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How some of the world’s most famous art found safe refuge in early-America’s Annapolis

That’s Charles Baker, streetside entertainer

Chesapeake Curiosities: Battle Creek Cypress Swamp is the northernmost of its kind

Summer sends these insects singing

There may be a fungus in your soil

Plan B might be your score

A dozen kids add the now to our then

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear … Memory does see the past through rose-colored glasses. Looking down all the years to my own school days, I remember anticipation as it shivered through me before school started.     School is much more exciting in these days than in mine. Rote learning, regimentation, overcrowded classrooms, overworked nuns and bullies took much of the fun out of my school days. Husband and I challenge each other for the best...

Full moon is like a celestial movie screen

As the sun sets, Venus beckons above the west horizon until it sets around 9pm. This evening star is losing ground, setting a little earlier each night.     Saturn is in the southwest at dusk and sets around midnight. Don’t confuse its steady golden glow with twinkling Spica a dozen degrees to its east.     Jupiter, Mars and Mercury command the pre-dawn sky, appearing in a spread-out line in the east-northeast. Jupiter is the highest and brightest, while...

An entertaining transposition of Shakespeare to the 1950s

Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing endures because audiences love smart love stories. Twenty years ago, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson revived it on film. Joss Whedon’s critically acclaimed remake — now showing at the West End Cinema in D.C. — is set in modern-day California.     So I was excited about the Shakespeare Company’s version, set in the Fabulous Fifties. The production is no exception to the reputation The Annapolis Shakespeare...

Beautiful execution of a half-baked idea

In the year 2154, the world is in a sorry state. Overpopulated, polluted and desperately poor, the 99 percent toil in sweatshops or resort to crime. Brutal robots keep the people in their place. The lucky one percent lives in Elysium, a space station floating above the ruined planet, where people are healthy, homes gorgeous and creature comforts abundant. Understandably, everyone on Earth wants to get to Elysium. The elite are equally determined to keep the riffraff out of their paradise....

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails have their day

A butterfly or two is an everyday pleasure.     A dozen or more, a sign you’ve planted well, raising a native garden of plants that bloom in sequence so emergent broods find the food they need to survive.     But an atmosphere thick with butterflies, bushes shimmering with butterflies: What is that?     The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail irruption of summer 2013, according to reports from throughout Chesapeake Country.     Eastern...

Dee of St. Mary’s is your one chance on the Western Shore

Shanghaied into labor, two able-bodied passengers grapple a stout line hand over hand to hoist the 2,000-square-foot Dacron mainsail of the skipjack Dee of St. Mary’s up her 72-foot tree-trunk mast. Then First Mate John Fulchiron crawls out on the 19-foot bowsprit to raise the smaller jib. And off Dee goes.     At 10 knots per hour, she is not a speedster. But passengers hold onto their hats as the fresh breeze moves the 56-foot-long boat through the humid air of an August...

Marion Keenly Carr: 1920-2013

Marion Keenly Carr, my mother, died on July 30, 2013.     She lived a classy life. And she died a classy death.     She was a link to the old America, but she was surprisingly aware, even hip.     Ronnie was an elegant woman — perfect hair, nice earrings, beautiful clothes, lipstick and makeup — with a sharp mind and a keen sense of humor who had more friends than anyone I know.     Mom was not the sort to brag about...

That’s a job for the Green Team

The World Biggest Crab Feast didn’t make the world’s biggest mess this year.     Some 4,500 pounds of food scraps — about one-quarter of the food waste produced by the massive feast — will turn into compost instead of hogging precious landfill space.     Cleanup after 2,000 big eaters at the Rotary Club of Annapolis’s annual crab feast is always a chore. Worse, it’s got to be done in two hours; that’s the rule at Navy-...

Democratic women wanted to run for office

Blame it on the boys.         In Anne Arundel and Calvert counties, more men than women are making political decisions.     Four men to one woman govern on Calvert County’s Board of Commissioners. Anne Arundel got a woman, Laura Neuman, by appointment, but in the last election, not a single woman won a voice in local government.     Calvert sends six men and no women to the State House. Anne Arundel sends 20 members to the...

A sweet ending to Maryland Buy Local

You ate all your locally raised vegetables, fruits, eggs and meat every day during Maryland Buy Local Week.     Now you can have dessert.     Naturally, it’s Maryland made, from the farmer to the chef to you.     At Governor Martin O’Malley’s sixth annual Buy Local Cookout, the sweetest thing on the menu was Chef Douglas Wetzel’s Gertrude’s Charolettetown Farm Ricotta Doughnuts with Peach Caramel Sauce.  ...