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Good Living

Middle-schoolers learn to see through the lens to bring everyday images to life

This summer middle-schooler ­Kinsey Helmly discovered something surprising about photography.     “I love how every picture has a story behind it,” she writes. “In my photo Blissful Forest, my model has words written on her hand from a classmate at school. That’s why her hand is closed. But you would never have known that had I not told you. That’s what I love about photos. They all have a secret.”

Confessions of a Jay Fleming pupil

After my ninth grade photography teacher’s put-down, I have shied away from taking any photos but snapshots — and definitely no Snapchats. “You manage to capture something that is already beautiful, but you fail to create it as a picture.”

Two prize-winning July recipes — and the people behind them

July is a sizzler this year, running to set the record of the hottest. It’s also the month that explodes with the fresh foods we love best: berries and basil, corn, crabs, cantaloupe and cucumbers, peaches and perch, rockfish, tomatoes, watermelon.     You want to eat local, especially July 22 to 30, when the Buy Local Challenge ices the cake with prizes and recipes. But spend much time at the stove, and you could end up like a stick of butter left out in summer — melted.

We asked, and you delivered, with great nuptial photos and wedding day memories.

  Stacie ‘Jaya’ and Ivan Balaguer Married April 9, 2011, in Punta Cana Dominican Republic

Enjoy smart family fun at Anne Arundel County’s big regional parks

Summer is all about kicking back and enjoying extra time together as vacations begin and the weather warms.     But so many summer activities can mean trouble for the family budget. With some smart planning, a fun-filled summer doesn’t have to break the bank. In Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks, I’ve found good, affordable fun for the whole family, even the dogs.

Water Trail map directs you to the treasures of the Magothy

Paddling in the digital age comes with a new set of advantages. Now, when setting out for an adventure on the Magothy River, paddlers can use an online trail map of 30 points of interest plus nine “hidden gems.”     The digital water trail map links you to 17 videos of the river’s creeks and coves and suggests what to see and how to navigate through those waterways. Many coves are hard to find unless you know where to enter.

Once a year, Hammond Harwood House opens the gates to the ­capital city’s private gardens — and invites you to look inside
 

They are there, hiding behind impossibly small doors tucked into the crowded summer streets of Annapolis. Or perhaps they appear as unexpected splashes of color coyly winking at strollers past a secluded courtyard.

Dave Newman catches some 40 games a year in his quest to see one in every Major League stadium

In our affection for America’s iconic trio — baseball, hot dogs and apple pie — we are not all equal. I am fond of baseball. You might well be fonder. Crofton’s Dave Newman is fondest.     Newman was born a baseball fan — specifically a New York Yankee fan. The Brooklyn Dodgers and Giants had fled to California. The Mets had not yet arrived. New York was a Yankee town, and Dave’s a Yankee family.

That’s the goal of Pirate’s Cove’s Pigs & Pearls Fundraiser to benefit the West & Rhode Riverkeeper

They say it was a hungry man who was the first to eat an oyster, but I disagree. I say it was a smart man, one who figured out how to set a bunch of oysters on a flat rock by a fire, cover them over with wet leaves and let them steam until they popped open, then slurped down all those succulent bits of salty goodness. Come to think of it, that was probably one smart woman who figured that out.

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.