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Ten ways to help our planet and your purse

Help give their migration a future

21 years into the culture of sustainable, new Bay times

It’s a shame to let April end with no pickerel

Here’s the right way to till the garden

Bright planets and shooting stars dazzle this week

Bay Weekly’s pick of 2012 wall calendars

In the language of old movies, falling calendar pages symbolized the passing of time. Years could go by in seconds, just as 2011 surely has done. Now December is about to top the pile of the last 11 months. So it’s time to choose a new calendar.     Most of us still do that, you know. Or have a calendar chosen for us, as calendars rank high in holiday gifts exchanged among acquaintances.     Even in the age of digital calendars, the good old-fashioned wall...

Otherwise winter’s chill will wilt your Christmas blooms

Keep Christmas in bloom by shielding your poinsettias from sudden drops in temperature. Remember, poinsettia are a tropical plant, so a sudden chill below 40 degrees can cause the plant to quickly lose foliage, including the red or white bracks.     At 36 degrees, foliage can be freeze-damaged. Within 24 to 48 hours, tissues between the veins in the leaves will appear water-soaked and turn black-green. There is no recovery.     To keep your poinsettia warm, avoid...

It was a mostly great year

The rockfish season this year was, on the whole, great. It didn’t start until June because spring was a three-month mix of heavy rains, high winds, muddy water and low temperatures. While that early scenario was disappointing for anglers, it was fantastic for the fish, because just about every species that reproduces in the Chesapeake had a very successful spawn.     In spite of the spring weather, the June bite started out hot. Live-lining took the limelight right from...

A Hound’s Jolly Humbug!

As I decked the halls with boughs of holly I put a Santa hat on this dog to be jolly. When down to the dog park we went to play, The strangest things my dog had to say! Santa Hat, for who? Not me! I won’t wear it! I’m a dog you see! All I want is to bound and play And your holiday cheer gets in my way. Barking and howling, he became quite a yelper For he’d have no part in being Santa’s little helper. His head he shook with all his might Removing that hat with...

Feast your eyes on the heavens above

Of the naked-eye planets, Mercury is the most overlooked. That isn’t for lack of brightness, as it outshines both Mars and Saturn. Nor is it a result of distance, given that it’s closer to us than is Mars. But so near the sun, Mercury never strays far from its blinding glare.     Early Friday morning, however, the innermost planet reaches its farthest point from the sun, called elongation. This is also Mercury’s longest stretch of visibility: It rises in the...

An entertaining investigation heavier on brawn than brains

The master of deduction Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.: Due Date) has been dealing with a lot of loss of late. His romance with Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams: Midnight in Paris) is untenable. He’s at a stalemate trying to foil the plans of arch nemesis Dr. Moriarty (Jared Harris: Mad Men). Worst of all, his best mate and sleuthing sidekick Dr. Watson (Jude Law: Hugo) is getting married.     Holmes isn’t taking it well.     In response to his...

With cold weather here to stay, warm up with these Chesapeake authors

The sights are great, world travelers report. But, they insist, you only really get to know a place through its people.     All around us are people who are the keepers of untold treasure.     Untold until you scratch the surface. Then you find yourself in the company of people who’ve recorded history being made, and people who’ve delved into the past to recover history made long ago. People who know more than anybody else in the world about this or...
I made an observation from home today that I thought I’d share. I live in Deale, and looking toward Holland Point in Herring Bay, I saw a towboat near what appeared to be a long rectangular object that I thought was partially sunken or sinking. It looked like one of those freighter shipping containers. Through binoculars, I saw a few people on board. The object had antennas up and it looked like a bilge pump was working, for a small stream of water was coming out the side.   ...

I bet you find your next book here

Are books following the horse and carriage down the road to obsolescence?     Obsolescence is short of extinction. But it’s also short of popular use, which books have been in since not long after Gutenberg invited moveable type, which soon brought printed books to the Western world. Obsolete puts you in museums, where you’re let out for special nostalgic occasions like horse-and-carriage rides around West Annapolis at this weekend’s It’s a Wonderful Life...

Arsenic additive accumulates in poultry, soil and us

It’s not just chicken feed; it’s arsenic as well that fattens chickens in their short seven-week lifespan from egg to market. The chicken we love to eat fried, sautéed, roasted and broiled contains traces of the poisonous element. That’s one finding of a new study commissioned by the Maryland General Assembly and done by the University of Maryland’s Harry R. Hughes Center for Argo-Ecology in Queenstown.     Arsenic in any of several formulas is added to...