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Snapshots from Earth Day 2015

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Chesapeake Country’s celebrity birds

Oysterman hauls up archaeological treasure

It’s been a long roller coaster ride for conservation

This New England transplant finds our warm summers and mild winters great for growing a wide variety of plants

Maryland bears and hunters coexist

Maryland is a pretty wild place, and getting wilder all the time. Foxes are joining deer, groundhogs, opossums, raccoons and squirrels as regular neighborhood families; skunks and coyotes are occasional visitors.     Lest black bears rejoin the list of wildlife returning to their original statewide range, some 1,100 hunters stalked them, killing 69, in Allegany and Garrett counties from October 20 to 23.     This year’s hunt was the 11th since Maryland bear...

A second life for a worthy craft

Have you outgrown — or out-aged — your boat? It may have a second life helping the Severn River     The Severn River Association needs a small boat to monitor the Severn watershed. The ideal boat is small enough to get into nooks and crannies so volunteers can inspect and photograph shorelines to monitor compliance with Critical Area regulations.     That good ol’ boat will also help chronicle the work of Association volunteers to protect and...

Meet ghosts, Volvo ocean racers and a 1,900-mile runner in this week’s paper

If ghosts do haunt historic places, they may view ghost hunters of Melissa Barba’s ilk with the same distaste long-time celebrities feel for paparazzi. Two or three centuries into the job of haunting, a new generation comes hunting with intrusive paraphernalia: flashlights, cameras, camcorders and voice recorders. So, if you follow Barba’s instructions in this week’s feature, “If There Be Spirits, Now’s the Time to Find Them,” don’t be surprised if the...

While the wind blows, I’m ­getting a handle on things

The Beaufort Wind Force Scale puts the threshold for a half-gale at 20 miles per hour. These stiff Bay winds are projected to be with us intermittently into November.     Winds like these cheer the hearts of sailboat skippers after the doldrums of summer. But anglers on the Chesapeake suffer at being blown off the water as the season winds down.     To calm the turmoil that gens up in my angler’s innards when I realize another Maryland winter is fast...

Straw-Bale Gardening Works Re: www.bayweekly.com/node/23750 Siberian kale grows happily on bales of straw.     This summer, I experimented with soilless gardening in bales of straw. The trick is priming the bales with fertilizer. I used 21⁄2 cups per bale of high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer minus all herbicides, testing both organic and inorganic.     I prepared the bales in mid-August, inserting a long-shank thermometer and irrigating two to three times...

Halloween falls right in between

The waxing moon reaches first-quarter Thursday, and as darkness falls on Halloween, it shines high in the south, with the bright star Fomalhaut almost straight below.     As a holiday, Halloween stretches back thousands of years, but not as a day of costumes and trick-or-treating. It coincides with earth’s path around the sun, falling midway between autumnal equinox and winter solstice.     The Celts of pre-Christan Britain called this cross-quarter day...

Cast, staging and pace threaten to leave you breathless

There is nothing like the rat-a-tat of briskly delivered dialogue to transport an audience to a different time and place, and Colonial Players is currently doing the job atop the broad shoulders of Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men.     If you think having seen the movie is enough, think again. First time director Jeff Sprague has hit the trifecta with this production: a believable cast, intelligent staging and a vocal pace that sometimes threatens to leave you breathless. It...

You can do a lot of terrible things, but don’t kill a man’s dog

John Wick (Keanu Reeves: 47 Ronin) is hanging on by a thread. Numbed by the death of his wife, he goes through his daily routine on autopilot. Anticipating her husband’s reaction to her demise, Wick’s wife planned a companion for his recovery: a beagle puppy named Daisy.     As Wick warms to the pup, a trio of Russian gangsters warms to his tricked-out Mustang. They break into his house, beat him senseless, kill poor Daisy and abscond with the car.   ...

Before you vote them in, read their words on the Bay
 

How do you use the Bay, and what will you do to keep this great resource alive and well? District 27 State Senate Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D–Chesapeake Beach) Lawyer; lawmaker since 1971, all but four years in the Senate with a record 27 years as its president, making him Maryland’s most powerful lawmaker, apparently immune to Calvert’s current Republican leaning.     A healthy Bay is critical to our quality of life. We must prioritize our efforts to reduce...

8th-grader’s plan wins statewide peace writing contest

“I hear a buzz. … It’s a group text but all the numbers are blocked. It reads check out this geek, and the picture connected to it is of my best friend Sarah.”     Those words, and the thousand following, won Central Middle School’s Jenna O’Connell first prize in this year’s Fred B. Benjamin Peace Writing Contest for Middle Schoolers.     Sarah is author O’Connell’s creative response to the cruelty of cyber-...