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It’s all online in Calvert County

In old-fashioned walk-around communities, construction projects were everybody’s business. In these times of zipping past in cars, who knows what’s going and coming?     In Calvert County, you can find out online. What’s Going Where lets you track commercial projects county wide. You can search by postal Zip Code or review a list of projects completed in the last 12 months.

Three nights to make gift-buying fun

Shopping is more fun at stores that want your business. To lure you in, New York City stores fill their windows with scenes as highly produced as a Broadway show. Annapolis throws three after-hours parties. The festivities are good enough to win the city Travel & Leisure magazine’s vote as one of America’s Best Towns for the Holidays.     The parties start Thursday, Dec. 4, with Midnight Madness I; continue Thursday, Dec. 11, with Midnight Madness II and all new entertainment; and culminate Thursday, Dec. 18, with Eleventh Hour.

Jump right in at Calvert Marine Museum

Visit Calvert Marine Museum starting October 11 and you’ll see all the way from the heights of the sky to the sheltering shallows to the dark depths. You’ll see life beneath the surface. You’ll see octopoid special effects that outsmart CGI animation, part of the ordinary antics of 150 species in the greater Chesapeake community.     What you won’t see is how this miracle of 21st century estuarine immersion came to be.

Annapolis Maritime Museum fits big stuff in little package

Like the Little Engine that Could, the Annapolis Maritime Museum has to do everything its bigger counterparts do, just in a smaller package.     Measured by how many people it touches each year, the little museum grows in stature, with 10,000 tourists visiting in a year plus 5,000 locals stopping by for visits and events and 3,000 students coming for education programs.

Bayside History Museum

Museums like the Smithsonians we visit in Washington show us the wonders of the world. Little community museums tell us our own stories excavated from the sands of time.     In North Beach, the Bayside History Museum takes threads of families, activities, and places over the last 130 years and presents them in a wonderful quilt of fun, tradition and culture.     The story spins out of the place it’s rooted.

Unearthing a forgotten past

At Serenity Farm in Benedict, you’ll find 100 acres devoted to Farming 4 Hunger (see this week’s feature story). It’s also a place for farm tours and events, hayrides and petting zoo, shearing sheep and tobacco barns.     Maryland’s history is rooted there, too.     The recently discovered Burial Ground at Serenity Farm unlocks secrets and pieces together from crumbling bones lives lost in the past.

The closest you can get to World War II

A legendary World War II-era B-17 Flying Fortress takes to the skies this weekend.     “This is the closest thing you can get to the battlefield experience,” said Bob Hill, chief Liberty Foundation pilot.     The B-17 was a workhorse in bombing raids over Germany in World War II. Some 4,735 B-17 aircraft were lost in combat during the war.  The bombers’ 10-man crews flew each mission knowing there was a 3-to-1 probability they would not return safely.

One good trip recommends another

Scene: Living Room Mackenzie: Mom! What are we going to do for vacation this year? Heather: I don’t know. I haven’t thought that far. Any ideas?

Get in touch with wildlife at ­Patuxent Research Refuge

Take a summer morning to escape the hustle and bustle in one of the verdant national wildlife refuges created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.     I escaped to the Patuxent Research Refuge South Tract in Laurel. Taking a deep breath as I drove through the long entry way, I felt my mind and body relax.     The morning song of birds filled the wooded area. I found the brilliant greens and deep blue waters of lakes. Water lilies bloomed and great blue herons were fishing along the shore.

Time traveling at Chesapeake Marketplace

Antiques? Do you like them?