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Unsung hero of the ­Annapolis July 4 Fireworks

A lot has changed since I last saw the Stones on July 4, 1972

Osprey and falcon chicks thriving, with a little help

Beyond pomp, parade and fireworks to shared heritage

July’s two full moons are prime viewing times

No need for fireworks here

Osprey leave Chesapeake Country

Somebody’s bound to be the last osprey to turn out the lights on summer 2012 on Chesapeake Bay.     By eight weeks old, this year’s babies were as big as their parents and ready to leave the nests. By the end of July and early August, you could see the youngsters trying out their wings, fishing skills and independence.     Babies raised, parent osprey were free to head south. Mothers were out of here by mid to late August. They weren’t turning...

Fennel provides plenty for butterflies and me

Observe and serve. That could be my motto with our fennel plants.     The larvae of swallowtail butterflies feed on umbelly plants: fennel, cutting celery and parsley going to seed. I appreciate the mature butterfly, but in the summer of 2011 I removed a number of the larvae to save my plants. I deposited them in the woods across the way. Late last year, the woods were sprayed to stop the poison ivy. The spraying meant moving caterpillars from my plants would no longer be an...

Skipper’s Pier Corn & Crab Chowder with Smoked Blue Fish

Skipper’s Pier Restaurant and Dock Bar’s new owners Dave Rosage and Jessica LeCronier are clearly risk takers. In May, the young, engaged duo combined their expertise to take over the landmark Deale restaurant. He’s the entrepreneurial owner of several small businesses, including a food truck and snowball stand in Pasadena. She’s the culinary expert, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with experience as sous and pastry chefs.     As if operating...
Some two weeks ago, a member of the Coastal Conservation Association fishing off of Bloody Point snagged his line on what appeared to be an illegal gill net. When weather permitted (Sept. 20), Maryland Department of Natural Resources dispatched the 80-foot-long icebreaker and buoy-tender A.V. Sandusky to hoist the net’s bulk. About a half mile of the deadly monofilament net — studded with the remains of horseshoe crabs, blue crabs and rotting fish — was removed from Bay waters...

In the future, you won’t have to worry about jury duty

In a post-apocalyptic future, most of the East Coast has morphed into Mega City One, which boasts a dirty, radioactive and heavily armed population. The only thing standing between the city and chaos are the judges. This law enforcement group is entrusted to respond to crimes, sentence and, if necessary, execute criminals on the spot.     After seeing this movie, you’ll never argue with a cop again.     The best judge in the city is the aptly named Judge...

Sometimes, the fish cooperate

Light was failing fast, and so was I. My umpteenth cast of the evening landed just short of a ragged shoreline edged with marsh grass. The instant my four-inch top-water plug touched the water, I locked the spool down with my thumb and gave the lure a short twitch, creating a seductive gurgle to add to the splash landing. If a big rockfish had been nearby, I was certain it would have attacked the lure. It remained untouched.     The water, apparently, was empty, just as it had...

Follow my advice, and you’ll get years of big flowers

In New Hampshire where I grew up, tulips were a perennial crop. A single planting would last many years, producing large, beautiful flowers year after year. Here in Southern Maryland, tulips are generally grown as an ­annual crop.     Tulips originated in the Mediterranean region, but the bulbs are grown in the Netherlands and in northern states such as Michigan where there are long cool springs. The cool springs allow the foliage to replenish the metabolites and grow the...

The Harvest Moon marks Uranus

Saturday’s full moon, the closest to autumnal equinox, marks the famous Harvest Moon. Legend holds that farmers have long used the added light of this moon to continue bringing in the crops well into the night. Science backs up the legend.     This time of year, the moon travels a shallow, lazy arc along the ecliptic, midway between its highest transits in winter and its lowest path during summer. As a result, for us in mid-northern latitudes, moonrise changes by about 30...

You’ll still find enchantment in this 63-year-old spell

Colonial Players opens its 64th season with a third take on Bell, Book and Candle a whimsical comedy about the power of love.     Written by John van Druten in 1949 and better known as the 1958 movie, Bell, Book and Candle asks the same questions Bewitched asked many years later on television. Can a witch fall in love with a human? What happens if she does?     Gillian Holroyd (Ali Vellon) is the witch. Her upstairs tenant, a publisher, Shep Henderson (Jason...

After competing in the Paralympics, Annapolitan Clark Rachfal is eager to see where else tandem cycling takes him

Paralympian Clark Rachfal came home to Annapolis from the London Paralympic Games Sunday, September 15.     Rachfal, 29, was diagnosed with Leber’s congenital amaurosis when he was four. The degenerative eye disease has slowly taken his sight, leaving only fuzzy outlines on his periphery.     “I can see less than I saw yesterday, and more than tomorrow,” he says.     Leber’s hasn’t stopped Rachfal, who won last year...