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Tour the state in one visit

It takes six to 10 years of attention to get it right

Artist John W. ‘Bud’ Taylor inspired an ethic of land preservation

Take advantage of the quiet — and of migration — to go birding

For good sport and good eating, white perch deserve respect

The day was a success from the beginning. Son Harrison and I were on a perch outing, and the very first structure we targeted was rich with sizeable whities. Both of us were fishing six-foot light-action spin rods spooled with six-pound line and baited with one of the most productive lures in our box, spinner baits. Our tackle was constantly being strained to its limits.     That’s not to say that a big white perch can pop six-pound test line. But fragile mouth structure...

Composting and PFRP make them safe for your garden

Readers continue to write with concerns about composted biosolids and Bloom. To calm your concerns, I’ll lead you through the processes that make fully treated biosolids safe to use in your food garden.     Since the early 1980s, thousands of tons of composted biosolids have been sold and used in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area and surrounding states. All made according to EPA and USDA specifications, Compro (biosolids treated at D.C.’s Blue Plains Wastewater...

Sam Elliott shows what an old cowboy can do ­without his spurs and hat

Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott: The Ranch) has made a career of being That Guy. The actor with the smooth baritone is a commercial success, but he’s proud of only one of the many movies he’s made, The Hero, an old-school Western.     Once the image of America’s cowboy, the ultimate specimen of masculinity, the 71-year-old actor is reduced to doing voiceovers in hokey commercials. Divorced and at odds with his daughter, he has only one friend, his drug dealer.  ...

Everyone loves a parade. Independence Day brings the locals out in every conveyance they can adorn with bunting, from floats and fire trucks to strollers to red wagons — plus marching bands.

Cape St. Claire Celebration: 10am from the Fire Department to the Main Beach 11am-2pm: www.cscia.org/d/July4th-celebration. Severna Park Independence Day Parade:10am from St. Martin’s in-the-Field Church, to Severna Park High School, to Evergreen Road to B&A Blvd to Cypress Creek Park: 410-647-3900. Shady Side Independence Day Parade: 10am from Cedarhurst to the Shady Side Community Center on Snug Harbor Road. Roads close to traffic at 9:45am: 443-370-8720. Solomons Boat Parade: Boats...

Little Coconut, Pineapple and Twix taught these middle-schoolers a big lesson

With their feet gingerly navigating mud and grasses at the water’s edge as they prepare to release three baby northern diamondback terrapins into the wild, these Severn River Middle School students could be almost anywhere along Chesapeake Bay.     Poplar Island, however, is no ordinary locale. The island, like the careful return of the terrapins to their birthplace, is a unique and successful example of environmental stewardship. Visiting there, students are in position...

Mary Davis earns two trophies, a crown and a summer reprieve from a bodybuilder’s diet

In the April Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders Catonsville Conquer, Mary Davis won two first-place trophies and a crown.     “I felt like I did the best that I could. With two firsts, I walked away feeling awesome.”     Still hungry for more prizes and more challenges, Davis competed in May 16’s NPC Capital Classic.     “I didn’t place as high as I hoped,” Davis said of a second place plus a fourth and a...

Citizen scientists join the search for other life forms

With summer comes longing for adventure. Motivated to engage with nature and be a part of something bigger, I signed up to study the parasite Loxo and mud crabs at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.     Small by any standard, the white-fingered mud crab, aka Atlantic mud crab, is “small as a flea” or large as an inch, according to Smithsonian scientist Alison Cawood. This small crustacean plays a large part in our Bay’s ecosystem. A key indicator...

Southern Maryland’s Heinz Thomet is making whole wheat loveable

The delectable, slightly tart and yeasty smell of baking bread wafts through the open door of Heinz Thomet and Gabrielle Lajoie’s farmhouse in rural Charles County. The aroma is fitting: The grains in the family’s bread are their farm’s staff of life.     The couple’s 86-acre Next Step Produce farm is one of only two ­organic farms in Maryland growing grains specifically for bread and food production (the other is Land’s End in Chestertown)....

League of Conservation Voters wants your photos

“It’s a great feeling to see my neighbors and fellow Marylanders enjoying our state — from the mountains in western Maryland to the wetlands in Southern Maryland to the beaches on the Eastern Shore,” says Danielle Lipinski of Maryland League of Conservation Voters. “We truly have a little bit of everything here in Maryland, and I’m grateful to raise my family here.”     Lipinski and the Maryland League of Conservation Voters want to see...

In a dramatic turn, playwright’s dreams come true

A million may or may not be an exaggeration. Strictly speaking, Andrea Fleck Clardy was chosen Colonial Players’ Promising Playwright from a talent pool of 230 applicants in the theater company’s biennial competition.     But when you consider all the twists and turns of chance that led to this singular moment, the odds rise.     Clardy, a writer in life’s eighth decade, took up playwriting only after three or four careers.     ...