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February 2013

Good news: You can upgrade your love template

People seem friendlier. Colors are brighter. Food tastes better. The world is transformed with shimmering newness.     What causes the rush of good feeling we call romantic love?

Consider your space as you plan your vegetable garden

For the best harvest, plan before you plant. Crowded plants that have to compete for light do not produce a good crop and often have disease and insect problems. Here’s how I plant my garden to give each plant the best chance.     Sweet corn should be planted in blocks, not single rows. Four to five short rows of sweet corn sown six to eight inches apart in two-foot-wide rows will produce higher quality ears due to better pollination.

Blue herons return for Valentine’s Day

The great blue heron’s return to Chesapeake Country and consequent mating occurs mid-February, bestowing these majestic birds the nickname, lovebirds.     “Their local nickname, along with love birds, is Johnny Crane,” said Mike Callahan, president of Southern Maryland Audubon Society.

Good intentions bring unintended consequences

Balloons were fresh on my mind when the Heart Healthy Foundation sent the press release announcing a balloon release to kick off Heart Health Month.     The Annapolis-based foundation was releasing 200 heart-shaped balloons spaced at 33 second intervals. That’s how often an American dies from heart-related diseases.     A few weeks earlier, I’d written about balloons in a very different context: as killers of sea turtles. (Read the story at http://bayweekly.com/node/15208)

I wasn’t just fishing last season; I was learning from experience

Cold and rain have had me housebound and dreaming of last fishing season. Along with great memories, I learned a couple of new lessons.     My fishing partners and I experimented with different types of fishing lines during an extended chumming and live-lining rockfish bite in the mid-Bay. We fished often, up to four times per week, trying braid, monofilament and fluorocarbon lines.

In Sister Mary Ignatius and in The Actor’s Nightmare are plights you’ll remember from your past and in your dreams

Winter has a way of boxing us into our insular realities. Bay Theatre unfolds them with mind-bending comedy in a double bill of one-acts: the Obie Award-winning satire Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You! and The Actor’s Nightmare. Both are by Christopher Durang, sometimes referred to as Christopher Deranged.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 whizzes by

If you feel a slight breeze around 1:30pm Friday, February 15, it could be the passing of Asteroid 2012 DA14. This 150-foot wide hunk of space rock is small as far as asteroids are concerned, but its closeness to Earth is unusual. Coming within 17,200 miles of Earth, this will be the closest recorded interstellar object to our planet and well within the moon’s orbit around Earth. While there is no chance of this asteroid striking the planet, it could crash into communications satellites.

13 Films to Inspire 2013

Punxsutawney Phil has prognosticated an early spring, but it doesn’t feel like spring in Chesapeake Country. Like many a cold-hating human, Bay Weekly’s movie-loving groundhog Chesapeake Chuck remains hiding in his burrow.

Love finds its match with Critter Cupids

This Valentine’s Day, woo your love with chocolate, flowers and a critter cupid. That’s the advice of the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., whose animals are lending their images to a loveable fundraising campaign.     Playing cupid this year are cuddling pandas, kissing seals, a Sumatran tiger, a red panda and a whole family of otters. Choose your Critter Cupid for $10 at www.subscribe.smithsonianmag.com/zoo.

Chimps Go for Ravens, 49ers eat crow

The wise guys and gals of the world of sports gave Super Bowl XLVII to the San Francisco 49ers. The chimpanzee tribe of the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, however, got it right.     On Purple Friday, February 1, the zoo’s 11 chimps emerged from their night quarters into a dayroom decked out with footballs and two team banners: a red one for the 49ers and a purple one for the Ravens.     Zookeepers had set the stage for prognostication.