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However you play it, natural gas export is a high stakes game

Have fun even with a sizzling sun

An American in Annapolis

Our flowering gardens are butterfly way-stations

Blue crabs at quarter-century low

Lesson 1: From the ground up

Annapolis’ new chicken ordinance is part of a bigger trend

The census of creatures in our neighborhoods is adding new categories.     Annapolitan chickens are the latest, as this week Mayor Josh Cohen signed an ordinance welcoming small flocks of hens, but no roosters, on a three-year trial.     Of course there are conditions, thoughtfully debated by the City Council. You’ll need permission from all homeowners whose property abuts yours; if you’re a renter, your own property owner must agree. If that goes...

Maryland’s most famous crustacean has been rebounding

Maryland politicians and Department of Natural Resources officials are patting themselves on the back (and deservedly so) for the resurgence of the blue crab population this year, with a predicted abundance of juvenile crabs greater than has been seen in almost 20 years. Due to the restrictions placed on the harvest of female crabs beginning in 2008, the population of Maryland’s most famous crustacean has been rebounding smartly every year since. The total 2012 crab population is...

Cole Bros. Circus pays for ­elephant mistreatment

Elephants that traveled with Cole Bros. Circus — which visits the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds this week — were so thin that the circus has been fined for bad care.     “The gravity of the violations herein is great and includes the repeated noncompliance with the regulations for veterinary care, handling and licensing,” a U.S. Department of Agriculture attorney wrote of the plight of Asian elephants Tina, Jewell and Boo.     U.S....

Never use horse manure without composting it first

The proliferation of horse farms in southern Maryland has resulted in owners convincing their friends and neighbors that horse manure is great for the garden. After one experience with using horse manure in the garden, you’ll discover that it’s not what it’s cracked up to be.     Unlike cow, llama, alpaca, chicken or pig manure, which can be incorporated into the garden as soon as it drops to the ground, horse manure must first be composted. A horse is not as...

You won’t have to battle crowds to hook the toothy pickerel

My small Tony spoon with a lip-hooked bull minnow sailed out and landed alongside one of the many fallen trees angling out from the impoundment’s shoreline. I let my lure sink next to the tangle of branches for a moment, then lifted the rod tip of my small spin rod and began teasing the bait back.     My line twitched as the minnow resisted. Then, within three or four cranks of my reel handle, I encountered a sudden resistance and set the hook, hard. Water erupted, and an...

Every night is Astronomy Day

Join the party Saturday, April 28, as people around the globe take aim at the heavens for Astronomy Day. This annual event was begun in 1973 by California astronomer Doug Berger, who organized a drive to set up telescopes along city sidewalks and other public spaces so that ordinary people could better appreciate the night sky. With four of the five naked-eye planets visible along with the near-first-quarter moon, the evening shouldn’t disappoint.     Even before sunset,...

Nature is cute, if you live in a Disney documentary

Oscar is a baby chimpanzee, living a blissful life in the jungles of Uganda. His mom dotes on him. He romps with other baby chimps during upbeat musical sequences.     But in the distance the evil Scar and his hoard of chimp raiders threaten Oscar’s idyllic life.     If it sounds like a Disney movie, it is.     The latest documentary from Disneynature, Chimpanzee, makes a monkey out of the term documentary. This is nature without death. This...

A look at the highs and lows along Bay Weekly’s 19 years

   1993    • New Bay Times born April 22 to Sandra Olivetti Martin, Bill Lambrecht and Alex Knoll and delivered every two weeks. • Bill Burton, just retired from the Evening Sun, hires on as outdoors columnist. New Bay Times stock soars. • Inaugural issue of Bay Weekly’s summer guide, 101 Ways to Have Fun. • No longer black and white and read all over; our first spot color (on front and back covers) is green. • Rampant diseases MSX...

Bill Gingras has been trying to drive without fossil fuel

For 38 years, local inventor Bill Gingras will never get lost. The compass he has painted on the driveway points him in the direction of the outside world, while the large spherical globe on his front lawn denotes home base.     Throughout his life, this man of invention has created his own direction. At 82, the owner of the first — or maybe second — all-electric Nissan Leaf in Chesapeake Country is still pointing the way to the future.     He’s...

Changing the world begins with small steps even a third grader can manage

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. –Dr. Seuss: The Lorax   Sitting on the floor of her classroom at Eagle Cove School, surrounded by third graders, Vicki Dabrowka doesn’t look like the green warrior she is. Her campaign begins with deceptively small steps.         Every Friday, her third graders collect empty Capri Sun packages from the other classrooms in the elementary school...