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We’re speeding past our closest point to the sun

It’s counter-intuitive during these long, cold nights of winter, but early January brings the earth its closest to the sun in its annual orbit. Wednesday the second marked the actual point of perihelion, when we were two percent closer to the sun than usual....

You don’t have to wait until summer for the fun to start

The coming year will be filled with many outdoor opportunities on the Tidewater, particularly if you’re an angler. The best part is your adventures could start very soon, mid-January, in fact.
    Yellow perch continue their remarkable comeback around the Chesapeake. The bite traditionally begins this month on the Susquehanna Flats at a large staging area near the mouth of the Elk River.
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If you’ve grown horseradish, it’s time to harvest and prepare it

Did you remember to plant horseradish? If so, you’re in for a treat.
    Horseradish is a hardy herbaceous perennial plant that produces fleshy roots. Now that the tops of horseradish plants have died back to the ground, it is time to dig up the roots and make next year’s supply of ground horseradish.
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How fifth graders are taking over

Fifth graders are taking over the world in 2013. They’re starting at Junior Achievement’s BizTown.
    In Central Maryland, BizTown is one of the nationwide organization’s approaches to teaching financial skills to kids of all ages.
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Lived by Capt. Lawrence William Simns; written by Robert L. Rich Jr.

If anyone should write a book about being a waterman on the Chesapeake Bay, it should be Capt. Larry Simns, who has worked the water for seven decades and has served as president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association for 40 years. His efforts on behalf of commercial watermen, Chesapeake Bay and the seafood industry are all but ­legendary.
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A second life for Christmas trees

After you take your Christmas tree down, recycle it for a second life.
    In your own backyard, recycle your tree by placing it near a bird feeder. The tree’s branches shelter smaller birds. Throw unsalted, unbuttered popcorn into the branches as free-form birdfood. Branches also provide a good place to hang pinecones smeared with peanut butter and rolled in birdseed.
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Fortunately, its roar is worse than its bite

Few things look scarier than a gelatinous mass with tentacles twisting in the Bay.
    Chesapeake swimmers endure sea nettle stings in summer. But few have been stung by a lion’s mane jelly, the world’s largest known jellyfish species. Lucky for us, these jellyfish are seasonal inhabitants of the Bay from November to March.
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With the Polar Bear Plunge New Year’s Day and a portable ice skating rink set up for fun the first weekend of the New Year, North Beach become the winter capital of Chesapeake Country.
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An epic musical with a few sour notes

Life hasn’t turned out well for Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman: Rise of the Guardians). After stealing bread to feed his nephew and sister, he’s arrested and given 20 years hard labor. Branded a dangerous man, Valjean must wander the countryside looking for work and finding nothing but cruelty.
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For multi-family kids, the holidays mean more of a good thing

Serene, peaceful, harmonious — three words that do not describe Christmas in the life of a child of divorced parents. It’s more like hectic, crazy, running like a headless chicken.
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