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Tour the state in one visit

      You can experience the holidays in every Maryland county with just one stop. In the State House rotunda in Annapolis are 24 Christmas trees, each decorated to reflect the character of one county plus Baltimore City.       Garden clubs across the state decorate a tree “reflecting the rich tradition of their county,” says Megan McMinn-Meals, who oversees the three-year-old program, which now includes wreaths, too.       Garden...

Tundra swans return

     “The first tundra swans of the season have arrived on Fairhaven pond.” Jimbo Degonia‎ posted the news on Bay Weekly’s Facebook page Tuesday, November 21, documenting their arrival with this photo. That’s early for birds usually seen after the first of December.      A week later I saw a pod of three of the snow-white birds on the same pond, and more since.      We are not alone in welcoming the swans. They are...

North Beach wants to show the world a pretty, seasonal face

     The Calvert County town of North Beach takes beatification seriously. Last month, three awards recognized town citizens and business people for keeping up appearances.      The yard of Denise LaGrange and Rit Aldi at 9210 Dayton Ave. was named October 2017 Yard of the Month by the North Beach House & Garden Club. In the town Halloween Decorating Contest, 3904 6th St. was judged the Most Spirited House and The Wheel, owned by Celia Molofsky, the Most...
Bay Weekly wants to know
     Snow. You know it’s coming.       Sometime this winter — if not this month, the next or the next all the way up until March — we’ll hear the message that schools are closed due to inclement weather. Students rejoice. Parents sigh.        How do you spend your snow-day?      Will you watch classic movies when you aren’t shoveling the walkway? Challenge the neighbors to a snowball fight? Check on...

It takes six to 10 years of attention to get it right

     The most common species of conifers used as Christmas trees are white pine, Scots pine, Douglas fir, balsam fir, Frazier fir, concolor fir, Canaan fir, Colorado spruce and white spruce. Norway spruce are not recommended because they shed needles rapidly if allowed to dry out once. In more southern states, Virginia pine, white cedar and red cedar and often used.       Most growers purchase seedlings from nurseries that specialize in growing these species from...

Artist John W. ‘Bud’ Taylor inspired an ethic of land preservation

     Mayo resident John W. ‘Bud’ Taylor told us (https://tinyurl.com/BW-Taylor-99) that for him, being outdoors wasn’t exactly a drive. “It’s more a refreshment, like recharging your batteries,” he said. It turns out that it was actually Bud, who passed away at the age of 86 on Oct. 28, who was recharging our collective drive all these years to treasure and protect the Bay landscapes.        Bud interrupted our 1999 visit to...

Take advantage of the quiet — and of migration — to go birding

     Winter is a wonderful time to study nature in Chesapeake Country. Yes, you read that correctly, the dreaded season of cold and snow. Before I am lambasted for being a warm-weather heretic, let me explain my reasoning.      First, winter in the natural world is mostly a quiet time for humans and nature alike. Similar to our many hardwood species, the crowds of summer now lie dormant, giving you plenty of space to enjoy the natural world.      ...
This time of year, rockfish crave minnows
      “Minnies,” was the only word spoken by my friend Frank Tuma over the phone early that morning.       A few years ago,  I disovered a great cold-weather bait for stripers on an unusually warm December day prospecting for deep-water perch.      Out with another friend, Mike Ebersberger, and his girlfriend Rachel, I remember the day well. Armed with bottom rigs baited with bull minnows, she began the day hauling in a 14.5-inch...

Buy fresh evergreens and treat them for longevity 

     Wreaths, roping and swags sold in box and grocery stores may have been made in far-away Oregon and Maine, starting back in September, then stored in large coolers under high humidity. If the greens were harvested before the plants were exposed to freezing temperatures, they may well drop their needles before Christmas.       Purchase local Christmas greens, on the other hand, and they are most likely freshly harvested and have acclimated under our growing...

This engrossing dramedy makes art from catastrophe

     Greg Sestero (Dave Franco: The Little Hours) is an actor seeking the courage to perform. A ball of nerves in his San Francisco acting classes, he finds inspiration in mysterious and fearless classmate Tommy Wiseau (James ­Franco: The Vault).      Wiseau is an odd role model. He has plenty of money, but he won’t discuss its source or his past. His writing, acting and directing are terrible. But his blind confidence and deafness to criticism inspire...