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How some of the world’s most famous art found safe refuge in early-America’s Annapolis

That’s Charles Baker, streetside entertainer

Chesapeake Curiosities: Battle Creek Cypress Swamp is the northernmost of its kind

Summer sends these insects singing

There may be a fungus in your soil

Plan B might be your score

Act now or they’ll devour your narrow-leafed evergreens

Keep your eyes open and you’ll notice large sections of brown foliage in arborvitae, junipers, Leland cypress and pines. Look closely and you’ll see thousands of bagworms dangling from the branches.     As of August 1, the bag worms’ bags were over one inch long and at a stage where they are impossible to kill even with the strongest pesticide. The fat bags contain females certain to have hundreds of eggs ready and waiting to be fertilized by a male. The...

Four ways to cook the Bay’s favorite fish

What a year we’ve had for rockfish! In our fifth month of abundance, big fish are still just about everywhere in the mid-Bay, with anglers catching them using just about every method.     Eating fresh Chesapeake rockfish is one of the perks of living in the Tidewater. One of the many attributes of the fish is that its flavor can be influenced by the addition of easy-to-make sauces, which can give a fresh rockfish dinner a completely different taste each time you serve it...

Five men save humanity one pint at a time

Gary King (Simon Pegg: Star Trek) fancied himself a god in high school. He and his band of followers debauched their way across their small town. A hard drinker, high and a hit with the ladies, Gary’s biggest regret is that he and his lackeys never finished the fabled Golden Mile, a one-mile pub crawl with 12 pints at 12 local bars.     Decades later, Gary is a paunchy, pale version of his former self. He drives the same car, wears the same dirty trench coat and is just as...

Chew on these tales of bad behavior before you add a new member to your family

Through the beveled glass oval of the front door, I could see trouble. My friend and hair-stylist Kathy Burns’ brother was not making a social call. His khaki uniform meant he had come on official business. Dogcatcher business.     The dog in question, Slip Mahoney, wasn’t home. Wherever he was, he had stirred up enough commotion to bring out the dogcatcher.     “He escaped,” I said, holding up my hands in helplessness.   ...

Mark your calendar

Big Heart Month at SPCA Thru August     August is Big Heart Month at SPCA, where a heart on the cage indicates a special furry friend — with some medical or behavioral problem — who is waiting to be adopted at no cost to you. The adoption of these special needs pets is made possible by an anonymous donor in loving memory of Michael and Anne March.     The shelter has also recently added 10 dogs — rescued from a hoarder in Arkansas — in...

Cullen Hunter knows firsthand how to help the furry paws at Calvert Animal Welfare League

What ingredients does it take to make a valuable volunteer for cats waiting for their forever home?     Cullen Hunter, 19, and his grandfather Robert Sigona — both of Dunkirk — know firsthand how to help out the hundreds of furry paws at Calvert Animal Welfare League.     Hunter started volunteering to earn his required 75 service hours at Huntingtown High School. He graduated last year but stayed on at CAWL, logging in hundreds of hours keeping cats...

    Of course there are some who like it hot. In winter, Scruffy sits on a heat vent to warm his bottom. But in summer, Scruffy and Dewey leave the air-conditioned house and head for the warm and cozy garage. Dewey’s spot is under the car or in front of the garage door, while Scruffy lounges on top of the car or in an old lawn chair. In the garage, the boys search for bugs, lizards and mice to play with and eat — and sometimes bring into the house.   ...

    Calvert County’s feral cat sanctuary is home to many cats who would otherwise have been destroyed, yet there is not a scruffy one among them. All have beautiful thick coats in the winter, and I wondered how each cat would manage the transition to summer.     Turns out, nature provides fallen tree limbs. Branches and still-pliable twigs serve as stationary cat-combs.     A cat’s coat is made up of three types of hair. The underfur,...

Travel Maryland with your pets

You work all week and want to relax on the weekends — get away perhaps? The only thing keeping you on the leash at home is you can’t bear to leave your furry friend behind.     Your problem is solved by Visit Maryland’s new directory of Fido-friendly destinations. The list includes places throughout Maryland where both you and your pet are welcome to visit, stay or play.     Anne Arundel County is a pet-friendly kind of place, with a dedicated...

Where to find the charity of interspecies connections

Not every human is an animal lover. Slip Mahoney, the subject of one of this week’s dog stories, drove quite a few people to the other side. But he also wiggled into quite a few hearts, even some outside his immediate family. One dog sitter called him Nurse Slip, crediting him with seeing her through an illness compounded by a broken heart.     For such people, dogs, cats, horses and a menagerie of odder and wilder animals open the careful human heart, helping us...