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Unsung hero of the ­Annapolis July 4 Fireworks

A lot has changed since I last saw the Stones on July 4, 1972

Osprey and falcon chicks thriving, with a little help

Beyond pomp, parade and fireworks to shared heritage

July’s two full moons are prime viewing times

No need for fireworks here

Wondering how we’ll fare as leadership changes at DNR

A pre-visit look at Bay Weekly’s Facebook post of a toothy snakehead had my visiting family afraid to go in the water.     No need to worry, I assured them. We’re reporting snakeheads in ponds, creeks, streams and rivers, not in the Chesapeake proper. On the other hand, visitors at the next-door Smiths waded with a pod of cownose rays. Then ensued a conversation about whether the first recorded encounter with a stingray was the fault of the stinger or of the stung,...

The sun follows its own clock

As darkness falls, first Venus then Jupiter pop into view in the wake of the setting sun. Venus blazes at magnitude –4.4, exponentially brighter than Jupiter at magnitude –2, which still outshines any star. The two planets are inching closer on their way to an end-of-month rendezvous. This week the gap between the two shrinks to 10 degrees — close enough to obscure both with your fist held at arm’s length.     Keep an eye on Venus this weekend. It is near...

Spy

Behind a great man, a woman more qualified

CIA top agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law: Black Sea) is handsome, smooth and comes out on top in a fight. Fine’s secret isn’t training or a vodka martini, shaken not stirred. Behind Fine’s success is CIA analyst Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy: Mike and Molly).     Cooper who gathers intel, memorizes building plans to lead Fine in and out, warns him when bad guys approach. Though qualified as a field agent, Cooper is content to be the voice in Fine’s ear,...

The past comes to life at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

On the banks of the Rhode River in Edgewater lies a hidden landscape of forests and wetlands called the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Enter, and you’ll discover miles of wooded trails and wildlife. Look more closely, and you will also discover traces of the past.     This is not a museum where objects remain behind glass with black placards. Here, the past lies in the ruins of old plantations and pre-Columbian shell middens. It lives in the trees. Centuries of...

The mystery of a great white’s whereabouts

Is the Bay becoming a haven for great whites?     Great white sharks are huge flesh-eating machines that swim at speeds up to 35mph and travel the oceans of the world to satisfy their appetites.     On May 29, a great white known as Mary Lee was reportedly detected in central Chesapeake Bay between North Beach and Tilghman Island. The predator would normally prefer the salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean. So what would make Mary Lee swim more than 100 miles up...

Since a teenage batboy for the Washington Senators, Bill Cox has rooted for the home team

Ask Rose Haven resident Bill Cox about baseball, and he’ll tell you as many stories as you want to hear.     You’d expect as much from this 74-year-old, as he drives a blazing red golf cart refurbished as a Washington Nationals tribute with red and white seats, chrome wheels and a Nats logo. Cox and his shiny cart make appearances in all the Rose Haven holiday parades. He lets Santa borrow it for the Christmas parade.     Wearing his Washington...

On water and land, our wakes stretch ­farther than we can see

In Edgewater, at Camp Letts, on a tiny peninsula that juts into the Rhode River, erosion could down a might oak. The tree has done yeoman’s work by keeping the soil in place. But even now, as a living shoreline restoration project undertaken by the West/Rhode Riverkeeper seeks to halt the degradation, the soil is sinking between the roots and falling into the river.     Erosion of this kind repeats throughout Chesapeake Country, where there are 11,684 miles of shoreline...

The music is timeless as life ­imitates art

Is it life imitates art? Or art imitates life? Either way, when Kiss Me, Kate hit Broadway back in 1948, winning a Tony Award, it marked the first time that Cole Porter’s music and lyrics integrated into a stage story, moving beyond showcasing Porter’s clever musical banter to pushing the story along. The story, told in show-within-a-show technique, is the on-and-offstage comedy of errors of the producer, director and star of musical version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the...

More cool tips for hot summer fun

Summer brings local favorites and nationally known artists to Chesapeake Country for open-air concerts.     Hear music al fresco almost every night of summer at Chesapeake Beach Resort, with concerts ranging from $5 for local bands to $39 for Martha and the Vandellas June 10. The acts play under the half-shell bandstand. Food and drink sold separately.     Sundays June 7 to 28, hear big bands, classical, country, jazz, rock and more at Downs Park, Pasadena. Bring...

Whodunnit? Ask the audience

When Charles Dickens died 145 years ago this month, he left behind an unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Release was scheduled in a dozen installments between 1870 and 1871, but he finished only six. Afterward, it became a bit of a cottage industry to take on the novel’s completion, including deciding which of Dickens’ characters was responsible for the murder of the title character.  Would-be Dickens met with varying levels of success. One that turned out quite well...