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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

It’s worth the work to attract these birds to your backyard

The goldfinches in my back yard are a real treat this year, borrowing their brilliant yellow from the Maryland flag our Preakness winner will wear.     I’ve tried luring them with plastic, tube feeders in past years to no avail.     This year, I hung two white, mesh feeders, or socks, filled with nyjer seed, and watched the bright birds flock to them.     Goldfinches are attracted to sunflower seeds, but they prefer the nyjer seed imported...

Celebrate with a Maryland original, the Black Eyed Susan

The 138th Preakness race runs this Saturday, May 18, at Pimlico Racetrack in Baltimore. Maybe you have tickets and are watching the race from the infield where you can enjoy the party crowd and headliner Pitbull. The Kegasus is no longer invited to this party. Maybe you’ll be watching the race from the comfort of your living room or attending a party with friends.     However and wherever you choose to celebrate, Finlandia Vodka, the official vodka of the Preakness,...

SERC scientist triples blue crab population

Chesapeake Country has a Green Giant. Tuck Hines may not be green as Kermit or big as Andre the Giant, but his work to save the Bay’s blue crab population has earned him Washingtonian Magazine’s gigantic title.     When the Bay’s blue crab population fell to 255 million, Hines and his Smithsonian Environmental Research Center team convinced Maryland Department of Natural Resources to change harvest regulations.     His determination paid off....

Kenneth Walsh on how 10 modern-day presidents tried to keep in touch

For more than 25 years, Kenneth Walsh has covered the White House and its chief occupant for U.S. News & World Report, penning more than a dozen books in that time. His latest, Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America’s Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership, explores the irony that the most powerful man in the world, the president of the United States, is powerless against the confines of his very office.     “One can scarcely imagine an...

Tips on chum, tackle and tide

During the coming summer months, chumming will be one of the easiest and most effective techniques for getting a limit of nice rockfish in your cooler.     Chumming is essentially putting a stream of small bits of ground-up baitfish into the tidal current flowing out behind an anchored boat. The smell and taste of the fish bits trails out and sinks down, attracting game fish, hopefully stripers, to your boat. As they seek out the source of the attractant, they will also find...

If you can’t kill this prolific weed, you can eat it

If chickweed is a problem in your yard, you are not heeding my advice. Follow my two precepts — have your soil tested and cut your grass tall while letting it fall — and you will eventually conquer chickweed.     Chickweed is a winter annual weed, meaning that the seeds start germinating in September, and the seedlings grow slowly all winter. By the first day of spring, the foliage is bright green. The plants grow no taller than an inch or two, producing a carpet of...

Venus, Jupiter and Mercury are aligning in the west

The moon is at first-quarter Thursday the 16th, when it appears high in the southwest at sunset and sets around 1am. Over the next week it shifts roughly 10 degrees to the east at sunset each night, until on the 23rd, the night of full moon, it rises as the sun sets and sets the next morning as the sun rises.     Along the way Luna makes some notable pairings. Saturday night you’ll find it trailing less than five degrees behind first-magnitude Regulus, the heart of Leo the...

See for yourself in three days of Compass Rose Theater’s New Play Festival

A three-ring circus excites us with more than we can possibly take in with only two eyes.     A three-act play relies on incitement, complication and resolution.     Compass Rose Theater’s New Play Festival promises three days of ambition, achievement and aspiration. Day I: Ambition     Imagine success at playwriting as a mountain to be climbed. Friday evening you see one playwright beginning the climb, another working his way up. You...

Put your cell phone down now!

In a world where you can talk to someone on the other side of the planet with a few strokes on a computer, why is it so difficult to take time to speak to the person in front of you?     That’s the question Disconnect poses in three intertwining stories about the distance created by technology. Conclusion: Lonely people would rather confess their secrets to strangers than form connections to the people in their lives.     Teen boys Jason (Colin Ford) and...

This cabaret of pop, Broadway and opera tunes is a fun potpourri

Theater 11 is the 2003 creation of 11 artists from the Anne Arundel County theater and music scene, devised to bring new or rare works to local audiences. They began with a seldom seen Wendy Wasserstein play, followed by two original works by local authors. Their stage went dark after two seasons while its members focused on life’s larger needs. But their vision never died. They reclaimed the stage in December with In Celebration, a holiday collage of prose, poetry and song, which they...