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Where and when to go to catch summer's favorite holiday

The fun’s better when you stay safe

Star-spangled nun commemorates our national anthem

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate reason and high ideals

Chesapeake Bay gets a summer show

Kids here, lambs, calves and piglets on the way

The stork has been busy at Kinder Farm Park in Millersville. Since the beginning of February, there have been multiple births from the celebrity Eco-Goat squad — with more on the way. All are half fainting and half Boer goats.     Penny, a black and white goat, gave birth to a girl, now named Mable. Mable is an energetic kid who loves to hop around.     Twin kids Nanny and Boh, a boy and a girl, were born to Tequila, a brown, white and black goat. The twins...

It’s time to start onions and peppers

Onion and pepper seeds are slow to germinate and slow in their early stage of seedling growth. So if you’re growing them from seed, you want an early start. Now’s the time.     Sow the seeds in a sterile potting mix rather than garden soil to avoid sprouting weeds and contaminating your seedlings with soil-borne diseases. Fill the pots a half-inch from the top. Tap the pot on a bench several times to eliminate air pockets. Firm the potting mix by pressing three...

Be ready for fish with the year’s most appealing lures

High winds, dark days and 20-degree temperatures have limited anglers’ choices this ugly February. Enforced home time is just what you need to prepare for next season.     Among good news last season was the appearance of vast schools of schoolie rockfish. Many proved under the 20-inch minimum size, meaning many will have grown fat and legal by the time fishing blossoms again.     Be ready for these coming-of-age fish with the most appealing lures. You won...

Look for them together from dusk Tuesday to dawn Wednesday

Sunset Thursday and Friday finds the waxing moon high overhead in the company of Gemini’s Castor and Pollux above, Canis Minor’s Procyon below and Orion’s Betelgeuse off to the west. Come Saturday the moon is in the constellation Cancer, too faint to compete against lunar glare.     Come Sunday, the moon has a new companion, the bright star Regulus trailing a dozen degrees behind. The brightest star in Leo, Regulus is also part of the asterism called the Sickle...

A flawed but funny romantic comedy

Four New York women explore the complexities of love.     Alice (Dakota Johnson: 50 Shades of Grey) moves to the city to find herself. But single life in the big city is rough, and she can’t get her boyfriend back. Alone and hoping for a grand romance, she restarts her search for Mr. Right.     Alice’s sister Met (Leslie Mann: Vacation) is at the other extreme. This independent Ob/Gyn looks for happiness in work rather than love. When she decides to...

A 4,000-mile cycling trek for cancer awareness led this young couple to the altar

Couples can make less-than-ideal traveling companions. It’s a rare relationship that blossoms under the strain of a long-distance trip. Now imagine making that trip on bicycles, riding from Maryland to San Diego. A recipe for disaster? Hardly. It was a recipe for love.     Our couple, James Baden and Mackenzie Williams, met, fell in love and courted over the 4,000 miles of a bicycle trek that stretched over 70 days. The recently married pair agreed to share their story...

2nd Star Productions updates this classic with color-blind casting

Legendary acting gave The Philadelphia Story its fame. Philip Barry’s so-so comedic drama about high society marriage and divorce in the 1930s is synonymous with Katherine Hepburn, who debuted the show on Broadway and starred on screen opposite Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. That’s a hard legacy to live up to.      Renowned for outstanding musicals, 2nd Star Productions tries to update this classic with color-blind casting. But this time the troupe aims higher...

Compass Rose shows why ­Tennessee Williams deserves his reputation

Reportedly Tennessee Williams’s favorite of his plays — which is saying something — and what many consider his best — which is also saying something when you consider his prolific output — Cat on a Hot Tin Roof premiered on Broadway in 1955 and won that year’s Pulitzer Prize for drama.     Williams’s proclivity for tearing the facades off the American dream, particularly those of southern Americans whose culture used to seem so different...

Annapolis Shakespeare Company delivers a deep play for thoughtful viewers

Director Donald Hicken, a Helen Hayes winner and Tony nominee, has adapted Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters to convey with elegant simplicity and exquisite bleakness the provinciality of a place so depressing it is identified only as “not Moscow.” This show is the company’s strongest production to date. But it is not for playgoers with seasonal depression.     I’m tempted to summarize this 1901 classic with a contemporary bumper sticker Chekhov might...

Aquarium names baby loggerhead

No, it’s not Yertle. By popular acclaim, the National Aquarium’s baby loggerhead turtle has been named Sheldon.     Turtle fans offered more than 20,000 entries during the Aquarium’s competition to name the newcomer. Sheldon joined the Maryland Mountains to the Sea exhibit in December thanks to a partnership with the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores’ Loggerhead Head Start program, which rescues and rehabilitates imperiled hatchlings.  ...