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Species depend on your yard and you

That’s the goal of Pirate’s Cove’s Pigs & Pearls Fundraiser to benefit the West & Rhode Riverkeeper

Atlantic ribbed and hooked mussels are Chesapeake’s Brita filter

Take another guess or two

Maybe, just maybe, you will

We expect great things this time of year.         No wonder, for the winter holidays set expectations high.     December 21’s winter solstice promises us that, Big Picture, everything will turn out all right. Despite the gathering chill, we will not spin off into the frozen blackness of space. Light now begins its slow gain. Sunset moves later day by day from its earliest, 4:44pm on December 12, until by January 1 we have gained 10 minutes of...

Timeless ideals well told and beautifully sung

“Camelot, located nowhere in particular, can be anywhere,” wrote a scholar on Arthurian times. Fortunately for us it resides until January 22 in Annapolis at Compass Rose Theater.     Director Lucinda Merry-Browne’s rousing revival takes a scaled-down approach to this Broadway blockbuster, proving that less is more. A cast of 10, a seven-foot grand piano grandly played and a spare set bring this passionate and humorous classic to life.    ...

For too many families in Calvert County, winter weather brings a slew of concerns, including how are they going to heat their home?     For the 10th year, Chesapeake Church’s Summit Men Ministry stepped up to meet this need.     On Saturday December 3, more than 130 Summit Men’s group members armed with trucks, wood splitters and cutters, axes and willing hands and spirit cut and loaded 92 truckloads of wood and delivered it to 46 less fortunate...

Santa’s a gardener himself, so he knows what’s on your list

T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the yard The branches were bare and the ground frozen hard. The roses were dormant and mulched all around; To protect them from damage if frost heaves the ground. The perennials were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of compost danced in their heads. The new-planted shrubs had been soaked by the hose; To settle their roots for the long winter’s doze. And out on the lawn, the new fallen snow; Protected the roots...

Fly south for angling adventure and comfort

Icicles hang off my skiff, parked on its trailer in the side yard, as leafless tree limbs thrash the skyline and an icy rain falls, mostly sideways. It’s a grim picture, unless you adopt a southern perspective.     With crude oil under $50 a barrel, airlines are reviving some sweet deals for an angler with a yen for warmer climes and gamer fish. Florida has some fares under $70 (Fort Lauderdale, each way). Even San Jose, Costa Rica, can now be economically reached, often...

An inoffensive cartoon that will keep small children quiet for 90 minutes and that might give their parents a few laughs

Koala Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey: Kubo and the Two Strings) loves theater. He has achieved half of his dream. He owns a theater, but he has no audience.     Facing foreclosure, Buster makes a desperate decision to host a singing competition. To draw local talent, he plans to offer a $1,000 prize. But his secretary types $100,000 by mistake, and soon the whole town turns out to win a fortune.     Surely he can raise the money later, Buster decides, so he...

A cookie lasts only a moment in your mouth, but Christmas cookies stay with you forever in memory.

Four Generations of ­Santaphant and ­Camelclaus When I was a small child, I remember my mother turning our living room bookcase into a beautiful display of gingerbread and sugar cookies all carefully decorated with many colored icings and sprinkles. As we got older, my sisters and I spent hours each year rolling, cutting, baking and icing a big batch of Mom’s sugar cookies. We had many holiday cookie cutters, including a Christmas tree, Santa Claus and reindeer. Our favorites were...

It all goes back to Hansel and Gretel

In one form or another, gingerbread has been popular since at least mediaeval times.     “Gingerbread was a favorite treat at festivals and fairs in medieval Europe — often shaped and decorated to look like flowers, birds, animals or even armor,” according to Smithsonian Magazine. “Several cities in France and England hosted regular gingerbread fairs for centuries.”     Gingerbread became especially popular in Germany, where monks...

How I learned to make my own cookie cutter at the library

Fans of Star Trek are familiar with replicators, providing exotic drinks, gourmet meals, and practical and important objects for all sorts of purposes in the future. Give voice commands to the computer, and the objects appear.     In real life, you can take a first step toward this future by having your computer create solid objects.     Both Anne Arundel and Calvert County library systems now offer 3D printing services. Calvert has a 3D printer in the Prince...

Dashing through the cold for a good cause

The temperature shivered in the high 30s Saturday morning December 10 as some 200 runners stripped down to briefs for the annual run up Main Street, Annapolis.     Warmed by music from the kilted Chesapeake Caladonian Fife and Drum Band, they sped uphill from O’Brien’s to St. Anne’s Church, where they turned around and ran back down to O’Brien’s to celebrate the season and their daring.     Annapolis area children benefit from their...