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When oyster stew required a very big pot

     There’s much to learn from studying oysters from long ago, according to newly published research from two William & Mary professors.          Rowan Lockwood, who chairs the Geology Department, and Roger Mann, a professor in the Department of Fisheries Science, report their findings in a fascinating new paper based on examining oyster reefs from the Pleistocene epoch — which stretched until about 12,000 years ago.

 

Clear your calendar for these ­holiday traditions and annual favorites

     You’ve got your copy of Season’s Bounty, so which of the hundreds of listings will you pick to attend? I’m offering you some help. This week, we highlight a dozen or so Christmas classics that check my boxes: accessibility, affordability, ambience and amazement. Keep an eye out for our reviews of several holiday theatre productions in upcoming issues.   What: Lights on the Bay

Mary Kilbourne: 1936-2019

     Ask Mary Kilbourne’s friends and former students what they remember about her, you’ll hear about banding birds, seining a pond to find water scorpions, the latest Envirothon or leading Cub Scouts on a trek through the woods — and underlying it all her passion for wildlife, nature and the earth. She was a naturalist and an enthusiastic protector of local rivers and natural spaces, testifying against development of dwindling wooded spaces.

USPS is big-footing our place names into oblivion

     Bristol is a town barely in Anne Arundel County. It’s also barely clinging to an identity as a town, if the U.S. Postal Service has its way.     The name Bristol is recognized as authoritative in the county’s southwestern corner by most maps, by the U.S. and Maryland Geological Surveys, by the Maryland Department of Planning, by countless county databases and by the Maryland State Highway Administration’s maps and big green highway signs.

Holiday shop now open at Bunting Online Auctions

      Like the Ireland boys you read about last week [Teens Donate 4-H Hog to Charity:  http://www.bayweekly.com/node/51320 ], more Chesapeake Country kids are using what’s close at hand to lend a helping hand.

Rotary accepts grant requests thru Nov. 30

      Crabbing has slowed down for the season, but the benefits of this bounty are still being felt.          Funds raised at the Rotary Club of Annapolis’ giant annual crab feast are now available for organizations that support the local community. If you’re a local non-profit and in need of funds, consider applying for a Crab Feast grant.

Downtown Annapolis dangles three hours of free parking

      For the month of December, the City of Annapolis and Annapolis Parking offer three hours of free parking at metered spaces to attract diners and shoppers downtown.          The catch? You’ll need to download and use the ParkMobile app — available on iOS and Android.          Free parking continues seven days a week Nov. 29 to Dec. 31.
A Bay Weekly conversation with Allison Tracy of Smithsonian ­Environmental Research Center
     Oysters are a victim in the climate crisis, by most accounts, and ours in Chesapeake Bay waters are feeling it like their bivalve brethren elsewhere.      West Coast oysters are hurting from changing ocean chemistry. In New Orleans’ French Quarter, eateries are scrambling to live up to their reputations as Gulf of Mexico oysters die, smothered by the billions of gallons of Midwestern freshwater rolling down the Mississippi River.
Tour the county from Hole in the Barn Door to Mariner's Compass
     Calvert County’s mysterious new trail is not hidden, but you need a map or a guide to find and follow its course. Along the trail in plain sight are 17 wooden-framed images each with a design painted in an array of color combinations. Each has its own designation, like, Mariner’s Compass, Sawtooth Star or Farmer’s Daughter. The designs are so different that, despite being mostly fashioned on 8-by-8 or 4-by-4-foot frames, they don’t seem to have a central theme. 

Waging a fight against Japanese stiltgrass

    Microstegium vimineum. It’s a mouthful to say. A more common name for this uninvited guest to the Bay region’s forest floors is Japanese stiltgrass. On the first day of November, a cool crisp fall day, three nature-lovers — including myself — inspected a local infestation of the grass in the Severn Run Natural Environmental Area in Gambrills.