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In its 4th year, the Annapolis Irish Festival draws an ever-larger crowd seeking Celtic music and heritage

Two past winners illustrate the magic of make-believe

Creativity comes out to play in Twin Beach Players’ Kids
Playwriting Festival

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

Summer’s darlings, winter’s pests

Fish recipes from the Chesapeake

Damp-loving needle cast disease thriving this year

Most narrow-leaf evergreens will shed their old needles, some more often than others. In the fall each year, you can anticipate that white pine, Virginia pine, red pine etc. will develop yellowing needles that fall and accumulate on the ground beneath the branches. Evergreens such as arborvitae, chamaecyparis, Leyland cypress and white cedar trees will also shed their needles but at a much slower rate.     Most pine trees will retain their old needles for 18 months or so...

Plotting a course to triumph

The new Compass Rose Studio Theater in Eastport’s Bay Ridge Shopping Center has hit on a winning strategy for success, debuting with Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, Lost in Yonkers. That strategy: deliver family entertainment starring student-child actors alongside seasoned professionals, and watch them grow. It’s inspirational on a human and artistic level.     Picture two kids in a candy store, spoiled and happy. Now turn your expectations upside...

Twin Beach Players’ cast and company unite for toothy fun.

Twin Beach Players brings Dracula to the light of day in North Beach. Needle-sharp teeth sink into soft flesh ... but I digress.     By the way, did you know that a vampire’s fangs are retractable? They are. I’ve often wondered about that.     The mood of the play is established by a lengthy, somber intro and an eerie set, evoking the interior of an old castle. Wolves  howl in the background. Just across the valley sits another old castle, which...

Discover how one family began their unhappy haunt

Sisters Katie (Katie Featherstone) and Kristi (Sprague Grayden: 24) have terrible luck. In Paranormal Activity, elder sister Katie is terrorized by a glass-breaking, door-slamming demon that wants to possess her. In Paranormal Activity 2, it’s little sister’s turn to meet this property damage-obsessed dark entity. Now in the  third things-that-go-bump-in-the-night installment, the filmmakers go back to the beginning to tell us exactly how these sisters had the misfortune to...

At Spider Hall, education and old-fashioned fun help keep the family farm in business

Squeals rise from deep inside the eight-acre corn maze. Families hitch a ride atop bales of hay. Kids scour the pumpkin patch in search of the perfect gourd. Shoppers mull over crisp apples and Maryland meat, cheese and ice cream in the farm market.     Susan and Catherine Cox — mother and daughter proprietors of Calvert County’s Spider Hall Farm — lure people to their fields with fun — hoping they leave with good memories and newfound respect for farming...

The lifting’s easier when we love it

TDML is a leaden initialism, as the experts opined at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s confab last week on how we can help restore the Bay by reducing our Total Daily Maximum Load.     The job is heavy lifting, too, as we’ve written in these pages more times than once, most recently in the September 29 story Sharing the Load (bayweekly.com/ articles/environment/article/sharing-load).     Yet I’m uplifted day by day in the many ways I...

From 800 pounds of trash rise the prospect of ‘an entirely green event’

Beneath the marketplace of dreams that is the U.S. Boat Shows runs a stream of waste.         That’s the conclusion of the first ever audit of the waste produced by one of the shows, this year’s Sail Boat Show.     While you were slipping off your shoes, stepping aboard sleek sailboats and sipping Pusser’s Painkillers, a pair of sustainability managers from the environmental strategies firm WasteStrategies were sorting through 800...
Traffic is heavy and slow on the Osprey Highway to the Tropics, as my colleague Mark Martell calls Florida, Cuba and Hispaniola. We currently have one transmitter-carrying bird, Saco, in Florida; three — North Fork Bob, Snowy and Buck — in Cuba; and Katbird and Senor Bones in the Dominican Republic. Henrietta arrived in Colombia on Sept. 26, just nine days after leaving her natal area on Martha’s Vineyard. She’s now on the shores of the Gulf of Venezuela where Buck first...

Maryland Grazers hope to clean up the Bay getting cattle farmers to switch feed from corn to grass

Cows in the Bay watershed will live happier lives grazing at their whim in green pastures rather than confined in cells and fed a diet of corn.     Their comfort is so good for the Bay and for farmers that it has earned the Chesapeake Bay Foundation a $200,000 grant to extend its three-year-old Maryland Grazers Network to more farmers in more places.     The Grazers Network is one of 55 bright ideas on reducing pollution to local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay...

How to get your fair share when fish and birds are feeding

It had started as a brisk, calm morning, but the fish weren’t in the shallows where I had hoped to find them. After a futile hour, I followed Plan B to the Bay Bridge to find only little guys there. I was calling it a day and heading in when I saw a wisp of smoke to the north.     Thinking it odd, I watched for seconds until I realized it wasn’t smoke at all. It was a swarm of feeding seabirds, their numbers growing by the second. Securing my gear, I fired up the...