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He has many faces; here you’ll see some

Where will he be on Christmas Eve?

Spoiler alert: Don’t let the kids read this

Venison is benison to area food banks

I couldn’t cure anyone, but I hoped my hair would give hope

Give, and good comes back to you

Ward Farm Recreation and Nature Park

Our summer on the cheap took us to a park still being born.     Ward Farm Park in Dunkirk is not yet open, except for some hikes and camps.     Naturalist Tania Gale led our group of seven children and seven adults on one of those hikes, pointing out plants and insects and filling us in on the history of the Ward family as well as what changes are coming.     The 209-acre parcel was purchased in 2013 by Calvert County. Phase one of the master plan...

Turn on a light to observe National Moth Week

In the midst of National Moth Week, turn on your porch light any summer night and see who you see.     Summer because moths get their wings in warm weather. Over winter, they are caterpillars. In spring they pupate, emerging winged from their cocoons to create new generations of moths.     Night because drawn to light in perhaps some moonstruck phenomenon, most moths are nocturnal.     Like butterflies, moths are members of the Lepidoptera family...

Fish favor a careful angler

We were drifting soft crab at the Bay Bridge for rockfish when I let my bait get too deep. It fouled on bottom debris. Gritting my teeth in frustration, I maxed my drag, froze my reel spool with my thumb and backed the skiff away. I had lost a number of rigs over past seasons on this particular support, so I assumed that this was just another dues payment.     I felt my monofilament line stretch as I moved away until it finally broke free, and I reeled my line back. I was...

Get cutting to ensure big-flowering mums and azaleas

With all the rain we have received this year, azaleas and chrysanthemums have produced an abundance of new growth. If you want those plants to produce an abundance of flowers — this fall for chrysanthemums and next year for azaleas — get out your shears this week.     Chrysanthemums are short-day plants, which means that they will start initiating flower buds around mid-August. Prune any later than this week, and they will produce fewer flowers, which will be smaller...

Boldly focusing on character development makes this the best of the new Trek films

For Captain Kirk (Chris Pine: The Finest Hours), boldly going where no man has gone before is surprisingly boring. As his five-year mission to explore the universe as a diplomat for Star Fleet continues, he’s looking for a way to break the routine of space travel.     Kirk seeks a position on a space station. Meanwhile, his second in command, Spock (Zachary Quinto: Tallulah), plans to leave the Enterprise to ensure Vulcan survival. Before they abandon their crew and seek...

Ham radio enthusiasts stand ready to step in when all else fails

On a sunny Saturday morning in late June, in a field overlooking the Patuxent River in Lusby, men assembling two 25- and 30-foot steel towers, section by section. Atop the shorter tower is a contraption that looks like an upside-down umbrella.     What in the world is going on here?     It’s the Calvert Amateur Radio Association (CARA, call sign K3CAL), preparing for Field Day 2016. Field Day is an annual exercise, sponsored by the American Radio Relay...

Success on the rebound

In 2008, she knew the winds were changing, so she started writing a business plan. In April of 2009, after 25 years with Annapolis Lighting, her position was cut.     The nation was entrenched in the worst economy since the Great Depression, but Teri Leisersohn took her plan — and a huge leap of faith — and started her own business.     Leisersohn had an early start working with her sisters and brothers in the family business, a Catalina yacht...

Small people’s wedding highlights Banneker-Douglass celebration of African American traditions

It was the most talked about wedding of 1863. Society families like the Astors and Vanderbilts clamored to be on the guest list. P.T. Barnum sold tickets to the reception at the Metropolitan Hotel. Wealthy Americans sent lavish presents, such as a horse-drawn carriage designed by Tiffany & Co.     The headline news was the marriage of actor Charles Stratton — a 36-inch-tall dwarf, whose stage name was Gen. Tom Thumb — and 32-inch-tall Lavinia Warren. The couple...

They’re delicious, but what’s their story?

Maryland is renowned for its blue crabs. For many in Chesapeake Country, summer means feasting on the crustaceans in as many forms as possible with a favorite being softshell crabs. Our watermen somehow get the soft crabs to us. But how?     When blue crabs grow, their exoskeleton, the shell, doesn’t grow with them. It stays the same size, so periodically they need to molt their shell to grow a larger one. When a crab is ready to molt, its shell cracks and the growing crab...

But which butterfly is which?

Who’s that flittering around your summer garden? Most likely it’s a swallowtail butterfly.     The swallowtail family includes more than 550 species, flourishing on every continent except Antarctica.     Among North American swallowtails, a familiar sight is the large black butterfly with yellow spots and some blue and orange scales. That’s (Papilio polyxenes), the Eastern black or American swallowtail. Named after the...