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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

Learn what you need to know, take what you need to have

If you don’t have some type of watercraft — be it canoe, kayak, skiff, sailboat, sailboard or motor yacht — you’ll miss out on enjoying our largest public playground: the vast, 4,500 square miles of the Chesapeake Bay.     A boat is your magic carpet for roaming the Bay and its tributaries while fishing, sailing, crabbing, clamming, oystering, photographing or cruising and paddling about in the natural beauty of the Chesapeake. Fish-finder   The...

You don’t have to wait until 2061 to delight in its offspringHill in compost to enjoy potatoes early and late

There is nothing like going into the garden and digging a nice big potato with a thin skin for dinner. A freshly harvested white potato from a plant still actively growing guarantees you not only great satisfaction but also a vegetable that is filled with vitamins because you don’t have to remove the skin to eat it.     If you plan ahead, you need not wait for the potato plant to die back to the ground before you start harvesting.     It’s...

You don’t have to wait until 2061 to delight in its offspring

A thin sliver of the waxing crescent moon rises Thursday evening just after sunset, its tips pointing almost straight up. Look a few degrees below its outside curve for Aldebaran, the orange eye of Taurus the bull. High above the moon is Jupiter, shining brighter than any star-like object.     Friday evening the moon has halved the distance from Jupiter, which is 20 degrees — two fist-widths held at arm’s length — straight up. To the moon’s left is...

Hell hath no fury like the trio of women scorned in this crass comedy

What would you do if you found out you were an accidental mistress?     When Carly (Cameron Diaz: The Counselor) makes a surprise visit to her boyfriend Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: Game of Thrones), she meets his wife. Horrified, Carly tries to lose herself in work to forget that she was conned by a philanderer.     Carly’s plan fails when Mark’s wife, Kate (Leslie Mann: Rio 2) appears at her office. But not for vengeance. After marrying Mark, Kate...

Plant scientist Bert Drake warns that in Earth’s changing climate, plants are odds-on winners. It doesn’t look so good for us.

Hailing from Maine, Bert Drake likes cool weather. So you’d expect him to be riled about a world getting warmer. The issue is more than comfort, says the plant physiologist, who retired in 2010 after a 40-year career at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater.     Like Noah, Drake worries about flooding. And crop failure, which would have been an issue for Noah, too. Drake, however, might top Noah on the anxiety scale, for he’s got drought on his...

Canine Companions for Independence are half dog, half angel

Walking through downtown Annapolis, you may have seen puppies training to be service dogs. They seem special, with their colorful vests and ability to go into stores.     They are working to be selected for a special job, one that — in the words of Nancy Patterson who is part of a human-dog team — allows a “person to return to or begin a life of independence.”     Because of Mahler, a Lab-golden mix, this former airline pilot is once again...

Alana Johnson: In her own words

"Of course I know about Earth Day!         I just started my garden. I’m growing strawberries, zucchini, squash and mammoth sunflowers. You should’ve seen those sunflowers last year. They were huge — taller than me.     I love all nature. I’m the president of the Biology and Environmental Science Club here at Anne Arundel Community College. I am conducting research with Professor Susan Lamont to protect vernal pools...

If you shop at a Maryland Farmers’ Market, it’s likely because of Tony Evans. Evans, who died January 24, planned most of Maryland’s Farmers’ Markets as the final and favorite assignment of his 30-year career with Maryland Department of Agriculture.     On Earth Day 2014, Evans was eulogized as a “legendary character” and a blossoming Floating Cloud Eastern redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) planted in his honor at the department.

A higher price than we’ll like paying

Are we doing enough?         Reader Frank Allen’s answer to my Earth Day Is Our Birthday question, which you’ll read below in Your Say, praises the progress we’ve made in recycling. He’s right, and like his, our household and office delight in steering recyclables out of our almost empty trashcans into our yellow cans. At home, food waste nourishes our soil and garden. Or, if it’s meat, our dog Moe.     That change in...

The big fish are here, with anglers on their tails

As our boat, Downtime, approached the Bay Bridge spans, I glanced back at the trolling setup just in time to see the portside rod slam down hard in its holder. Tim Levandoski, an eager angler visiting from upstate New York, rushed to grab the straining outfit. He could barely hold it vertical while line poured off the reel against the drag.     Welcome to the Chesapeake, I thought, as a broad smile illuminated the face of an angler accustomed to the pull of the five- and six-...