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Find help here for all your fall projects

Flowers, Vegetables and Grasses for Fall and Winter

Here’s the help you need to tackle fall’s long must-do list

How to freeze your rockfish

A season’s worth of sitcom plots in two hours

The very thirsty Silvery Checkerspot

     After being tethered and tightly wrapped since last autumn, checkerspots in the garden are like tiki bar openers, brightly dressed and very thirsty.     I see the silvery checkerspot,  Charidryas nycteis, feeding in groups at everything: bee balm, summer phlox, Shasta daisies — blooming or not, even experimenting with the artificial woodgrain of vinyl siding on our house.     Larvae feed on turtlehead, both Chelone glabra (...

Summer after summer, you’d hear of some unlucky swimmer, waterman or shellfish eater. Then it happened to me

     On and in, I’ve swum, fished, crabbed, eeled, sailed, canoed, kayaked and written about the Patuxent River — from both sides — since 1960. When you live with a place for over 60 years, you think you know it.     From the birds that harvest the river … the migratory swans, geese, red-winged blackbirds and songbirds that visit … myriad sea creatures, terrapins, wiggly critters in the muck, ghosts of Patuxent Indians and...

1939-2014

     Whitey Schmidt said many of his books were about secrets. He traveled to hundreds of crab houses, some off the beaten path (read: far off the beaten path) to write about the well known and the unknown. He talked to locals around the Chesapeake on how they prepared blue crabs and to owners of roadside stands about their favorite ways to prepare an Eastern Shore tomato, cucumber or peach. He introduced us to these people and their recipes through his 11 books about what...

Live-line a spot

     We started our drift with just a touch of worry. The tide was falling faster and the wind, in the same direction at about 12 knots, was pushing up some uncomfortable waves. Hooking one of our few bait spot just in front of its dorsal fin and dropping it over the side, I was not confident.     “I’m not sure this is going to work out,” I said to my buddy Moe. “That’s one of the joys of no Plan B,” he answered. “...

How to stop the Japanese beetles that cause the problem

     If you have brown patches in your lawn, I expect the cause is Japanese beetle grubs eating the roots of the grasses. Japanese beetles are out in full force, feasting on roses, linden trees and other favorite ornamentals, as well as puncturing and eating peaches, raspberries, blackberries and plums. Soon those same beetles will be landing on your lawn and depositing eggs in the earth. When those eggs hatch, hungry young larvae will begin feeding until fall when the soil...

Always look on the bright si-ide of life …
 

     There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who get Monty Python, and those who don’t. The dividing chasm is willingness to accept silliness. Python’s humor is physical (Google Silly Walk), yet it has an underlying winking, silly intelligence that the don’t-gets … well, don’t get.     Fortunately for Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, the opening night audience for Monty Python’s Spamalot was filled mostly with...

An Indian family spices up French haute cuisine

     Kadam family life is built around food. In India, young Hassan learns how to taste and create unique flavors from his mother, an intuitive cook. When a riot leads to her death and the destruction of their restaurant, the family decides to try their luck in Europe.     When the family car breaks down in a remote French village, Fearless Patriarch (Om Puri: Welcome Back) sees not tragedy but fate. He spends the family’s savings on a broken-down...

How to train your dog to do what you want

How do I teach my dog to come when called? What does your dog love? Success depends on finding a reward that’s more fun than what the dog is doing instead of coming when called.     Irresistible rewards include yummy treats, lots of praise and petting, playing with a favorite toy, belly rubs, playing a chase game or whatever suits your dog. But it’s got to be more satisfying than whatever is distracting the dog from coming back to you.     Come is an...

It took a village to make Zoe mobile

Zoe is a spunky three-year old French bulldog. At home, her paralyzed back legs were no problem as she scooted over carpet. Top-heavy by nature, she bulked up by pulling herself with her shoulders.     But on vacation at Stay Pet Resort in Hanover, she was grounded on slippery concrete. She wanted to play with the other dogs but was stuck watching the action from the sidelines. Until she got fixed up with a new set of wheels.     It took a village to make Zoe...

Training makes a happier fellow

Optimus Prime was a playful, high-energy puppy when Sergeant Gregory ‘GJ’ Tomas Jr. received orders deploying him to Afghanistan for a second tour with the 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, N.C.     “We’re a military family,” says Tomas’ grandmother, Claudia Toone of Tracys Landing. Grandson GJ followed in the footsteps of his father — also stationed at Fort Bragg — who recently retired after 21 years with the Army. “...