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The brightest Evening Star

Sunset finds Venus ablaze low in the southwest before setting by 8pm. There is no brighter planet or star, and so close to the horizon Venus can pulse and shimmer as its light is distorted by our atmosphere. Traveling close to the sun, Venus appears for at most a few hours either after sunset or before dawn. This led early civilizations to believe that the evening star and the morning star were two distinct objects....

Halloween sweetens the bait in this timely production

Agatha Christie catches you in her Mousetrap — the longest running show in the world — baited by Twin Beach Players with Halloween lure.
    Enter the cozy North Beach Boys and Girls Club and you step into the spell. Cobwebs drape the gate of Christie’s barely illuminated Monkswell Manor, now a guesthouse.

Leave the bugs outside

If you moved your houseplants outdoors last spring, this is the week to bring them in before the first frost.
    But first you had better inspect them for bugs. One of the major problems associated with moving houseplants outdoors in warm weather is that they become exposed to a greater variety of insects generally not found indoors.

Sweet success takes tuning

Easing my skiff up near a Bay Bridge support, I launched the lively Norfolk spot toward the sweet spot where the water eddied behind the down-current side of the concrete pier. I thumbed the spool, directing the baitfish to just the right place, inches from the support.

Body snatcher targets mud crabs

When it comes to horror, Mother Nature stands at the top of the class.
    Our Halloween Creature Feature comes from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, where scientists have a horribly resourceful parasite under their microscopes. With devilish ingenuity, it takes over its host’s reproductive system for its own replication.

How to tell a spooky story

We like to be scared. Maybe not too much, but enough to feel the chill of possibility in our bones.
    As chilling night temperatures tell us the frost is near, time has come to tell spooky stories.
    This week, Bay Weekly guides you to the haunts of Chesapeake Country in a special section of Halloween Tricks and Treats.
    We have a spooky story, too, imagined and written for you by Richard Johnson of Deale.

Serving healthy portions of ­tradition and fellowship

With Christ Church Owensville’s annual homecoming dinner coming right up, parishioners gather to clean the kitchen and wash the dishes for the feast. We eat a potluck dinner because that’s what church people do before we work together. Then, as the dishes come down from the cabinets to be washed, I fall into a reverie. The plates are sturdy diner-style, green-striped, white crockery that, for the most part, match, so they nestle in neat stacks....

Sometimes the depths hold more than mystery

I have always felt that the ocean held mystery. … dark and foreboding. I inherited a small cottage on the Atlantic shore from my uncle and would spend weekends there to get away from the daily grind. Although I would enter the waves and laugh with friends, I always felt myself hold back a little, unsure of the dark waters around me. It was not the sea life that I feared....

Stay awake or you’ll become one of them

It was a dark and stormy night, and here I was on a deserted path leading to a deserted house on a deserted hill. The lantern I carried was of little use since the wind was howling and the lightning was flashing and the thunder was crashing. I began to doubt my sanity for having gotten into an argument with Clyde Barston. He had said that the old mansion was haunted, and I had said “With what?”

How to become Spider Woman, the Mummy or the Walking Wounded

And the winner is …
    Creating memorable homemade Halloween costumes is a long-running tradition for crafty moms and dads. Some are as easy as cutting up your mom’s favorite sheets, while some require a little more preparation.
    If you always wanted to create your own costumes but were discouraged by the complexity or didn’t think you had time, follow these quick directions for a contest winner.