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Hunters pay no new fees, but wildlife gets no new funding

Increased fees for hunting licenses and stamps died with the House Republican Caucus leading the fight to kill HP 1419 on March 26. The death was unexpected.
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Take the first step in a natural dill-recycling program

Fresh chopped dill is hard to beat in stewed tomatoes, mashed potatoes, cucumber salad, steamed carrots or your favorite vegetable or chip dip. Dill has a unique flavor and aroma. But it’s difficult to incorporate in the herb garden because it grows tall and spindly and does not produce much for the space it occupies. So I grow it as a garden weed.

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Perched above the equator, the sun splits the day between light and dark

As darkness settles, Venus and Jupiter blaze in the west, and with the moon absent there is no brighter objects visible. After drawing together for weeks, Venus has pulled ahead. At week’s end they are four degrees apart, and the distance grows by about a half-degree each night. Both planets are climbing higher into view, heading from Aries toward Taurus and the Pleiades star cluster.
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This hurry-up winter is pushing spring

I am told that in Ireland, potatoes and peas are always planted on St. Patrick’s Day. Here in Southern Maryland, our soils are generally wet and cold and impossible to plow, rototill or cultivate in mid-March. This year may be different.
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The Ides of March brings the year’s best fishing

It was just the slightest bit of resistance.
    I was working my minnow-tipped Tony spoon deep across a wide section of the Upper Choptank when that hint of hesitation made me lift my rod tip. With the feeling of yet more resistance, I set the hook and was rewarded by a heavy surge at the end of the line on my ultra-light spinning rod.

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On Leg 4, the Volvo Ocean Racers leave China and head to New Zealand

When we last checked on The Volvo Ocean Race, 13 days from Abu Dhabi to China had ended with a tacking duel that pushed the exhausted crews to their limits. Leg 4 begins in Sanya Bay, homeport last-place boat, and ends in Auckland, New Zealand.

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Here’s how to get early indoor flowering

Can’t wait for spring?    
    Bring spring indoors, and you can enjoy early flowers.
    Pussy willow can be cut and brought indoors for forcing any time after the middle of January.
    Force forsythia into flowering next, starting as early as February.
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Venus and Jupiter are at their best, and the moon isn’t too shabby, either

As the sun dips toward the horizon, Venus and Jupiter appear high in the west. Venus, the brighter of the two, shines roughly five degrees below Jupiter at week’s end, but that gap is closing fast. They reach their nearest on Tuesday, shining side by side a mere three degrees apart. Visible for almost four hours after sunset, this is the best conjunction of Venus and Jupiter for years to come....

If you love Maryland wildlife, thank a hunter

I expected rancor, high emotion and fireworks. Who wouldn’t complain, years into a recession, at being targeted for a substantial hike in fees?
    What happened at last Saturday’s hunters’ roundtable was nothing of the kind.
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Our sister planets are at peak display this week

This is a week for watching the planets. Mercury is emerging from the glow of twilight in its best appearance of the year. Higher above, Venus and Jupiter are drawing together on their way to an incredible conjunction. Mars reaches opposition and is at its largest and brightest for the year. Saturn’s there, too, a golden sentinel visible from 10pm until dawn.
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