view counter

Highway construction is a long and bumpy road

Solar, wind and energy-efficient upgrades on the way

You’ll have to be as high as Mike to enjoy this stoner comedy

There’s a lot involved in getting our kids to and from school safely

I voted in the early election voting. Not only that, I was an early election voting official, so I can imagine the energy going on all around me at the precincts as I write.     Many polls had people in Monday night, setting up the equipment, getting ready for the 7am Tuesday start.     Poll workers arrive by 6am to turn on all the equipment and run checks. Outside, citizens are lining up waiting. Who knows when they showed up. By the time this is printed, we...

The fall flocks arrive this month

Bird enthusiasts and hunters wait for them every fall. Flocking to the Chesapeake from the prairie pothole region of north-central United States, south-central to northern Canada and Alaska, the ducks arrive. They dabble in our coves and lend their voices to the symphony of winter, harmonizing with the sonorous hooting of tundra swans and geese.     Though the vast numbers of the past are no longer, this year’s duck factory output has bird-lovers cheering.   ...

How close we are despite how far apart

Well that’s that. The votes are counted. Losers are mourning, winners celebrating their mandates, that word pundits love. The future is beginning.     There’s a finality to those black-and-white results that’s too simple for real life.     To see the fuller truth, read down any column of figures. Bite into any pie chart.     You see that we are of two minds, often divided by the thinnest of margins.     President...

To elephants, pies and shoots

Thousands of pumpkins are carried away to homes all across the country to be part of harvest festivals, decorations and Halloween Jack-o-lanterns.     What happens to the pumpkins that never find a home?     In Annapolis, the lawn of St. Martin’s Lutheran Church was swimming in pumpkins delivered by a semi-truck after a long journey from a tribal Indian farm in New Mexico. Selling those pumpkins over three weeks, Friends of the Lighthouse Shelter earned...

Storm-displaced pelicans make themselves at home in Port Republic

Beyond tree branches and driving rain, Hurricane Sandy delivered flying surprises that prompted avid birders to describe her severe weather and blustery gusts as a productive storm.     “It is as if the entire Northeast were a giant snow globe that has been lifted up and shaken, with a variety of bird species being found far from where they were before Sandy’s arrival,” the website ebird.com reported.     I am forced to agree. Waking up to a...

You’ll need an airsick baggie for this one

When SouthJet Airlines flight 227 falls from the sky, some miraculous maneuvers from the captain save most of the passengers from death. Captain Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington: Safe House) is thrust into the spotlight as the media clamors to learn more about the hero.     The National Transportation Safety Board is more interested in finding out what caused the plane to take a nosedive in the middle of a seemingly routine trip. Especially of interest are toxicology reports...

Whet your Thanksgiving appetite this weekend at Whole Foods in Annapolis, where an array of traditional holiday dishes will be showcased on Saturday noon-2pm. There is no charge and no registration. Show up and enjoy samples of turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, corn pudding, pies, dips, relish and the like. Of course, you’ll be in the right place to start shopping for all those yummy dishes once you’ve been inspired.     Also at the Annapolis Towne Centre at...

Washington Writers’ Publishing House wants to give you $1,000

Writers and poets of the greater Bay Weekly area, here is your chance to see your best work as a book.     Storm Sandy pushed the venerable Washington Writers’ Publishing House annual deadline to December 1. Fiction writers and poets living within a 75-mile radius of the U.S. Capitol — in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia — thus gain an extra month to prepare manuscripts for entry in two annual book competitions.     Some writer-...

More Bugs: Soft-shell scale, mealy bugs, spittle bugs, spider mites and cyclamen mites

A number of insects feed unnoticed on houseplants until perplexing changes alert you. Yellowing leaves are often seen as an indication that the plant is hungry and needs a dose of fertilizer. Yellowing leaves can also mean soft-shell scale insects are feeding on your rubber tree, crotons, philodendrons or related foliage plants. In sufficient numbers, these insects can cause leaves to turn yellow and appear deficient in nutrients.     Look for scale insects on stems, veins in...

Look for Andromeda while waiting for meteors

The moon wanes through morning skies before reaching new phase in the nether hours between Tuesday and Wednesday. Before then, look for the waning crescent near brilliant Venus before dawn over the weekend. By early morning Sunday, a thin sliver of moon is just five degrees below the dazzling morning star in the east. If you have a clear view of the horizon, scan it for Saturn, reemerging from the sun’s glare. Monday before dawn, the ringed planet is a half-dozen degrees below the razor-...