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However you play it, natural gas export is a high stakes game

Have fun even with a sizzling sun

An American in Annapolis

Our flowering gardens are butterfly way-stations

Blue crabs at quarter-century low

Lesson 1: From the ground up

An animated lesson on the benefits of good pet ownership

It’s been five years since Hiccup (Jay Baruchel: Robocop) convinced the people of Berk that dragons were not the enemy. The Vikings have laid down their arms and picked up saddles, domesticating dragons and racing them for fun. Even Hiccup’s dragon-hating dad Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler: Olympus has Fallen) has converted his dragon-killing armory into a custom dragon-saddle business.     Peace has brought Stoick and Hiccup closer, but father and son still don...

Father is supposed to know best. But does he? Are his enduring lessons taught by determination as he strives to pass along life-guiding values? Or by accident, as a man doing the best he can — and some not even that. By words? Or by example?         Hence our question in this year’s edition of our annual effort to understand that great life role: What lesson did your father teach you — intentionally or otherwise — that guides you to this...

I am my father’s daughter

My father didn’t come to all my games. I had none, and for the weekly ritual of horseback riding — first ring, then trail — my grandmother Florence, his mother, was my chauffeur and companion. If there had been victories, she and my mother would have been my cheering squad. They, too, were my comfortors and sometime confidants.     About how to relate to a daughter, Gene Martin, was clueless.     I was pretty clueless, too, when it came to...

Therapeutic horses make good riders

Riders had their day in the sun at Maryland Therapeutic Riding’s Spring Horse Show.     Green pastures and paddocks surround an indoor arena as good as you’d see on the hunter/jumper show circuit. Overflow spectators parked along the lane under shady trees. In arena and show ring, volunteers abounded, helping families settle and riders prepare to mount.     Wheelchair ramps led to mounting blocks where riders from teens to middle age met their horses...

See and feel what inspired Francis Scott Key

Every American knows the story of Francis Scott Key watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, then penning the Star Spangled Banner as dawn broke to reveal the Stars and Stripes still flying proudly over the fort. He watched the battle from a prime harbor seat: a British war ship on which he was detained.     You can be in the same spot Key was 200 years ago and gaze at the flag flying over the fort just as he did. Of course, it’s not the exact same flag,...

June 13’s full moon brings the living dinosaurs to a beach near you

The Atlantic Flyway bird migration route passes over Chesapeake Bay. In the months of May and June, the full moon brings bright light to the sandy shores of the Bay, enticing horseshoe crabs to come and lay their eggs. These eggs mean new generations in more ways than one. Some develop into new crabs; migrating shore birds drop into the café to devour many others.     At dawn during May’s full moon, horseshoe crabs made shallow lumps in the surf at Sandy Point Park...

In Their Own Words

During my soccer games, my dad yells my name a lot. That makes me play harder. He likes things very neat, and naturally I’m kind of messy. So I’ve learned that being clean is really the better way. If I don’t get good grades, I usually get grounded. It’s happened before. Not good.     I don’t like it in the moment when he’s correcting me. But looking back, it’s definitely helped me become a better man.     But after I...

Beckerman kicked his way from Crofton to Salt Lake to Brazil

The world’s sport takes the world’s stage next week when World Cup play begins in Brazil.     Played every four years, the World Cup is the most-watched and admired sporting event on the planet. This year, Anne Arundel County has a favorite son in the play. Crofton-raised Kyle Beckerman, a 31-year-old defensive midfielder for the United States Men’s National Team and captain of Real Salt Lake, prepares to lace up his cleats and play for all the world to see....

River sneakers step into history

After 27 years, Bernie Fowler got a new suit of clothes for his 2014 Patuxent River Wade In.     “It’s a historical day. For 27 years now, I’ve waded in tattered tennis shoes,” the 90-year-old Patuxent River champion and retired Maryland senator told his crowd of followers assembled under a striped marquee on a perfect June Sunday.     Then he handed the tattered sneakers to Sherrod Sturrock, deputy director of Calvert Marine Museum. Straw...

Pluck off wilted flowers

For more abundant flowers on your rhododendrons and mountain laurels next year, deadhead this year’s flowers as soon as they wilt. By preventing the flowers from setting seeds, you’ll stimulate the branches to flush new growth from waiting latent buds. This is especially true if the bushes are growing in full sun.       Producing seeds requires considerable energy. Removing wilted florets allows more energy produced by photosynthesis to stimulate the vegetative...