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Snapshots from Earth Day 2015

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Chesapeake Country’s celebrity birds

Oysterman hauls up archaeological treasure

It’s been a long roller coaster ride for conservation

This New England transplant finds our warm summers and mild winters great for growing a wide variety of plants

Solunar theory predicts fish and animal activity cycles

‘Fishing Charlie’ Ebersberger has spent as many days on the water as any angler in Maryland and arguably acquired more knowledge in his constant conversations with like-minded customers at his store, the Angler’s Sport Center.     How was the Solunar watch working out? I asked as the instrument celebrated its first anniversary on his wrist. Seems that its predictions of fishing success based on peak times for fish activity are much better than either of us...

Potted outdoor plants need cold-hardy roots to survive winter

Did you know that the roots of plants are not as cold-hardy as the stems and branches? What’s more, the roots of different plant species are killed at different temperatures. This is information you need to know when selecting plants for growing in above-ground containers that are to remain outdoors all year long.     Below four feet, soil temperatures seldom drop below 28 degrees. If the ground is covered with mulch or snow, temperatures may be several degrees higher. If...

Even invisible, it tugs our tides mightily

Look for the waning crescent moon in the southeast before dawn Friday. Golden Saturn is just a couple degrees above, while fiery Antares is less than 10 degrees below. The trio rises around 4am, and by 6am they are well placed above the southeast horizon.     Tuesday marks new moon — the first of January’s two Supermoons. What? How can new moon be a Supermoon? The criteria for the relatively new term Supermoon isn’t that we can see it, but rather that the moon...

A biopic with a body count

Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper: Guardians of the Galaxy) was raised to believe there were three types of people in the world: Wolves, sheep and sheepdogs. Wolves preyed on the weak and took what they wanted. Sheep did as they were told and hoped to never meet a wolf. Sheepdogs took responsibility for the flock and beat back the wolves.     A natural protector, Kyle spent his early life bumming around the rodeo circuits of Texas, looking for women, beer and brawls. The bombing of the...

As a former resident of Maryland, I am writing to express my concerns about pollution devastating the Chesapeake Bay. Nitrogen and phosphorus, common in fertilizers, fuel excessive algae growth that leads to hypoxia, which is bad news for fish in the Bay.     Striped bass are the most recognizable species suffering. Hypoxia forces the fish to remain in shallower, warmer waters, which can be extremely stressful and decreases their resistance to disease. This problem is evident...

Coast Guard’s sea turtle rescue brings them Internet fame

It’s all in a day’s work.         The day was August 12, when a boater reported an entangled sea turtle 30 miles off New Jersey’s southern coast.     Using the boater’s GPS coordinates, the Cape May Coast Guardsmen and staff of Marine Mammal Rescue Center set out on a rescue mission. Finding a turtle in the Atlantic could have been as hard as finding a needle in a haystack. But the coordinates led straight to an ensnared...

In winter, Maryland horse riders head to balmy Florida

When the first cold winds of winter blow through, some intrepid riders pile on layer upon layer of warm clothing to keep riding outdoors. Still, snow, ice and frozen ground often send them hunting for the friend of a friend’s indoor arena.     Warmer-blooded riders scheme ways to get themselves and their horses to warmer climates, trading down-filled coats for T-shirts and heavy blankets for lightweight flysheets.     “I’m not a cold-weather...

It takes a special trailer to haul a 58-ton boat

The waterfront hamlet of Deale sees plenty of boat traffic. But nothing like the 80-foot sportfisherman stopping traffic on the street.     The boat — atop a very long blue trailer — had an entourage, led by a Maryland State Police squad car and followed by escorts on truck and foot.     Rather than this 90-minute procession, boatbuilder Jimmy Weaver had hoped to move the hull by water from one boatyard on Rockhold Creek to another on nearby Tracy...

An invitation 193 years coming

At 193 years, this journey was long, even for one used to the arduous journeys of the Underground Railway. This week, Harriet Tubman — a criminal in her own time — was welcomed by Maryland’s first family into their home.     She comes in bronze, as the first bust of an African American to be displayed in Government House.     “In commemorating the life of Harriet Tubman, we’re ensuring that the healing light of those who shine...

State of the Bay a barely passing grade

D+. That, alas, is the state of our Bay, unchanged since 2012, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s just-released State of the Bay Report.     Foundation scientists consider historical and current information for 13 indicators in three categories: pollution, habitat and fisheries. Each indicator is scored between one and 100.     Four indicators — dissolved oxygen, water clarity, oysters and underwater grasses — improved.   ...