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Turning a pop phenomenon into challenging life lessons

Highway medians become home to the birds, bees, butterflies

My guests were not who I expected

Billed as a smart and energetic musical comedy with a pop rock score and immensely likable story, this show delivers

A waterspout may get you if you don’t watch out

Reflections on heroes and superheroes

Yumi Hogan shares her favorite Korean recipes for the Governor’s Buy Local Week Challenge

When Maryland’s governor and first lady throw a party, it’s not often Mrs. Guv will be doing the cooking.     First Lady Yumi Hogan proves the exception to that rule. This week, for the eighth Annual Buy Local Cookout, she prepares and serves her own adaptation of pork bulgogyi, which she calls “a classic household dish for a Korean family.”     She is one of 14 chefs from Maryland preparing specially created dishes for the cookout. Each...

See how nature treats him on the Weather Channel July 19

Anne Arundel County cop Ron ­Gamble, of Arnold, always considered himself a fat guy. Now the ­Weather Channel has made him a Fat Guy in the Woods. In the reality show episode airing July 19 Gamble and two other fat guys venture into Kentucky cave country guided by survival expert Creek Stewart. Stewart — who is neither a fat guy nor a cop — intends to teach them “the skills that make a man a man.” Here Gamble previews his week-long experience — from...

Four easy recipes to savor into darker days

Summer produce has arrived in abundance. Now’s the time to preserve can, pickle and ferment to keep your table local long past summer. Preserving is the trend of the times, and for good reason.     Buying local in the summer supports community farmers, decreases foods’ shipping distances and yields delicious produce grown in season. Yet when winter arrives, many fall back on imported fruits and vegetables grown in distant hothouses. Preserving now, even in small...

The best of times and worst of times brought to vivid, emotional life

The most famous first lines in literature — “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” — may make you fear you’re in for a dry history lesson.     Not so with Annapolis Shakespeare Company’s A Tale of Two Cities. As soon as actor Brian Keith MacDonald follows that opening, you realize this production is going to be about the fire of feelings, not the dust of historic facts. Thereupon, it becomes impossible not to go with this...

The eating is good and local

Plant a seed and it will grow. That’s the truth of midsummer, especially this wet midsummer when Earth up here in our northern hemisphere is cloaked in vegetation. You’ll remember it wasn’t like this six months ago; sticks and Earth were bare. Now it’s gangbusters.     Corn grows rampant. Cucumbers and squash hang pendulous and beans in curtains on their vines. Canes break out with raspberries. Tomatoes swell and burst in the sun. Earth reverts to the...

Fishing with the Charlotte Hall Vets

The Bay Gardener took a day off from gardening to go fishing with 15 heroes and four staffers from the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. The Lothian Ruritan Club sponsored the fishing trip.     To make a memorable event, the busload of veterans was escorted 40-plus miles from Charlotte Hall to Deale by nine motorcycles driven by State Police and Anne Arundel County police all flashing red and blue lights. Passing the Deale Volunteer Fire Station, the convoy was saluted with sirens...

The capacity of herons

The discovery that a heron was plundering my catch solved the mystery but did not end my ­curiosity. There was more to be learned.     Apparently, herons are quite intelligent and know an easy meal when they see it. Almost immediately, a pattern became evident. If I was on the dock to use the boat or to check the crab traps, heron was nowhere in sight. As soon as I picked up my fishing rod, the bird would appear from nowhere and wait about 10 feet down the...

It’s hard work, but someone has to do it

This is one of those tough jobs. Tougher than ever now that crab catches are no longer abundant so that you’ll pay for the luxury of eating a Chesapeake Bay crab cake. But somebody’s got to do, so it might as well be you.     Start with a notebook for recording your tasting results. Here are your judging guidelines. Rank each crabcake you taste from 1 to 5:     1. Most important: Is it made from Chesapeake Bay blue crab? Ask!     2. Is...

Rockfish crave spot, but in a pinch white perch will satisfy

I strained to keep my severely arced rod from touching the gunnel as I plunged the tip deep into the water. A large and powerful fish about 20 feet down was intent on crossing under my skiff. Had the line, humming from the tension, contacted the hull it would likely have snapped. On the other hand, if the stressed graphite rod banged the gunnel, it could shatter. I was doing my best to avoid either catastrophe.     My partner in the bow was handling his own critical situation....

When water replaces air in the soil, plants die

If plants are wilting in your gardens despite all of the rain we have been having, it is due to a lack of oxygen in the soil. This is a bigger problem in heavy-loam soils than in sandy loam or loamy sands. Heavy soils become saturated with water faster than sandy soils because the pores are smaller and thus exclude all the air.     The roots of plants need oxygen to function. We have received so much rain that air in the soil has been replaced by water. If the problem...