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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

If you’ve got five acres, you’ve got a ready market and help starting out

Southern Maryland takes a step closer to becoming the California — at least the Virginia — of the Atlantic Coast, this fall, with a new grant encouraging farmers to plant vineyards.     While Maryland wineries have burgeoned, Maryland grapes have lagged behind.     In the first decade of the new millennium, Maryland wineries grew from a handful to 42. Eleven of those new wineries have grown up in Southern Maryland. Calvert County, one of the fastest-...

Value a watch not for what it tells you but for what it says about you

What’s the value of time?         Told time, that is — not the priceless sort that keeps slipping into the past, flinging you into the future.     When every cell phone tells the time and more, who needs a watch, let alone a fine watch that costs thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars?     That was my question to Steve Hammalian, who is throwing a seminar on the who’s, what’s, how’s of watches...

The theory’s simple: Eat your enemies and your friends thrive

Will northern snakehead join Chilean sea bass, Alaskan halibut, North Atlantic swordfish and Chesapeake rockfish as catch of the day at your favorite seafood restaurant?     The toothy invader’s potential as cuisine depends less on taste than availability.     Their tasty versatility was proved last week at The Rockfish Raw Bar and Grill, where 100 pre-Halloween diners gobbled the white-fleshed invader in four ways.     First came a cocktail...

Neither nutria nor porcupine, it’s a stumper

Bill and Martha Sykora have a regular visitor to their yard on Broad Creek in Annapolis, but who it is they don’t know. New to the neighborhood — they moved in May — they aren’t familiar with local wildlife. Martha had never seen anything like this visitor, so she grabbed her camera.     “The fuzzy photos taken thru my second-story window are of the critter in question,” she tells Bay Weekly. “It is the size of a very short-legged cat....

Spotted sea trout don’t frequent our neck of the Bay, so you want to get out there when they do

I was wade-fishing off Thomas Point Park when the fish hit my Clouser fly. Casting the weighted streamer around a boulder-strewn area in about four feet of water, I felt the take, and right away I knew it was not a rockfish.     The strike was tentative, and the fish immediately broached and flashed a spotted iridescent lavender-hued flank. It was a spec trout and the first one I had caught in quite awhile. I fought the fish with a soft hand, my long rod making this an easy task...

Cloned seedlings on sale now

Seedlings of the Wye Oak are once again offered for sale by Maryland Department of Natural Resources. I myself can guarantee that these are truly seedlings of the original Wye Oak, as I started cloning them in the late 1990s before the Wye Oak was destroyed by high winds 2002. It normally takes 28 to 32 years for oak seedlings to mature and start producing acorns. Clones are quicker. I produced 33 Wye Oak clones, which started producing acorns within eight to 10 years.     These...

While we’re seeing less of the sun, the nights are lighting up

The sun sets in the west-southwest just after 6:00 at week’s end and more than a minute earlier each day thereafter for the next couple weeks. It’s no better in the morning, with sunrise at 7:36 Friday but more than a minute later each following day. So while Sunday’s return to Standard Time may give us back the hour of morning sleep it stole from us last April, setting our clocks back that one hour cannot stave our actual loss of daylight.     But with...

This sexy take on a children’s story is sure to bring up some uncomfortable questions

Antonio Banderas burst onto the American film scene in 1995 with his star-making turn as El Mariachi in Desperado. Since then, he’s added a few more Latin lovers to his filmography, with the latest an orange tabby cat. Beyond retelling the Zorro mythos — which Banderas also tackled in the ’90s — Puss in Boots lets you know that the Puss, voiced with breathy charm by Banderas, is one sexy kitty.     By the time the opening credits roll, Puss has had a one-...

Take the Naval Academy Masqueraders’ magic carpet ride to ancient Persia and meet merchants, lovers, royalty and travelers

Mary Zimmerman’s The Arabian Nights is not your same old Ali Baba, Sinbad and Aladdin story. None of them appears in this 15-story sampling of the bawdy and moralistic tales. But if you take the Naval Academy Masqueraders’ magic carpet ride to ancient Persia, you will meet the masses: merchants, lovers, royalty and travelers.     The stories center on the Khalifah Shahryar (James Frevola, looking every inch an Arabian prince), a cuckolded bridegroom who seeks revenge...

It’s harvest time for Genetically-Modified Organisms

This isn’t the movies. It’s real life. Surrounding you left and right. But you don’t see it — any more than Dr. Kate Lloyd and her team of Norwegian expeditionaries recognize The Thing.     Through October, the local aliens have gilded the countryside, improving your vista as you travel Maryland highways. Lately, the gold has been fading to sere brown. In the last days of October, farmers will drive their combines into the fields, harvesting soybeans that...