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Photographer Jay Fleming documents life on — and in — the water

Mack the Lab is Maryland’s chief apiary sniffer

High school band tops in Maryland

Clear skies forecast for this weekend’s Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival

Jeanne Kelly’s Encore Chorale proves music can reverse aging

Building a safe place to launch lives

Captain Preston Hartge keeps Smith Bros. tugboats chugging along

Drive down Galesville Road, and everything seems unassuming and in its proper place. The old churches, the auto shop, the town hall, the post office, the country bungalows and older homes, the boats in yards: the ambiance is old-school and peaceful.     At Woodfield Road, a small sign with an arrow points to Smith Bros. but doesn’t say what Smith Bros. does. Drive down a couple of residential blocks until you are head on with Hartge Yacht Yard, and another small Smith Bros...

Look up; they’re all around you

Drifting high across most landscapes this time of year, sometimes to altitudes of 16,000 feet or more, are airborne travelers that few people notice, though the fliers may number in the thousands.     They are spiders seeking new ­territories.     These ballooning or sailing spiders are generally the smaller of the many spider varieties and are borne aloft by winds on gossamer filaments, usually three, spun by the spider, forming a pyramid canopy that can...

Calvert protects 100-plus more acres

Calvert County has a plan to get people back to nature. The county comprehensive plan sets 40,000 acres of prime forest and farm as its preservation goal.     More than 28,000 acres is already preserved or protected. That total includes property protected by the county and state as well as land privately owned by American Chestnut Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy.     Now the Calvert Nature Society has swelled the roll of land preservation groups, purchasing...

Remembering when at Mayo beaches

Anne Arundel’s little known Beverly Beach and Triton Beach were once some of the largest resorts on the East Coast. Vacationers came to the popular Beverly Beach Club to swim, play, dance and gamble.     Two newly erected outdoor interpretive signs introduce Mayo Beach Park and Beverly Triton Beach Park visitors to these and 10 more historic Bay resorts. The signs share the origin and history of notable 19th and 20th century Chesapeake Bay beach resorts in Anne Arundel...

Camp lets ’em play like Tom Sawyer or ­Preston Hartge

With Kid Summer beginning June 8, now’s getting to be the time to figure out what the kids will do without the routine of school. Just in time comes our Last-Minute Camp Guide, laying out lots and lots of ways your kids can have more fun this summer than is likely on your agenda. I read about these camps with such desire that I’d almost be a kid again to get to go to camp. Except that for kids, most everybody is the boss of you, while we grown-ups are free — or so it appears...

This novice was hooked, even though her big fish got away

Her rod was bowed over with strain, the line hissing out against the drag and the muscles of her arms tensed with the force of a good fish running hard. Julie’s face, however, was bright with a smile. She was checking off a significant item on her life list and was enjoying every minute of it.     Her fifth fish of the day would measure 31 inches. That was the closest we would get to landing a 35-inch keeper. But failing a keeper did not dampen her enthusiasm. “I...

Silt does not happen by itself

Farmers, homeowners and contractors are all responsible for making silt that clogs our streams, rivers and lakes and pollutes the Bay. Farmers who after harvesting their crops allow the soils to be fully exposed to the weather all fall, winter and spring are guilty. Homeowners who wash down their driveways and sidewalks in place of sweeping them are guilty. Contractors who bulldoze the earth to clear land for roads, homes, shopping centers and more are also guilty.     Removing...

This magician’s greatest trick is ­escaping a life of crime

The future looked bright for Bo (Jacob Latimore: Collateral Beauty), a brilliant student and talented magician. But his mother’s death turns his attention from college — where he gives up a free ride — to maintaining a stable home for his little sister.     Performing street magic for tips won’t pay the mortgage, so Bo takes a more lucrative night job, selling drugs. He rationalizes his choice because he works for a gentleman dealer, Angelo (Dulé Hill:...

In his model boats, Norman Gross records maritime history

Watermen name their boats for their wives and girlfriends. There was a time when Norman Gross thought it a romantic gesture. Now, he’s not so sure.     “Why did the men name the boats after their wives? Was it because they loved them? Or was it because they say stuff on the boat they couldn’t say at home?” the 58-year-old Gross wonders.     The heir of generations of watermen, Gross has spent his life working on boats. When the weather is...

Middle-schooler’s project reminds us that we owe today’s big stripers to ’80s moratorium

Eighth-grader Brian Zagalsky has been fishing since he was three years old. Now his love of reeling in big fish is paying double dividends.     The Annapolis Middle Schooler’s class project for National History Day grew into a prize-winning exploration of Maryland’s five-year rockfish moratorium launched in 1985.     “I wasn’t alive back then, and it was a subject that really interested me,” says Zagalsky of the historic ban that...