Features

Forensic artist puts images to 200-year-old descriptions
       Lot Bell, who became a free woman in 1816, survived through two centuries of history in a few words written by the man who had claimed her ownership. Granting Lot her freedom in his last will and testament, ­Silbey Bell described her of “pretty dark complexion, long face and high cheek bones … a very remarkable scar on her head on the left side thereof which resembles a mulberry very much.” On the 30-year-old woman’s Certificate of Freedom, those words were the equivalent of her passport photo.

Researchers track down slave descendants’ legacies

Legacy (n) 1. Any special privilege accorded a firstborn. 2. Something immaterial that is passed from one generation to another.  

Career expo sets sights on teenagers

       Do you know a teen who loves boats or spending time on the water? Who loves technology, science or math?        Local employers are looking to hook such teens with a career in the marine and maritime trades.       The Eastport Yacht Club Foundation introduces students to industry professionals at the Marine and Maritime Career Expo at Annapolis High School this Saturday, February 24.

No longer pegged as feral, these wild cats serve a purpose

       Don’t disrespect community cats. “Many of these community cats are just out there surviving, and in a lot of cases, they are fulfilling an unseen need,” says Kathy Evans of Rude Ranch Animal Rescue.         You’re not seeing the need, she says, because the cats are keeping pest populations of mice, rats and voles under control, thereby decreasing the spread of diseases.

Dr. Joan Gaither’s quilts document lives and history

      Mention quilts, and people often share memories of grandmothers or great aunts working with needle and thread, joining pieces of fabric with precise stitching.       Dr. Joan Gaither, who documents history with cloth and thread, describes herself as “a quilter who breaks all the rules.” Her quilts are covered with images, words and objects: buttons, ribbons, pieces of jewelry, shells — anything that can be sewn to fabric and symbolizes an aspect of the story she tells.

Lincoln was the first to use photos to shape public perception

       Abraham Lincoln, whose leadership the country celebrates on Presidents Day February 19, a week after his February 12 birthday, ranks as one of our best presidents. He won the Civil War, saved the Union, ended slavery and uttered some of the most eloquent words ever spoken by an American leader. 

This bird is not a duck

      For birders, each season brings a different group. In the winter, ice and snow will force the hardiest birds south, making January and February the best months to see rare waterfowl.      Take this red-necked grebe, for example. In the summer, they nest around the small lakes of Canada. When the Great Lakes freeze over, an occasional bird will sneak down to the Chesapeake. 

Love stories from Chesapeake Country

When Susan Met Anthony … Susan and Anthony Nolan   Playing Cupid gave me opportunity to talk with him outside work  

Making beer is fun. Can it also be a means to make a living?

       For beer lovers, this is a heady time. Some 1.15 million Americans brew beer at home, in their kitchens, garages and porches, according to the American Homebrew Association. Most are guys, and most older than 30.        “Access to information and equipment has never been better,” says John Morehead, the Association’s competition director, noting that in those areas, “the lines between professional and amateur bleed into each other.”

This time of year, a bird can’t be too particular

        I had followed the young hawk as it hunted along the Wildlife Drive at Blackwater Wildlife Refuge. It would sit on a low branch and look intently into the grasses below, then suddenly drop down. On this drop, it came back to the perch with a shrew.