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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

Foresee this year’s inch total and Laura Neuman will buy you lunch

Is it ever going to snow in Maryland? Probably, out there in our mountainous west. But how about closer to home? Will Anne Arundelians see snow in 2013-2014?     Nobody knows when — or if — it will snow.     But that shouldn’t stop you from guessing. Especially when the right guess can win you lunch — as well as bragging rights.     Alas, it’s too late to prognosticate the first snowfall and win a ride on a working...

Nominate what’s there and what’s needed by December 1

What’s your favorite place to get out on the water, swim or fish? Where is a boat ramp, fishing pier or trail needed? Now is the time to tell the National Park Service your thoughts.     Use the interactive online mapper, already marked with existing sites and past suggestions, to share your suggestions for new public access sites across the Chesapeake Bay watershed. But hurry, there are only a few days left: the mapper is only open until December 1.     ...

See if you can find the naked-eye five

The waning crescent moon rises later and later in pre-dawn skies through the weekend before disappearing behind the sun with Tuesday’s new moon.     Look for the moon Friday before sunrise in the southeast just a few degrees above Spica in the constellation Virgo. Closer to the horizon, and rising just a half-hour before the sun, are Mercury and Saturn. A thin sliver of moon pays a visit to the two planets early Sunday morning. Saturn is just a couple degrees above the...

We’re eating well and will be into spring

This year’s fall garden has been better than ever.     The August plantings of Contender and Crocket green beans each provided at least three pickings of the most tender and flavorful green beans we have ever enjoyed.     The broccoli has been out of this world. Ball-head cabbage is ready for making sauerkraut. The kohlrabi is crisp and sweet and great shredded in salads. The cauliflower is just reaching its peak for harvesting, along with the savoy cabbage...

A perfect orphan for the holidays

Leapin’ lizards, Annie, how do you still break hearts after 35 years, even when we know what’s coming? It’s not just your heart-warming premise or sweet songs, your adorable mutt or Vaudevillian villains. It’s the magic of a cast so sincere and invested that two hankies are not enough for Colonial Players’ family holiday classic.     Under experienced children’s director Joe Thompson, this dynamic cast, half under age 15, milks Annie’s...

When fighting for life and liberty, who has time for teen romance?

In a dystopian nation of Panem, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence: The Silver Linings Playbook) is considered lucky. The winner of the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss was the last woman standing in a government-sponsored death match. With a spark of rebellion, she refused to kill hometown boy Peeta (Josh Hutcherson: Epic), claiming that she loved him and would rather die than end his life. The two were allowed to live as the first pair of winners in Hunger Games history.     The...

Season’s Bounty Heralds the Holidays

For us at Bay Weekly, this week’s paper arrives like Christmas.     The wait has been long and ticklish with anticipation. Preparation has kept us busy for days and nights, our keyboards ringing like tools in elfish workshops. Visions of what’s to come have danced in our heads.     Now the wait is over.     With this week’s paper, Christmas arrives.     In this season of sharing, it falls from our hands into yours...

After generations harvesting wild oysters, Chesapeake watermen are learning to raise them

Where have all the nicknames gone?     Once upon a time you had one — Popeye, Spanky, Hambone — if you were an oysterman working the Bay.     Nowadays, oystermen are mostly gone, along with their nicknames. In Anne Arundel and Calvert counties, only about a dozen commercial oystermen still work.     Two of the few are a couple. Rob and Terry Witt continue oystering in the traditional way from their marina in Shady Side. Coming from...

In hatcheries, science works to jumpstart nature

Restoring oysters and an oyster economy in the Chesapeake starts in hatchery labs, where scientists are filling the gap in hopes nature will take over from there.     The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Hatchery in Cambridge — expanded last year to produce up to two billion spat a year — grows the larvae, nursing the tiny babies as they attach to a hard surface — old oyster shell. Other oyster babies are grown in a smaller...

Comet ISON is heading for the sun

If you haven’t looked for Comet ISON yet, now is the time. In just the past few days, the comet has grown more than 15 times brighter and is now visible to the unaided eye low in the east-southeast before dawn.     These are the final days before ISON passes behind the sun, coming within 730,000 miles of its fiery surface November 27. Will the heat tear asunder this sun-grazer? Or will it survive and grow brighter as some of its matter is boiled into more reflective vapor...