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Your guide to Chesaeake Country's freshest produce and more!

Today’s oysterman is likely to be a woman — and a farmer rather than a hunter-gatherer

Local artist Greg Harlin puts his stamp on the Battle of Baltimore

Species at risk in Maryland are a roll call of birds we know and love

No walk in the park in Chesapeake Country

Mountain laurel, blueberries and other acid-lovers, too

You never know what’s going to happen on the Chesapeake

Nice guys get a pass

In the small town of Carthage, Texas, the most popular guy in town is the man who puts you to rest. Mortician’s assistant Bernie Tiede (Jack Black: Kung Fu Panda 2) sings in the church choir, gives care packages to new widows and delivers inspirational speeches to Little League teams. So it’s understandable that the town forgives Bernie his one, itty-bitty transgression: shooting a rich widow in the back and keeping her body in a freezer for nine months.     You see...

Veterans recount their stories this Memorial Day

Memorial Day Weekend does more than welcome summer with parades, picnics and pool openings. Begun as a sacred day of remembrance at cemeteries where our war dead rest, the holiday has expanded to honor all veterans, including those still on active duty.     What better way to honor these veterans than to tell their stories? Stars and Stripes at Chesapeake Beach   The Chesapeake Beach inaugural Stars and Stripes Festival, Saturday, May 26 thru Monday, May 28,...

Buying a Bay license plate or checking line 35 of your state tax form helps the Chesapeake

What’s removed more than 1,000 tons of trash from the Bay, engaged 800,000 students and teachers and planted 500,000 trees and plants along the shoreline?     Your Bay license plates and income tax check-offs.     Last year alone, over 400,000 Marylanders chose Treasure the Chesapeake license plates or checked off a donation to the Bay Fund on their state tax return. Contributions amounted to $5.5 million, which helped over 110,000 students, teachers and...

Time to Look Back and Ahead

We’re on the verge of big things.          Memorial Day weekend opens not only summer but also our hearts.     Our national habit of making holidays of our holy days gives us fun, on the one hand, and I’m a fan of fun.     But Memorial Day does an honor we must not forget.     American soil was still stained with the blood of Union and Confederate soldiers when Decoration Day was conceived to pay them...

Mother and daughter walk down this aisle together

Each graduation is an epic, bursting with stories of human aspiration, frustration, perseverance and sweat. Here are two, intertwined.     Dawn Rasmussen and her daughter Courtney Stewart shared the Anne Arundel Community College stage on May 24. At 19 and just two years out of high school, Courtney had the easier journey to commencement, with her mother and grandmother pushing and cheering her all the way.     At 45, Dawn, a single mother of three, walked a...

To stop emerald ash borers, you’ve got to think like a bug

To stop a thief, you’ve got to think like a thief. To stop a bug, you’ve got to get more basic.     That’s what Maryland Department of Agriculture has learned in its 10-year effort to stop the inexorable march of the emerald ash borer.     In the early years of the 21st century, Agrilus planipennis escaped from China, likely stowed away in a pallet in the hull of a cargo ship bound for the Great Lakes. Since then, the insect has gnawed its way...

A trip to Balticon is like cozying up to the bar at a Star Wars cantina

Science fiction fans love technology, so it’s no surprise that they stay in touch with each other using Twitter, Facebook and Skype. But they also enjoy getting together in person. One of the biggest destinations is just around the corner: Balticon, the annual convention of the venerable Baltimore Science Fiction Society.     Every Memorial Day weekend for 46 years, Balticon has hosted the luminaries of science fiction: Isaac Asimov, Neil Gaiman, Anne McCaffrey, Ben Bova...

Come June, we’ll be in fishing heaven

The rockfish spawn is just about finished. The big migratory female rockfish have already vacated our waters to return to their wanderings along the Atlantic Coast. Migratory males (usually smaller than the females), remained in the spawning headwaters for the duration and are now forming up and leaving.     Over the last week, all of the rockfish that ended up on our cleaning table were male, measuring 25 to 33 inches. Males can be identified by two large, soft white organs,...

For a stronger lawn, keep the height at 3 or 4 inches

For years I have recommended cutting fescue and bluegrass lawns to a height no less than three inches, even better four inches, for a stronger, weed-free lawn. Many people object to this height and cannot understand why I insist. The answer is simple.     Consider each blade of grass a factory. The bigger the factory, the greater the production. A tall blade of grass is capable of producing more food to feed the roots through photosynthesis than a short blade of grass. Tall...

How many stars can you find in the Beehive Cluster?

Thursday the crescent moon appears high in the south at sunset, forming a line with the Gemini twins Pollux and Castor above. The three are still aligned Friday, but this time the moon is much farther below the two planets — closer actually to Cancer, the dimmest of the zodiac’s 13 constellations.     The crab appears as an upside-down Y, its extended pinchers the letter’s arms. Friday’s moon is 10 degrees to the east of the point where the claws meet the...