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March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

As my doctor read through my records during my yearly physical, he exhaled a worrisome Hmmmmmmm. That’s never good when you’re visiting a doctor.
    “Let’s see,” he said. “According to your chart you turned the big Five-Oh this year.”
    To me, it sounded more like the big Five-Uh-oh.
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Monthly dunkings will keep them moist all the way through

A reader called to ask if she could visit me with a large houseplant she purchased last summer. It was dropping most of its leaves, and the margins of the remaining leaves were turning brown.
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To catch them, fish fresh shallows of tribs

The spring equinox has kicked this year’s white perch run into overdrive. An increasing amount of daylight in early spring is one of the prime stimulants to the white perch spawn. The equinox, coupled with our recent record rainfalls, has gotten this best loved denizen of the Tidewater moving early.
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Nancy Patterson’s canine companion Mahler is her arms, her legs and her independence

“I’ve had an engine fail on my plane,” says Nancy Patterson, of Davidsonville, a retired airline pilot. “I’ve had brain surgery. But this has been the most life-changing thing I’ve ever gone through.”
    Patterson is talking about her experience with Mahler, her service dog from Canine Companions.
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Often bad dogs make the better stories; this week, good dogs have their day

Who can resist a dog story?
    My favorites star villainous dogs, like Muggs, the hero of James Thurber’s story The Dog that Bit People.*
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    Dear Bay Weekly:
    We all know that the issue of when puzzle solutions should appear has been put to bed, several times. However, as a kind-of speed reader, I'm weekly dismayed as I finish reading the letters and — zip — my eyes stumble onto the crossword answers. How about a compromise? Publish in the same edition as the puzzle, but upside down. Thanks for your consideration.

–Gaye Williams, Annapolis
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An army of volunteers give a rare Chesapeake marsh a second life

A boardwalk leads through pinewoods to the water. From its beginning, you see a sliver of shining Bay. As you walk along the worn planks raised over marshland, the Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas facility — the industrial campus, the seven vast blinding-white storage tanks — disappear....

    Dear Bay Weekly:
    In May 2009 you published my Bay Reflection, “After the Strawberry Storm.”

    Every spring, usually in May, when we would get a strong storm with wind and plenty of rain, my great grandfather Johnny Burns would say, “Well, that was the strawberry storm. Now we can get on with spring.”
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These trees flourish after heavy pruning

Hollies can be butchered to near death and come back like gangbusters. Last year I did a pruning demonstration for a group of nurserymen to show how severely hollies could be pruned without killing them. I pruned American holly, Japanese holly and Burford holly.
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Neither plane nor loon, it’s Super Moon

Thursday’s near-full moon shines below the bright star Regulus, the heart of Leo the lion. This star, 77 light years away, has four times the girth, burns more than twice as hot and is more than 100 times brighter than our sun.
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