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Plant scientist Bert Drake warns that in Earth’s changing climate, plants are odds-on winners. It doesn’t look so good for us.

Canine Companions for Independence are half dog, half angel

Alana Johnson: In her own words

A higher price than we’ll like paying

The big fish are here, with anglers on their tails

Otherwise, you’re planting trouble

At Spider Hall, education and old-fashioned fun help keep the family farm in business

Squeals rise from deep inside the eight-acre corn maze. Families hitch a ride atop bales of hay. Kids scour the pumpkin patch in search of the perfect gourd. Shoppers mull over crisp apples and Maryland meat, cheese and ice cream in the farm market.     Susan and Catherine Cox — mother and daughter proprietors of Calvert County’s Spider Hall Farm — lure people to their fields with fun — hoping they leave with good memories and newfound respect for farming...

The lifting’s easier when we love it

TDML is a leaden initialism, as the experts opined at Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s confab last week on how we can help restore the Bay by reducing our Total Daily Maximum Load.     The job is heavy lifting, too, as we’ve written in these pages more times than once, most recently in the September 29 story Sharing the Load (bayweekly.com/ articles/environment/article/sharing-load).     Yet I’m uplifted day by day in the many ways I...

From 800 pounds of trash rise the prospect of ‘an entirely green event’

Beneath the marketplace of dreams that is the U.S. Boat Shows runs a stream of waste.         That’s the conclusion of the first ever audit of the waste produced by one of the shows, this year’s Sail Boat Show.     While you were slipping off your shoes, stepping aboard sleek sailboats and sipping Pusser’s Painkillers, a pair of sustainability managers from the environmental strategies firm WasteStrategies were sorting through 800...
Traffic is heavy and slow on the Osprey Highway to the Tropics, as my colleague Mark Martell calls Florida, Cuba and Hispaniola. We currently have one transmitter-carrying bird, Saco, in Florida; three — North Fork Bob, Snowy and Buck — in Cuba; and Katbird and Senor Bones in the Dominican Republic. Henrietta arrived in Colombia on Sept. 26, just nine days after leaving her natal area on Martha’s Vineyard. She’s now on the shores of the Gulf of Venezuela where Buck first...

Maryland Grazers hope to clean up the Bay getting cattle farmers to switch feed from corn to grass

Cows in the Bay watershed will live happier lives grazing at their whim in green pastures rather than confined in cells and fed a diet of corn.     Their comfort is so good for the Bay and for farmers that it has earned the Chesapeake Bay Foundation a $200,000 grant to extend its three-year-old Maryland Grazers Network to more farmers in more places.     The Grazers Network is one of 55 bright ideas on reducing pollution to local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay...

How to get your fair share when fish and birds are feeding

It had started as a brisk, calm morning, but the fish weren’t in the shallows where I had hoped to find them. After a futile hour, I followed Plan B to the Bay Bridge to find only little guys there. I was calling it a day and heading in when I saw a wisp of smoke to the north.     Thinking it odd, I watched for seconds until I realized it wasn’t smoke at all. It was a swarm of feeding seabirds, their numbers growing by the second. Securing my gear, I fired up the...

Marble chips and bluestone look good, but your plants won’t like them

I recently drove by a modest home that was well landscaped with a moderate collection of azaleas, rhododendrons and Japanese hollies in the foundation planting. The junipers in the planting were thriving, while the remaining plants appeared chlorotic with dying branches. The house was dark green, and the white marble-chip mulch highlighted the plants.     I have no idea as to how long the mulch had been in place, but based on the lush growth of the junipers and the declining...

You don’t need to wait until 2062

Who hasn’t heard of Halley’s Comet, that most famous celestial interloper that passes earth every 76 years? While we’re not due for another visit from the comet until 2062, we’re reminded of it each year around this time.     Week’s end marks the return of the annual Orionid meteor shower, the offspring of Halley’s Comet. Competing light from the waning crescent moon will dampen the shower’s pre-dawn peak Friday and Saturday. Even so,...

George Clooney is mad as hell, and he’s going to make a movie about it!

Steven Meyers (Ryan Gosling: Drive) is on the fast track to political supremacy. He’s the social media director for the presidential campaign of Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney: The American). Morris seemed to be a long shot, but his rhetoric of hope and change has struck a chord with Americans sick of their government.     Sound familiar? It should. In fact, the governor should have been named Barack Edwards Dean, but I suppose Mike Morris flows off the tongue more...

A clichéd pairing of opposites turns dying into a Hallmark production in this Bowie Community Theatre effort

Dying is one drama we all star in. This makes it an irresistible subject for playwrights, actors and directors. Grace and Glorie, now playing at Bowie Community Theatre, has death and dying as its focus and personal relationships as its theme.     Grace is a dying woman who left hospice to return to her rural home to die alone. Glorie is a hospice volunteer who followed Grace to bring her the pain medications she had left behind. As the play progresses, you learn that Glorie is...