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In its 4th year, the Annapolis Irish Festival draws an ever-larger crowd seeking Celtic music and heritage

Two past winners illustrate the magic of make-believe

Creativity comes out to play in Twin Beach Players’ Kids
Playwriting Festival

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

Summer’s darlings, winter’s pests

Fish recipes from the Chesapeake

Connecting food to farm: It takes chickens, cows and maple trees to make French toast

When Patrick O’Shanahan stumbles into the kitchen for “another boring breakfast,” he’s in for a surprise. Dad is making his World Famous French Toast, and there’s a cow in the kitchen. As if that’s not exciting enough, a trio of hens “bagaaaawwwkkk” in the fridge, and maple trees spring up from the floor.     In these days when kids from cities and suburbs know only that food comes from the grocery store, Patrick’s about to...

Cats (and dogs) in black (and white)

“It’s kitten season.” So writes kitten foster mother Cathryn Freeburger of Prince Frederick. “I have a houseful, as every foster does, and every rescue group is overwhelmed with calls.”     Filling her house is a family born the morning after Mama was turned in at a Baltimore County shelter. Mama Zaura is getting friendlier every day; only a year old herself but a good mother. At the milk bar are Zebulon, the only boy, and Zanna, tucked under mama...

There’s still time to get the kids signed up for fun this summer … but don’t wait

Planet Hope Land & Sea Camp Ages 5 to 17 learn how to sail on 14-foot dinghies. Camps cover water safety, capsize recovery, rigging, terminology and basic sailing skills in a fun and exciting atmosphere. Five-day sessions from June 9-Aug.11 at Herington Harbour South, Rose Haven: 410-867-7177; www.sailingcamp.org. Canaan Farms Camp Horse-lovers ages 8+ combine horseback riding, animal care, art instruction and nature lore in friendly, small camps. Five-day sessions from June 17-Aug....

It’s good to eat and pretty enough for the flower garden

Asparagus is a vegetable that’s good looking enough to be planted in the flower garden. The foliage makes an excellent garden backdrop or can be used in sunny beds to give light shade to flowers that prefer partial shade.  I remember a flower garden where asparagus provided shade for an under-story planting of impatients and verbena. The effect was most attractive as the asparagus foliage created the impression of looking through a light fog.     The lacy...

The female harvest is the ­tipping point

Maryland’s favorite crustacean is in serious trouble, according to Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ 2013 Winter Dredge Survey for blue crabs. Once again, the species is teetering at the edge of collapse.     The numbers approach population levels in 2008, when the feds labeled the fishery a disaster.     DNR reads this year’s numbers differently: “crabbing is at safe levels,” according to a recent press release. “The...

And one bright, streaking light

As the sky grows dark, the first light you’re likely to spot is Jupiter high in the west, slipping toward the horizon and setting around midnight. Above it are Pollux and Castor, the two brightest stars in the constellation Gemini. Orange-hued Pollux is the 17th brightest star, and white-hot Castor is the 23rd brightest. But at magnitude –2, Old Jove is exponentially brighter.     Mars is another easy target, appearing high in the south at dark and setting in the...

Time to hook our wagons to energy unlimited

Formidable is the fecundity of the vegetable kingdom.         Over just a couple of weeks, Chesapeake County has been conquered by green. So quickly that you have to be looking to notice the creeping change, as leaves, seeds and flowers shoot forth. Trunks, branches and limbs of apparently dead trees have burst into green life.     Seemingly overnight, leaves have grown from miniscule hands to palms so big they could belong to giants. From the bare...

Compass Rose is the first theater to produce this edgy drama

“Why try something new when we already know what we like?” asks the conservative character in Compass Rose’s current production, Another Day On Willow Street.     “Because,” says founding artistic director Lucinda Merry-Browne, “the future of theater depends on new works.”     So Annapolis audiences are the first ever to see this new work by acclaimed playwright, author and actor Frank Anthony Polito. Chosen for its...

This raucous comedy proves good fences make good neighbors

On paper, Mac (Seth Rogen: This is the End) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne: Insidious: Chapter 2) are adults. They’re married. They have a baby. And they just sunk all of their money into a house in a perfect suburban neighborhood. In reality, both Mac and Kelly are a little bored with their new responsible life and jealous of friends who still party all night.     The couple hopes for a change in routine and maybe some interesting neighbors. Dreaming for a progressive...

You’ve got muscle

This single day carries a heavy weight.         At 18, you’d have shared 6,566 days with your mother, assuming steady cohabitation. For many of us, maternal ties stretch far beyond the age of emancipation. The 45 years my mother and I shared this earth — and one another’s consciousness — amounted to about 16,450 days. If your mother is still kicking when you’re 70, the total rises to 25,533. Even separated at birth, mother and...