view counter

How some of the world’s most famous art found safe refuge in early-America’s Annapolis

That’s Charles Baker, streetside entertainer

Chesapeake Curiosities: Battle Creek Cypress Swamp is the northernmost of its kind

Summer sends these insects singing

There may be a fungus in your soil

Plan B might be your score

The fun’s better when you stay safe

The Dream: You take family and friends out on your boat for an evening of spectacular fireworks. Your anchor sets on the first try. There is plenty of space between you and the other boats. You enjoy a picnic and a few cold ones. The weather is warm and clear; the kids enjoy taking a dip. Anticipation builds as the sky darkens; then the fireworks burst and boom. The colors are even more beautiful reflected in the water. Everyone oohs and ahs. After the big crescendo, you up anchor and head for...

Chesapeake Curiosities

Founding father John Adams wanted to celebrate Independence Day July second rather than the fourth, but he was the visionary in celebrating with fireworks. The Adams family hosted huge Independence Day celebrations for generations.     In a letter to his wife, Abagail Adams, on July 3, 1776, he wrote: The Second Day of July 1776, will … be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews...

Star-spangled nun commemorates our national anthem

Boat into Baltimore harbor, and you’ll see a buoy painted in the distinctive pattern of the American flag. The big star-topped nun — as conical buoys are called — marks the symbolic spot where The Star-Spangled Banner was born. Aboard a ship during the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that became our national anthem to celebrate the flag’s overnight survival: Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s...

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate reason and high ideals

There are places that seem to be magic. Who knows what forces might be at work? Perhaps magnetic fields? Certainly I’m not claiming any science here. Yet over history, places like England’s Stonehenge have drawn human creatures ­hither, often for sacred rites.     Another of those forces seems to me to rise along the Mississippi River between Fort de Chartres and Fort Kaskaskia, the first capital of Illinois. Nearby in the cliffs of the river, humans sheltered as...

Chesapeake Bay gets a summer show

Go out on the Bay this summer and you’re likely to see dolphins. Not just two or three but huge pods of the big aquatic mammals, arcing out of the roiled water.     Dolphins are familiar sights on ocean horizons. Not so much in the Chesapeake, though they are seasonal visitors.     “Dolphins migrate every summer and are often seen throughout midsummer,” says Amanda Weschler, Department of Natural Resources marine mammal and sea turtle stranding...

100 Years of the National Park ­Service, 10 for John Smith Trail

America’s first national park, Yellowstone, was preserved in 1872. So many followed that in 1916 the National Park Service was created to manage the then 35 national parks. This year is the centennial of the Park Service.     2016 is also the 10th anniversary of Chesapeake Country’s own entry in that noble list, the John Smith Chesapeake Trail. The 3,000-mile trail connects us with places evoking the Chesapeake of 400 years ago: American Indian communities and...

Mastering your electronics will increase your catch

I’ve had a great past two weeks fishing the Chesapeake. Nice rockfish to 34 inches were in multiple small mobs, hanging in 20 to 30 feet of water. When I located one on the finder, they promptly attacked any jigs or baits we dropped on them. A number of friends had the same experience.     Yet later this week, I heard from anglers who had cruised the same waters and hadn’t been able to catch anything. What’s more, they told me, they generally had trouble...

Learn the trick — and the science

Hardy mums planted for color last fall most likely survived the winter and are now rising in clumps in your garden. Here’s how to get them ready to bloom again this fall.     To move mums to new spots: For lots of smaller plants, dig the clumps and divide them into smaller clumps of one, three or five stems each, with roots firmly attached. Transplant them 12 to 18 inches apart. After they have started to grow, prune the stems, leaving only three or four leaves near the...

A little girl learns the importance of friendship and family in this charming tale

Orphan Sophie (Ruby Barnhill: The 4 O’clock Club) leads a lonely life in London. Already very grown up and smarter than her peers, she follows the matron to ensure that bills are filed and snipes at the drunks who wake the other orphans. Her only friend is an orange tabby cat. Sophie’s busy life also means she doesn’t have time for frivolities, like sleeping. She’d much rather stay up and read.     Late one night, Sophie spies something peculiar out her...

Back to the ’80s

To celebrate its 50th season bringing musical theater to Annapolis, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre has chosen this summer to stage, in reverse order, The Producers, Rent … and The Wedding Singer. The Producers won 12 out of its 15 Tony nominations, setting the nominations record and joining the short list of musicals winning in every nominated category. Rent was nominated for 10 Tonys and won four, plus the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Wedding Singer … five nominations, no wins...