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Turning a pop phenomenon into challenging life lessons

Highway medians become home to the birds, bees, butterflies

My guests were not who I expected

Billed as a smart and energetic musical comedy with a pop rock score and immensely likable story, this show delivers

A waterspout may get you if you don’t watch out

Reflections on heroes and superheroes

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s Open House givea us all a taste of the pleasures of camp life

Now I hardly go out there, but I’ve spent a lot of time on the Bay.     You won’t read those words, the nostalgic second clause of Tuck Hines’ description of his early days as a marine ecologist at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, in the senior scientist’s conversation with Bay Weekly this week. There you’ll read the serious stuff, like whether we’re doing ourselves in on this planet. But, as Hines’ words suggest, there is more...

The modern rockfishing boat is a high-tech warship

My phone rang early. It was my friend Frank Tuma, calling to invite me on a last-minute trolling sortie in the Bay.     Just east of the Baltimore Light, we set out the side-planer boards.     Side planers are built of three one-inch-thick wooden or synthetic boards approximately two feet long and 10 inches wide. The leading edge of each board is cut at an angle to direct their path through the water. The boards are held about six inches apart by a series of...

How to plant spring’s flagrant bloomer and its similars

As you continue your spring planting and transplanting, remember that many popular species perform best in acid soils. Among them are the now-blooming beauties azalea, rhododendron, mountain laurel, andromeda, Japanese hollies, deciduous hollies and blueberries. Oak and sweetgum trees also like acid soils.     The best time to transplant these species is early spring and, even better, fall, when they’ve stopped growing new stems and leaves and are starting to...

A feminist love story set in an un-feminist time

Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan: Skylight) has no place in Victorian society. Uninterested in being a governess and resentful of the roles forced on women in 1870s’ England, she escapes to her aunt’s small farm. There she works the land, rides astride instead of sidesaddle and generally acts in ways that would give proper women the vapors.     Her wild nature attracts farmer Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts: The Loft), who woos her with lambs and promises of a...

The Mamas and the Papas of the bird world

No one said being a mother was easy. Being a mother bird takes this challenge to a whole new level. In February, on the Eastern Shore, a mother eagle sat in her nest covering her eggs even as a snowstorm covered her. Last summer, in my back yard, a mother cardinal laid three batches of eggs. Her first and third hatchlings fledged and survived, her second pair did not: They were eaten in the middle of the night. Right now, in early May, all around our woodland edges, mother cowbirds are laying...

Eldeane Wilson, Bookmobile Librarian

When I went away to college, my mother decided to get a job. She’d trained as a kindergarten teacher and had taught before she married my father, but now she wanted to work at the Anne Arundel County Public Library. My father thought that was a great idea: She could make back all the money she’d paid in overdue book fines.     I don’t know why Mother chose the library, although we’d spent a lot of time there over the years. More surprising was that she...

I read the epic of motherhood in the comfort of home

Motherhood in her full span lives in my neighborhood.         In the eyes of eight-month-old Alexander Ehecatl Groves, Ana Dorates is queen of the universe. She is our Madonna, mother adored. But she is only one chapter of an ageless story.     The women of Fairhaven Cliffs span the whole story in its many stages. We are — to borrow the seven stages of the Finnish mythology of the ­Kalevala — maiden, wife, mother, crone, sage,...

Less trash for a start

What are you doing for Mother Earth this Mother’s Day?     Like many mothers of a certain age, she’s needing less, not more, except in the way of your attention.     One thing Mother Earth needs no more of is trash.     April clean ups of Bay and river proved this point. Close to a million pounds of trash were hauled from 525 Bay watershed sites by Project Clean Stream volunteers working with Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. The 26-...

Cheer super-avian feats of prowess at International ­Migratory Bird Day

Imagine the epic journey of the red knot as it flies 9,300 miles along the Atlantic coast from its wintering grounds in southern South America to its high Arctic breeding grounds. The journey is so taxing that it requires two to three stopovers for refueling, including one at Delaware Bay. When the knot arrives there, its body is half its starting weight, devoid of fat and even some muscle. Here, it will spend some 10 days consuming the eggs of the horseshoe crab to regain its weight before...

Fruiting plants need feeding

As you move tomato plants into your garden, here’s some advice to help improve your harvest.     First, limit the amount of fertilizer and compost you apply when you transplant your tomato plants. Applying too much high-nitrogen fertilizer or high-nitrogen compost will produce extra-large plants and few late tomatoes.     It’s in the production cycle that tomatoes need nitrogen.     A fruiting plant must absorb nutrients sufficient not...