Those innocent-looking sippers are one of the Top 5 plastic ocean pollutants

The least you need to know about solar power

For more than 45 years, Bill Ticknor has kept the 326-year-old St. James’ Parish abreast of history

Plant milkweed to support this ­butterfly’s long migration

1,271 is this week’s magic number

­Put your hand where Nodosaurus tred

Plenty to do until you can get back on the water

     As our new year begins, opening day of trophy rockfish season, April 21, 2018, is a little over 100 days away. That opener is almost a week later this year than last (by regulation the third Saturday in April), meaning a bit of extra protection for the big spawners, which is a good thing. Last season’s Young of Year rockfish count was above average for the second year in a row, a great harbinger for better fishing throughout the Chesapeake.      More...

Some of what you see is too good to be true

      Seed catalogs fill my mailbox every day. If you’ve ever ordered seeds or plants, I bet yours is filled, too. Every picture and possibility looks good this time of year. But can you trust everything you read in these appealing pages?       Certain nursery and seed catalogs market plants using exaggerated claims. Take for instance the tomato plants that also produces potatoes. I’m looking at a picture of a tomato plant with large clusters of red and...

She seeks success in high-stakes poker

     Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain: The Zookeeper’s Wife) has impressive credentials. An Olympic-caliber skier and academic whiz on her way to Harvard Law School, she impresses everyone but domineering father (Kevin Costner: Hidden Figures). When her Olympic dreams crash, Molly abandons her father’s plan and heads to LA.        Starting from personal assistant, she’s soon helping her boss run a nationally ranked private poker game. Molly...
 A Tribute to a 200-Year-Old Tree       I was away the other day when my neighbor had a tree cut down.      I knew the tree and never imagined the woods without it. It was a healthy, solidly anchored 200-year-old silver maple. This tree nurtured generations of wildlife long before so many people lived here. The canopy of this tree fed and sheltered many generations of creatures.      I have not asked my neighbor why he wanted to cut down...

And the Winners Are …

DINING OUT Skipper’s Pier Restaurant & Dock Bar Best DessertBest Kid-Friendly Restaurant Best Local Chef, Jessica Rosage Best Outdoor Dining Best Overall Restaurant Best Seafood Restaurant Best Soft-Shell Crab Best Bloody Mary Best Cocktails Best Dock Bar Best Orange Crush 6158 Drum Point Rd., Deale, 410-867-7110, ­www.skipperspier.com Happy Harbor Waterfront Restaurant & Bar Best Breakfast Best Wings Best Bar Best...

My Favorite Stories of 2017

Together, we read a lot of stories over the course of a year. Many of them give you a moment’s insight or delight. Others tell you just what you need to know. Some stay in your mind, even after all those words have come between you and them all that time ago. So I can still recount stories we ran four, 14 or 24 years ago.     Before I close the book on 2017 (yes, I really do have a large, heavy book labeled “2017 • Vol. XXV,” I like to reflect on what...

A teen discovers love’s bliss and pain

The year is 1983. Elio (Timothée Chalamet: Lady Bird) is a precocious 17. His professor father (Michael Stuhlbarg: The Shape of Water) and translator mother (Amira Casar: Night of 1,000 Hours) have raised him on poetry, music and philosophy.     Despite his familiarity with culture and the arts, he hates his family’s annual summers in Italy. Each year, his father brings along a graduate student, who’s always a suck-up and who takes over Elio’s room.  ...

(And dogs)

      All the best stories are about dogs. This is the opinion of my 10-year-old daughter, so her claim carries some weight.       But for me, all the best stories take place at Christmas. Whether I am watching Southern High School’s production of A Christmas Carol or reading the story of Nativity from the Gospel of Luke, I am reminded that miracles happen in the presence of those who believe, and all the best stories contain miracles.       It...

Its fragile globes tell the ­stories of our lives

      Every year we bring them out. The boxes come up from the basement or down from the attic; in from the garage or just out of the hall closet. Among them, there it is, brimming with memories, the Christmas box brought out once a year that tells the stories of our lives in the ornaments collected over the years.        In the top of our box, because they are so fragile, is a small box of red and gold glass balls. There are not many left now, and on those...
Help Bend the Arc of the Universe       The holiday season invites us not only to make resolutions for the New Year but also to reflect on our lives and our actions, our values and beliefs. It is the time when we turn the corner of the calendar from the darkest days to increasing light.       This year, the spirit of peace and love that lights up the holidays stands in sharp contrast to the daily turbulence that fills our airwaves, daily newspapers and social media...