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One good trip recommends another

Get in touch with wildlife at ­Patuxent Research Refuge

Time traveling at Chesapeake Marketplace

Go quietly, look and listen

Visiting friends and family gets you go-go-going

For a sweet birthday, plan a favorites tour

Will our trash be ­treasure in 3,000 years?
You’re living on top of history, your story standing on others before it. If you live on the water, that history could be middens.   Chesapeake Country is dotted with thousands of the old refuse heaps built up of trash left behind by pre-Europeans. Our middens are mostly eastern oyster shells — plus tons of bones, shells, pottery shards and chipped stone that survived thousands of years.   “They are treasure troves like fossil deposits, except human-selected,...
In Their Own Words
I was a big athlete. I got recruited to play lacrosse at the Naval Academy. Then I flunked out of the Academy. I lost my leg. Now I can’t even drive anymore. But you have to accept those limitations. You have to continue to pursue whatever you are supposed to be doing. It’s often confusing as to what that is. Continue to figure out why you are here, you know? Helping people is important, too; that’s where you get your real satisfaction. Does that sound wise? It takes a long...
Life is determined and abundant. Keep your eyes open and you, too, may spot representatives of the latest generation of Chesapeake waterfowl, as these Chesapeake neighbors did.


At 8am late May, here swims a honker out of a finger of my creek. Closely following is a silent one. Not far behind are one, two … 36 little ones, half-grown already. But they won’t enter the larger creek, instead milling around as the steadily honking Canada steadily leads his silent follower out to the river and disappears.   Back go the three dozen, now alone. But wait! Sitting still halfway out is another silent Canada, showing them that it’s okay to enter the...
Some days, they listen
It was an ideal morning at Hacketts Bar (38° 51'; 76° 25'). A flood tide was just making up, a gentle southerly wind caressed the waters and the sun was hidden by a thin cloudbank that permitted just the right amount of warmth to permeate the air.    The anchored fishing boats were strung out more or less in a line from just off of the green can in 25 feet of water due east to depths of 40 or more feet. We had anchored up in the middle, our chum bag trailing from a...
Mars still lights up the night
Thursday’s first-quarter moon appears high in the southwest at sunset and sets in the west around 1am. Each following night, darkness finds the waxing gibbous moon a dozen degrees farther east, providing almost an hour of additional moonlight.    Friday, the moon is 15 degrees to the right of Mars, but come Saturday the two are practically on top of one another, separated by only two degrees. The red planet is just to the upper right of the moon as darkness falls, and they stay...
It would be a shame for one seat to go empty during this run.
Debuting to 10 Tony Awards 50 years ago, Hello, Dolly! is a rarity among musicals: song and dance blend seamlessly with story, its buoyant innocence saving it from contrivance. Based on Thornton Wilder’s play The Matchmaker, it’s a perfect vehicle for 2nd Star Productions, long recognized for outstanding musicals. The combination of strength in show and talent makes this the best amateur musical production I have seen in 13 years of reviewing.    Dolly Levi (Nori Morton...
An iconic villain gets a makeover in this flighty fairytale
Betrayed by a boyfriend, fairy Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) becomes the vengeful protector of enchanted lands where she grew up. As her revenge, she will curse the human king’s newborn daughter.   Aurora will be beautiful and loved until her 16th birthday. Then she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a death-like sleep. She can be awakened only by true love’s kiss — and that, Maleficent believes, does not exist.    The king...
The land of opportunity is a lie in this stirring drama
When Ewa (Marion Cotillard: Anchorman 2) emerges from the dank hull of an immigrant ship into the gray New York winter, the land of opportunity is cold and foreboding. Crammed into lines at Ellis Island, Ewa is nervous that her sister Magda (Angela Sarafyan: Paranoia), who fell ill on the boat, won’t pass inspection.   She’s right.    Magda is ushered into a quarantine room while Ewa tries to figure out what’s going on. As a woman alone, Ewa too is an...
Last winter was hard on this easy-to-grow fruit tree — but not fatal
The winter of 2013-2014 was so severe that it killed fig trees back to the ground. Many plants also suffered severe rabbit damage at the base of the young stems with smooth bark. Rabbits eat the smooth brown bark at times when other food sources are scarce.   As we are located at the northern climatic range for growing figs, we need to anticipate winter damage at least once every 10 to 15 years. According to my records, the last time fig plants were killed back to the ground was during...

You can get (most) anything you want — even a good book

If the medium is the message, then there’s more to be learned from Calvert Library’s huge festival of local authors than you’ll read in this week’s feature story, The Writers Next Door.     Your neighbor may have written just the one for you, I say, introducing 33 authors and their latest (or favorite) books. These are quick introductions, the literary equivalent of speed dating, with a life compressed into one sentence and a plot into another. At the May...