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  July 2, North Beach: Red admiral butterflies are abundant in the yard. Some species of butterfly hatch multiple broods during a season. Red admirals have two or more broods in our region. One brood must have just hatched because so many are around. They are one of the widest-spread species on the planet. There is also plenty of Calvert County’s official insect, the zebra swallowtail, flying about. The weather is surprisingly cool, a nice break from the recent heat. But it is going...

Leg bands help tell the story

  Since April, 1,212 birds have been rescued from the filth spilling out of the Deep Water Horizon rig in the Gulf oil spill. Another 2,188 birds were found dead. Of the survivors, 511 have been released. Over one-third of the birds rescued survived the big spill. But how long will they survive? To answer that question, scientists need help. Maybe even your help — though rescued birds aren’t expected to flock to Chesapeake Country. Nearing the end of its rehabilitation, each...

Tiny particles make bright lights

  The sun sets a few minutes after 8:00 this week, revealing a triumvirate of bright planets in its wake. Venus, Mars and Saturn continue their weeks-long dance above the western horizon. Over the next week, watch as Mars and Saturn jockey for position just above brilliant Venus. The three planets are their tightest on Saturday, all within five degrees of one another.  As these three planets set in the west around 10pm, Jupiter rises in the east. With Venus gone and the waning...

That’s a choice you have to make in buying cherries, peaches, plums and nectarines

  Every year, I am asked if the peaches and nectarines that I sell are grown organically. The answer is no. We cannot grow stone fruit crops such as peaches, plums, nectarines and cherries without having to use both insecticides and fungicides. All of these crops are extremely susceptible to brown rot, rusts and insect damage from beetles, curculio, aphids, mites, stink bugs, borers, etc. At present there are no organic or biological controls for the insects that attack these crops. Many...

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  Author and Reviewer on Same Page Dear Bay Weekly: Thanks to Doug Kamholz for the beautifully written and very insightful July 22 review of my book Wandering Souls: Journeys with the Living and the Dead in Vietnam. He gets it. –Wayne Karlin, Lexington Park - The Wonders of Wind Dear Bay Weekly: I share Mr. Burton’s frustration, in your recent edition, that a windmill or groups of them on a distant hill should be considered unsightly by the governor [July 22 Letter from the...

In the water, humans become amphibious. Try for yourself; you can feel the magic.

  Wonders happen in water. Capture water in a pool, and creatures can’t resist it.  We gather in the liquid, and make magic. Here’s what I mean. Consider that the narrator and title character in the novel Life of Pi, named Piscine for swimming pool in French, devotes pages to second-hand elegies to the early 20th century swimming pools of Paris — despite sanitation far beneath the standards of modern pools. Consider that the Druid Hill and Patterson Park swimming...

The big picture is warming up

  Where are all the talk show hosts, conservative pundits, and global warming naysayers who were crowing incessantly this past winter when it was snowing like no tomorrow? Back in February, as we shoveled out from underneath one snowstorm after another, we heard all about how climate change was a left-wing lie. Ron Smith, the WBAL talk show host, poked fun at the ongoing weather crisis every day for months — ignoring the fact that when all was said and done, the winter of 2010 was...

This rockfish took me for a Chesapeake train ride

  It had been way too many days since I had caught a rockfish, and I was ready. But late that afternoon, the light was beginning to fail, and my surface plug had gone untouched cast after cast.  My hopes had been pinned on a rumor that there were good fish to be had around this remote pile of boulders. Now it looked like it was just not going to happen for me, again. Getting desperate, I changed my lure color. Perhaps in the dim, fading light of day, black would be a better choice....

Week 21: We Have Lift-Off!

  Today, July 29, at approximately 11:09am, Junior took to the air. He was out there on the nest platform with his mother, doing his calisthenics. When I looked again, the platform was empty. I got my binoculars and went out on my pier, knowing he would be nearby. Sure enough, there he was, two piers east of mine, sitting in the middle of the end section of the pier, his mother swooping in and out over him x and landing and talking to him ... and taking off, trying to get him airborne...

You can hunt them, paint them or spend $5 to support them

  It’s about that time of year when Maryland’s black bears go from being predators to prey. On August 2, Maryland Department of Natural Resources began accepting applications from hunters who hope to shoot a bear in the season opening October 25. Two-hundred and sixty hunters will be picked by lottery from an expected 3,600 applicants (based on last year’s figures). Garrett and Allegany counties will have 65 to 90 fewer bears when the season ends October 30 — or...