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The very thirsty Silvery Checkerspot

Summer after summer, you’d hear of some unlucky swimmer, waterman or shellfish eater. Then it happened to me

How did you fall in love? Most of us eventually achieve our own love story, some of us many times over. Common as the love story is, it never grows stale.

How did you fall in love? That’s a question worth dwelling on. Girls at least — perhaps boys, too, though they’ll never tell — grow up dreaming of how they’ll fall in love. Most of us eventually achieve our own love story, some of us many times over. Common as the love story is, it never grows stale. An aging couple joins me at the table at a bed and breakfast, and, before our coffee cups are drained, she’s reported their love story, with him adding Amens!...

An economic downturn upends three corporate Americans in this redemptive recession drama

In the wake of 2010’s unyielding recession and the threat of a takeover, conglomerate GTX decides to secure the company’s bottom line by laying off thousands of workers. GTX doesn’t see people. It sees falling profits and nervous investors. By trimming non-essential jobs, the CEOs can keep their private jets, $500 lunches and mahogany-trimmed offices while also fending off corporate raiders. Turns out, most laid-off people believe their jobs are essential. As the cuts go...

Black walnut trees don’t mind bulbs and ground cover, but they kill competing broadleaf species

The black walnut is a unique tree. It selects its neighbors and wipes out its competition. The roots, bark, wood, leaves and husks of the black walnut contain an enzyme called juglanace. This enzyme remains in the tissues until they are decomposed beyond recognition. The horticultural term used to describe the competition-controlling properties of black walnut is allelopathic response. Juglanace acts like a selective weed killer, allowing only certain noncompetitive species to grow in close...

Maryland Department of Natural Resources deserves to add Protection to its name

The relentless headlines the past week have told the first part of the story. Ten tons of rockfish, most of them 27 to 28 inches, were discovered in just three illegal gill nets set in waters south of Tilghman Island. That’s two thousand or more fish. Braving frigid weather and using simple grappling hooks dragged on long lines in the depths of the Chesapeake, Natural Resources Police finally gave credence to persistent rumors of significant commercial gill net poaching. Natural Resources...

What's With Calvert’s Ghost Town?

Dowell Road bisects a strip of land sandwiched between Back and Mill creeks in Solomons. Past new homes under construction, the road runs out of asphalt. There a hard-packed dirt road parallels sidewalks leading nowhere, crumbling foundations with no buildings to support and rusty fire hydrants with nothing to protect. In the middle of these ruins sits a long-empty swimming pool.  No disaster wiped out this abandoned village. Its demise was predetermined; it was never intended to be...

The Chesapeake Bay Rockfish

The striped bass, known around the Tidewater as the rockfish, is one of the most popular of all Eastern, saltwater, game fish. Found along the Atlantic Coast from Nova Scotia to Florida, rockfish have a lifespan of up to 30 years and have been know to exceed of 100 pounds. The current Maryland rod-and-reel record is 67 pounds and eight ounces. Maryland rockfish are spawned in the freshwater reaches of Chesapeake Bay tributaries and remain in the Bay until the age of eight or nine, when they...

Eons formed our topography

Point 1: Why Are Calvert’s Cliffs Exposed? The Miocene epoch of geology lasted from 23 to 5.3 million years ago. The middle Miocene was a time of high sea levels worldwide. The fact that we have these marine sediments exposed today, above present sea level, partly reflects that sea levels are generally down from what they were.  Shallow seas, embayments of the Atlantic, episodically covered much of Southern Maryland from about 18 to 20 and eight to 10 million years ago. Sea level...

Last week belonged to the groundhog; this week belongs to lovebirds.

How’s your movie watching going? Minus Superbowl, of course, movies and a fire have warmed creatures in our burrow most nights since last week’s Groundhog Movie Review. But every since reading last week’s Sky Watch, All Hail the Returning Sun, I’ve seen evidence of the quickening — and with it signs of spring. February 5’s cross-quarter day is tickling me with hope. It’s hard to be gloomy when sunlight is flooding our hemisphere, promising us an hour...

Only the brightest stand up against the waxing winter moon

Thursday’s first-quarter moon appears almost directly overhead with sunset around 5:35. By the time the sky has become truly dark an hour later, the moon has pivoted westward and the red star Aldebaran, of Taurus, has taken its earlier place.  The next evening the waxing moon has edged closer to Aldebaran. While the bull’s eye blazes a dozen degrees to the east of the moon, you will have to hunt for the Pleiades sisters a scant two degrees from the moon’s upper edge,...

Burrow down until spring with these classic flicks

Each year, when Bay Weekly’s resident rodent cinephile Chesapeake Chuck comes out of hibernation on Groundhog Day, he presents his movie picks, knowing we’re in for six more weeks of homebound winter.  This year, Chuck found inspiration while watching the Academy Award nominations and decided to revisit the classics now — before the 2011 Oscars add more films to the pantheon. What makes a classic? Chuck selected two authoritative lists: The American Film Institute’s...