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

When we imagine the Battle of Baltimore, the bombardment of Fort McHenry and the penning of the Star Spangled Banner, we almost always see through the eyes of Francis Scott Key, miles away on the deck of a British warship. Annapolis artist Greg Harlin wanted to show another view.     “I wanted to flip that and try a view from a soldier’s viewpoint, to feel what it was like inside the Fort enduring the terrifying bombardment,” Harlin tells Bay Weekly.  ...

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

Make room for more.         The Vanished Birds of North America, now on exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., features passenger pigeons, Carolina parakeets and heath hens.     But two new reports tell us that list may soon be much longer.     Thirty-three species common in the United States are “in steep decline” according to the 2014 State of the Birds Report from the North American...

No walk in the park in Chesapeake Country

Water, water everywhere in Chesapeake Country. Getting to it is the trick — as I found when I tried to locate Southern Anne Arundel County’s two new water access points.     Both are at public parks in Shady Side. Shady Side Park opened last month; Jack Creek Park a year ago.     My first goal was to locate the launch at Shady Side Park. Heading down Shady Side Road, I saw one small sign indicating the park straight ahead. What I found was a baseball...

Mountain laurel, blueberries and other acid-lovers, too

September is the best time of the year to transplant azaleas, rhododendrons, mountain laurel, andromeda, blueberries and other plants that thrive in acid soils. This is because these species have stopped growing new stems and leaves and are starting to generate and elongate roots.     So take advantage of fall garden center sales. If your existing plantings are too dense or wrongly placed, now is a good time to dig and transplant.     Here’s how to assure...

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

I had done well on my last three sorties. Now my first bite came in less than a minute.     I had hooked a frisky spot of about four inches just in front of the dorsal with a size-4 black nickel treble hook and sent it over the side. It headed straight down to the Bay Bridge piling I had selected.     A strong fish took the bait as it neared bottom. Setting the hook,    I felt immediate resistance, a strong headshake, then nothing. I reeled my line...

A pair of planetary pairings

The waning moon rises in the late evening at week’s end and is high in the southwest with the approach of the rising sun. Each night it rises a half-hour later, so that by last-quarter on the 15th it crests the northeast horizon at midnight.     The moon Saturday night and Sunday before dawn shines a few degrees below the smallest of the three celestial dippers: the Pleiades star cluster. This grouping of stars marks the shoulder of Taurus the bull and is a few degrees to...

There’s a window of time when things must happen. If we let that window close, it’s gone and we don’t get it back.

Fasten your seatbelts as we blast off for Colonial Players’ 66th season with Rocket Man, Steven Dietz’s 1998 serious comedy about the road not taken.     Act I counts down like a comedy sketch with a disturbing undercurrent.    Act II is a space shuttle with frequent stops between grim reality and a fifth dimension of beautiful and bittersweet extremes where life runs backward and youth presages the end of possibilities.     In this...

Plumbing the depths of change

“Our world changed yesterday,” I wrote on September 12, 2001. “Like you, we’ll be a long time plumbing the depths of this change.”     Thirteen years later, the blue clarity of September 11, 2001 — before 8:46am — seems a farewell look at innocence. Adam and Eve might have seen just such radiance in the Garden of Eden as its gate shut them out.     It’s a nice image, and there’s some truth in it. Certainly the...

Two comedians prove dining out is an art

Comedians Steve Coogan (Philomena) and Rob Brydon (Underdogs) aren’t really friends, but they converse well together. Following up on a successful series of restaurant reviews (covered in The Trip), they translate the series to Italy.     From the moment they squeeze into their rented Mini Cooper, competition kicks in. Through six sumptuous meals, the comedians war over who does the best impressions, has the least satisfying home life and the better career.   ...

Neither scary nor inventive, this horror should have stayed buried

Deep below the streets of Paris is a city of bones. Most of the catacombs are well mapped out tourist spots, but a secret section of the tunnels obsesses alchemist professor Dr. Scarlett Marlowe (Perdita Weeks: The Invisible Woman). She believes these tombs house Nicolas Flamel’s famed philosopher’s stone, which holds the key to knowledge and immortality.     Scarlett’s father spent his career searching for the stone before committing suicide when his theories...