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He has many faces; here you’ll see some

Where will he be on Christmas Eve?

Spoiler alert: Don’t let the kids read this

Venison is benison to area food banks

I couldn’t cure anyone, but I hoped my hair would give hope

Give, and good comes back to you

Anne Arundel’s 32nd cartop boat launch opens at Discovery Village

You’ve got one more place to launch your paddle craft in Anne Arundel County.     On October 7, paddlers and county reps cut the ribbon on a car-top boat launch for kayaks, SUPs and canoes at Discovery Village in Shady Side. Discovery Village is the county’s ninth new small boat launch since 2012, for a total of 16. The county maintains only one boat ramp for trailering, in the north at Fort Smallwood Park.     There’s cause and effect at work...

Reluctant osprey still have several weeks to enjoy Chesapeake fishing

“The osprey’s back again this morning,” wrote Ron Wolfe in early October. “This one, sometimes accompanied by another, apparently failed to receive the fall migration memo,” Wolfe, a fisherman, added. “I suspect it’s part of this year’s hatch and doesn’t want to leave the only home it knows.”     Not to worry, advises Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Dave Brinker. “Birds are like people,”...

How you cope when rain won’t go away

October ranks high on my list of favorite months — third after June and July. But June and July are not always ideal. When they follow Shakespeare’s caution — Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm’d — October rises in my estimation. It could climb to second in 2016, when June was splendid but July not so.     So far, the weather gods are not cooperating.     In its early days, October 2016...

A short lesson on the difference between aerobic and anaerobic decay

A Bay Weekly reader cornered me at Christopher’s in West River, complaining that her compost pile stinks. She was composting in a rotating drum on an elevated stand. Her complaint: the contents in the drum were slopping wet and the odors so strong that her neighbors were complaining.     She admitted that she had not read the directions on the drum. “What difference would that have made?” she wanted to know.     The instructions for enclosed...

Could these long-necked fish-eaters be a ­looming threat?

I noticed the first few cormorants on the Bay in the early 1990s, though I didn’t think much about their appearance at the time. Cormorants had been absent from the Chesapeake, their numbers driven down by pesticides, particularly DDT. The otherwise large populations stretching across the northeast coast down through Florida cushioned them from total exhaustion.     Over the intervening years, since the banning of those pesticides, their numbers have been rapidly expanding...

A stork and orphan connive to deliver a baby in this animated comedy

Storks have long had the job of delivering babies. But now they’ve left the strenuous and emotionally taxing baby business for box-store delivery. Partnering with CornerStore.com, storks now specialize in same-day deliveries. They’re cogs in the corporate machine.     Except for Tulip (voiced by Katie Crown: Clarence), an orphan who hangs around the stork factory trying to help. Her heart is in the right place, but her head isn’t. Most of her inventions end as...

Who is that man?

Each morning as he brews his coffee, long-time Arnold resident Tom Plott asks himself: Who am I today?     Well, if it’s Thursday, he’s likely to be Dr. James Craik, George Washington’s closest friend and personal physician. The good doctor often roams George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Northern Virginia on weekdays, regaling visitors with stories about his beloved friend.     Tom, you see, manages the First Person program and...

Sightings up in warmer weather

Chesapeake Bay sees many migratory visitors, among them Canada geese, tundra swans and rockfish. The list occasionally includes Florida manatees. Colder waters generally keep the species south of us; most venture no farther than South Carolina or Georgia. But some males looking to expand their range can end up as far north as New England.     “They start their migration in early spring and generally return to Florida in the fall when falling temperatures bring them back,...

So far, it’s just a surmise

Could it be pilot whales?         What was Clara Gouin’s surmise as she made quick assessment of the marine pod swimming beneath the Chesapeake Bay Bridge just as she and Bay Gardener Dr. Francis Gouin crossed by truck above.     “Driving over the Bay Bridge at 50 miles an hour, you don’t have a lot of time,” she said. “But looking straight down, I saw these large, dark shapes, at least 10 feet long, maybe more, with...

She saw Annapolis’s potential as a center of art

When Cynthia McBride was a kid driving a tractor on her family’s Minnesota farm, art was not on her mind or in her future. At her father’s right hand, she watched as he managed the farm, purchased seed and equipment, planned for future crops. The seed of art that flourishes in the largest art gallery in historic Annapolis sprouted with her mother, a painter with a home studio.     Both parents were examples of hard work, honesty and thriftiness. “Nothing got...