view counter

A charming fairytale about a little girl who lives in the bathtub

On the other side of the Delta levees is a shantytown called The Bathtub. It’s so cut off from the outside world that six-year-old Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) envisions her community as a wonderland. Life is simple, clothes are dirty and magic is everywhere.     Hushpuppy lives next to her father Wink (Dwight Henry) and spends her day collecting pets, feeding the hodgepodge of animals, listening to the heartbeats of every creature she encounters and making sense of the...

Gathering Figs

Figs, like many fruits in our yard, are a month early this year. We have two varieties, including my favorite, brown turkey, which I’d picked up at Mount Vernon in 2006 and nursed through a few years of condo living before planting in Annapolis. The other is Hardy Chicago, and I’m getting more of them this year, when they taste better than they usually do.     I like figs because I’m a lazy gardener. Beyond using some fish emulsion/seaweed (diluted Neptune...

Many fast growing trees have short lives

Contractors are notorious for planting what horticulturists call trash trees and shrubs around new housing developments. The plants they select are fast-growing, cheap and can be guaranteed to live for at least one year after they have been planted.     The trees most commonly used are silver maple, weeping willow, mimosa, Lombardy poplar and white willow. They grow fast, provide quick shade and make the house more appealing at the time of purchase.     The most...

Algae blooms mean red tides and stressed fish

We were already launched speeding toward our rendezvous as dawn broke on the Chesapeake.     Then the radio crackled with bad news.     “Don’t bother,” said a friend who had arrived on station first. “There’s a red tide pouring out of the river and the fish have left.” Fishfinder   Rockfish remain good, though algae blooms have made locating them more complicated. Love Point has been good for chumming, live lining and...

Mixed results for Infinity Theatre’s kids fare

Infinity Theatre’s second summer in Annapolis is a busy one, with not only two musicals but also two children’s plays. Stories Live and in Person, playing Saturday afternoons, is a New York revival billed as a show to introduce the fun of seeing and hearing live theater to teach appreciation of the real thing to kids so plugged in that the lines blur between private and public space.     The first comedic skit is hilarious, pitting a great Shakespearean actor (Jimmy...

What color will you see in Libra’s beta star?

Thursday’s new moon leaves weekend skies bereft of excess light, highlighting the backdrop of stellar lights.     As the sun sets, the first lights you see are likely to see are above the southwest horizon, where Saturn and Spica hover just five degrees from one another. Both shine at first magnitude, but Saturn’s steady golden glow is an easy contrast to the blue-white twinkle of Spica, the lead star in the constellation Virgo. Look for Mars 10 degrees to the...

Find out at Calvert Marine Museum’s Sharkfest

Millions of years ago, long before there was a Chesapeake, sharks thrived in the saltwater marine environment of the flooded river we now call Susquehanna. Big sharks that could have swallowed a man whole, had any men or women been around to be eaten.     The megalodon, ancestor of the great white shark, was the apex marine predator of those waters. Rivaling today’s blue whale, the megalodon grew up to 50 feet long.     He’s long gone, but his kin are...
Sometimes, you even get paid for doing it
  When I was an impressionable young woman, I believed the wise old man who told me that’s it’s a lucky fate to love your job, because you’ll spend a lot of your life doing it.     Achieving that happiness takes stepping in the right direction as well as luck, newspaperman Joe Akers advised, though there is no recipe for the correct proportions.     I’ve met some happy people this week, and a couple I hope will find their happiness right here...
In this final leg, the Volvo Ocean Racers come full circle to Galway, Ireland
  When you’re riding high, everything seems to go your way, and that’s how the in-port Race in Bretagne, France, played out. Large crowds cheered on local hero Franck Cammas and Groupama as they mastered the upwind/downwind course off Lorient.     Camper barely hung on to beat Puma for second place, but that victory mattered. It closed the overall Volvo Ocean Race gap between second and third to four points heading into Leg 9, a 550-mile sprint to Galway, Ireland....

Kids doctors help Parole Rotary collect kids books for needy readers around the world

“Books are easy for people to contribute, and we wanted to become closer not only with our patients but also our community,” said Ann-Marie Sedor of the new partnership between The Pediatric Group and the Rotary Club of Parole.     Through August, the practice is collecting books for children of all ages at its offices in Crofton, Davidsonville and Severna Park (www.pediatricgroup.com).     The Rotary Club of Parole, which seeks old books year-round for Books...