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Gravestones chronicle changing Annapolis

A friend of mine was fond of saying that cemeteries were pleasant places to walk. They’re also great places to reflect on local history and, especially this time of year, to feel the spirits of the past.
    The cemeteries of St Anne’s Church and the old City Cemetery near the heart of Annapolis are a pair of open spaces wedged between busy Rowe Boulevard and West Street.
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You don’t need to wait until 2062

Who hasn’t heard of Halley’s Comet, that most famous celestial interloper that passes earth every 76 years? While we’re not due for another visit from the comet until 2062, we’re reminded of it each year around this time.
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Marble chips and bluestone look good, but your plants won’t like them

I recently drove by a modest home that was well landscaped with a moderate collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and Japanese hollies in the foundation planting. The junipers in the planting were thriving, while the remaining plants appeared chlorotic with dying branches. The house was dark green, and the white marble-chip mulch highlighted the plants.
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How to get your fair share when fish and birds are feeding

It had started as a brisk, calm morning, but the fish weren’t in the shallows where I had hoped to find them. After a futile hour, I followed Plan B to the Bay Bridge to find only little guys there. I was calling it a day and heading in when I saw a wisp of smoke to the north.
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Start looking for Venus and Mars

The recent Hunter’s Moon still dominates the night sky when it rises after sunset Thursday, with the piercing light of Jupiter to the moon’s right. While the waning moon rises later through the week, Jupiter rises earlier until reaching opposition October 28....

Irene and Lee enriched your piles

Have you noticed how quickly your compost pile has shrunk now that the rain has stopped? The umpteen inches of rain between Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee provided uniform watering to exposed compost piles. This surplus water promoted rapid decomposition by microorganisms and encouraged earthworms to invade the piles.
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When conditions are rough, the catch is all the sweeter

The 20-knot northerly wind was supposed to have laid down by dawn. Of course it didn’t. Mike and I nonetheless launched at first light and, despite the snotty weather, were soon anchored off one of the western-side Bay Bridge supports and tossing chunks of weighted soft crab back into the structure.
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How well do you know your capital skyline?

The skyline in Annapolis tells the facts of city life: the story of our 350-year history as a political center where great things happen, a religious center for the Church of England and the Catholic Church, the birthplace of our Navy, a center of education and an architectural gem.
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It’s a mess of a place up there

Like calendar pages strewn across an untidy desk, the stars of summer and even spring linger after sunset, with their autumn and winter counterparts commanding the heavens before dawn.
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Pick them and squish them. Carefully.

A visitor came to Upakrik Farm recently with an arborvitae branch containing at least 20 fully mature female bagworms. What can I spray them with? he asked. He appeared shocked when I told him nothing.
    He insisted that the bagworms had just appeared, for he had not seen them before. I told him that the bagworms had been feeding on his plant all summer long but that he had not noticed them.
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