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In its 4th year, the Annapolis Irish Festival draws an ever-larger crowd seeking Celtic music and heritage

Two past winners illustrate the magic of make-believe

Creativity comes out to play in Twin Beach Players’ Kids
Playwriting Festival

Talent Machine’s young actors are rehearsing for life

Summer’s darlings, winter’s pests

Fish recipes from the Chesapeake

For a sweet birthday, plan a favorites tour

My beloved, Nick, and I were three months into our relationship when his birthday arrived in August 2008. By then I knew what interested him — history, travel, sculpting — well enough to plan a day trip that combined it all. I did not tell him where we would go, just to wear sturdy shoes and bring a cap and sunscreen.     On a sunny Sunday, we headed south on Route 2, eventually ending up at Colton’s Point in St. Mary’s County.     Our...

Summer happens at the ballpark

Some little girls have tiaras; I had a baseball cap. My parents raised me to believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of Baltimore baseball. I knew the players, their averages and that the Yankees were evil before I could tie my shoes. I also knew that shouting “O!” was perfectly appropriate during the National Anthem.     So the summer doesn’t truly begin until I have a hotdog in my hand and home plate in my sights. Birdland can be intimidating to the...

On and in the waters of the Patuxent

Old barns dripping with honeysuckle and trumpet vines, owlets in cobwebbed rafters, fishermen’s shacks on piers glistening with old fish scales, swallows’ nests glued beneath the splintery planks, pilings where ospreys build their messy nests like ornithological games of pick-up-sticks, duck blinds where wild ducks nest …     Abandoned chicken coops where ungainly vulture chicks are curious enough to be friendly while absent parents overfly the landscape...

Sweeten your travels with smart fun

Did you know that the blue crab’s Latin name is Callinectes Sapidus, meaning beautiful savory swimmer? Maryland Bay Game, released by Department of Natural Resources to add smart fun to your home-state travels, is full of fun facts like this plus nature-related games.     This year’s theme, Explore and Restore, is about “discovering, connecting and acting to protect and make better our natural world,” says DNR Secretary Joe Gill. It’s created in the...

Encounters with wild neighbors

The creatures of Chesapeake Country are out in force. Since the last full moon on June 13, critters of every make and model have been hopping, waddling, crawling, slithering, walking, meandering and flying out of cover and into view.     Since that moon, treetops flash with male fireflies signaling their mates. Closer to ground, females flash in their own code. Strange flying things come nearer still.     Luna moths hang around my porch light in pairs, glowing in...

Flying the flag in Davidsonville

Love for your country is something we all agree on.     At these World Cup parties, when all of your friends and family look at the flag and hold their hands on their hearts, it’s a truly beautiful sight. Obviously it’s a fun and goofy time in dressing decked out in red, white and blue for parties, but there’s something more serious underneath that rings true for all Americans, reminding us that we live in such a beautiful country.     With the...

Five women seek balance between domesticity and independence, birth control and motherhood, drugs and responsibility in 1960’s London

I was expecting SHOUT! The Mod Musical to be smashing, and it is. With hits by the likes of Petula Clark, Lulu, Shirley Bassey, Mary Hopkin, The Seekers and The Association plus a phenomenal cast of singer/dancers plus a superstar director (Jerry Vess) from seven previous Summer Garden productions, how could it be anything but?     What I didn’t expect was relevance.     SHOUT!, which debuted in 2006, revisits the Swinging Sixties in London through the eyes...

Where will summer take you?

School’s out for kids everywhere, including the kid in your heart who still thrills with possibility long after the 12-month work calendar has replaced the nine-month school calendar. What adventures lie ahead for you, your family — and your hosts of summer visitors eager to see the sights?     By land and water, Chesapeake Country is full of wonders. Whichever way you turn you’ll find plenty to see and do, from ocean to Bay to mountains and lakes, from cities...

Extinction is the right ending

After the altruistic Autobots defeated the evil Decepticons in the Battle of Chicago, the American government had enough of alien warfare. The military ended its alliance with the Autobots, and both Autobots and Decepticons were declared illegal immigrants.     So you can bet that the junked semi-truck found by broke robotics inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg: Lone Survivor) is more than it seems. In repair, he discovers that the wrecker is actually Optimus Prime, leader of...

July 3 and 4

Thursday July 3 Chesapeake Beach Independence Night Clay Hunt and Pure Delight play under the Bandshell (7-9:45pm). As night falls, a kaleidoscope of fireworks ignites Bay waters. Reserve a table at the Rod ’N’ Reel or pick spots along the Chesapeake Beach boardwalk for a free view. But arrive early; the best spots are usually claimed from 5-6pm. Watching by boat gives you a fine view. Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa: 410-257-2230; www.chesapeake-beach.md.us. Herring Bay...