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Expert tips for the new year and beyond

That’s our hope for you in 2017

Your pot must runneth over

A triumph of hope over experience

We’ve saved the best for last


My favorite stories of 2016

We’re eating well and will be into spring

This year’s fall garden has been better than ever.     The August plantings of Contender and Crocket green beans each provided at least three pickings of the most tender and flavorful green beans we have ever enjoyed.     The broccoli has been out of this world. Ball-head cabbage is ready for making sauerkraut. The kohlrabi is crisp and sweet and great shredded in salads. The cauliflower is just reaching its peak for harvesting, along with the savoy cabbage...

A perfect orphan for the holidays

Leapin’ lizards, Annie, how do you still break hearts after 35 years, even when we know what’s coming? It’s not just your heart-warming premise or sweet songs, your adorable mutt or Vaudevillian villains. It’s the magic of a cast so sincere and invested that two hankies are not enough for Colonial Players’ family holiday classic.     Under experienced children’s director Joe Thompson, this dynamic cast, half under age 15, milks Annie’s...

When fighting for life and liberty, who has time for teen romance?

In a dystopian nation of Panem, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence: The Silver Linings Playbook) is considered lucky. The winner of the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss was the last woman standing in a government-sponsored death match. With a spark of rebellion, she refused to kill hometown boy Peeta (Josh Hutcherson: Epic), claiming that she loved him and would rather die than end his life. The two were allowed to live as the first pair of winners in Hunger Games history.     The...

Season’s Bounty Heralds the Holidays

For us at Bay Weekly, this week’s paper arrives like Christmas.     The wait has been long and ticklish with anticipation. Preparation has kept us busy for days and nights, our keyboards ringing like tools in elfish workshops. Visions of what’s to come have danced in our heads.     Now the wait is over.     With this week’s paper, Christmas arrives.     In this season of sharing, it falls from our hands into yours...

After generations harvesting wild oysters, Chesapeake watermen are learning to raise them

Where have all the nicknames gone?     Once upon a time you had one — Popeye, Spanky, Hambone — if you were an oysterman working the Bay.     Nowadays, oystermen are mostly gone, along with their nicknames. In Anne Arundel and Calvert counties, only about a dozen commercial oystermen still work.     Two of the few are a couple. Rob and Terry Witt continue oystering in the traditional way from their marina in Shady Side. Coming from...

In hatcheries, science works to jumpstart nature

Restoring oysters and an oyster economy in the Chesapeake starts in hatchery labs, where scientists are filling the gap in hopes nature will take over from there.     The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Hatchery in Cambridge — expanded last year to produce up to two billion spat a year — grows the larvae, nursing the tiny babies as they attach to a hard surface — old oyster shell. Other oyster babies are grown in a smaller...

Comet ISON is heading for the sun

If you haven’t looked for Comet ISON yet, now is the time. In just the past few days, the comet has grown more than 15 times brighter and is now visible to the unaided eye low in the east-southeast before dawn.     These are the final days before ISON passes behind the sun, coming within 730,000 miles of its fiery surface November 27. Will the heat tear asunder this sun-grazer? Or will it survive and grow brighter as some of its matter is boiled into more reflective vapor...

Thanksgiving’s main course, from free to $6.75 a pound

The bird of the season is a turkey.             We Americans devour over 45 million turkeys and over 675 million pounds of turkey each Thanksgiving. That’s the big day, but not the only day, we eat the big bird. If you’re an average American, you eat 17.5 pounds of turkey every year. That’s more than even Uncle Max could eat in one day.     Some of us will eat turkey for free; others will pay up to $6.75 a pound for...

John Page Williams honored for 40 years of conservation

John Page Williams, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s senior naturalist, has been made an Admiral of the Chesapeake by decree of Governor Martin O’Malley. The rank, which dates back to the middle of the last century, recognizes a lifetime of environmental contributions.     Scientist, naturalist, captain, fisherman, teacher and writer, Williams has taught tens of thousands to appreciate our Chesapeake watershed in 40 years of conservation service. As well as countless...

Local animal lovers read local Short Leash writer

If you read Marley and Me and cried like a baby, we may have the book club for you.     The readers in this club carry their passion about animals into their taste in books. They’ll read any animal-themed book. They started on The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and The Pitbull Placebo by Karen Delise.     This month the young, unnamed group — mostly Anne Arundel County SPCA volunteers — is reading local memoirist Janice Gary’s...