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August 2010

Week 21: We Have Lift-Off!

Today, July 29, at approximately 11:09am, Junior took to the air. He was out there on the nest platform with his mother, doing his calisthenics. When I looked again, the platform was empty. I got my binoculars and went out on my pier, knowing he would be nearby. Sure enough, there he was, two piers east of mine, sitting in the middle of the end section of the pier, his mother swooping in and out over him … and landing and talking to him … and taking off, trying to get him airborne again.

The big picture is warming up

Where are all the talk show hosts, conservative pundits, and global warming naysayers who were crowing incessantly this past winter when it was snowing like no tomorrow? Back in February, as we shoveled out from underneath one snowstorm after another, we heard all about how climate change was a left-wing lie. Ron Smith, the WBAL talk show host, poked fun at the ongoing weather crisis every day for months — ignoring the fact that when all was said and done, the winter of 2010 was one of the warmest on record.

This rockfish took me for a Chesapeake train ride

It had been way too many days since I had caught a rockfish, and I was ready. But late that afternoon, the light was beginning to fail, and my surface plug had gone untouched cast after cast.

Tiny particles add up to bright lights

The sun sets a few minutes after 8:00 this week, revealing a triumvirate of bright planets in its wake. Venus, Mars and Saturn continue their weeks-long dance above the western horizon. Over the next week, watch as Mars and Saturn jockey for position just above brilliant Venus. The three planets are their tightest on Saturday, all within five degrees of one another.

Zac Efron squints into golden sunlight amid the trappings of a tragic heartthrob in this canned spiritual weeper.

Charlie (Efron: High School Musical) was the golden boy of his small coastal sailing town until his little brother Sam (Charlie Tahan: Nights in Rodanthe) died in an accident. Now Charlie, once a champion sailor, is moored at the local cemetery as groundskeeper. He lives only for sunsets, when he can meet up with his little brother’s spirit in a nearby glade and play catch.
Dear Bay Gardener: We’ve always had success with great big zucchini/ squash plants. One day they’re beautiful; the next they are flat on the ground. I understand this is due to some sort of beetle that eats the stems. We’ve been using Sevin pesticide on our garden, but it doesn’t stop them, so it seems. –Peter Brooks, Chesapeake Beach  
Dear Bay Weekly:
Dear Bay Weekly: I share Mr. Burton’s frustration, in your recent edition, that a windmill or groups of them on a distant hill should be considered unsightly by the governor [July 22 Letter from the Editor]. We have forgotten how the toy windmill can hold a child’s curiosity and how the wind through one’s hair in a car or on a boat can relate our senses so close to nature and its sublimity.
Thanks to Doug Kamholz for the beautifully written and very insightful July 22 review of my book Wandering Souls: Journeys with the Living and the Dead in Vietnam. He gets it. –Wayne Karlin, Lexington Park
Wonders happen in water. Capture water in a pool, and creatures can’t resist it. We gather in the liquid, and make magic. Here’s what I mean. Consider that the narrator and title character in the novel Life of Pi, named Piscine for swimming pool in French, devotes pages to second-hand elegies to the early 20th century swimming pools of Paris — despite sanitation far beneath the standards of modern pools. Consider that the Druid Hill and Patterson Park swimming pools of Baltimore have inspired the Fluid Movement performance troupe to nine years of water ballet.