view counter

Rockfish, oysters and menhaden face a bleak future

Action is needed to rescue our iconic species

Performers make the magic happen

His friend made it a book

Electric cars take over City Dock

If it’s got a blue tail, it’s a skink

The shiny-skinned skink is not a salamander. It is a reptile. Skinks have scaled skins and live in dry areas where salamanders, which are amphibians, cannot.     The American five-lined skink is the most common lizard in Maryland. They are also known as the blue-tailed skink because the younger lizards have bright blue tails, and also the red-headed skink because the adult males have red heads.     These aggressive animals are able to spread over a wide range....

Calvert Library ends fines

Closing a chapter in book-lending history, the Calvert Library has voted to permanently adopt the fine-free policy introduced in March.     “We wanted to be sure that the practice had more positive outcomes than negative,” said library board president Carolyn McHugh. “We now feel confident that being fine-free has not significantly impacted material availability, and we are delighted to be able to remove barriers to information access for our community....

September 1 the ban begins

To-go diners, cafeteria eaters and grocery shoppers in Annapolis now carry home no Styrofoam packaging with their purchases.     The city’s ban went into effect September 1. Anne Arundel County follows on January 1, after Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Our whole state bans Styrofoam food and drink containers next July 1.     The ban includes restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, vending trucks, food carts and institutional cafeterias...

They’re big, fat and catchable

The four of us were remarkably restrained as the first bunch of steaming, fiery-red crustaceans was deposited in the middle of the well-protected tabletop that evening. There were several monsters in the pile, and pains were taken to ensure everyone got two or three to start.     It was a group effort, after all, with my son Harrison and I capturing a bit over a half bushel of Chesapeake Bay blue crabs that very morning. Harrison’s long-time girlfriend Jerrica and my wife...

Eat these fall favorites for good taste and good health

Pumpkins come in many varieties. There are Jack-o-lanterns bred for stronger handles for Halloween. There are giant pumpkins; the current world record is an Atlantic Giant of over 2,000 pounds. There are pie pumpkins, heirloom edibles and specialty pumpkins in many different shapes and colors, all to match the autumn landscape.     This year I grew the heirloom pumpkin Musque de Provence. It is a deeply ribbed pumpkin with moderately sweet flesh. In France, cut wedges are sold...

Saccharine story; great leads

As an adult with Down syndrome and no family, Zak (Zack Gottsagen, making his feature debut) is a man without a place. He’s too old for children’s homes and too vulnerable for rehab centers. He winds up in a state-run nursing home.     He is popular with both staff and residents, but at 22 he doesn’t want to waste his life in a nursing home. He dreams of becoming a professional wrestler, like his hero The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). Where he wants...

Singing with Tom Wisner to ­Commemorate Maryland’s Old Line

      Had it not been for 400 men from Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, we might all be drinking our spot of tea every afternoon at 3pm with crumpets.      In August 1776, those Marylanders fought in the first and largest battle of the American Revolution on Brooklyn Heights in New York.      The Maryland line was called to defend General George Washington’s flank after his army was surrounded and forced to retreat. Of the 400 men, only...
Snapshots of the jobs we do
     Nothing ever gets done without work. The older I get, the more — though grudgingly — I acknowledge the accuracy of the sentence to toil imposed on us in Genesis. God the Father gave his laboring creations the Sabbath off.       America was not so generous. Even one day off was hard won.      Back in the 1880s, 12-hour working days were common for laborers of all ages, even children, and wages were tiny. Working people risked their...

Rehabilitator Patricia Terrant has them under her wing

      Every spring and summer, baby animals are orphaned alongside highways and in backyards. Find one and you’ve got a quandary: What do I do now?       A person who can answer that question is Patricia Terrant of Blue Angel Rescue in Lusby. Terrant, 65, a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator, has been saving animals, mostly birds, since 2015.        After retiring from the Calvert County Detention Center in 2012, she found an abandoned baby...
How Barby Harms became a picker
    Picking is the age-old trade of finding valuable items in other people’s junk. With the debut of American Pickers on The History Channel in 2010, the profession experienced a resurgence. That year, the show was the Number 1 non-fiction series among television viewers.      The popular show follows two men as they scour the country — and other countries from time to time — visiting garages, basements, barns and all sort of spots where treasures may...