiar things started that we couldn’t quite explain away.
    Take the day our buddy’s girlfriend fled our housewarming party, screaming in terror.
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Shady Side fifth-graders saving the Bay one handful of spat at a time

Some Southern Anne Arundel County students are taking the adage bloom where you’re planted more than a few steps further. Fifth-graders at Shady Side Elementary are planting oysters to help restore the Bay’s oyster population.
    “We need oysters to clean the Bay,” said Lacey Wilde, 11, the daughter and granddaughter of working watermen.
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Ships’ graveyard possible National Marine Sanctuary site

The Potomac River continues to bear the legacy of World War I — which ended 97 years ago this week — in one of the Chesapeake watershed’s secret places, Mallows Bay.
    Tucked into the coastline of Charles County, Mallows Bay is the final resting place for 88 World War I wooden steamships of the U.S. Emergency Fleet. Built between 1917 and 1919, these ships were to supply European and American troops with much-needed supplies.
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Mine makes 15,001

     Five years ago in Wisconsin, Todd Bol built a model of a one-room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former teacher. He installed it on a post in his front yard and filled it with books to give away. It was such a hit with his neighbors that he built and gave away several more, each with a sign that read free books.
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Satisfy thirst and more at the Mid-Atlantic Brewsic Festival and Fire Truck Show

    When my wife married me many decades ago, she assumed I would outgrow my childhood fascination with fire engines. I haven’t; I won’t; and this weekend I will satisfy my inner child at the Mid-Atlantic Brewsic Festival and Fire Truck Show. I’m going Saturday for the fire trucks and the music.
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Sailing into your ken

    If you’re looking, you, like John O. Rogers, of Churchton, might find Pride of Baltimore II sailing into your Chesapeake viewshed. On Monday July 7, Pride set sail south, leaving Baltimore for Piscataway Park on the Potomac in Prince Georges County. She arrives Thursday, July 10, to join in Celebrating the Potomac on Saturday July 12. Deck tours are free from 11am to 5pm, with a $65 special sail (w/age discounts) later that evening (www.pride2.org).
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