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You won’t want to go through this looking glass

Jan Miles was bred to captain Maryland’s ­historic clipper ship

We have food pantries all over the state. Why not furniture pantries?

Three years in, I’m planning ahead for optimal success

See them again this year on the Osprey Cam

Something funny happened on the way to chemotherapy

Cancer isn’t inherently funny. Yet somehow 50/50 maintains a Mel Brooksian level of levity in the face of tragedy without cheapening the struggles of those battling cancer.     Not bad for a Seth Rogen movie.     Twenty-seven-year-old Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Inception) has been having back pain for months. When it starts to effect his jogging, he goes to a doctor. There, Adam gets his diagnosis: He’s got a rare form of spinal cancer that will...

Quietly and with hope

The tide was beginning to briskly move out as I lowered the hydraulic spike on my shallow-water anchor. Positioned a dozen or so yards off a long, heavy rock jetty in four feet of water, my skiff came to an abrupt stop, then swung about with the current. The light was already getting low in an overcast early evening gloom.     I took my time getting my tackle ready and letting the water settle. When the bite has been difficult, it’s always a good idea to be cautious with...

Pick them and squish them. Carefully.

A visitor came to Upakrik Farm recently with an arborvitae branch containing at least 20 fully mature female bagworms. What can I spray them with? he asked. He appeared shocked when I told him nothing.     He insisted that the bagworms had just appeared, for he had not seen them before. I told him that the bagworms had been feeding on his plant all summer long but that he had not noticed them.     Impossible, he said. He walked by that plant every day so he would...

Two hours to ponder the bearings on which a life rests

In Wit, Bay Theatre Company tackles a heartfelt and erudite play about a woman coming to terms with cancer.     As a professor of John Donne’s literature, Dr. Vivian Bearing — superbly rendered by Rena Cherry Brown — has lived her life immersed in the minute distinctions of words and punctuation. Scholarship and inquiry have ruled her life. Now she approaches death while studying her own life and analyzing the medical profession that, in turn, is analyzing and...

We’ll all have to do our part in managing our Total Maximum Daily Load if we’re going to piece together a healthier Bay

It won’t happen without you.     The actions of federal, state and local governments are just the beginning of revitalizing the Bay. We are also counting on the partnership of millions of people who live in this region to join in protecting the waters that support their health, their environment and their economy.     So said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson this summer, speaking in her new role as this year’s president of the Chesapeake Bay Executive...

One-year delay looks to re-evaluate “transmission planning methods”

Plans for towering transmission lines to bisect Calvert County and hop across the Bay from a gigantic power conversion station in sleepy little Port Republic have been put down for a nap.     The Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway proposed by PEPCO is a high-voltage 152-mile interstate transmission project. The project was in review by Maryland Public Service Commission when, in a surprise turn of events, PEPCO asked the Commission to delay.     PEPCO’s request...
I was stunned by the article [Sept. 22] reporting that Olive had been murdered. I appreciate being informed even though it was disturbing news. I attended a Chamber of Commerce cruise in late spring and picked up a business card that I shared enthusiastically with others, saying, Look, this bird has her own business card!     I am sorry, but 10- and 14-year-olds know better than to shoot a bird off her nest for any reason. That is not hunting. It’s just massacre. Those...

Catch one last glimpse of these orange beauties before they head south for the winter

Each year as the leaves turn orange in Maryland, orange-tinted butterflies turn south. Monarch butterflies, easily recognizable in bold orange and yellow hues, visit Maryland each spring and summer to enjoy nectar and liquids from fruit.     While the monarchs might be fun to spot in your garden, make sure to keep pets and children from trying to sample the insects. As larvae, the monarchs eat a strict diet of only milkweed, which helps them develop cardenolides — a poison...

They don’t call it craft because it’s fast

Astronomy tells us summer left us only last Friday, September 23. But the seasonal gears of creatures change sooner, following the light. Like farmers making hay under September’s Harvest Moon, we humans feel this is the month to get something done.     So every September brings me a new crop of writers.     Enthusiasm whisks them in, for you have to be under the power of some heavy confidence to call or write an editor. I love their bright ideas and...

Another week, I’m sitting home cleaning the gear

The past two weeks have been frustrating. Constant marine forecasts for morning rain and thunderstorms have been followed by calm, balmy mornings with lovely overcasts that have not only been rain-free but ideal for working the edges of the Bay for marauding rockfish.     Those same low clouds are excellent concealment for any nasty squalls that do make their way down the Chesapeake. A squall could be on you with no warning whatsoever. Over my many years on the water, I’ve...