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It takes a full palette to size up circumstances correctly

When surface-plugging for rockfish, I like to have at least two rods ready and rigged with contrasting colored lures so I can switch back and forth without interruption. This way I can immediately cast back to the spot of a missed strike with a different color, giving the fish two different looks.     Over the years, my box of poppers has expanded to hold about 25 lures of at least a dozen different colors. Over many seasons, each lure has at one time or another been a special...

Earth’s shadow blots out this week’s full moon

With sunrise now after 7am, perhaps you’ve seen an exceptionally bright light in the south before dawn? Looking up, did you see the constellation Orion? That’s Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens, known as the Dog Star for its place amid Canis Major. Sirius rises around 2am in the east-southeast. Close to the horizon, it pulses a dazzling rainbow of colors, its light refracted by earth’s atmosphere like that from a prism. Closer to daybreak, when Sirius is high in the...

You’ll need them to get rid of ­creeping Charley and clover

Fall is the best time to eradicate clover and creeping Charley from your lawn and garden. Both of these broadleaf weeds can be controlled by spraying with Weed-B-Gone, Trimec or Speedzone. Apply at the rate of two tablespoons per gallon of water as a light spray on the foliage. Apply only enough spray to wet the foliage.      Take care to avoid dripping on the soil. These sprays are phenoxy compounds that can be absorbed through the roots of desirable plants, such as trees...

Song and dance liven up the first book of the Bible

Family legacies of love, anger and rebellion define Shakespeare, fairy tales, soap operas and the oldest story of them all, The Book of Genesis, recounted in 2nd Star Productions’ Children of Eden with exquisite beauty. This is a show the whole family will love by Stephen Schwartz, creator of Broadway legends Godspell, Pippin and Wicked. Heart breaking and humorous, it recounts Genesis in songs ranging from lyrical ballads to pulsing dances, Gospel and even soft shoe.     ...

Denzel Washington puts power tools to bloody good use in this action thriller

To the employees of HomeMart, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington: Two Guns) is a teddy bear. He shows off dance moves on breaks, helps an overweight employee train to become a security guard and has a kind word for all. His coworkers speculate on Bob’s former occupation: teacher or Wall Street tycoon gone broke?     A widower, he lives like a monk in a sterile apartment with books and few modern conveniences. When the solitude gets to him, he visits the local diner to sip...

Find help here for all your fall projects

  Amish Structures for Work and Play Enjoy the outdoors in Amish gazebos, pavilions and pergolas — with screens to keep the bugs out. Kids and grandchildren get in on the fun with Amish swing sets.     Protect all your garden tools, from shovels to mowers, in an Amish storage shed. Two-story buildings double your storage space without taking up much room. Keep your cars, trucks and tractors out of the weather with an Amish garage. Chickens, goats, horses...

Flowers, Vegetables and Grasses for Fall and Winter

Growing plants keeps your soil alive and well all year long.     In the flower garden, plant annuals and perennials close together. The tops of perennials die back to the ground in fall and winter, but perennial roots stay active as long as soil temperatures are above freezing.     Add cold-weather annuals such as pansies, sweet William, ornamental cabbage and kale to fading perennials to give life and color to the winter garden. They will also absorb nutrients...

Here’s the help you need to tackle fall’s long must-do list

There is so much to do!         That’s the fact that hits me on stepping out of my car at day’s end.     I’ve just pecked at the landscape transformation plan I began, with professional advice, last spring — though I’ve been at it ever since.     The Bay Gardener’s prescription for lawn renovation is tacked on my garden bulletin board from our 2013 Fall Home and Garden Guide — still waiting...

How to freeze your rockfish

We baked a whole, handsomely fat, 34-inch rockfish in a Cuban barbeque box (lacajachina.com) for my middle son’s college graduation. It was delicious. The remarkable thing about that treat was not that the dish came out so well (the barbeque box is simple to use) but that the fish had been stored in the freezer since the middle of last season. It tasted almost fresh-caught.     Years past, I experienced much disappointment in freezing fish for longer than one or two months...

A season’s worth of sitcom plots in two hours

The patriarch of the Altman family, an atheist, had one deathbed request: that his family sit Shiva for him. His four surprised children pack up their families and their issues to spend the seven days mourning as one big dysfunctional family.     Matriarch Hillary (Jane Fonda: The Newsroom), a therapist who mined her children’s adolescent transgressions for book material, is thrilled to have her family united. The kids are less happy.     Eldest son Paul (...