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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

Before I could sleep tight, I had to learn more about these invading pests than I ever wanted to know

Editor’s note: This story is true. The author goes nameless to protect the innocent. I scooped the two yellow bugs into a glass jar and tightened the lid. What were these little critters crawling along the seam of my mattress? I’d found a yellow bug like this on my bed once before and didn’t think much about it. But now I had three. Something was going on.     I feared the worst: bedbugs.     But these creatures didn’t look at all like the...

At historic Linden House, the buildings have a lot to say

Once upon a time, just about everything on the table was home-grown. To eat, you needed to keep chickens for meat and eggs. Cows for milk, butter and cheese. Livestock was raised, butchered and preserved.     So old homesteads included not just a home but also chicken coops, animal stalls, meat houses, smoke houses. The outbuildings where food was raised and preserved are as much a part of the story as the old house.     At Historic Linden House, home to Calvert...

A long memory is this environmental teacher’s key

You probably don’t remember me, the 11th grader said, but I remember planting those trees at Mt. Harmony. Albert ‘Abby’ Ybarra, of Chesapeake Beach, tells this story with pride.     It’s been nine years since Ybarra and a class of second graders planted those trees. Lasting memories like this is exactly what Ybarra hopes to achieve in his work with students and teachers to encourage environmental thinking in our next generation.     In...

We’ll know by spring

Elk could once again roam the forests of western Maryland — unless citizens say no way in a survey beginning next month.     Elk are big. Females reach 500 pounds; males, which grow the towering antlers, get up to 700 pounds. They’re herbivores, but it takes a large range to feed the appetites of creatures so big. Thus farmers worry about their crops.     The giant deer cousins were here before us. But no more. Eastern elk are now extinct. They were...

Find out with our multiple choice quiz

Where’s the money coming from?         Anne Arundel County is counting on a nice windfall to help it pay its $1.2 billion in bills in the next fiscal year.     Can you guess from what tree that money will fall? 1. Your property taxes? 2. The county’s share of income taxes? 3. Switching money from county pocket to pocket? 4. Investment income? 5. Local sales taxes? 6. Fees you pay for recording and transferring property? 7....

This week bedbugs make our news weird

In our Mission Statement, Bay Weekly eschews doom-and-gloom news and commits to a world where people enjoy a high quality of life in a sustainable way that they’ll be able to hand down for generations to come.     So why are we writing about bedbugs?     Truth be told, we also savor a taste for the strange.     If you’re a regular reader, you know that. News of the Weird has been with us from our beginning 19 years ago. You might well...

Eat, drink, see movies and strengthen your skills

Ye gads it’s been a difficult winter!         Today it’s bitter cold and windy, and the long-range forecast looks like a lot more of the same, except for the charming likelihood of a few days of freezing rain. With two of my offspring still in college, there is no fiscal possibility of escaping to the tropics.     I’ve got to face up to the inevitable, the imminent approach of the most agonizing month of the year, February....

Some seeds are worth trying; others you should avoid

My 2011 vegetable garden was the most productive I have ever had. Even as I write this column in early January, I am still harvesting kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, cabbage, mustard greens and Brussels sprouts. I also had the best harvest ever of fall peas, snap beans and carrots.     The kale we are eating and sharing with friends is called Siberian kale. It is a tenderer curly variety, with leaves closely resembling those of collards. The collards have also been great and...

Behind this glowing mass of cosmic gas is a stellar nursery

The waning crescent moon reaches new phase Monday, leaving our night skies free of its overpowering glow. As darkness settles and the stars come into view, the familiar outline of Orion is appears above the southeast horizon.     Easily the most recognizable constellation, Orion has marched through the heavens and played a role in the mythology of every civilization and culture on earth.     Each of the constellation’s stars is magnitude 2 or brighter, and...

Meryl Streep is all teeth, no bite, in this boring biopic

What do you do when you’re making a movie about a political figure whose politics you don’t agree with? Avoid the subject, cast Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher and give her an immense set of dentures. The formula worked. Streep and her dentures just took home a Golden Globe.     The teeth are right. But the rest of the film is all wrong.     The Iron Lady shows a feeble Thatcher pottering around her house. She’s still got some of her feisty...