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One man is the difference between life and death for creatures great and small

Oh, the creatures we’ve seen

Learn from plantsman Bill Cullina and ­benefit Unity Gardens

Can our Free Will Astrologer break the late-winter blues?

There’s work overhead on the ISS

Put your down time to work

The googly-eyed creations of Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre’s Avenue Q offer a lesson on what happens when you don’t ­fulfill your dreams

“If you brought your kids to this, you’re [expletive] parents!”     So begins Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre’s latest production, which features puppets, songs and decidedly adult situations. It’s a show so crude, rude and politically incorrect the only thing you can do is laugh.     The show follows Princeton (Colin Hood), a recent college graduate who realizes the real world isn’t as great as he imagined it. Jobless, holding...

From plays to sculptures, what’s the good of art in our communities

The Library of Congress list of books that shaped America didn’t include Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class among its 88. But it’s one of the big books that did some molding of my mind. I’ve never been sure, however, that the crotchety social critic was right in putting art on his list of conspicuous consumptions you indulge only when you’ve worked successfully enough not to have to work.     This heady speculation is the brainchild of...

Infinity Theatre delivers a ship-shape song-and-dance spectacle

Dames at Sea offers top-notch singing and tap-dancing in a lighthearted musical theater romp.     This small-cast, low-key homage to the great days of 1930s’ musicals has all the requisite and appropriately named characters. From Utah the ingénue Ruby arrives backstage at a Broadway theater without a dime to her name and joins the cast of the musical on her first day in New York. She makes friends with Joan, a smart-talking dancer. A sailor, Dick, who also happens to be an...

Young whitetail deer growing fast

In the last couple months, you may have seen small white-spotted deer curled up in brush and leaves or taking tentative walks through the woods — or across the road. It’s the tail end of fawning season for whitetail deer. After six or seven months of gestation, a new batch of fawns has arrived in the world.     The white spots they’re born with will fade away by the end of the summer. Those born at the birthing season’s outset in late April should already...

Calvert County Farmers Markets

Tempt your taste buds with summer’s finest. Softball size tomatoes, basketball size cantaloupes, fresh baked cinnamon rolls along with golden sweet local honey are just a sampling of treasures found among Calvert County’s Farmers Markets.     Mike Chillum and son Dan of St. Leonard specialize in a wide range of honeys: strawberry, locust, comb, wildflower and privet-hedge flower. “The bees do all the work, we just package it,” Dan says. Blueberry and...

A charming fairytale about a little girl who lives in the bathtub

On the other side of the Delta levees is a shantytown called The Bathtub. It’s so cut off from the outside world that six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) envisions her community as a wonderland. Life is simple, clothes are dirty and magic is everywhere.     Hushpuppy lives next to her father Wink (Dwight Henry) and spends her day collecting pets, feeding the hodgepodge of animals, listening to the heartbeats of every creature she encounters and making sense of the...

Gathering Figs

Figs, like many fruits in our yard, are a month early this year. We have two varieties, including my favorite, brown turkey, which I’d picked up at Mount Vernon in 2006 and nursed through a few years of condo living before planting in Annapolis. The other is Hardy Chicago, and I’m getting more of them this year, when they taste better than they usually do.     I like figs because I’m a lazy gardener. Beyond using some fish emulsion/seaweed (diluted Neptune...

Many fast growing trees have short lives

Contractors are notorious for planting what horticulturists call trash trees and shrubs around new housing developments. The plants they select are fast-growing, cheap and can be guaranteed to live for at least one year after they have been planted.     The trees most commonly used are silver maple, weeping willow, mimosa, Lombardy poplar and white willow. They grow fast, provide quick shade and make the house more appealing at the time of purchase.     The most...

Algae blooms mean red tides and stressed fish

We were already launched speeding toward our rendezvous as dawn broke on the Chesapeake.     Then the radio crackled with bad news.     “Don’t bother,” said a friend who had arrived on station first. “There’s a red tide pouring out of the river and the fish have left.” Fishfinder   Rockfish remain good, though algae blooms have made locating them more complicated. Love Point has been good for chumming, live lining and...

Mixed results for Infinity Theatre’s kids fare

Infinity Theatre’s second summer in Annapolis is a busy one, with not only two musicals but also two children’s plays. Stories Live and in Person, playing Saturday afternoons, is a New York revival billed as a show to introduce the fun of seeing and hearing live theater to teach appreciation of the real thing to kids so plugged in that the lines blur between private and public space.     The first comedic skit is hilarious, pitting a great Shakespearean actor (Jimmy...