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The season’s brightest star shines overhead

Look for Mars high above the southwest horizon at the feet of Leo the lion, with blue-white Regulus well to the west. Saturn is high in the south, with equally bright Spica five degrees below. Mars and Saturn both shine at first magnitude, as bright as a typical star, but Mars fades noticeably over the month....

Your plants can’t tell you what they need; a soil test can

I recently received photographs of dead and dying plants along with soil test results sent by a Bay Weekly reader. The reader had sent numerous plant samples to a university for analysis only to be told that the injury was due to a fungus. As I studied the photographs, I could not identify a fungus that would cause such symptoms, so I requested a complete soil analysis.
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The Paralyzed Veterans of America annual event is a must in my family

The first target out of the trap house for me was just the slightest angle off of dead-straight-away, always a dangerous target and easy to misjudge. I swung up my 12-gauge single-barrel trap gun, just touched the bottom of the departing clay with my front bead, and slapped the trigger. The bird sailed on untouched as the scorer behind me called out, lost.
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You won’t have another chance

This is the final countdown to one of the rarest sights in the heavens, a transit of Venus. Venus crosses the face of the sun in eight-year pairings, each cycle separated by 115 years. The last transit of Venus was in 2004. The next is Tuesday, June 5. After that, there won’t be another until December of 2117!
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Here’s how to catch your share chumming

My reel began clicking out an alert, slowly at first but quickly turning into a metallic shriek as the fish that had grabbed my bait shifted into high gear. I plucked the outfit from the rod holder and switched off the line-out alarm, thumbing the reel spool lightly and letting the striper run with my bait.

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Rather than gimicks, test your soil for a ­productive garden

On a Saturday morning garden show, a caller was advised to plant long-stemmed tomato plants deep. Supposedly, burying the stems deep in the garden soil forces the plant to produce new roots along the stem, resulting in a stronger plant. I strongly disagree.
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How many stars can you find in the Beehive Cluster?

Thursday the crescent moon appears high in the south at sunset, forming a line with the Gemini twins Pollux and Castor above. The three are still aligned Friday, but this time the moon is much farther below the two planets — closer actually to Cancer, the dimmest of the zodiac’s 13 constellations.
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For a stronger lawn, keep the height at 3 or 4 inches

For years I have recommended cutting fescue and bluegrass lawns to a height no less than three inches, even better four inches, for a stronger, weed-free lawn. Many people object to this height and cannot understand why I insist. The answer is simple.
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Come June, we’ll be in fishing heaven

The rockfish spawn is just about finished. The big migratory female rockfish have already vacated our waters to return to their wanderings along the Atlantic Coast. Migratory males (usually smaller than the females), remained in the spawning headwaters for the duration and are now forming up and leaving.
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Watch as Venus sinks toward the horizon in the coming weeks

The moon wanes before reaching new phase on the 20th, when its visage is bleached out by the glare of the sun. The moon is still there, right in front of our eyes — and right in front of the sun. For people on the west coast and beyond, this is a special new moon, as it crosses directly in front of the Sun, causing an annular solar eclipse....