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Your guide to Chesaeake Country's freshest produce and more!

Today’s oysterman is likely to be a woman — and a farmer rather than a hunter-gatherer

Local artist Greg Harlin puts his stamp on the Battle of Baltimore

Species at risk in Maryland are a roll call of birds we know and love

No walk in the park in Chesapeake Country

Mountain laurel, blueberries and other acid-lovers, too

You never know what’s going to happen on the Chesapeake

A trio of killers leaves a bloody path and a pretty entertaining movie in their wake

Let’s get this out of the way now: Killer Elite is not high art. Though veiled under the pretense of a globe-trotting spy thriller, the movie is basically an excuse to watch attractive men beat the heck out of each other.     And that’s fine. In fact, it’s pretty fun.     The movie follows mercenary Danny (Jason Statham: Gnomeo & Juliet) as he leaves the gun-for-hire business and tries to start over after nearly killing a child on his last...

In two new local novels, truth wears the thin disguise of fiction

Captivity, corruption, escapes, flights in truth and fantasy, murder, messages from the dead, revenge, suicide …     The stuff of thriller fiction. But in the lives of authors Donald Shomette, Helena Mann-Melnitchenko and Eugene Melnitchenko, such events were terribly real.     Wars, internments and such tragedies can be buried in memory, but they’re not forgotten. Writing puts a frame around memories, rendering them more manageable. These authors...

After Irene and Lee’s one-two punch, hands big and small help Chesapeake Country rise

It’s taking hands big and small to help Chesapeake Country rise from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee’s one-two punch. Lending those helping hands have been neighbors, combined efforts of individuals, local and state agencies, the American Red Cross and big corporate citizens like Dominion Cove Point.     “Virtually every local organization has helped in some manner or the other,” said Susan Shaw, president of the Board of Commissioners in Calvert...

Death interrupts but does not end the osprey cycle

As the osprey head south this year, we say goodbye forever to one special bird: Olive Osprey.     Like many of her species, she was shot. Not over Cuba or the Dominican Republic, where fish farmers consider osprey birds of prey. Olive was shot as she sat on her eggs in her nest in Southern Anne Arundel County, where she had been welcomed and had gained celebrity.     Her killers were neighborhood boys.     Olive was the heroine of my book, Oscar...

National certification hinges on finding 150 homeowners with backyard wildlife habitats

Annapolis is a city with a green ethic. We’ve been cultivating greenspaces for half a century with street-end parks, our Greenscape city beautification program, our commitment to cover half the city with a tree canopy and our cooperative program with Baltimore Gas and Electric to plant the right tree in the right place.     Beyond those greenspaces to nourish wildlife, we’ve installed osprey nesting sites and made purple martin and bat houses fixtures in city parks....

Use the down-time to clean your gear

Today I put on long pants for the first time since last June. Normally this is not entirely a bad thing because chilly fall weather means that bigger rockfish will be in the shallow water I love to fish. But not right now. Around our neck of the woods the fishing is pretty much on hold, and it may take some time before it returns to normal.     The upper- to mid-Chesapeake has been a disaster zone for angling. Satellite maps of the Bay (http://mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/...

Don’t bother trying to put them back together

Irene left us many trees with split trunks. Splitting occurs mostly on shade trees with narrow crotches. Narrow crotches are weak and break easily when strong winds whip the branches back and forth.     I have seen many people, including arborists, bolt these trees back together. It may seem that the operation was a success. But within eight to 10 years, the patient will have developed a good case of heart rot, and the tree will become a hazard. Fertilize Hollies in the Fall...

Enjoy the balance while we can

The waning crescent moon rises around 3am Friday, its upper tip pointing to the red planet Mars, only five degrees away. Both shine within the faint stars of Cancer, home to the Beehive star cluster, which appears as a smudge of light a half-dozen degrees behind moon and planet. By 5am, the moon and Mars are well placed about 30 degrees high in the east.     And then, five minutes past 5:00, our whole world changes.     At 5:05am est, the sun hovers directly...

Farewell to one neighbor; bon voyage to another

For most of my earlier years, the neighborhoods where I lived were grids, and connections followed straight lines, side to side and front to back. Sometimes I was lucky and the next- or nearly next-door neighbors were people of shared interests beyond the chance of proximity. That’s how husband Bill and I developed dear friendships with the Kirkpatricks, next door but one, and the Ladleys, next door but two, in Holland Point, where we spent our first years in Chesapeake Country.  ...

A Hollywood stuntman moonlights as a wheelman but winds up in the mob’s crosshairs after a heist goes bad

Los Angeles stunt driver, Driver (Ryan Gosling: Crazy, Stupid, Love.), isn’t above moonlighting to make a little extra cash. He offers his services as a wheelman to robbers in the greater L.A. area.     He lives a monk-like existence, moving from one Spartan apartment to another and speaking with no one but his manager/boss/agent Shannon (Bryan Cranston: Contagion). Driver is content with that existence until he meets shy waitress Irene (Carey Mulligan: Never Let Me Go)...