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Your guide to Chesaeake Country's freshest produce and more!

Today’s oysterman is likely to be a woman — and a farmer rather than a hunter-gatherer

Local artist Greg Harlin puts his stamp on the Battle of Baltimore

Species at risk in Maryland are a roll call of birds we know and love

No walk in the park in Chesapeake Country

Mountain laurel, blueberries and other acid-lovers, too

You never know what’s going to happen on the Chesapeake

Arsenic additive accumulates in poultry, soil and us

It’s not just chicken feed; it’s arsenic as well that fattens chickens in their short seven-week lifespan from egg to market. The chicken we love to eat fried, sautéed, roasted and broiled contains traces of the poisonous element. That’s one finding of a new study commissioned by the Maryland General Assembly and done by the University of Maryland’s Harry R. Hughes Center for Argo-Ecology in Queenstown.     Arsenic in any of several formulas is added to...

Stop them now and save yourself extra work come spring

Have you looked at your garden lately? When you do, don’t be surprised if you see chickweed, henbit, annual bluegrass, cranesbill, etc. starting to create a green carpet. Those weeds are pretty small now, but if you don’t get out there and control them, they will be much larger next spring.     Winter annual weeds tend to sneak up on you. It takes more than hoeing to bring them under control. If you simply hoe them out of the ground and leave them there, they will...

The season ended December 15. No more keepers until April.

Tic, tic, tic: I could feel my two-ounce bucktail jig bouncing lightly across the remnants of the centuries-old oyster bed some 70 feet below. On this windy, mid-December day, even with gloves my hands were aching cold and my fingers growing numb. Then, finally, something below felt different, and I slammed my rod back hard. The tip arced over, hesitated, and my whole rod was pulled down, almost to the gunnel. The drag started to hiss. Fish on!    Fishfinder   ...

Five planets brighten these long nights

All the naked-eye planets decorate our night skies the next couple weeks, with the two brightest coming into view at sunset but all staggered throughout the dark hours.     The sun sets around 4:45 this week. By that time you’re likely to see Jupiter presiding over the eastern skies. Look to the opposite horizon where Venus blazes even brighter in the wake of the setting sun. Venus sets within two hours of the sun. Jupiter, on the other hand, shines through much of the...

Stay home with the kids instead of seeing this waste of celluloid

The Sitter is the kind of movie reviewers hate: It’s so tedious, lazy and humorless that it’s nearly impossible to mock.     Nearly.     In the last of his pre-weight-loss movies, Jonah Hill (Moneyball) plays Noah, a college dropout content to live off his barely-getting-by mother. He’s in a fake relationship with Marisa (Ari Graynor: Ten Year), who’s so obsessed with her ex that she uses Noah like a pudgy sex toy. Noah volunteers to...

Answer that December call with the Parade of Lights and the Volvo Ocean Race

Like you, we’re playing carols, stringing lights and decorating the Christmas tree. (Practicing what the Bay Gardener preaches, we sawed a fire-safe Canaan fir at his Upakrik Farm, plunged it into a bucket of 100-degree water and stored it in the shade before it came inside.)     The holidays are a time we savor. They bring us into the universe, husband Bill Lambrecht suggested the other day, as we counted the homes signaling their welcome to the season in codes of colored...

Volunteers take flight each year so that isolated Tangier Island has a green Christmas

The miracle of flight has long been Santa’s secret to guaranteed overnight delivery, but sometimes the reindeer need a break. During the pre-Christmas rush they’re in demand everywhere, including some pretty remote locales. So how does the big guy make a day trip to a place like Tangier Island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, a place where even the closest landlubbers depend on ferries to make the 12-mile crossing?     The answer is lots of planning and...

The Volvo Ocean Race is back on the water

The machines are scary sharp, the crews wear bright and sexy clothing and the thrills and spills will keep you coming back for your fear-factor fix.     That’s sailing we’re talking about, not Grand Prix auto racing.     While we await Christmas and winter, one of the biggest shows in the world is playing out. So take a break from holiday madness for a turn on the water.     Follow the racers round the world at www.volvooceanrace.com...

The Volvo Ocean Race isn’t the only high-profile sailing event

The Volvo Ocean Race is an around-the-world marathon showcasing 70-foot high-tech sailing machines. Precise rules govern boat and sail design, making each boat similar. It takes the racers nine months to sail the globe, with extended stops in eight ports. The boats are sponsored by syndicates that hire the world’s finest sailors to ride these carbon-fiber, sail-powered rockets. It costs about $100 million to play that game. The winner gets a silver chalice that can easily hold a couple...

Hang a gift on the National Zoo’s Enrichment Giving Tree

Grateful for the wild things that enrich your world? Choose a wild gift from the Animal Enrichment Wish List to hang on the Smithsonian National Zoo’s Enrichment Giving Tree.     Speaking for the animals, zookeepers and researchers have asked for toenail clippers, bubble machines, natural-colored feather dusters and shower radios with CD players.     Lest you worry that next year the lions will want iPads, understand that every item on the Zoo’s Wish...