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However you play it, natural gas export is a high stakes game

Have fun even with a sizzling sun

An American in Annapolis

Our flowering gardens are butterfly way-stations

Blue crabs at quarter-century low

Lesson 1: From the ground up

Sharpen your ears: They’re out There quacking, snoring, ­growling and peeping

It’s loud out there in frog land.         Wood frogs, one of the season’s earliest risers, already have a new generation of tadpoles swimming in vernal pools. That’s the March 11 report of Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary volunteer Mark Priest posted on the Sanctuary’s webpage sightings link, jugbay.org/wildlife_sightings. Follow the link to see Priest’s short video of half-inch-long wrigglers.     Those tadpoles are the...

The Ides of March brings the year’s best fishing

It was just the slightest bit of resistance.     I was working my minnow-tipped Tony spoon deep across a wide section of the Upper Choptank when that hint of hesitation made me lift my rod tip. With the feeling of yet more resistance, I set the hook and was rewarded by a heavy surge at the end of the line on my ultra-light spinning rod. Fishfinder     Yellow perch runs are winding down, though they will continue at an ever-slower rate at least through the rest...

This hurry-up winter is pushing spring

I am told that in Ireland, potatoes and peas are always planted on St. Patrick’s Day. Here in Southern Maryland, our soils are generally wet and cold and impossible to plow, rototill or cultivate in mid-March. This year may be different.     On February 20, I rototilled my asparagus bed to get rid of the winter annual weeds and cut down the mustard plants that were beginning to flower. The soil temperature was already up to 45 degrees and might well be ready for potatoes...

Perched above the equator, the sun splits the day between light and dark

As darkness settles, Venus and Jupiter blaze in the west, and with the moon absent there is no brighter objects visible. After drawing together for weeks, Venus has pulled ahead. At week’s end they are four degrees apart, and the distance grows by about a half-degree each night. Both planets are climbing higher into view, heading from Aries toward Taurus and the Pleiades star cluster.     Opposite Venus and Jupiter, Mars burns a fiery orange above the east horizon. By...

Beautiful effects and interplanetary drama isn’t enough to make up for a terrible lead

When confederate soldier John Carter (Taylor Kitsch: Friday Night Lights) realizes he’s on Mars, he is filled with wonder and amazement. I tell you this now, because it’s hard to decipher what Carter thinks or feels since Kitsch plays him with a slack-jawed blankness that makes you wonder if there’s enough air on the red planet to support brainwaves.     This is a shame, as the movie has been in development for 79 years. Disney should have waited for an even 80...
James Barrett of Westin Annapolis is up for Maryland Chef of the Year What does it take to be Maryland’s Chef of the Year?         A concoction like this: The broth is daffodil yellow, screaming of spring, contradicting the misconception that chicken and dumplings is reserved for the cold of winter. Instead of big risen pillows, the dumplings are clever little Italian gnocchi. The geometrical cuts of ­chicken, moist all the way through, have seared...

One in a thousand on the B&A Trail Marathon

Sunday, March 4, a thousand men and women lined up to run the Annapolis Striders’ B&A Trail Marathon. Among them, 71-year-old Minnesotan Don Wright stood poised to begin his 63rd marathon in 44 states.     Only six states stand between Wright and his goal to complete a marathon in all 50 states.     Wright is training, traveling around the country and completing several marathons every year, as he has been for the last eight years — while fighting...

You don’t have to go far to find somebody playing

Headed out for dinner and drinks in Annapolis? There’s a good chance you’ll find musical talent as well.     Trendy indie? Shake your groove to some soul and funk? Hip hop, pop, reggae, folk, jazz, blues, Celtic or some good old sea shanties? Start at Ego Alley in Annapolis on a Friday night and begin walking toward West Street, and you can pick your soundtrack.     Most buildings in this part of Annapolis are small. Yet many bar and restaurant...

Davina Grace Hill

Journeys to familiar lands have a comforting appeal because you know what to expect. A different kind of interest comes from visiting new locations and experiencing new outlooks. This is true for vacations, as well as theater. In Dignity Players’ current superb offering of Almost, Maine, you get to experience a magical new place in theater and discover a new site on the map of the human heart.     Kudos to director Mickey Lund for bringing this little sparkle, written by...

Where we share ourselves is where we make ourselves

BGE has been wielding the grim reaper’s scythe in our neighborhood. Not only limbs aspiring to electric lines but whole trees have fallen. The wounds are still fresh. You can read the story of many a tree’s life in the map of concentric rings exposed on the raw stump.     The Fairhaven communities will be walking the roads this Saturday on their annual litter pick-up.     Those activist neighbors are one of my near circles.     Like a...