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In its 4th year, the Annapolis Irish Festival draws an ever-larger crowd seeking Celtic music and heritage

Two past winners illustrate the magic of make-believe

Creativity comes out to play in Twin Beach Players’ Kids
Playwriting Festival

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

Summer’s darlings, winter’s pests

Fish recipes from the Chesapeake

As the sun perches over the equator, spring begins

Perhaps you’ll be at lunch Thursday at 12:57pm. Or maybe you’ll be busy at work or school. At that particular time, however, the sun shines directly above the equator. That morning it rises due east, and that evening it sets directly west. This is the vernal equinox, the first day of spring for the 90 percent of the world’s population living in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the first day of fall. Regardless of where you live, your day will be more...

A St. Patrick’s Day visit from Southern Maryland to Southern Ireland

America goes green on St. Patrick’s Day. From beer to dress to hair (and once upon a time, the Chicago River), green is the color of choice.      In putting on the green, we’re not alone. St. Patrick’s stomping grounds is doing its own greening, returning to its roots to recapture a way of life and an economy rising from the Old Sod. Maryland’s Irish Roots From the O’Malleys to folks whose Irish taps no deeper than a pint of Guinness,...

In acting, production and design, local theaters claim the gold

It’s official. Anne Arundel County has some of the region’s best amateur theatrical troupes, as was proven again this year at the 14th Annual Washington Area Theatre Community Honors — WATCH — Awards. With 500 thespians and designers from 33 theaters gathered at the Birchmere in Alexandria for their version of the Oscars, Colonial Players and 2nd Star Productions took home a quarter of the awards. If you saw 2nd Star’s Camelot or Colonial’s Shipwrecked,...

Are you listening?

If the unusually chill nights of February and early March 2014 kept you fireside, you may have missed the first peeping of spring. Last weekend’s warming temperatures opened human ears, frog throats — or both. The peepers are calling from a wetland near you. If you haven’t heard them yet, you soon will.     Those tiny frogs are but one of our amphibian harbingers of spring. Wetlands are home to a host of frogs and toads, creatures that not only signal the...

I demand a recount!

If my wife had been watching me read the paper that day in late December, she might have been puzzled by the rapidly changing emotions on my face, changing in an instant from a smile to confusion to displeasure. I was reading Bay Weekly’s Best of the Bay edition, hoping to find some local treasure that somehow had missed my radar. As I reviewed the categories, I found some I very much agreed with (Best Concert Venue: Rams Head) and many that I didn’t know much about (Acupuncture)....

Win prizes with your photos of fish and water

Your friends and family tell you the photos you post on Facebook are great. Are your snapshots really as good as they say? Now you can find out. Two local organizations — Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Maryland Department of Natural Resources — are sponsoring photo contests seeking Bay-oriented entries.     Chesapeake Bay Foundation wants images that illustrate the beauty, benefits and bounty of the Bay and its rivers and streams. Photos can illustrate a wide variety...

The saint’s day gives us the first green of the year — plus an Old Country lesson in sustainability

With spring one more tantalizing week away, we’re grasping at straws that bespeak the awaited season.     Meteorological winter is over and temperatures rising, sometimes imperceptibly, but inevitably until July, our hottest month, has us wishing for a trip to last winter’s icehouse. Peepers and their amphibian brethren are singing, as you know or will on reading this week’s Creature Feature. Crocuses are blooming, at least in some sunny yards. Daffodils are...

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of fish

While it’s too cold and windy to fish, use your downtime to get ready to fish. Otherwise, you’re looking for trouble when you hit the water.     Put fishing line first on your list. If you’re using monofilament, there is no question as to whether to replace the mono on your reel. Do it. Good monofilament can last two to three years, but even with the best of care it won’t retain 100 percent of its qualities.     Sunlight, salt, friction...

On lawn and garden; never in the compost pile

If you’re burning wood, you get ashes. A reader asked if he could dump his ashes in the compost pile. My answer was a resounding no.     Wood ashes are basic in nature and contain high levels of oxides, making them very reactive in raising the pH. Composting systems perform at their best when the feedstocks — those materials that are undergoing decomposition — are slightly acid. So adding wood ashes to an active composting pile will delay and/or stop the...

Five planets and a full moon grace our skies this week

With our return to Daylight Saving Time, I wake greeted by Venus blazing in the southeast. The Morning Star rises around 5:30, and an hour later it is well perched above the horizon, shining brighter than any object other than the moon and sun. As sunrise nears and if the sky is clear, another bright light appears 20 degrees in Venus’s wake, Mercury.     Friday marks the innermost planet’s greatest western elongation — its farthest point from the sun as seen...