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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

With up to 100 meteors an hour, don’t miss the Perseids

This year’s Perseid meteor shower peaks late Sunday and Monday nights. And with the moon just a few days past new phase and setting in the early evening, the Perseids are worth staying up late or waking before the sun.     The Perseids are one of the great meteor showers of the year, and this year the International Meteor Organization predicts up to 100 an hour at the peak.     Every year at this time in August, the earth crosses the path of comet Swift-...

How to grow a garden to suit many tastes

Quite a few plants love acid soils. Andromeda, azaleas, blueberries, leucothoe, mountain laurel and rhododendrons, bald and pond cypress, deciduous hollies, false heather, heather, Japanese hollies, mountain silverbell, oaks, partridge berry and sour gum love acid soils.     Such plants demand soil with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. Where to Go for Soil Testing Q    I enjoy your column in Bay Weekly. I wanted to send a few soil samples out to get tested from my...

Perhaps the most exciting and demanding of the angler’s art

It was minutes short of sundown. The shadows were getting long, blending into a solid blackness along the nearby shoreline that hinted of the night about to fall. My casts were tempting the fates as they landed just off the edge of the riprap where I hoped a striper was lurking. Another foot or so and I would foul the top-water plug among the rocks. In water this skinny, I would have to break it off. Fishfinder   Rockfish live-lining is in full swing. Limits are often being taken in...

I loved every minute and may go back for more

It’s hard being special. Just ask the contestants in Dignity Players’ 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the 2005 Tony Award-winning musical about five over-achieving basket cases and an accidental also-ran.     If you saw the Annapolis Summer Garden Theater production three years ago, you’re in for a surprise. Like this production, it was crazy fun, but it underplayed the kids’ personal turmoil. Dignity restores their dignity in all its anxious...

Someone please save Shamu

Millions of tourists flock to SeaWorld each year to enjoy marine exhibits, lay hands on happily squealing dolphins and cheer as massive Orcas perform aquatic acrobatics at their famed Shamu shows. Orcas and their trainers seem a perfect team, showing the beautiful relationships that humans can cultivate with animals.     That’s what most tourists see when they pay the price of admission. Over the years, a few unlucky arenas full of children and marine enthusiasts have...

From gold to butterflies to barnacles to stories to advertisers to delivery drivers to you …

The universe is sparkling with the news that all the gold in the world was formed in the ancient explosive convergence of neutron stars. At least my universe.     That marvelous Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics report has led me as if by the hand to the conclusion that things like company.     How else to explain why atoms of free floating gold got together in coalescing Earth to form nuggets and seams?     The nature of things is...

No messing with worms and insects; this trio eats a five-star diet

Cinco, Patches and Tripod would be homeless were it not for Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary in Lothian.     Instead, the three female Eastern box turtles live in five-star-hotel style with amenities including rich soil for digging, logs for climbing, flowing ferns for frolicking, May apples, mushrooms and blueberry bushes for foraging and a wading pond for cooling off.     The girls, as they’re called by staff and volunteers, are forest-dwellers, so much of...

Master Watershed Stewards may not have super powers, but they are cleaning up their communities

Going down John Dawson’s street in Severna Park, you can’t miss the rain garden he’s planted in his front yard — and that’s exactly how he wants it.     To his wife, Dawson is the official “house husband,” but to his community, he is the local Master Watershed Steward. Having been a part of the Watershed Stewards Academy’s third graduating class, Dawson now works with other local stewards to improve the health of his river, the...

Pay it forward in honor of a life saved

Three days in the intensive care unit delayed Amanda Fiedler’s meeting with her third child. Finally her husband wheeled her through the halls of Anne Arundel Medical Center to meet Zachary in the neonatal intensive care unit.     “The nurses took the little blanket off the incubator, and he looked so tiny,” says Fielder, tears welling up. “I remember holding him and whispering in his ear, we did it.”     Fifteen pints of blood...

Barnacles and bryozoans rampage thru summer 2013

You are not alone.         Bryozoans, barnacles and the vast fellowship of the fouling community are settling on submerged surfaces throughout the upper- to mid-Chesapeake.     Anything not protected with antifouling paint is now covered in a thick, brown living moss.     “This year we have a heavy growth of bryozoans, animals that look like brown moss that trap a lot of sediment out of water,” says Anson ‘Tuck...