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How a classic continues to charm

Test your soil to put them to work

If you want to amuse the fish gods, announce your plans

Mutants rise up to face an ancient foe in this meandering superhero tale

Local artist takes you 15,000 feet for this Commissioning Week highlight

This old west melodrama could do with more bullets and less monologues

When Jane Hammond’s (Natalie Portman: A Tale of Love and Darkness) husband returns to their remote homestead full of bullet holes, she knows that the Bishop Boys have found them at last. These outlaws have searched for years for the couple, vowing bloody vengeance. With her husband wounded and bleeding in their bed, Jane must leave to seek help.     Taking her daughter to a friend’s home for safekeeping, she tracks down former fiancé Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton: Black...

Kudos to everyone for feeding the birds during and now after Snowzilla.     Studies have found that when deep snow covers many birds’ natural food, our handouts increase their survival.     I’ve heard several people say that birds here knew a blizzard was coming. Starting last Wednesday, before our little snow, they seemed to come from everywhere to our feeders here in Shady Side, emptying them ­quickly. So we offered even greater amounts of food...

Is there a smarter way to package our takeout?

Let’s talk lunch.          As a child, each day I carried to school a packed lunch in a metal Holly Hobbie lunch box, later replaced by Wonder Woman.     As an adult, I sometimes remember to pack a lunch from home. But more often than not, lunch is carryout.     Bay Weekly prides itself on running an eco-friendly office, and we try to recycle the majority of our waste. Yet the sheer volume of take-out packaging that ends up in...

Now at home in Maryland Zoo

He wasn’t a fish out of water, but just the same, he was not where he should be. The young sandhill crane was discovered in western Maryland, walking down the center lane of a highway and hanging out in a Home Depot parking lot.     The tall, gray birds with long necks and legs are normally found this time of year in the southern portions of the U.S. and northern Mexico. They are not endangered, and populations thrive in their natural range, sometimes in huge flocks. They...

Should we give up plastic bags?

A convenience that has gotten out of hand, plastic bags remind me of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The Disney cartoon from Fantasia is one of my favorite feats of imagination. In search of ease, Mickey Mouse, the apprentice, puts a spell on his mop and bucket. But he hasn’t learned enough sorcery to limit the spell, and his labor-saving devices multiply beyond his power to control them.     You and I both know how that feels. My ever-growing bag of plastic bags...

Make a habit of carrying out lunch, and you’ll be as bad as Jonas

Talk about leaving behind litter!         Snowstorm Jonas has left us tons to recycle. Mother Earth will do much of the job, melting the snow and filtering it into groundwater aquifers. Where the piles rise into mountains — as in RFK Stadium where D.C. snow is dumped — a tractor-trailer-sized melter hired from Indiana is speeding up the return of snow to water, which will then be treated before entering the stormwater sewer system that eventually leads...

The waterfowl hunter is a different sort of man — or woman

The sound of a half dozen rapid shots followed by a pause, then two or three more measured reports rolled in from the nearby Magothy River. I was drinking my first coffee that morning, still in my bathrobe and looking out the front window when I heard the gunfire. It was bitter cold, windy, overcast and an altogether miserable morning. The duck hunters must be in heaven, I thought.     Foul winter weather drives migrating waterfowl down the Atlantic Coast. It also moves birds...

Here’s how I know which to trust

In winter’s grip, there is nothing like a good nursery and seed catalog, full of colorful pictures of thriving plants, to put you in the mood for digging in the soil. These books may even encourage you to build a small greenhouse or hot bed to get started early.     Which is why mailboxes fill up with seed and nursery catalogs this time of year.     I receive many more catalogs than I keep because I discard those with altered images or illustrations to...

Five planets shine at dawn

Sirius the Dog Star, blazes high in the south by 10pm. The brightest star, Sirius is easy to spot, but if you have any trouble, follow the three belt stars of familiar Orion down and to the left.     Last week we traveled the Great Winter Circle, which encompasses Sirius. The Dog Star also anchors another asterism, the Winter Triangle. The other two points are Betelgeuse, marking Orion’s upper shoulder, and Procyon, the Little Dog in Canis Minor, which together with Sirius...

Four Coast Guardsmen attempt an impossible rescue in this stirring drama

In an intense Nor’easter, The Pendleton cracks in half off the coast of Cape Cod. The men on the stern watch in horror as massive swells swallow half of their oil tanker. As they’re taking on water fast, engineer Ray Sybert (Casey Affleck: Interstellar) knows that they have only hours afloat.     But all the Coast Guard’s large boats are working to save another oil tanker.     A small Massachusetts town sends out the only boat left, a 35-footer...