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At stake: The location, size and scope of Anne Arundel County public libraries

Open season on these “voracious predators”

Howl at the Full Moon

No matter which county issued your card, you can use any library in Maryland

When enough people choose to help, large problems can be solved

Turn that manure into compost instead of applying it to fields

The new governor of Maryland has made a major error in allowing poultry farmers to continue applying their phosphorus-laden chicken manure on land that is already overloaded with phosphorus.     What the chicken farmers and the governor are ignoring is scientific evidence that clearly identifies excessive levels of phosphorus in soils as the cause for phosphorus-induced trace element deficiencies, lower yields, lower nutrient values and Bay pollution.     The...

Yellow perch are climbing the rivers

The yellow perch run is on. It may seem early, but small male yellow perch have been caught in a number of locations around the state for over three weeks. That can only mean one thing: The bigger fish will show up any time — if not already.     These yellow neds are on the move, swimming to the headwaters of Bay tributaries to spawn.     Driven by increasing daylight and temperatures, the scent of their natal waters and mysterious Mother Nature, this...

Join the fight for dark skies

The waning crescent moon rises ever later in predawn skies this week. Friday it appears before 3am, and by 5am it is well placed above the southeast horizon, forming a tight triangle with golden Saturn to the right and red Antares, the heart of Scorpius, below. The ringed planet stands above the scorpion’s head, one degree of its uppermost, second-magnitude star Graffias.     By Monday the moon is a thin crescent low in the southeast at 6am. If skies are clear and you have...

A cacophony of noise and colors for youngsters

The secret to the harmonious life of the ocean town of Bikini Bottom isn’t friendship, love or understanding. It’s the Krabby Patty. The fast food treat is so addictive that the residents of Bikini Bottom can’t live without it. So when Mr. Krab’s (Clancy Brown: The Flash) secret formula for the Krabby Patty goes missing, the town falls into chaos. To prevent a Krab-induced apocalypse, fry cook SpongeBob SquarePants (Tom Kenny: Adventure Time) teams up with his nemesis Plankton (Mr. Lawrence:...

You’ll get feeling as well as fun in this play on why actors do what they do

The quality that 2nd Star Productions brings to its big musical productions is exemplified not only by sold out houses but also by recognition among its peers. 2nd Star last month received 21 nominations from the Washington Area Theater Community Honors, a local collaborative of amateur theaters that judge each other’s shows and present awards in March. Only one of those nominations is for a non-musical, A Soldier’s Story. The majority were for the highly acclaimed Hello Dolly and Children of...
Andrew Irwin Leventhal and I plunged into the 37-degree Potomac River while the air temperature was 38 degrees. We dressed in matching black Washington Capitals hockey jerseys as Andrew enjoys following the team.     Because of high tide, strong winds and recent rains, there was no beach to plunge from. The 200 or so plungers had a narrow entryway over boulders and muddy water.     I screamed the entire time.     After changing back into warm...

The Groundhog’s movie guide will get you through to spring

The seasonal turn we reckon by poking half-hibernating rodents to wakefulness has roots deeper than the groundhog’s burrow.     In the midst of winter, February 2 marks the season’s turning point. Light is advancing at dawn and dusk.     Life is stirring down in earth’s depths, where the groundhogs sleep.     But in this clime, the liveliest we’ll get for the next six weeks — when spring makes it official — is...

Six more weeks of winter? Let it snow.

At first it shone fresh in memory, the gold filigree earring formed on a redbud leaf bought for me by my husband on a book tour visit to Nebraska’s Arbor Day Farm, where good practical environmentalism pairs abundantly with good food. But in the cold days and weeks after I lost it — after I’d searched coat collars, scarves, carpets and car crannies —it faded into forgetfulness.     So its reappearance months later on the bulletin board of my post office...

Getting to the roots of woody plants

Did you know that when the stems of an oak tree are growing in the spring, the roots are not growing? Conversely, when the top of the plant has stopped growing and has stopped producing new leaves, the roots initiate growth. It’s the same with most woody plants. Most are unable to grow at both ends at the same time.     In the spring, the stems and leaves are elongating and unfolding, while the roots are busy providing them water and nutrients. At maturity, the full-sized...

Rabbits make a fine test for hounds and hunters alike

On a cold, crisp morning, ice crinkled underfoot in the brushy field. Clear, dense air carried the clamor of some 25,000 snow geese feeding on a field a half-mile away.     Then, over that waterfowl music, a hound’s howl broke out about 25 yards in front of me. My guess was that it was Junior, a five-year-old beagle that was part of my good friend Charles Rodney’s experienced pack of rabbit dogs.     Seconds later, Junior’s soulful wail was...