view counter

Plant scientist Bert Drake warns that in Earth’s changing climate, plants are odds-on winners. It doesn’t look so good for us.

Canine Companions for Independence are half dog, half angel

Alana Johnson: In her own words

A higher price than we’ll like paying

The big fish are here, with anglers on their tails

Otherwise, you’re planting trouble

No need to put out the welcome mat

The mouse stood high in ancient Greece, where the god Apollo took the creature as one of his namesakes, Apollo Smintheus. White mice were kept under the altars in temples to that incarnation.     Most of us can better relate to the Indo-Aryan Sanskrit tradition wherein musuka means thief or robber.     Sanskrit may not be familiar to you, but the burglary antics of the common house mouse probably are, especially this time of year.     Freezing...

The trip starts with Maryland’s Bike and Foot Master Plan

Hey, car … van … SUV … RV … bus … truck, can you give walkers and bikers a little room?     If that’s your plea, you’ll find fascinating reading in Maryland’s Draft Twenty-Year Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.     Developed by transportation planners and interested walkers and bikers throughout the state, the plan aims at “making walking and bicycling an integral part of Maryland’s transportation...

A fresh-cut Douglas fir is the safest tree you can buy

Believe me when I say that not all Christmas trees are created equal. I know because I was assigned to set fires under the five most popular Christmas species.     In 1995, I was asked by the Maryland Christmas Tree Association and the State Fire Marshall’s office to research the most fire-resistant species. I tested white pine, Scots pine, blue spruce and both Douglas and Frazier firs. The State Fire Marshall set the rules. I rolled a single sheet of newspaper into a ball...

Some days, everything’s wrong but the fish

It was cold on the Bay, colder than we wanted to endure. But it had been a long time since either of us had caught a rockfish. So there we were in mid-morning in my 17-foot skiff off the mouth of the Severn in about 35 feet of water with temperatures barely above freezing.     At least the winds were mild, as were the seas. But the skies were stalled in a dark overcast. I could feel the fingers of cold, damp air trying to creep under my expedition-weight fleece unders. Shivering...

The only time zone big enough for Season’s Bounty in Chesapeake Country

Don’t you love it when you finally find a use for some of the stuff you learned in school?     We liberal arts majors at St. Louis University, a Jesuit school, had to minor in philosophy, and most of those 18 hours of theoretic thinking buzzed right by me. Yet here I am, reveling in my recent illumination of a new way to understand time, that favorite subject of philosophers. For I’ve realized that I am a denizen of The Eternal Now.     Think of The...

Everybody gets into the spirit

Mayhem meets knee-slapping ­comedy when the Herdmans collide head-on with the Christmas story.     Barbara Robinson’s Christmas alternative — it’s no Christmas Carol — is a good choice for Twin Beach Players: Both have to do with a small town where everybody has a part to play in making Christmas.     The fictional small town’s kids have grown weary of wearing bed sheets to play the same role and speak the same lines year after...

A princess movie for people sick of princess movies

Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel: Glee) was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and a chill in her will. Creating ice and snow is a great power for a young girl, and she gleefully turns the palace into a winter wonderland for her little sister Anna (Kristen Bell: The Lifeguard). They skate in the grand ballroom, build snowmen by the suits of armor and frolic in snowdrifts under priceless paintings.     But a careless slip of hand has a painful consequence for Anna. Worried for...

Our many reasons for thanks amount to many reasons for giving

As much a part of Thanksgiving as the feast is its sharing.         Like turkey, gratitude is a dish best taken in company. It’s just too big to manage on your own. Alongside the dressing, potatoes and cranberries, tales of blessings make the rounds.     With full hearts and bellies, we’re primed to encompass the community in our circle of grace.     Thanksgiving opens the giving-est time of the year. December spending...

Michael Ryan’s baton and mighty voice bring the Messiah home to St. James Parish

Late afternoon on Thanksgiving Sunday, singers file into the 1765-church. Some carry their well-thumbed scores of Handel’s Messiah; others will borrow or buy a score, $10 at the door.     As 4pm approaches, some 200 wait for director Michael S. Ryan to lower his baton.      For the 27th year, annual Advent Messiah Sing-Along opens the Christmas season at historic St. James Parish with joyful impromptu song.     When the baton drops, the...

More ways to share in this season of thanks and giving

Bay Weekly reader Nadine Snyder wants to know where to donate outgrown but still good clothing. So she called to ask if we’ll soon be running a listing of drop-offs for clothing donations.     Thank you, Nadine, for asking because that was the missing ingredient in this week’s feature story, our annual Thanksgiving take on charitable giving.     That story, the 12 Days of Thanksgiving, features 12 diverse charities chosen and analyzed by our family of...