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Solar, wind and energy-efficient upgrades on the way

You’ll have to be as high as Mike to enjoy this stoner comedy

There’s a lot involved in getting our kids to and from school safely

Citizen scientists can reverse the decline

Too many species to count are losing their habitat as native plant communities disappear because of human land management changes and occupation by invasive species. Hundreds of native insects, including many solitary native bees and other critical pollinators, have already vanished.     Plants and animals connected to each other for various needs are called a web. Most plants, birds and insects are part of very specific food webs. Thus, the Baltimore checkerspot butterfly, the...

Widgeon grass has made itself a 13-acre bed around South River Farm Park, reports Riverkeeper Diana Muller, from her June 4 reconnoiter with the Underwater Grass Expedition Kayak Team. That expansion “is exciting news in water quality,” Muller says.     A species native to the river, the underwater grass has great value for waterfowl, listed in the authoritative Life in the Chesapeake Bay as one of two “of the most important.”  

When every ounce is a drag on speed, how to provision for 5,500 calories per sailor per day?

In the nine brutal legs covering the 38,739 nautical miles of the Volvo Ocean Race, every ounce matters with the evenly matched, one-design boats. Sailors have been known to shave down their toothbrushes, and drinking cups often double as dishes.     So what would the grocery list on a Volvo-65 look like on one of the longer legs, say from China to New Zealand?     Here in his own words is the food order that Stefan Coppers for Team Brunel sent to the shore crew...

Shakespeare, thy chauvinism doth wear thin

O, Shakespeare! Why didst thou write such a play? Why doth any company still perform it? Forsooth, it hath some enduring one-liners, despite being one of thine earliest works. Yea, thou wert the first to say Love is blind and I am but a fool. But really, thy chauvinism doth wear thin.      How are we in the 21st century to believe that a strong woman, even in the Roaring Twenties, would pledge troth to a cheating would-be rapist? That the high-born and educated witnesses to...

Figuratively and literally, this show is Looney Tunes

Don’t say you weren’t warned. Colonial Players is forthright about Why Torture Is Wrong, and The People Who Love Them, the unconventional “arc” show offered to make the theater-in-the-round better rounded. Marketing Director Tim Sayles calls this “raucous and provocative” show an “ideologically pointed black comedy by America’s master absurdist playwright,” Christopher Durang. Well and good. A political commentary on post 9-11 paranoia could...

On May 26, I caught a massive 30-inch, 12-pound snakehead right here in Lusby. I took it home and filleted it. I fish for snakehead every chance I get because not only do they taste excellent but also are, in my opinion, the best fight in freshwater around my area. –Robert Oyaski, Lusby

Sometimes stubborn hope pays off

Almost the whole of the week had been lost to high winds and rain. With the marine forecast calling for five-knot winds at dawn and only a 30 percent possibility of light, scattered showers, I rose early and was ready to go at 6am.     Winds were still gusting out of the northeast at over 20 knots, showing no signs of abatement. Then came the rain, not just the predicted light shower but a torrent.     My stubborn hope was about used up after three hours of...

What’s good and bad for what

Never use colored mulches near annuals, shallow-rooted trees and shrubs or herbaceous perennials. These mulches are made using raw wood that serve as a source of food for microorganisms once it comes in contact with the ground. Microorganisms are better able to absorb nutrients in wood than are the roots of plants. As a result of the competition, plants — including weeds — starve and die.      Use colored mulches only around well-established deep-rooted...

Wondering how we’ll fare as leadership changes at DNR

A pre-visit look at Bay Weekly’s Facebook post of a toothy snakehead had my visiting family afraid to go in the water.     No need to worry, I assured them. We’re reporting snakeheads in ponds, creeks, streams and rivers, not in the Chesapeake proper. On the other hand, visitors at the next-door Smiths waded with a pod of cownose rays. Then ensued a conversation about whether the first recorded encounter with a stingray was the fault of the stinger or of the stung,...

The sun follows its own clock

As darkness falls, first Venus then Jupiter pop into view in the wake of the setting sun. Venus blazes at magnitude –4.4, exponentially brighter than Jupiter at magnitude –2, which still outshines any star. The two planets are inching closer on their way to an end-of-month rendezvous. This week the gap between the two shrinks to 10 degrees — close enough to obscure both with your fist held at arm’s length.     Keep an eye on Venus this weekend. It is near...