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One man is the difference between life and death for creatures great and small

Oh, the creatures we’ve seen

Learn from plantsman Bill Cullina and ­benefit Unity Gardens

Can our Free Will Astrologer break the late-winter blues?

There’s work overhead on the ISS

Put your down time to work

What color will you see in Libra’s beta star?

Thursday’s new moon leaves weekend skies bereft of excess light, highlighting the backdrop of stellar lights.     As the sun sets, the first lights you see are likely to see are above the southwest horizon, where Saturn and Spica hover just five degrees from one another. Both shine at first magnitude, but Saturn’s steady golden glow is an easy contrast to the blue-white twinkle of Spica, the lead star in the constellation Virgo. Look for Mars 10 degrees to the...

Find out at Calvert Marine Museum’s Sharkfest

Millions of years ago, long before there was a Chesapeake, sharks thrived in the saltwater marine environment of the flooded river we now call Susquehanna. Big sharks that could have swallowed a man whole, had any men or women been around to be eaten.     The megalodon, ancestor of the great white shark, was the apex marine predator of those waters. Rivaling today’s blue whale, the megalodon grew up to 50 feet long.     He’s long gone, but his kin are...
Sometimes, you even get paid for doing it
  When I was an impressionable young woman, I believed the wise old man who told me that’s it’s a lucky fate to love your job, because you’ll spend a lot of your life doing it.     Achieving that happiness takes stepping in the right direction as well as luck, newspaperman Joe Akers advised, though there is no recipe for the correct proportions.     I’ve met some happy people this week, and a couple I hope will find their happiness right here...
In this final leg, the Volvo Ocean Racers come full circle to Galway, Ireland
  When you’re riding high, everything seems to go your way, and that’s how the in-port Race in Bretagne, France, played out. Large crowds cheered on local hero Franck Cammas and Groupama as they mastered the upwind/downwind course off Lorient.     Camper barely hung on to beat Puma for second place, but that victory mattered. It closed the overall Volvo Ocean Race gap between second and third to four points heading into Leg 9, a 550-mile sprint to Galway, Ireland....

Kids doctors help Parole Rotary collect kids books for needy readers around the world

“Books are easy for people to contribute, and we wanted to become closer not only with our patients but also our community,” said Ann-Marie Sedor of the new partnership between The Pediatric Group and the Rotary Club of Parole.     Through August, the practice is collecting books for children of all ages at its offices in Crofton, Davidsonville and Severna Park (www.pediatricgroup.com).     The Rotary Club of Parole, which seeks old books year-round for Books...
Buck moth caterpillars are interesting to look at, but don’t touch!
  Be careful where you step, especially around wooded areas and oaks.     My dog learned that lesson in her own backyard. She flipped up what resembled a miniature porcupine. Caterpillars that use their branching spines to fend off predators are not play toys for pets.     The buck moth caterpillar lives in oak forests from Florida to Maine. Buck moth also favor willows and wild cherry trees.     The caterpillars are covered in hollow spines attached to a...

Read on to find out 

The rod tip twitched, just a little and just once, but I caught the movement out of the corner of my eye.     “Hey Mo, you’ve got a bite,” I hissed, needlessly.     My friend’s hand had already moved to his reel and slipped off the clicker to reduce its resistance on the line. His thumb was on the spool, but he left the rod in its holder.     The rod tip twitched slightly again, then again. The line began to pull out, slowly at first,...
Gathering Garlic
I followed Bay Gardener Frank Gouin's advice about using compost and was rewarded. In the past, I was stingy about feeding my garlic and, come harvest, some of the bulbs weren’t much bigger than marbles. In November (a bit late), I planted German Porcelain, Musik, Spanish Roja and an Italian red variety in well-composted soil. On two or three occasions afterward I top-dressed with compost, digging in just a bit. In mid-June, I snipped off the flowers when the scapes bent over and...
Now’s the time for Brussels’ sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage
  The vegetable gardening season should not end with sweet corn and tomatoes. There is plenty of good gardening ahead, especially as temperatures cool. Last fall the Upakrik Farm garden produced a super abundance of peas and green beans until the first killing frost. We harvested broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips and kohlrabi well after Thanksgiving and Brussels’ sprouts well after Christmas. The collard greens and kale were at their best nearly all winter long. We harvested...

There’s a lot to see in our galaxy

Venus is at its brightest in the east before dawn this week, reaching its greatest illuminated extent on the 12th, when it occupies the greatest chunk of celestial real estate as viewed from Earth. After that, the planet pulls away from us, dimming a bit but by no means losing its clear title as the brightest object in the sky other than sun and moon.     As a comparison, the next-brightest object, Jupiter, is just a few degrees above Venus. The waning crescent moon joins the picture...