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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

Bay Weekly commemorates the War of 1812 bicentennial with a look at this week in history.

Bay Weekly commemorates the War of 1812 bicentennial with a look at this week in history By June 23 of 1812, the United States of America was at war with Great Britain. Though neither nation was aching for a fight, trade disputes, Britain’s support of Native American rebellion and the forceful conscription of Americans into the British Navy pushed the old and new nations to an impasse.     But this week 200 years ago, America flirted with the idea of suspending its six-...

The four-masted, 141-foot Kalmar Nyckel drops anchor in Solomons this weekend

The tall ships have sailed out of Baltimore, where for a week the harbor looked as if it were 1812. The 40-strong flotilla — including 25 tall ships representing a dozen nations — marked the anniversary of the declaration of war on Great Britain and the official start of the bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812.     A million people visited over a week.     For a less hectic but equally awe-inspiring sight, catch up this weekend with a ship as...

Books on baseball are keeping me happily turning pages

If your summer needs a good book, you’ve come to the right place. With the official start of the season (the sun is standing still as I write) comes Bay Weekly’s annual Summer Reading Guide.     All the good books our 17 dedicated readers recommend in this issue will have to wait for fall before I crack their covers — or sample them on my Kindle.     This summer, I’m reading baseball.     Under Walt Whitman’s blessing...

Good fishing, good eating and good news

Casting up tight to the riprapped shoreline, I flipped the bail closed on the small spin reel and started my retrieve. I wanted to keep the Rooster Tail lure up and off the submerged rock below. My retrieve slowed as the lure came away from the stony structure and I let it settle, slow rolling it down, close to the bottom where I hoped some big blackbacks were holding.     My bait stopped. I suspected a snag at first, but with big perch you never know. I gave my rod a good tug...

Here’s how to make it work

Making compost in a drum composter is very different from making compost in a bin on the surface of the ground. When you’re composting in a bin on the ground, any excess water drains from the compost into the ground. Any moisture released in the air surrounding the pile is quickly disbursed by wind and air currents.     Composting drums have vents, but most of the moisture released during decomposition condensates on the surface and drops back into the composting materials...

You’ll have to rise early and stay up late to see all five naked-eye planets

The nascent crescent moon emerges from the glow of sunset low in the west-northwest Thursday evening. Above the moon is Mercury with the Gemini twins Pollux and Castor higher still. Sunset Friday finds the waxing crescent a little higher in the west with Mercury, Pollux, and Castor farther to its right.     Mercury outshines all but the brightest stars and even Mars and Saturn. Even so, Mercury is the least familiar of the naked-eye planets, as it is so close to the sun it never...

Kids do the darndest things, like stab people with lefty scissors

Two troubled 12-year-olds find that their broken pieces fit perfectly in this latest Wes Anderson (The Fantastic Mr. Fox) fantasy.     Sam (newcomer Jared Gilman) is an orphan with emotional issues and excellent scouting skills. Suzy Bishop (newcomer Kara Hayward) is a quiet girl prone to violent outbursts, observing the world through the detaching lens of binoculars and wearing too much eye makeup.     Meeting on a small New England island, they discover they...

One good story deserves another

Heather Boughey began our Father’s Day feature with her legendary tale of what her late  father, our beloved columnist Bill Burton, left behind. Magnetically, her story attracted a half dozen others. Read on for the legacies bequeathed another icon, Bernie Fowler; a politician, Mike Miller; a riverkeeper, Fred Tutman; a mourning adult daughter, Donna Ware; a fledgling fourth generation journalist, Bay Weekly intern Jesse Furgurson; and a foster child of beloved relatives, Marjorie...

Two hundred years ago, a fledgling, not-so United States had to again take up arms against Great Britain.

The Chesapeake Bay played a starring role in the conflict that produced our national anthem. Francis Scott Key wrote The Star Spangled Banner as the city of Baltimore was under attack by a vast enemy fleet and army that had just destroyed the new capital, Washington City.     1812 was a long time ago. High tech was represented by small, wooden sailing vessels, powered by wind and sweat, technology little changed in hundreds of years. You want to talk to Europe? Could take months...

Be relentless and constant, Bernie Fowler counsels

Forty-two years in, and your life’s work earns an F.     That’s how long it’s been since Bernie Fowler took on the establishment to stand up for the Patuxent River, suing the state of Maryland and the federal government to “do what they ought to be doing: put a plan together to upgrade our river.”     You and I might find that grade on the NOAA-University of Maryland 2011 report card discouraging. Not Bernie Fowler. He’s in for...