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Tour the state in one visit

It takes six to 10 years of attention to get it right

Artist John W. ‘Bud’ Taylor inspired an ethic of land preservation

Take advantage of the quiet — and of migration — to go birding

Think as well of the people as of the turkey

     Like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving is America’s own holiday. Joining together in annual celebration, we renew their meaning and recommit ourselves to the values those high holidays represent.      Thanksgiving hosts take very seriously their turn at continuing that honored responsibility. Time-honored as the elements of the feast are, we must each perfect them for our table. Perhaps each year there will be one thing new.      The...

Thanksgiving novels now in season

     In novels, everything happens for a reason. Thus the coexistence of Thanksgiving and National Novel Writing Month in November can be no coincidence.      Our national holiday is a cornucopia of potential plots.      Food, for example. Since Like Water for Chocolate, novels linking food and life stories have seized the popular imagination and risen to the top of the charts, spilling over into movie adaptations. Imitate Laura Esquivel and write a...

What’s old is new again

     In 1925, the so-called Scopes Monkey trial adjudicated creationism versus evolution in a battle of legal titans. John Scopes, a substitute teacher in Tennessee, had been charged with breaking a local law that banned the teaching of evolution. Allowing himself to be used as a test case, he became the subject of one of the most closely followed trials in American history, broadcast across the country by radio. The two biggest names in the legal world, former friends, took...

Prevention is the surest cure

     Several Bay Weekly readers have contacted me lately concerning smelly fluid oozing from the trunks of older trees. One noticed it after seeing a large cluster of flies covering about a square foot of bark at the base of an oak tree.      What they’re seeing is wet wood, or slime flux, a tree disease that afflicts older trees, especially after the tree has been struck by lightning or suffered wind damage. Symptoms are most severe if the trees are under...

The God of Thunder finally gets a movie worthy of Valhalla in this delightful action romp

     Visions of the destruction of Asgard send Thor (Chris Hemsworth: Ghostbusters) on a quest to save his kingdom. Returning home after battling monsters, he finds chaos.      Posing as their father Odin (Anthony Hopkins: Transformers: The Last Knight), Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston: Kong: Skull Island) has taken control. Before Thor can stop his mischievous brother, a new problem arises in the form of a long-lost sister Hela, the goddess of death....
Getting equipped to clean your tackle will postpone that day of reckoning
     First it was wind and plenty of it. Then rain. Gazing at the dreary, sodden, gale-racked scene from my writing chair, I admitted that foul weather is finally descending on us. We will get days on the water, but more often than not, we won’t.      Behind me was the tangle of gear I had ignored for some time. Two rod racks hold more than 20 outfits, sufficient for most of the rigs I commonly use. When I’m in a sweet run — weather, tides and...

You never can tell who you might meet there

     Crumbs of Chris and Ruth’s famous homemade donuts flew out of his mouth.      “You did what?” he said.       The crumbs would have hit me squarely had I not anticipated his reaction and used my napkin as a shield.      “I bought the Haunted House of Eastport,” I said. “Nobody wants it, so I got a great deal, and there’s room for all my animals. There’s even a house for Douglass, my...

There’s more in the air than falling leaves this time of year

     Have you been seeing things? There’s a lot to see as autumn shoots a last blast of color before fading to winter’s grayscale. In Chesapeake Country’s moderate color zone — our current status according to the Foliage Network — sumac and dogwoods are blazing and pin oaks bronzing through the yellowing green. The dappled treescape evokes the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ lovely poem Pied Beauty.       Flowering grasses...
Transparency in Government      Calvert Countians enjoy a culture of service and reasonable access to elected officials and county staff. We can call our officials and county department heads and ask questions and give opinions.      Transparency in government requires more than access to officials, however. Transparency is an ongoing process. In a free society, two criteria especially are essential: public access to information and public understanding of the...

Aly weaves a tale

     Aly loved October. She loved how the spiders spun ghostly webs to decorate the house for Halloween.      The fall cold always came overnight, when the moon was a spooky thumbnail. Then her mother’s outdoor plants began to droop and wither. Thinking about the spiders and how hard they were working, Aly worried.       How would they stay warm, when even the flowers that her mother tended so carefully could not survive?      ...