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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

Shakespeare makes a thrilling return to the Dark Ages

This month Annapolitans celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary with not only his First Folio on display at St. John’s College’s Mitchell Gallery but also a fine production of Hamlet at the Compass Rose Studio Theater.     Surely you remember Hamlet, that gloomy prince of Denmark on a crusade to avenge his father’s murder, the author of those immortal words to be or not to be? Indeed this play, generally recognized as The Bard’s greatest, contains...

Spirits of the ­Rising Sun Inn

Had I never lived in Crownsville’s historic Rising Sun Inn, I’d have scoffed at folks who believed in the supernatural. But once my brother and I rented the Inn and moved in, peculiar things started that we couldn’t quite explain away.     Take the day our buddy’s girlfriend fled our housewarming party, screaming in terror.     There was something in the Inn’s kitchen that day, a practical joker perhaps, innocent of malice or ill...

Enroll in the Calvert County Citizens Academy

Who knew back in high school civics class that you’ve got to know how government works to make government work for you? Now’s your chance to re-learn how government works as an inaugural student in the Calvert County Government Citizens Academy.     The free program features site visits and discussions with county staff that will give a unique insight into the daily work that goes into local government. Subjects include building codes, public safety, recreation, road...

Study your ballot at www.vote411.org

Who’s on your ballot?     This year’s contentious top-line race has obscured who’s who — and who stands for what — in the down-ticket races. Yet from local government on up, the winners in these elections have far more immediate say on how we live our daily lives.     Cram for the November 8 election with the Maryland League of Women Voters’ online Voters’ Guide. You’ll find information in the candidates’...

Maryland ghost-chasers shed light on hauntings

The modern ghost hunter, also called a paranormal investigator, has many tools to help detect a spirit. These include infrared cameras, electromagnetic field detectors, thermometers, recorders and spirit boxes.     However, common sense and your senses remain your greatest tool.     “In most cases, smells, cold spots or seeing and hearing things are the first signs of paranormal activity,” reports Bill Hartley, founder and lead investigator of the...

Their night flights bring us treats, not tricks

Winging its way through the eerie gloom, the bat is a potent symbol of Halloween. Far from its menacing reputation in seasonal lore, bats’ contributions to the natural world are many and essential.     In tropical and desert ecosystems, bats serve as pollinators for plants such as bananas, mangoes and the agave plant used to make tequila.     Bat pollination is strictly a fly-by-night operation. Come sundown, these furry creatures take to the air in search...

Like coffee, Bay stewardship may be an acquired taste

Percolate is a big word in Chesapeake futures.     Hereabouts, the same word once synonymous with how America made its coffee describes the best way for water from heaven, rainwater, and its gushing next stage, stormwater, to make its way back to our watershed. My mother’s percolator kept the brew cycling through the grinds, making coffee more watchable than drinkable as it spouted against the little glass top cap. In our watershed, drip coffee makes a better metaphor but...

Just a little care will do it

This summer, I harvested my biggest crop of garlic ever, with my elephant garlic the size of a baseball. I attribute my success to incorporating an inch-thick layer of compost just before planting, mulching the garlic with Maine Lobster Compost just before the ground froze and giving the garlic plenty of room to grow. I planted elephant garlic in a six-by-six-inch spacing and the Italian garlic in a four-by-six-inch spacing. Come summer, I stopped hoeing the weeds as soon as the foliage was...

You’ve got a treasure; take care of it

Back in the mid-1940s, the advent of the spinning reel made angling a popular America sport. Spin reels opened up light-tackle fishing to millions for the first time. The easy-to-use casting mechanism allowed anglers to throw their line, lure or bait a good distance without worry of tangles.     Penn spin reels became the saltwater standard of the day. By the mid-1970s, their price approached $100. This was a considerable sum, but they were rugged quality reels made in America....

This comic opera sparkles like sunshine on the sea with all the charm that made it a hit more than a century ago

You may have never heard of Arthur Sullivan and W.S. Gilbert, but you’ve certainly heard of Gilbert and Sullivan. The two had a run of comic opera hits in England whose popularity propelled them across the pond to America, where that popularity was magnified. Because Gilbert’s father was a naval surgeon, life on the seas and the politics of power were often themes of the librettist. That’s certainly the case with H.M.S. Pinafore, the light yet acerbic jab at patrician politics...