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Sotterley Plantation memorialized as UNESCO Slave Route Project Site
for role in Middle Passage 
Methuselah and Mary Pumphrey lived history

Tinder lights the fire

Army combat veteran uses humor to talk about a difficult subject and to generate awareness of how vets don’t want to be treated differently

Love, inspiration and a bit of praise for men in high places

Discovering the place and the truth behind the legend

Sotterley Plantation memorialized as UNESCO Slave Route Project Site
for role in Middle Passage 
       Historic Sotterley Plantation, along the Patuxent River in Southern Maryland is the 94-acre site of bountiful colonial revival gardens, music and wine festivals, picturesque weddings, an organic farm, special events and of course, tours of the historic 18th-cen­tury manor house and grounds.       Back in its heyday, though, Sotterley was a tobacco plantation of 7,000 acres — worked by a labor force of nearly 100 enslaved people. Over the...
Methuselah and Mary Pumphrey lived history
       Methuselah Pumphrey lived to be 96, writing along the way another chapter in Chesapeake Country’s African American history. The history he made was not earth-shattering. He didn’t walk to the North Pole, like Marylander Matthew Henson, or gain equal pay for Maryland black teachers and then desegregate the nation’s schools like Thurgood Marshall.        Pumphrey’s was the kind of life most of us live: infinitely precious on a...
That may be the challenge of our times
       We’ve come a long way since the early 1990s, when I wondered whether we ought to bother with special stories for Black History Month. Shouldn’t we just integrate stories about black people into our regular coverage?        Editors of the Afro-American newspaper, to whom I posed my question, politely set me straight. That February spotlight shined a bit of light, they explained, on a history shrouded in ignorance. I couldn’t...
Where All Those Gulls are Going Editor’s note: In Your Say in the paper of Feb. 7, part-time liveaboards Joy and Walt Kass asked our help in locating the destination of flights of gulls in daily two-way transit over Herring Bay at Tracys Landing. A couple of readers replied, offering the same destination — but two different locations. To their local knowledge, Creature Feature columnist Wayne Bierbaum adds the bird behavioral perspective — plus a third possible location....

Bonnie Ott tells us who’s who

      When you hear a sparrow, do you envision only those birds under your bistro table? Bonnie Ott is here to expand your view to the many native sparrow species in our area. An expert naturalist, photographer and lifelong Howard County resident, she is more familiar with little brown birds than just about anyone.        Share her infectious appreciation for these Maryland natives at her photo-illustrated talk, Sparrows of the Piedmont, Anne Arundel Bird Club...

Grenade Lunchers?

      What do you do when you’re out fishing and you catch a World War II grenade? Obviously, you head to Taco Bell.         That’s what a couple did recently along the Ocklawaha River in Ocala, Fla., after bringing up a grenade while “magnet fishing,” whatever that is. (For steelhead?)       Grenade in bucket, they headed to Taco Bell, where they phoned police. It became a big deal.        “Be...
       A healthy future for Maryland begins with healthy kids. Those kids are at risk when the buses and cars taking them to and from school churn out pollution in the drop-off and pick-up lanes.        Under a new program from the Department of the Environment and the Department of Education, those arrival and departure areas will become idle-free.       The two state agencies are collaborating on Idle Free MD to reduce emissions at...
Ban bills return to Anne Arundel, Maryland 
      Another domino has fallen in the war on plastic, toppling close to home.        A bill banning polystyrene, the chemical that gave us Styrofoam, has been introduced for the second year in the Anne Arundel County Council. If passed, it will prohibit the use of food-service polystyrene products in the county by next January.      Last year, this very same bill made its way through the council only to be vetoed by then-County Executive Steve...

New life begins in tiny wet puddles

    In very early spring, melting snow and ice leave pools of water in the woods. By early summer, the pools dry up not to be seen until the next spring. The seasonal collections of water, called vernal or ephemeral pools, are the breeding ground for insects, crustaceans and amphibians of the woods.      The density of amphibians in a mature eastern woods is estimated to vary widely, between 200 and 8,000 per acre. Several species can reproduce only in vernal pools....

Bundle up, pack a long rod and head to Sandy Point

      The first signs of the spring rockfish run come to Sandy Point and Matapeake parks. Surf rods, some of them 12 to 14 feet long, will be strung out, poised in rod holders along the pier and beaches. Bundled up in insulated winter coats and camouflaged hunting attire and settled in on aluminum lawn chairs, these anglers have found the cure for cabin fever.       Early springtime’s catch-and-release rockfish season has been starting earlier and gaining...