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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

Local volunteers keep Bay cleanup moving in spite of missed deadline

2010 was supposed to be the year we cleaned up the Bay.  Its nutrient- and sediment-reduction and dissolved-oxygen and underwater grass-improvement goals: all deadlines we missed. But as 2010 ends, many people are still working for a cleaner Chesapeake. Here’s a year-end review of what two local grant-winning projects are doing to change the way we do things on dry land — because everything we put on land ends up in the Bay.  The Spa Creek Conservancy and the Scenic Rivers...

The Annapolis Chorale takes Messiah to the masses

In the middle of the shopping rush on the last Saturday before Christmas, one Nordstrom customer stopped browsing and started singing. Another 100 voices joined in, singing a seemingly impromptu but suspiciously professional “Hallalujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah. The reason for the effortless harmony: The Annapolis Chorale was adding an enticing fourth performance to the usual three nights of singing the Messiah. That’s right, Nordstrom Annapolis was Flash Mobbed....

Oh the things you can see!

In the cathedral of the forests, the mysteries and magic of Mother Nature come alive.  Through the soaring pillars of trees, rising in arching canopies, streams of sunlight reflect on the forest floor. In cathedrals of nature and of faith, we are awed in the presence of harmony. Like the great cathedral builders, 19th century French landscape painter Camille Corot was inspired by the woods. Fascinated by the play of sunlight on color, he recorded the crisscross of shadow and light across...

Why some oaks hold their leaves

Some oak trees retain their brown leaves all winter long, while others drop their leaves like all other trees. The reason is juvenility. It takes 25 to 30 years for an oak seedling to mature. Until it starts to produce acorns, the tree is in a juvenile state of growth and retains brown leaves all winter. As the oak approaches maturity, the ends of the branches near the top of the tree drop their leaves in the fall. The following year, the tree will drop more of its top leaves in autumn while...

Plus official counts you can join

It is hard to remember a transformation such as we just had, when the season seemed to change suddenly, with the decisiveness of a no-nonsense business executive. November was pleasant and mild, warm but not unseasonable, with enough rain and cold to bring out the sweaters and not fool us into thinking we had all been transplanted to Georgia. Then December came along and it was winter. The calendar might haves said not quite yet, but the thermometer said Now! I like early winter because the...

Natalie Portman pirouettes to the dark side in this ballet thriller

When watching ballet dancers leap and spin across a stage, it’s hard to remember that these dedicated athletes punish their bodies to create such grace. Director Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler) is happy to remind you. His psychological dance thriller (which may be the best new genre in years) — Black Swan is awash with close-ups of battered toes, bony arms and raw bloody flesh — and that’s just the normal ballerinas.  The real gore starts when timid, emotionally...

The Great Winter Circle beckons you to come outdoors

With solstice behind us, we’re in the full throes of winter. Long nights with little or no humidity make for great star-watching, even as the cold saps the desire to stay outside. As if to further lure us into the conundrum, winter skies are alight with some of the brightest stars in the heavens, contained within the Great Winter Circle and all neatly gathered in a ring surrounding the familiar figure of Orion. By 9pm, this grouping is above the southeast horizon, stretching nearly one-...

Over winter, the most innocuous fouling turns into hardened deposits

This year Old Man Winter arrived with an especially frigid blast. Closing the rockfish season almost two weeks early for most of us, the 20-degree nighttime temperatures have since turned our tributaries to ice, denying even pickerel anglers their bitter weather pleasures.   Fish Are Biting But not around here. Rockfish season is officially closed on the Chesapeake. However, if you still have a hankering to tangle with old linesides, the season remains open year-round oceanside. Ocean...
Dear Bay Weekly: Every week I read Bay Weekly, and I say yes to puzzle answers being in same issue as the puzzles. –Sara Hourihan-Taylor, Edgewater Editor’s note: Hourihan-Taylor is weighing in on Severna Park reader Pauline Koch’s request in last week’s paper. General manager Alex Knoll — who says he has no stake in keeping puzzle-solvers honest or in delaying gratification — promises to make that change with the new year.
Dear Bay Weekly: I want to thank you for the terrific piece in the December 16 issue regarding Orphan Grain Train. It contained a great deal of information with human interest. It really captured what we are all about! I really appreciate writer Lane Page focusing on the dedication of so many of our volunteers. –Ron Phipps, Maryland vice-president: Orphan Grain Train