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Just how rare are two full moons in one month?

Hiking the Appalachian Trail prepared him for his next journey as a Navy SEAL

World’s biggest crab feast August 7

Help Bailey find his way home

It doesn’t need to be the Appalachian Trail to push you forward

A fantastic concept gone horribly awry, Hyde Park on Hudson tells the story of the first time an English king visited America. It wasn’t a social call. In 1939, England was in grave danger from Nazi Germany and needed help.     President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray: Moonrise Kingdom) invited the king and queen to his New York estate, Hyde Park.     This tale of political turmoil and cultural understanding is only the B-plot of Hyde Park on Hudson...

Getting old isn’t for sissies.

From the outside, Debbie (Leslie Mann: ParaNorman) and Pete (Paul Rudd: The Perks of Being a Wallflower) have it made. A big house, two adorable kids and lots of luxury playthings. But look a little closer and you see the cracks.     Debbie is having trouble dealing with her fading youth. Turning 40 years old has made her a neurotic mess. She fights with Pete, worries about their daughters and constantly seeks validation.     Pete is head of a record label that...

If the world doesn’t end, winter begins

With any luck, Friday, December 21 will not mark the end of the world, but rather the usual beginning of winter for the Northern Hemisphere. The Mayans and their vanished civilization are a true mystery, made all the more poignant by their accomplishments, building great pyramids and devising an elaborate calendar. That calendar, like those of other civilizations throughout history and around the globe, recognizes December 21 as the end of the year — and the beginning of the new.  ...

This bright flowering holly was first found in a nearby bog

Winterberry shows at its best this season, inviting you to cut it for Christmas decorating. The native deciduous forms of holly grow as shrubs six to eight feet tall. At this time of year, the ends of the branches are filled with clusters of bright red berries.     Maryland has two native species, Ilex verticillata and Ilex serrata. It is not uncommon to see them planted along highways. They are increasingly being used because they can tolerate growing in boggy wet soil as well...

Menhaden gain recognition and protection

Friday, December 14, 2012, is a day that makes a difference. On that day, menhaden — a fish virtually inedible to humans and once numerous but now endangered — gained recognition and protection as a vital component of our complex marine ecosystem.     Meeting in Baltimore, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission declared its intent to protect Atlantic menhaden from continued commercial over-fishing, which has reduced the species to eight percent of its...

Two books with local connections are treats to put under the tree for younger children.

Denise Blum’s Chesapeake Bay Crab Challenge is about Jay, a young boy who wakes up one morning to find his pet crab Clay missing from his aquarium. Where could Clay be? Will Jay find him?     Blum takes readers on a hunt through Chesapeake Country’s Lusby, Oxford and Cambridge — to stores, restaurants and parks.     Children will recognize some of the local landmarks; the story begs a field trip to the unfamiliar places. (I wanted to climb into...

Can Canada’s answer to Neil Simon match the American’s wit?

Snows may soon cover the golf course, but golfers can escape to the links this winter at The Bay Theatre, where Norm Foster’s comedy The Foursome is now playing. If you long to crack open a few beers and play verbal tackle over a friendly wager, then this is the play for you.     Foster, Canada’s answer to Neil Simon, is the Great White North’s most produced playwright. Despite his immense popularity, I found his humor — save for some zippy one-liners...

A winter’s wind blows water from the Bay, revealing relics from the past

On a cold winter day, with a stiff northwest wind blowing the Chesapeake Bay south toward the Atlantic, 11-year-old twins Cole and Wyatt Greene stumbled on a strange sight as they explored the exposed mudflats of Herring Bay. Buried in the mud appeared to be the remains of an old ship. A really big ship.     The two boys announced their find to their mother. Back they ran with an iPhone and tape measure to record the shipwreck. It measured a whopping 129 feet by 25 feet. Nearby...

Leon Tucker’s tour in Mongolia has him longing for Southern Maryland’s balmy winters

To step out into December’s minus-20-degree weather, Leon Tucker layers up “in bundles and bundles” with long underwear, thermal sweatshirts, camel wool socks and a North Face parka. This is not what he meant back home in Deale when he called himself “an outdoors person.”     Mongolia is not what Tucker’s mother, Kathy Norris, imagined for the son who always dreamed of travel. “I thought he was going to take off,” she says, “...

The rediscovered Chesapeake woodcuts of Eastport’s Philip McMartin

When Philip McMartin arrived in 1963, Annapolis was still a watermen’s town with workboats coming and going.     The 33-year-old journalist-photographer-filmmaker-sailor had fallen under the spell of the water, which drew him to Eastport, where he and his wife and four children lived a stone’s throw from Back Creek.     McMartin was fascinated by the rugged independence of life on the water. He carved images of Chesapeake watermen, skipjacks,...