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

Still time to escape in a good book

Here’s to one more summer of reading

Sweet fish swim in sweetwater

The everyday banalities of saving the world

Lesson 3: Jumpstart your garden with compost tea

Stories of black history come alive in Maryland State Archives

The story of 14-year-old William Ross of Annapolis reads like an adventure straight out of a Robert Louis Stevenson novel. Late one winter night, William flees a life of hardship to hop a passing ship and begin a new life in the West Indies.     Great stuff, until you read closer: William is a slave fleeing not for adventure but for his life.     A “stout healthy lad,” according to his owner, Ross, was one of a cadre of slaves who fled their...

Writers paddle like hell

Be a swan. Glide serenely over the water. Paddle like hell underneath. Other swans will know the truth.     I first read those words in a poem by Ann Hale many years ago, and the image still makes me smile. As it did this morning when a pair of swans came in Cordorde-like to land a little less gracefully, big feet forward, to paddle away on little Fairhaven Lake.     It’s an image as apt as it is pretty, and I’ve had more than one occasion to follow...

We’d get two sticks under Maryland’s Clean the Streams and Beautify the Bay Act

This is how you’d look if all you had to wear were the plastic bags you toted home all year long.     You’d look like a plastic imitation of New Orleans’ legendary Mardi Gras Indian tribes. But you’d be warm.     That’s the overheated conclusion of Bag Monster Rick Rogner of Silver Spring. Rogner donned the borrowed costume to help Del. Al Carr, of Kensington, convince Maryland to learn to follow the District of Columbia’s...

Great power poles — not bills — will shrink

After a year of public flogging, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative has agreed to replace behemoth power poles with smaller, less intrusive poles along Calvert County’s winding Bowie Shop Road and Route 2/4 in Huntingtown.     Smaller is relative.     The poles will still be as tall — 75 feet — but a thicker steel plate will allow for the poles to taper toward the top. That, says SMECO spokesman Tom Dennison, is because “The most...
Teresa Chambers of Dunkirk is back at work as chief of the U.S. Park Police. Her swearing in January 31 by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar not only returns her to the job she loves but also clears her name and vindicates her claim of wrongful dismissal. Chambers lost her job seven years ago after telling the Washington Post that funding cuts to her department could endanger public safety and national monuments.

Reward up to $22,500

Illegal gill nets continue to be hooked by Maryland Natural Resources Police, with two more on February 11 bringing the month total to eight thousand yards of illegal net and 25,000 pounds of illegally caught rockfish. The latest two 900-yard strings of illegal gill nets were anchored in Eastern Bay. Both were in the vicinity of Bloody Point Light, one about a mile south and other about two and a half miles northeast.     The poaching was bold and defiant, with the nets anchored...

One reader’s quest to gander a gaggle sent us to the experts

On a recent trip down to my pier, I found a gaggle of interlopers monopolizing the planks and moorings. Geese. Loud, messy and surprisingly aggressive long-necked Canadas were using my pier like a roadside rest area.     I was happy they’d be on their way north in a few weeks.     Reader Bill Seabrook doesn’t share my uncharitable attitude toward these migrating fowl. He wrote in to find out why his recent birding walks in Anne Arundel and Calvert...

Oyster babies abound

Chesapeake Bay oysters were amorous last summer, and the seed they sent forth willy-nilly into the water has set into abundant spat.     Natural Resources researches examining the intimate lives of 53 key oyster bars last fall found spat — or oyster babies — about five times higher than the 25-year median. Instead of 16, spat count per bushel was nearly 80, the overall highest since 1997.     Oyster babies were most plentiful in saltier waters of the...

You’ll have to decide who or what is Beyond Therapy in this Bay Theatre Company performance

Beyond Therapy — which opened for a Valentine’s Day revival at The Bay Theatre Company — is  about love, sex and self-awareness in modern society. Specifically in New York in 1981, where everyone is messed up.     This absurd, R-rated farce features many hilarious moments at the expense of the mental health industry and the gay community. But its premise is too forced and tedious for this mainstream mom. Call me square, but I just don’t get it. By...

True or false: Oak is the best wood to burn.

As more and more people are using firewood for heating their homes, I am often asked about differences between hardwoods. Yes, there are differences. There are soft hardwoods and there are hard hardwoods.     In general terms, conifers such as pine, spruce, fir, arborvitae and red cedar are softwoods. They all contain different levels of resins, most often referred to as pitch, which when burnt will create a smoke that can coat the inside walls of the chimney and can cause...