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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

Before you answer it, think safety

A glimpse of a small boat under full sail sets my heart racing.     Back to the Water is a season all its own in Chesapeake Country, aligned with spring but serving separate pleasures.     We expect less warmth of Back to the Water. Winds are often gusty, giving sailors some fun, and water temperatures in the mid 50s mean a cold bath that could do you harm. Air temperatures could be colder or much warmer on a day on the water, which is all in the day. If you...

Set to music, Oscar Wilde is twice as funny

It’s ironic that when Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest premiered in 1895, many critics loved its humor but were taken aback at its lightness, its refusal to take on heavy social or political issues of the time, as most dramas had done. The irony is that it’s exactly this drive to escape the heavy responsibilities of “position” that impel Jack Worthing to create an alter ego, Ernest, through whom Jack can live a life untethered by the demands of...

Baitfishing by water and from shore

Mike Ebersberger has a strategy for big, early season stripers on the Chesapeake. Not a fan of trolling, he prefers baitfishing the rockfish trophy season.     His method is simple: “Find a place away from other boats, anchor up on the edge of the main Bay channel in 25 feet of water with a muddy or sandy bottom,” says the manager of Angler’s Sport Center. “Drop a couple big chunks of menhaden, the fresher the better, on two- or three-ounce sinkers. Wait...

Prune buddleia, forsythia, weigela and privet with a heavy hand

To rejuvenate, some plants must have their stems pruned near the ground. The plants I’m describing each have a large root system, so the crowns will send up numerous new stems.       The butterfly bush (buddleia), for example, should have all its branches cut down to within inches of the ground every year in early spring. Severe spring pruning encourages the development of strong stems that will flower more profusely. I use a chainsaw to prune my buddleia at...

After almost 4,000 days in space, this probe died for science

This week Mercury shows its best face in homage to the Messenger spacecraft, which crashed into the planet early morning April 30.     The craft was launched in August 2004 and reached Mercury in March 2011, the first to orbit the innermost planet. Since then it has circled Mercury more than 4,100 times, compiling more data in the process than everything combined before that.     Thursday, April 30, scientists at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab cut life support...

Is humanity suited to play god?

Code writer Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson: Unbroken) gets the break of a lifetime when he wins a contest to meet his boss, tech genius Nathan (Oscar Isaac: A Most Violent Year). The trip of a lifetime begins oddly: Caleb is loaded onto a helicopter, flown to the middle of nowhere, dropped off in a field and told to follow the river.     He arrives at Nathan’s secluded cabin, where he’s given a keycard and a nondisclosure agreement. If Caleb signs, Nathan promises to reveal...

You’re never too young to garden

As a child in west central Florida, I was lucky to have a father and grandmother who were into plants. Dad introduced me to the bottlebrush shrub that lived beside our neighbor’s constructed pond. The sharp scent of its leaves, its fuzzy, flouncy red flowers and the way its seedpods all clustered together like rock candy on a stick fascinated me.     When my grandmother gave me a spade sized just for my hands, I spent hours digging in the soil blackened and made fragrant...

Run the Freedom Hill People Steeplechase, Kids Canter or Toddler Trot

Horses give humans a lift at Freedom Hill Horse Rescue in Calvert County.     In species pairings called Equine Assisted Learning, people learn leadership, goal-setting and teamwork.     In Equine-Based Education, people learn about horses, their proper care and treatment, natural horsemanship and the basics of horseback riding.     In Equine Connection, people get to know horses in an introductory group horsemanship lesson.    ...

Here’s how they played in 1993

At the Galesville Hot Sox reunion game on Saturday, April 25, you’ll see baseball at its best, as community sport and social.     That’s what Bay Weekly founders Sandra Martin and Bill Lambrecht saw on a summer’s day in 1993:     The Bay sun beat down on the Hot Sox field like hard foul balls. You see how bleachers got their name. A week without rain had baked the grass, and the day is humid and dusty. But no one on this Sunday afternoon seemed...

From heirlooms to exotics

You’re never too young to garden, as Leigh Glenn writes in this week’s feature story.     Nor too old. No doubt some devout urbanists can ignore the call of spring. But don’t you want to get your hands in the dirt to feel life stirring?     I do!     So I’m tracking the arrival of the season’s plant sales, especially sales of native plants adapted to our changeable climate and thereby hardier — even in my...