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Turning a pop phenomenon into challenging life lessons

Highway medians become home to the birds, bees, butterflies

My guests were not who I expected

Billed as a smart and energetic musical comedy with a pop rock score and immensely likable story, this show delivers

A waterspout may get you if you don’t watch out

Reflections on heroes and superheroes

New mascot replaces PFD Panda

Going to the dogs is under reconstruction. In the olden days, going to the dogs described degeneration, as in another old saw: If you lie down with dogs, expect to get fleas.     No more. Today’s dogs are superior beings offering the unconditional love that seems to be scarce elsewhere. From Haiti to Katmandu, they perform superhuman rescues. Closer to home, kids improve their reading with dogs as listeners.     Now Maryland Department of Natural Resources...

But first we must remember

With Memorial Day upon us, I know you’re as eager as I to slip into something more comfortable — like fewer clothes, bare ankles or the water of a just-opened swimming pool.     But not just yet, for first I have a promise to keep.     Never to forget the original meaning of Memorial Day. That’s what Bill Burton asked of me.     Long before Burton became a newsman, before he became outdoors editor for the flourishing Baltimore...

Telltale signs, and how to fight back

That black and white bird with a red cap and yellow belly is not a traditional woodpecker looking for bugs hiding beneath bark. At work making numerous holes all in a circle around the trunk of your tree is a yellow-bellied sapsucker, who then sucks sap from those wounds.     In early spring, sap migrates to the phloem, the region just beneath the bark, and these birds are eager to suck those juices. Warm days and cool nights make the sap flow hard and furious, and the...

To experience our past, I had to travel to Argentina

“Seven at 11 o’clock,” I whispered. “They’re headed right for us.”     My son John tensed and hunched lower behind the foliage of the water blind. So did I. Seconds passed slowly as adrenaline seeped through our systems.     A group of ducks swung to our right to adjust to the wind direction, then cupped their wings to descend. They were about 20 yards away and just over our decoys when I hissed, “Take ’em.”...

Embrace the madness

In a post-apocalyptic desert, a man flees a hoard of irradiated bikers. The bikers, pale and riddled with tumors, need “blood bags” — men with clean blood — to stave off the effects of radiation sickness. Max (Tom Hardy) is caught and hanged from a makeshift IV poll for the draining.     Thee bikers serve Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), a ruthless warlord. Controlling the only clean water source, he forces the locals to serve him or face certain,...

Camps are filling up fast. But there’s still room ...

Annmarie Garden Art Camp Explore art and nature in playfully creative ways with certified, experienced instructors; camps for 3-5 years and grades 1-3, 4-6 and 7-9 in three-day (half-day) and five-day (full-day) sessions from June 23-Aug. 14. Annmarie Garden, Solomons: 410-326-4640; www.annmariegarden.org. Camp Woodlands Girl Scouts of ­Central Maryland     Camp Woodlands is a great way for girls in kindergarten through grade five to have fun learning about Girl Scouts in...

A Bay Weekly Conversation with Anson ‘Tuck’ Hines, ­Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Director

In 1962, the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, D.C., found itself the beneficiary of farmer Robert Lee Forrest’s unanticipated bequest: a 368-acre dairy farm in Edgewater pushing up against the Rhode River — plus $1.7 million.     Over half a century, that idyllic spot grew to the 2,650-acre Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, with hundreds of scientists working to figure out piece by piece the huge puzzle of coexistence on a small planet with limited...

Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t

Time-stained pages printed and bound almost 400 years ago hold 36 plays written by William Shakespeare. That’s the Shakespeare considered “the most important writer in the English language.” So says Daniel De Simone, Eric Weinmann Librarian at Folger Shakespeare Library.     This book is one of the 82 First Folios Folger Library owns. That’s a lot.     About 750 first editions of the First Folio — the first book collection of his...

A firsthand account from the Volvo Ocean Racers

After sailing the earth’s five major oceans, the Volvo Ocean Race sailors have delivered their verdict when it comes to pollution. Humans are using the oceans of the world as a dumping ground for everything from plastics to chemicals to human waste.     Every four years, when the Volvo veterans sail the world anew, it gets worse. Much worse.     In the words of Bouwe Bekking, Team Brunel’s veteran skipper now on his seventh circumnavigation of the...

Sometimes it takes a village

It takes a village, they say, to raise a child. So it does to relocate an osprey pair.     This story begins in spring last year, when a pair of osprey constructed their residence atop a three-story chimney of a home in Resthaven in Southern Anne Arundel County. After the construction of the large, freeform contemporary and the raising of their brood, off they went to their second home for the winter. Prior to their departure, however, these tenants saw no need to clean the...