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Plant scientist Bert Drake warns that in Earth’s changing climate, plants are odds-on winners. It doesn’t look so good for us.

Canine Companions for Independence are half dog, half angel

Alana Johnson: In her own words

A higher price than we’ll like paying

The big fish are here, with anglers on their tails

Otherwise, you’re planting trouble

$2.4 million federal grant resolves the conflict

The little Puritan tiger beetle has it way better than many other bugs in the news.         Stinkbugs and emerald ash borers: We’re dead-set on eliminating those alien destroyers.     But the Puritan tiger beetle was here long before us, and to keep it here we go to great lengths.     And great expense.     Last week, a $2.4 million federal grant, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, came to the...

Barn dance to raise $$$ for St. Jude’s

Serenity Farm is no stranger to visitors. Each year, the working farm hosts pumpkin chunkin’, live nativities and more events, all while bringing in crops and tending livestock. This year, the annual fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital is taking a new direction.     “We’ve been doing a children’s fun fair for about 10 or 15 years,” says co-owner Theresa Robinson. “We just wanted to try something different to raise money...

After two Irene cancellations, expect pent-up energy to enhance fine acting, staging and special effects in the last seven shows of this comedy about mis-communication

The lines of communication were abuzz all last week as first an earthquake and then a hurricane shook up our complacency. Natural phenomena often herald unwelcome change, and so it is in 2nd Star’s latest comedy about language, Larry Shue’s The Foreigner, which opens as a thunderstorm, ushers two Brits into backwoods Georgia, home of Southern hospitality and small-minded xenophobes.     This award-winning show played to critical acclaim at the Bay Theatre last winter...

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

It was the day before Irene was due to arrive, and though I should have been home cleaning out the rain gutters, gathering supplies and checking the generator, I wasn’t. Friend George Yu, who has as little common sense as I do about these things, had met me at 5am, and instead of making hurricane preparations we were skimming down the Chesapeake over the calm, pre-storm waters in my small skiff.     I had a hunch that the low pressure front descending upon us would...

They’re feasting in your garden and invading your home

A number of Farmers Market customers have complained to me about stinkbugs in their vegetable gardens, and many have brought me tomatoes and peppers marred by punctures from stinkbugs. Some of the tomatoes show the creased cat facing similar to what I have mentioned seeing on peaches. Other tomatoes exhibit a puncture mark with the surrounding tissues turning brown.     Another customer brought me several ears of corn, with the husk on, with much of the silk missing. After...

Let its waxing glow guide you

The moon reappears in our evening skies Thursday as a thin crescent low in the southwest at dusk. Lined up to the west is the twinkling blue-white star Spica and beyond that golden Saturn.     Friday the moon is just a few degrees below the second-magnitude star Zubenelgenubi, the fulcrum of the celestial scale Libra. Saturday the moon stands before Scorpius, with its red heart Antares trailing less than 10 degrees from the moon. The next evening, it is the red star that leads...

Because it’s not that scary

When a small, somber girl arrives at a creepy Rhode Island house, all hell breaks loose. Well, annoying basement monsters break loose, but you get the idea.     The film follows young Sally (Baliee Madison: Just Go with It), who is sent by her mother to live with her father (Guy Pearce: The King’s Speech) and his new girlfriend, Kim (Katie Holmes: The Romantics). Dad and Kim don’t have much time to soothe little Sally, for they’re busy redoing the sinister...

Once your school days are behind you, it’s time to learn for fun

Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks was barking up the wrong tree. Or visiting the wrong classroom.     In a tough economy, taking continuing education courses can make you a better job candidate. The National Bureau of Labor says that the more education you have, the more likely you’ll be hired. Most of those that choose to go back to school are female, according to the U.S. Department of Education, but men are enrolling more frequently.  ...

My dad waited too long to learn to fly. I’m correcting his mistake.

A mile above the beach, I soar higher than the gulls, crisp air bathing my outstretched arms, bare feet dangling in the void. The faint whoosh in my ears could be my unfettered thoughts, some vacant, some frantic as bees.     I’ve always been enchanted by the dream of flight, the Icarus myth. This is my dream come true, my ultralight flying experience, my life’s greatest rush and the reason for my current obsession: flying lessons. High-Performance Slowness  ...

Is this fall your time to soar?

Do you envy the kids, just a little bit, as they load up on school supplies, dress up in new clothes and walk to the corner to meet the school bus?     Maybe not the school bus part of the proposition. At least for me.     My first day on the school bus, which coincided with my first day at a new and distant all-girls’ high school, ranks as one of my life’s traumas in a minor key. Those were the days before backpacks, and we carried our books in our...