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Experts in their field offer their help and services for your big day

The 3,100-mile charity challenge ends in Annapolis this week

Then help your neighbors keep our forests healthy

Unity Gardens grants grow leaders, plants, flowers

This silly send-up of 1960s’ spy films is F.U.N.

Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill: Man of Steel) is a CIA spy with style. Dressed to the nines and armed with charm, he can seduce women with a wink and talk his way into or out of any situation. His unflappable confidence is second only to his intelligence.     So when he’s assigned to extract Gaby (Alicia Vikander: Ex Machina) from East Germany, Solo assumes the mission will be simple. But only after a harrowing chase from a hulking tail do Gaby and Solo make it safely across...

60 years later, this Chesapeake shipwreck remains a cautionary tale

Much has changed in the maritime world in the 60 years since the sinking of the Levin J. Marvel topped the Chesapeake’s disaster charts. The key to maritime safety hasn’t changed — aboard the Levin J. Marvel in 1955 or the recreational craft we use today.     In spite of all of our technical progress, we still rely on the skills, experience and judgment of the person in charge to keep us safe. A captain’s shortcomings can lead to disaster. Arrogance,...

How else to explain such a catch?

Pulling on the trotline one final time to straighten it and ensure proper tension, we dropped the red trailing float and released its anchor into the water, completing the setup. It was just after sunrise, an early start being a necessity when hoping for a good catch of blue crabs. Still, we also knew our job was not going to be easy.     There had been nothing but bad news this season on the local population of jimmies. My friend Frank had invited me on this trip with the...

Annapolis Solar Park tops old landfill

The future for the region’s energy needs is being built upon the trash heaps of our past.     This week, Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides signed a 20-year lease for Annapolis Solar Park, giving the green light to build an 80-acre solar project at the site of a closed and capped landfill in Anne Arundel County.     The project, a joint effort of Annapolis Solar Park, BQ Energy and Building Energy Development, will be operational by the end of next year and...

Bay beaches keep a record of natural as well as human history.     Calvert County beaches are larded with nature’s treasures: shells, bone fragments and especially sharks’ teeth that tell a prehistoric story of an ancient ocean teeming with brutes and monsters. Teeth top off at seven inches, which means the Great White Shark that grew them was as big as a boxcar. But even an ancient tooth as tiny as a rose thorn can be a thrilling discovery. Learn about these...

The other side of adventure is always danger

Water has drawn our species back ever since we left its embrace.     In Saharan cave drawings, ancestral swimmers frolic in weightlessness. On beaches and in pools, 21st century kids submerge with the same exhilaration.     Relics of boats dug out of logs or woven from reeds date back at least as far as those cave drawings, 7,000 and more years. On boats, we’ve extended our reach, surpassed our known horizons, sought and lost fortune, advanced our...

Fall gardens want compost

It is highly unlikely your garden has used up all the fertilizer you applied this spring. This is especially true if your garden soil is rich in organic matter and you used lots of compost.     Compost raises soil temperatures, while its organic matter releases nutrients at a rate nearly equivalent to the needs of plants. The roots from the previous crop are also decomposing and releasing nutrients.     If you used your own compost or one based on yard debris,...

Bring the whole flock to this family comedy

Shaun (voiced by Justin Fletcher: Gigglebiz) is a sheep on the edge. Every day, it’s the same old routine: Rise at dawn, greet the farmer, head to pasture, eat, head home. The only excitement is shearing day, when the pigs enjoy mocking Shaun and his flock.     Though he loves the farmer, Shaun needs a break. He conspires to get rid of the farmer and their loyal sheepdog Bitzer for a day. The plan works beautifully — until it doesn’t.     A...

Just how rare are two full moons in one month?

The full moon lights up the night Friday, the second full moon of the month, a Blue Moon.     The history of the phrase Blue Moon dates back several hundred years, but the meaning has evolved. As far back as the 16th century, it was an expression of absurdity. I’ll believe that when the moon is blue would have the same effect as saying I’ll believe that when hell freezes over.     Atmospheric conditions can affect the color of the moon. Volcanic...

Hiking the Appalachian Trail prepared him for his next journey as a Navy SEAL

Evan Metz’s awakening came on the Appalachian Trail.     To be exact, 125 awakenings. One each morning as he hiked the trail in the 41⁄2 months after his 2014 graduation from Calvert High School. Each morning and every mile brought the 19-year-old closer to embodying the values he sought to reach his goal of becoming a Navy SEAL.     With his Navy ship-out postponed, Metz had chaffed. To pass the months, family friend Steven Vilsack challenged Metz to...