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Where and when to go to catch summer's favorite holiday

The fun’s better when you stay safe

Star-spangled nun commemorates our national anthem

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate reason and high ideals

Chesapeake Bay gets a summer show

Follow their journey on new ­migratory map

Osprey, swans, Canada geese, ducks — plus all sorts of songbirds: We know they’re distant travelers even now on the move. Now we can follow the paths of their journeys.     For the first time, scientists have documented the migratory year 118 species birds follow throughout the Western Hemisphere.     The animated image shows us how and when these species make their flights north and south. The map can be switched to show which species are on the move...

Paddlers approach fish and wildlife closely and unobtrusively

Lifting the slender red hull with one hand, I put the single-person kayak in the back of my pickup truck, securing it with a bungee cord and tucking in the double-bladed oar. Within an hour, I was floating over the placid waters of my favorite lake, casting my fly rod to any number of bluegills, pickerel, bass and perch.     Later that week, I would launch the same craft along a major Chesapeake tributary to pursue white perch and schoolie rockfish with a light spin outfit....

Hardy ornamental plants will survive, so shape them as you want them

Be ruthless. It’s time to chop ornamental grasses and butterfly bushes. Cut them down to the ground.     Also remove the old flower stems and old foliage of sedum to make room for new growth.     In addition, it’s time for serious pruning of lilacs that are over-grown or infested with stems borers. Trim azaleas, rhododendrons, cherry laurels and hollies that make it impossible to look out of the bedroom or living room windows. Some of the branches...

Branch out this weekend to many Marylands

For each of us, Maryland is a different place: perhaps a state of mind, perhaps a state of being, perhaps a blood line running through your veins.     Like many Marylanders and distant cousins spread throughout the land, your link may take you all the way back to 1634, when Lord Baltimore’s sea-tossed ships The Ark and The Dove bumped into now-St. Clement’s Island and decided the Potomac River was the place for them.     Bay Weekly contributing writer...

John Goodman proves a horror movie lives on the power of its monster

“I’m going to keep you alive.”         These words chill Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Mercy Street) when she wakes up chained to the wall of an underground bunker. Her savior is Howard (John Goodman: Love the Coopers), an ex-Navy man who tells his captive that he saved her as a disaster ended most life on Earth.     Michelle is skeptical, as one might be on awakening in underwear, injured and chained. But Howard swears his...

The Bay’s 19 riverkeepers are part of a worldwide force of 275

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not. –Dr. Seuss: The Lorax
   Caring a lot is what Riverkeepers do. They keep our rivers and waterways. Each Riverkeeper — Baykeeper, Coastkeeper or Harborkeeper — is one person who monitors and maintains the health and stability of their river and its tributaries. They’re like a neighborhood watch for our rivers.     In the Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000-...

Blue heron next in line for Internet stardom

The race is on for the debut of the latest Internet stars in the Chesapeake Conservancy’s lineup. The urgency? Getting the cameras in place before the stars arrive.     The intended reality stars are great blue herons nesting in a rookery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.     “We must move fast, as the heron customarily return to their nests in the next two weeks,” says Jody Couser, director of communications. “We have to mount the camera...

Among your wait staff are bats, hamsters and killer whales

Spirited conversation keeps the atmosphere companionable at Zü Coffee, home of the friendliest wait staff as voted by readers of Bay Weekly. At the Waugh Chapel location, customers chat with the staff about their spirit animals.     Spirit animals arise from the shamanic tradition where they are paired with initiates to the practice, who can then turn to them for guidance in their lives. Informally, New Age seekers may identify with spirit animals that represent qualities they...

Hockey fans celebrate at their favorite watering holes

Fans of the Washington Capitals hockey team are having a smashing time. With a star-studded roster and a feared offense, the Caps have dominated their National Hockey League division for months and all but clinched a spot in the playoffs, beginning in mid-April.     Fans don’t need to brave the crowds at Verizon Center to watch their favorite team skate on to another victory. Area bars make it easy to cheer for the team.     On Main Street in Annapolis,...

Smithsonian Environmental Research ­Center in for the long haul

If you’ve ever planted a tree in your back yard, you’ve experienced the thrill of watching it grow from a ­knobby sapling into a towering oak or weeping willow. Multiply that by 20,000, and you’ll have some idea what Smithsonian ecologist John Parker is doing in his experimental forest in Edgewater.     It’s called BiodiversiTree, and the project is designed to last a century. On March 15, Parker explains the project in a Smithsonian Environmental...