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September 2012

How a baby squirrel at the doorstep stole our hearts

Bay Weekly has acquired a furry friend, an orphaned baby squirrel. He (or she?) first caught our attention when he was stretched across the screen of our front window. We heard his cries through the open windows. Once our awhs stopped, we went back to work.     When the mailman came with his delivery later that day, he stepped over the squirrlel to get through our front door.

Nominate champions of preservation for Calvert historic awards

Calvert County sped up in the last quarter of the 20th century, zooming from a fishing and farming county of 15,826 in 1960 to a D.C. exburb of 88,737 people. In the 1990s, Calvert was Maryland’s fastest-growing county.     Yet its rural ways are part of its appeal, as well as its identity, so keeping its heritage alive in a new century is a priority. It’s also a job for Kirsti Uunila, who goes to work every day as Calvert’s historic preservation planner.

Doug Sisk’s Towering Tomatoes

Those plants that are taller than me were all volunteers sewn by last year’s plants.

Grants to restore shorelines multiply dollars and deeds

Restoring the Bay is like cleaning house: We do it chore by chore.     Fortunately, the Bay multiplies much of the effort we put into it. Put water in motion and it keeps moving. Put $800,000 into shoreline restorations, and the grants multiply dollars and deeds.     The dozen new shoreline restoration grants in Maryland and four in Virginia are putting that money to work, multiplying the momentum.

Janet is an utterly personal book describing the human experience with purity, truth and guilelessness. That is how elegies work.

The elegy is a literary form dear to the human heart, for it’s the best reply we can summon to death’s speechlessness.     Janet is such a work, created by Bay Weekly contributing writer Al McKegg in honor of his wife, Janet.     With soaring highs and crashing lows, theirs was a love story made for literature. It was too cruel for real life.

Step one is putting the pieces together

The Labor Day weekend rain mostly skipped Chesapeake Country — at least my part — but tumultuous skies and soggy forecasts dampened a lot of parades. In Annapolis, First Sunday Arts Festival cancelled this month, and the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra moved its Labor Day Pops concert inside Maryland Hall, quashing plans for musical picnics in Quiet Waters Park.

Bring a mason jar to this true tale of moonshine and bloodshed

During the Prohibition Era, drinking didn’t diminish; it became more chic. While gangsters and molls kicked their heels up at speakeasies in Chicago, the Bondurant brothers were taking advantage of a new cottage industry, cooking up mountain dew in homemade stills tucked away in the hills of Virginia.

Here’s how to help your plants avoid self-strangulation

When I visit friends’ homes, being asked to diagnose plant problems is not uncommon. I entered one friend’s front door only to be escorted outside to diagnose the cause of a groundcover juniper’s death. My friend had planted three junipers in 2009; one had died in June.

Casting into the shallows is my fishing favorite

The conditions were finally right. I was fishing along a tree-lined, rip-rapped shoreline that ran for hundreds of yards just outside the mouth of the Severn. Interrupted only by the occasional stone erosion jetty that eased out underwater every hundred yards or so, this area had proven a hot shallow-water rockfish hunting ground this time of year in the past, especially at first light.

This week’s moon visits two star clusters a billion years apart

Before dawn Friday morning, the moon appears just a few degrees ahead of the orange star Aldebaran, the fiery eye of Taurus the bull. To either side of the moon, you’ll find the two brightest star clusters. To the east is the Y-shaped Hyades cluster, or the face of the bull. To the moon’s west is the Pleiades cluster, or the seven sisters, which marks the bull’s shoulder.