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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

Trouble’s brewing below the surface

Mother Nature mulches in the fall by dropping leaves from her trees and by laying the blades of grasses or the leaves of herbaceous perennials over the soil. She covers the ground only with the waste she produces.     We, on the other hand, buy bags of ground bark, chipped wood scraps or colored wood waste from only God knows where, pile it over the soil and call it mulching. I see mulch piled so deep trees seem to emerge from volcanic cinder cones. Roots of shrubs gasp for air...

Bright colors and silly humor will entertain children but test adults' fortitude

The Smurfs are pretty bored. Seeking adventure are best friends Brainy (voiced by Danny Pudi: Powerless), Clumsy (Jack McBrayer: The Middle), Hefty (Joe Maganiello: Drunk Parents) and Smurfette (Demi Lovato: From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series). Papa Smurf (Mandy Patinkin: Homeland) tries to keep them from getting into too much trouble. It’s a simple life, until an accident shows the young Smurfs a world outside.     While smurfboarding in the forbidden forest, Smurfette sees a...

Mary Davis transformed herself from a pack-a-day smoker to a ­winning bikini competitor

Today’s Mary Davis is not the Mary Davis she once was.     Chiseled and ripped, with no body fat that shows in a bikini, the 35-year-old mother and businesswoman is a trophy-winning competitive bodybuilder. This month she competes in the Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders Catonsville Conquer to add two more trophies to her legend. In last October’s competition, she came in second as a Novice, the only category she could enter as a newcomer to the sport....

In 40 years, Grace Cavalieri has interviewed and recorded more than 2,000 poets

Anne Arundel County neighbor Grace Cavalieri is poetry’s answer to NPR radio talk show host Diane Rehm — with this exception: Rehm retired last year after 37 years on air. Cavalieri is still going strong.     For over 40 years, Cavalieri’s radio program, The Poet and the Poem, has read the role call of poetry. Cavalieri has interviewed and preserved the recorded voices of more than 2,000 poets, including all of America’s poet laureates since 1987, among...

You’re looking at one of them

Mary Davis makes quite the Bay Weekly cover girl.     In one way, you may find her appearance surprising. Yet she’s just Bay Weekly’s kind of story.     We’re inspired by people who have figured out what matters to them. Swan calling or oyster gardening, community organizing or organic farming, bee keeping or ballroom dancing, body building or poetry proselytizing, opening a new restaurant or keeping up a family gallery, somebody is sure to do...

A commuter’s love song

I love the Bay Bridge. Even when I’m in a line of slow-moving homebound traffic, even when I’m behind a carload of Bay-gazing tourists or even when facing winds, rains or snows that challenge the journey, I still love it.     Crossing the Gov. William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge — its formal name — each weekday may be off-putting to some, daunting to others. It wasn’t something I imagined myself doing just a few short years ago. I have lived...

Crabs and osprey in, oysters and swans out

In Chesapeake Country, creatures define seasons more accurately than weather. Crabs and osprey are the creatures of this season, even now replacing oysters and tundra swans on the calendar of Chesapeake life. Each comes, and goes, with fanfare.     The opening of crab season on April 1 means gustatory delight for lovers of the crustacean and the renewal of income for crabbers. Along the Bay and rivers, watermen ready their pots and trotlines for a long season that extends into...

What’s left from Annapolis Rotary’s crab feast? $58K for good works

At the opening of crab season, it’s easy to remember how good it is to sit down to a feast of freshly steamed, spiced Maryland blues. The 2,500 hungry people who last August helped the Rotary Club of Annapolis live up to its reputation for throwing the World’s Largest Crab Feast not only had a good time but also did good works. More remained of that feast than a big pile of shells. Profits of $58,500 are funding the good works of 46 Anne Arundel County community groups.  ...

The misnamed Jerusalem artichoke supplies both

The Jerusalem artichoke is a sunflower cousin that gives both flowers and food. In late August and into September, bright yellow flowers cover its tall stems. Below ground, it is growing tuber-like structures on its roots that resemble pachymorphs of the bearded iris. The tubers are edible.     This North America native is invasive and must be grown in an aboveground container to prevent it from spreading. I grow my Jerusalem artichokes in a plastic half-barrel with the base...

Trophy season opens in just a week

The trophy rockfish season is fast upon us.     These migratory trophy-sized fish are in spawning mode. First they move up the Bay to their natal headwaters. Then, having spawned, they move back down the Bay, returning to the Atlantic. They move in pods unpredictably. Thus fishing in a fixed spot or targeting a specific area is not the most productive strategy. Constantly moving and presenting baits continually over an area as large as possible is the better method. That’s...