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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

Visit Congregation Kneseth Israel

The Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, begins December 24 this year, celebrating oppression overcome and a miracle of illumination in the Second Temple in Jerusalem.     The eight-day celebration, which focuses on the lighting of the seven- or nine-branched menorah, includes gifts as well as lights. Congregation Kneseth Israel, which has served the Jewish community of Anne Arundel County for more than 100 years, opens its gift shop just in time for Hanukkah shopping.  ...

Why are pelicans still hanging around the Bay so late in the year?

Brown pelicans have become summer residents hereabouts, nesting on Smith and Holland islands in the southern Bay when the water is warm and fish are plentiful. This late fall, however, the big-billed birds have been sighted as far north as Ft. Smallwood Park and Ft. Armistead Park near Baltimore.     “Seeing them that far north in the Bay in November is notable,” says David Brinker of Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “I don’t remember...

Could that be the season’s best gift?

Help! I shouted as the tide of all I had to do threatened to overwhelm me.     My to-do list is so long that I expect it to outlive me. That’s the way it is in my family. My mother never forgave her third husband, John Allison, for dying — with dirt on his hands — before he’d finished planting her rose bed, leaving her in burgeoning spring with a legacy of chores undone. Any new season piles more on the list, none more than this holiday season.  ...

From boxwood to white pine, you’ve many evergreen choices

Here in Chesapeake Country, we have an abundance of evergreen plants to choose from. Many — but not all — narrowleaf greens will hold their needles if you treat them right, while adding beauty and aroma to your home. For long-lasting holiday greens, gather arborvitae, Canaan fir, Douglas fir, junipers, Nordman red cedar, red pine, Scots pine and white pine.     Many broadleaf evergreens will also hold up throughout the holidays. Choose from American holly, cherry...

Adjust your dress and technique, and you might still catch one

This is the end my friend, the end. It hurts to set you free. Rock legend Jim Morrison’s words echo my thoughts as our rockfish season heads to a close on Dec­ember 20. It has been a fine year chasing my favorite Bay species, and I still hope for a few more encounters.     I’ve gotten in some good December licks in the past. Jigging around the Eastern Shore rock pile at the Bay Bridge has been memorably productive during this last month. Though I’ve been...

Deep, dramatic and depressing — just in time for Christmas

A janitor in Boston, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck: Triple 9), sleepwalks through life. After work, he guzzles beer, preferring bar fights to women.     Though Lee doesn’t seek change, it finds him. His older brother drops dead, leaving a commercial fishing boat, a big house in their hometown and a 16-year-old son. Named guardian of Patrick (Lucas Hedges: Anesthesia), Lee has no idea how to help the boy with his grief or how to parent a teen who’s juggling girlfriends...

Still dazzling after 35 years

Let me describe the spirit of Christmas: It’s the wonder in a child’s eyes when Scrooge talks to them as they wait in line November 19 with their parents for a ticket to Colonial Players’ 35-year Annapolis holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol. It’s another child’s giddy excitement when Ebeneezer pulls them from the audience to dance as he joyfully transforms from cold-hearted humbug to warm, genial benefactor. Having played Scrooge twice at Colonial, I can tell you...

Luminaries and a parade boats light up Solomons Christmas Walk

When Solomons Islanders see Boy Scouts by the dozens running up and down the street, they know the Christmas season has begun.     “We use local Scout troops to distribute and light the luminaries for our Christmas Walk,” explains Vandy Young, chair of Solomons Christmas Walk. It’s an ingenious use of resources, pairing the distribution of 3,500 candles over a mile with the energy of boys. One group running south and the other north, the Scouts, place candles...

A lot of ego sparks the famous boat parade on Ego Alley

“It started as a silly dare,” explains long-timer Pete Chambliss of the phenomenon that’s become the Eastport Yacht Club Light Parade. What would Christmas in Annapolis be without it?     Thirty-four years ago, the parade was a handful of boaters singing Christmas carols whilst cruising down Ego Alley with a string of fairy lights attached to their boats.     To live up to the dare, Chambliss says, “through the years, we have decorated our...

This quarter-mile walk dazzles all ages

My daughter was little when I first took her to Annmarie Gardens for their Holiday Light Show. There are few sweeter memories than her bundled up in a puffy winter coat, fluffy hat and scarf and rainbow-striped gloves. Her eyes lit up as she got her first peek at the magical forest. In the art center, we were wowed by the colorful and artsy holiday trimmings both on exhibit and for sale.     Nothing, however, compared to her face as we walked — and skipped — along...