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Unsung hero of the ­Annapolis July 4 Fireworks

A lot has changed since I last saw the Stones on July 4, 1972

Osprey and falcon chicks thriving, with a little help

Beyond pomp, parade and fireworks to shared heritage

July’s two full moons are prime viewing times

No need for fireworks here

2015 gives us all we get: the gift of time

Time has been short as the old year withered and died. Now 2015 stretches before us in vast, unbroken possibility.     Then felt I like some watcher of the skies     when a new planet swims into his ken;     Or like stout Cortex when with eagle eyes     He star’d at the Pacific — and all his men     Look’d at each other with a wild surmise …     I look at the new year with...

Calvert Marine Museum’s new baby cephalopod

True names rise from a creature’s character. That’s the Native American way. Cats, too, have true names, but theirs are inscrutable to humans, according to poet T.S. Eliot in the poems that became Cats of musical fame.     Octopi are as curious as cats, certainly as inscrutable and maybe as intelligent. These creatures of the deep can change both the color and the texture of their bodies to disappear into their environment. They use their eight tentacles to explore,...

54 projects share $1.4 million

With losing weight the number one New Year’s resolution — and keeping fit and healthy number 5 — you’ll no doubt agree that the $1.4 million Marylanders just invested in trails is money well spent.     The state’s $1.4 million-share of Federal Highway Department recreational trail spending will create or improve 54 trails from ocean to mountains in 2015.     “Transportation is about more than highways, planes, trains and buses...

January $20-campaign makes ­forward thinking a bargain

The beginning of a new year is time for thinking ahead. The unfettered fertility of male animals is a direct cause of the some 45,000 cats and dogs euthanized each year in Maryland at a cost of millions of dollars.     So if your pet is part of the problem, the time is right to get the problem fixed. This month, Rude Ranch’s Spay Spa & Neuter Nook, in Davidsonville, is offering 150 Happy Neuter Year sterilizations at the affordable price of $20.     ...

Knowledge makes power

The horticultural green industries — nursery, landscaping and greenhouse crops — are the second largest agricultural industry, second to poultry in Maryland and third in the nation. With home gardening the number one hobby, it is no wonder that the demand for trained horticulturists is so high.       Gardening is therapeutic, and those who partake in it realize great satisfaction from watching plants grow as well as enjoying the flowers, fruits or vegetables...

A different rockin’ new year

We are going to have a good year in 2015. That’s what I’m predicting, despite continuing reports of rockfish population problems.     I must disclose, however, that when it comes to predicting what Tidewater anglers can expect in the year to come, the last few seasons I’ve built up close to a 100 percent accuracy rating — 100 percent wrong.     My prediction for 2013 was for a disappointing year for rockfish. That season turned out to be...

Loneliness and tragedy fuel the genius that saves the world

Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch: The Hobbit) is an odd duck. Brilliant at arithmetic but horrible at social interactions, Turing is mercilessly mocked at boarding school. His only friend introduces him to cryptography, where he discovers a world he can understand.     The grown-up Professor Turing would have been another in a long line of oddball academics but for World War II. Instead he joins an elite circle of cryptographers tasked with cracking the German Enigma. A coding...

And the Winners Are ...

We’ve saved the best for last.     That’s Best of the Bay, Bay Weekly’s 17th annual report on what, and who, gives you the most satisfaction in Chesapeake Country.     I love this issue because of its scope.     First, Bay Weekly’s Best of the Bay encompasses more than 200 ­categories ranging from Best Crab Soup, Best Overall Restaurant, Best Gift Shop, Best View and many more.     Second, it compiles a...

One man proves the human spirit is immeasurable in this war drama

Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell: 300: Rise of an Empire) lived enough for three men in his first 30 years. As a teen, the son of Italian immigrants was a petty thief. His brother suggests that instead of running from the police, Louis should put his speed to work. Throwing his energy into training, he earns a slot on the Olympic track team.     After an impressive performance at the games, World War II interrupts his plans, and Louis becomes a bombardier in the Pacific...

This time of year, even Congress takes a worldwide view

With Capitol Hill intractably divided, juggling the fallout of the midterm elections, the CIA Torture Report and local law enforcement controversy across the country, it seems an unlikely time to turn our attention abroad toward foreign aid.     Yet that’s what Congress did.     On December 15, the Senate joined the House in unanimously passing the Water for the World Act. According to the Senate Foreign Relations committee, 750 million people lack access...