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A chronology of fun, fare and festivals stretching from the autumnal equinox to Thanksgiving

Read this week’s paper with caution; it could lead you astray

Perpetual disaster Bridget Jones grows up a bit in this comedy

Take your hike to the next level

Like tea-party guests, they’ve visited before, will they be back?

Queen Clawdia will be steamed but not eaten

Only one crab can be Queen of the World’s Largest Crab Feast, and it might be the one to be steamed first.     Stifled in a 10-legged felt and Styrofoam crab suit with accompanying long fuzzy pants and sleeves, Lucy Mackinnon risks heat stroke every time she plays the part of Queen Clawdia, as she will for the Rotary Club of Annapolis Crab Feast. To cope with the heat, Mackinnon fills zipper bags with water and alcohol and hangs a battery-powered fan around her neck...

You can’t catch any fish if they ain’t there

Being the Severn Riverkeeper is not so much a job as a roller coaster ride. Having a biologist wife, Nancy, to teach me the science and a good friend, Sarah Caldes, to do the grant writing have made it a fun ride.     My early childhood was all about trying to catch fish in Baltimore’s Lake Roland and the Homeland Lakes and in the Severn River. When I was 10, every spring started with a trip to the Severn for the early spawning runs of its iconic fish, the yellow perch....

Vegetables from A to Z — plus a little free protein at the K

As July rolls into August, locavores are in high corn. Literally, for in the fields around us corn is reaching to the sky. Figuratively, because we can eat our fill of Maryland-grown sweet well-kernelled ears — along with all the complementary fruits of the season, from beans to zucchini, with plenty of tomatoes along the way. Mid-summer’s harvest supplies a fruit or vegetable for every letter of the alphabet, except maybe X.     The morning after the Governor’...

Yes, but do it at the grocery

Anne Arundel Countians are lucky to have their recycling picked up at the curb. With the county’s single-stream recycling program, you don’t even have to sort. Even so, 26 percent of what goes into the trash is recyclable, according to Anne Arundel County Recycling.     Getting that quarter of our waste out of the trash stream depends not only on the will to recycle but also our knowledge.     You can find a list that outlines most of what is and is...

Ward Farm Recreation and Nature Park

Our summer on the cheap took us to a park still being born.     Ward Farm Park in Dunkirk is not yet open, except for some hikes and camps.     Naturalist Tania Gale led our group of seven children and seven adults on one of those hikes, pointing out plants and insects and filling us in on the history of the Ward family as well as what changes are coming.     The 209-acre parcel was purchased in 2013 by Calvert County. Phase one of the master plan...

Turn on a light to observe National Moth Week

In the midst of National Moth Week, turn on your porch light any summer night and see who you see.     Summer because moths get their wings in warm weather. Over winter, they are caterpillars. In spring they pupate, emerging winged from their cocoons to create new generations of moths.     Night because drawn to light in perhaps some moonstruck phenomenon, most moths are nocturnal.     Like butterflies, moths are members of the Lepidoptera family...

Fish favor a careful angler

We were drifting soft crab at the Bay Bridge for rockfish when I let my bait get too deep. It fouled on bottom debris. Gritting my teeth in frustration, I maxed my drag, froze my reel spool with my thumb and backed the skiff away. I had lost a number of rigs over past seasons on this particular support, so I assumed that this was just another dues payment.     I felt my monofilament line stretch as I moved away until it finally broke free, and I reeled my line back. I was...

Get cutting to ensure big-flowering mums and azaleas

With all the rain we have received this year, azaleas and chrysanthemums have produced an abundance of new growth. If you want those plants to produce an abundance of flowers — this fall for chrysanthemums and next year for azaleas — get out your shears this week.     Chrysanthemums are short-day plants, which means that they will start initiating flower buds around mid-August. Prune any later than this week, and they will produce fewer flowers, which will be smaller...

Boldly focusing on character development makes this the best of the new Trek films

For Captain Kirk (Chris Pine: The Finest Hours), boldly going where no man has gone before is surprisingly boring. As his five-year mission to explore the universe as a diplomat for Star Fleet continues, he’s looking for a way to break the routine of space travel.     Kirk seeks a position on a space station. Meanwhile, his second in command, Spock (Zachary Quinto: Tallulah), plans to leave the Enterprise to ensure Vulcan survival. Before they abandon their crew and seek...

Ham radio enthusiasts stand ready to step in when all else fails

On a sunny Saturday morning in late June, in a field overlooking the Patuxent River in Lusby, men assembling two 25- and 30-foot steel towers, section by section. Atop the shorter tower is a contraption that looks like an upside-down umbrella.     What in the world is going on here?     It’s the Calvert Amateur Radio Association (CARA, call sign K3CAL), preparing for Field Day 2016. Field Day is an annual exercise, sponsored by the American Radio Relay...