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Regulars (All)

Looking for ET with Hercules

Given the scorching temperatures of late, you might be surprised to know that earth is at its farthest point from the sun this time of year, called, aphelion. On July 4, Earth reached the apex of its elliptical orbit around the sun at 94,505,851 miles. That’s about three million miles farther than at perihelion, earth’s closest point to the sun.
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Get up early to find the fish and beat the heat

We were drifting quietly well off the mouth of the Severn in 30 feet of water. It was not yet sunrise but the first blush of daylight lit the water’s surface well enough to show some very nervous schools of baitfish swimming around us.
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I use fences, smells and my dog

Squirrels, rabbits, ground hogs and deer are a common problem in home vegetable gardens. I surround my garden with a four-foot-high four-inch-by-two-inch turkey fence supported by steel fence posts at 10-foot intervals. I also attach an 18-inch-wide pullet fence at the bottom with hog-nose rings. Groundhogs will not climb the turkey fence with the bottom pullet fence. They try but fall backwards because the pullet fence is loosely attached....

See if you can beat Galileo’s 40

As the sun sets this week, its latest of the year at 8:35, Saturn and Mars appear in the darkening skies, Mars high in the southwest and Saturn trailing 25 degrees at due south. Mars sets at midnight, with Saturn following 90 minutes later.
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And what to do if perch is your only bait

I could feel the five-inch white perch on my line swimming toward the bottom 30 feet down. The pulses of its efforts transmitted plainly up the line on my bait-casting rod. As the baitfish reached its goal and settled down, I lightly thumbed the narrow spool of my casting reel and lifted my rod tip just enough to make the fish’s movements a bit more frantic.
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Each species has a different trick

Crows, morning doves, pigeons and black birds love to pluck sprouting seeds of corn, snap beans and lima beans in the garden. Robins love to eat strawberries, while mocking birds and brown thrush love to eat blueberries as they ripen. Birds can also do a great deal of damage to maturing sweet corn. They will rip away the husks and silk and peck out the kernels from the tops of the ears.
    How to deter them?
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You’ll have to rise early and stay up late to see all five naked-eye planets

The nascent crescent moon emerges from the glow of sunset low in the west-northwest Thursday evening. Above the moon is Mercury with the Gemini twins Pollux and Castor higher still. Sunset Friday finds the waxing crescent a little higher in the west with Mercury, Pollux, and Castor farther to its right.
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Here’s how to make it work

Making compost in a drum composter is very different from making compost in a bin on the surface of the ground. When you’re composting in a bin on the ground, any excess water drains from the compost into the ground. Any moisture released in the air surrounding the pile is quickly disbursed by wind and air currents.
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Good fishing, good eating and good news

Casting up tight to the riprapped shoreline, I flipped the bail closed on the small spin reel and started my retrieve. I wanted to keep the Rooster Tail lure up and off the submerged rock below. My retrieve slowed as the lure came away from the stony structure and I let it settle, slow rolling it down, close to the bottom where I hoped some big blackbacks were holding.
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Look for the moon’s shadowy face on these shortest nights

The waning crescent moon heralds the coming sun in pre-dawn eastern skies through week’s end. So close to the sun’s glow, there’s more to this moon than meets the eye. While the crescent appears clearly aglow, the supposedly missing face appears as a dark notch. This is a result of earthshine, sunlight reflected off our planet that casts a shadowy glow over the rest of the moon’s visible face....