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Ancient sea creatures provide food for birds, medicine for us

On the beaches of the Chesapeake, you can consort with creatures that predate the dinosaurs and whose existence you’ve benefited from if you’ve been to the doctor in the past 30 years.     Especially if you get up very early in the morning.     A full moon between mid-May and June signals the mating period for horseshoe crabs, limulus polyphemus. Females emerge from the water to lay eggs that are then inseminated by eager males. The worldwide...

Tropical Storm Alberto and pressure fronts low and high make for trouble on Leg 7 of The Volvo Ocean Race

When we last checked on The Volvo Ocean Race, the sailors had ridden the Caribbean current and safely crossed the Bermuda Triangle, reaching Miami in 17 days. In fluky, dying-wind conditions just off shore of glittering South Beach, Ian Walker and the crafty vets aboard Abu Dhabi once again showed their mastery of short-handed, close-track, in-port sailing by battling Groupama neck-and-neck the entire in-port race. PUMA stole third from Camper in a photo finish.     The...

They’ve had plenty of fun upsetting our order of things

Halloween is known for ghosts and spirits, but it’s this time of year I expect poltergeists smashing onto the scene to upset the order of things. Washers spin like whirling dervishes, cups and spoons and cartons of cream go missing, auto windows and windshield wipers stick motionless.     Naturally, that’s the time we chose for Bay Weekly to move our office.     The transfer was swift and sweet; Run Moving & Storage had our boxes swathed in tape...

The Paralyzed Veterans of America annual event is a must in my family

The first target out of the trap house for me was just the slightest angle off of dead-straight-away, always a dangerous target and easy to misjudge. I swung up my 12-gauge single-barrel trap gun, just touched the bottom of the departing clay with my front bead, and slapped the trigger. The bird sailed on untouched as the scorer behind me called out, lost.     My heart dropped. Trap is a game of very small numbers and fierce competition. Just one or two misses out of a hundred...

Your plants can’t tell you what they need; a soil test can

I recently received photographs of dead and dying plants along with soil test results sent by a Bay Weekly reader. The reader had sent numerous plant samples to a university for analysis only to be told that the injury was due to a fungus. As I studied the photographs, I could not identify a fungus that would cause such symptoms, so I requested a complete soil analysis.     The soil test results told me that the plants were starving for essential nutrients. The calcium levels in...

The season’s brightest star shines overhead

Look for Mars high above the southwest horizon at the feet of Leo the lion, with blue-white Regulus well to the west. Saturn is high in the south, with equally bright Spica five degrees below. Mars and Saturn both shine at first magnitude, as bright as a typical star, but Mars fades noticeably over the month. Right now they are more than 30 degrees apart, but through summer they draw closer together until Mars passes the ringed planet in mid-August.     Mercury is just now...

Mirror mirror on the wall, I prefer the wicked queen after all

Once upon a time in a magical kingdom there lived a beautiful princess. Young Snow White (Raffey Cassidy: Dark Shadows) was so good, innocent and pure that the townspeople loved her even though she wasn’t very interesting. Luckily, wicked queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron: Young Adult) showed up to seduce the king and lock the boring princess away in a tower.     Ravenna is more dynamic than Snow, but she lacks leadership abilities. The earth turns to ash, the kingdom starves...

Shining stars illuminate the night with great singing, dancing, Vaudevillian humor and escapist glamour in Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre’s opener

If you hear thunder in historic downtown one of these balmy evenings, don’t run for cover. It might just be the thunder of a synchronized 21-tap salute. The heat is on and so is Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, opening a 46th season with Cole Porter’s 1934 nautical classic Anything Goes.     The predictable collides with the absurd, spinning madcap confusion whose sole purpose is to showcase great singing, dancing, Vaudevillian humor and escapist glamour. Think The...

Trash pickup in Anne Arundel goes weekly starting June 4

The day of reckoning is here. Starting Monday, June 4, Anne Arundel County cuts one of your twice-weekly trash pickup days. Your new one-day-only pick-ups for trash, recycling and yard debris will be the day that you usually put your recycling on the curb. So, if Monday’s your tri-refusa day and Thursday your uni-trash day, Monday it will stay.     Make sure it’s to the curb by 6am. Forget or come out too late, and your stuff will belong to the dogs and crows until...

When London Town throws a party, it’s a mari-good time

You don’t forget a visit to Historic London Town and Gardens.     The archeological dig site and people dressed like colonials are memories children hold onto.     “I thought it was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” says 19-year-old Robert Lee, of Edgewater, of his visit a decade ago to “this place hidden all the way down Londontown Road.”     Adults are just as susceptible. A wedding in the garden on a June...