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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

Our match was made, not born

“Count these records,” said Charlie after introductions.     The year was 1969. The records were five-inch vinyl-printed cardboard squares recorded by our candidate in the Northern Virginia district where I lived with my parents. The square records would be dropped off at every house to deliver his campaign message.     Hundreds were loose in each big three-foot-square box. I started counting. I was fairly nimble at age 26, but the older lady next to...

Good news: You can upgrade your love template

People seem friendlier. Colors are brighter. Food tastes better. The world is transformed with shimmering newness.     What causes the rush of good feeling we call romantic love?     Scientists have learned that lovers are literally high on drugs. Natural hormones and chemicals flood their bodies with a sense of well-being, as the brain releases neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin as well as endorphins and enkephalins. These produce a rosy...

Consider your space as you plan your vegetable garden

For the best harvest, plan before you plant. Crowded plants that have to compete for light do not produce a good crop and often have disease and insect problems. Here’s how I plant my garden to give each plant the best chance.     Sweet corn should be planted in blocks, not single rows. Four to five short rows of sweet corn sown six to eight inches apart in two-foot-wide rows will produce higher quality ears due to better pollination.     Such crops as...

Blue herons return for Valentine’s Day

The great blue heron’s return to Chesapeake Country and consequent mating occurs mid-February, bestowing these majestic birds the nickname, lovebirds.     “Their local nickname, along with love birds, is Johnny Crane,” said Mike Callahan, president of Southern Maryland Audubon Society.     Herons, however, are not cranes. Cranes fly with necks extended straight, for example, while the herons’ extended necks follow an S-curve. Heron stalk...

Good intentions bring unintended consequences

Balloons were fresh on my mind when the Heart Healthy Foundation sent the press release announcing a balloon release to kick off Heart Health Month.     The Annapolis-based foundation was releasing 200 heart-shaped balloons spaced at 33 second intervals. That’s how often an American dies from heart-related diseases.     A few weeks earlier, I’d written about balloons in a very different context: as killers of sea turtles. (Read the story at http://...

I wasn’t just fishing last season; I was learning from experience

Cold and rain have had me housebound and dreaming of last fishing season. Along with great memories, I learned a couple of new lessons.     My fishing partners and I experimented with different types of fishing lines during an extended chumming and live-lining rockfish bite in the mid-Bay. We fished often, up to four times per week, trying braid, monofilament and fluorocarbon lines.     Long ago I discovered that fluorocarbon leaders produced a better bite. Last...

In Sister Mary Ignatius and in The Actor’s Nightmare are plights you’ll remember from your past and in your dreams

Winter has a way of boxing us into our insular realities. Bay Theatre unfolds them with mind-bending comedy in a double bill of one-acts: the Obie Award-winning satire Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You! and The Actor’s Nightmare. Both are by Christopher Durang, sometimes referred to as Christopher Deranged.     The stage is set with an ancient stone edifice featuring skewed doorways behind a marble balustrade or altar. A church courtyard, perhaps, where we will...

Asteroid 2012 DA14 whizzes by

If you feel a slight breeze around 1:30pm Friday, February 15, it could be the passing of Asteroid 2012 DA14. This 150-foot wide hunk of space rock is small as far as asteroids are concerned, but its closeness to Earth is unusual. Coming within 17,200 miles of Earth, this will be the closest recorded interstellar object to our planet and well within the moon’s orbit around Earth. While there is no chance of this asteroid striking the planet, it could crash into communications satellites...

13 Films to Inspire 2013

Punxsutawney Phil has prognosticated an early spring, but it doesn’t feel like spring in Chesapeake Country. Like many a cold-hating human, Bay Weekly’s movie-loving groundhog Chesapeake Chuck remains hiding in his burrow.     To get our rueful rodent — not to mention the rest of us — in a better mood, Bay Weekly movie-lovers suggest waiting out winter with inspirational movies. Some inspire us to believe in a better world, others to join a movement and...

Love finds its match with Critter Cupids

This Valentine’s Day, woo your love with chocolate, flowers and a critter cupid. That’s the advice of the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., whose animals are lending their images to a loveable fundraising campaign.     Playing cupid this year are cuddling pandas, kissing seals, a Sumatran tiger, a red panda and a whole family of otters. Choose your Critter Cupid for $10 at www.subscribe.smithsonianmag.com/zoo.     On February 14, your...