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May 2013

You’ll have to explore Canes Venatici

As evening twilight gives way to darkness, the first star to appear is likely no star at all but rather Venus, so bright you may be able to spot it in the west-northwest before sunset. By the time the sun does set, there should be no mistaking Venus, although the evening star does have company.

On Memorial Day we pay a debt that binds us in perpetuity

The blood shed in our Civil War was barely dry when we paid the first installment on this great debt of remembrance. But the losses were fresh and sharp, like amputations that cut away limbs, that would have been sent into the future by families, neighborhoods, communities, counties, states and our divided government. New estimates suggest 720,000 died fighting that war.

The Wounded ­Warrior Amputee Softball Team proves it ain’t over yet

When soldier Saul Bosquez lost his left leg below the knee during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007, he discovered his game was not finished, just delayed.     “My great grandpa lost fingers in a tractor accident, but I didn’t know anyone that had been injured like I had,” Bosquez told Bay Weekly.

In tribute to the dead, in celebration of living

You’re used to Bay Weekly as the good news paper. So this week’s issue, commemorating Memorial Day, may startle you. In it you will confront images, names and particulars of 19 men who lost their lives in military service over the dozen years we have been fighting the War on Terror. All are Chesapeake neighbors so, whether we knew them or not, their images open the doors of our hearts.

In my Calvert country neighborhood, my ­kitties help me meet the neighbors

I grew up climbing trees and playing with Matchbox cars.     Scary spiders and slithery snakes? I didn’t bat an eye. Daddy’s girl was tough.     So when the kitty brothers Stripey and Babey bring home squirmy rewards, I’m the one among my family of hubby and two almost-grown boys to take care of it. Two ring-necked snakes have made it inside with kitties’ help.

But I have no pity for pruners who butcher this beautiful summer-flowering species

I am appalled at the way homeowners are pruning their crape myrtles. I can only explain it as Monkey See Monkey Do. Just because you see somebody else — even landscape maintenance companies — cutting crape myrtle like dock pilings, it does not mean that they know what they are doing.

The fish are there

The plan was made in haste late in the evening. Get up early enough to catch a good moving tide, launch the skiff, bag a quick limit and be home by 10am. All seemed possible, as we had limited out in 20 minutes the afternoon before. We had a good idea the fish would still be on hand in a spot where we had been the only boat on the water.

Mercury, Venus and Jupiter gather in the glow of twilight

As the sun sets, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury emerge in its wake. These three planets will spend the coming week in one another’s company, playing a celestial game of leap-frog low in the west-northwest after sunset.

Ghosts and baseball lovers unite

If you see a ghost at Anne Arundel County’s newest ball field, don’t shriek and run away. Instead, ask the ghost about his story, because it’s sure to be a great one.     The county has just bought Wilson Park, the home of Hot Sox Field, from a family who inherited the Galesville farm of a freed slave ancestor, Henry Wilson.

Don’t let road work spoil your trip

Memorial Day is the official start of summer and the unofficial start to traffic madness as everyone bolts to the beach.     The summer weather is also prime time for road work, making for a congested combination.     Beat the summer traffic with the Maryland State Highway Administration’s e-Road Ready brochure, which lists all the work zones by county, and their expected finish date: www.roads.maryland.gov/oc/RoadReady2013.pdf.