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Ten ways to help our planet and your purse

Help give their migration a future

21 years into the culture of sustainable, new Bay times

It’s a shame to let April end with no pickerel

Here’s the right way to till the garden

Bright planets and shooting stars dazzle this week

The brightest Evening Star

Sunset finds Venus ablaze low in the southwest before setting by 8pm. There is no brighter planet or star, and so close to the horizon Venus can pulse and shimmer as its light is distorted by our atmosphere. Traveling close to the sun, Venus appears for at most a few hours either after sunset or before dawn. This led early civilizations to believe that the evening star and the morning star were two distinct objects. The ancient Greeks called the morning Venus Phosphoros and the evening...

Halloween sweetens the bait in this timely production

Agatha Christie catches you in her Mousetrap — the longest running show in the world — baited by Twin Beach Players with Halloween lure.     Enter the cozy North Beach Boys and Girls Club and you step into the spell. Cobwebs drape the gate of Christie’s barely illuminated Monkswell Manor, now a guesthouse.     In the dark theater, the tune of Three Blind Mice (the play’s original title), played on piano, breaks the silence. The eery music...

How many geri-action stars does it take to escape from prison?

No prison can hold Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone: Bullet to the Head). He’s literally written the book on prison security, breaking out of dozens of super max facilities to prove his point.     Yet he hesitates when a CIA operative asks him to test the security of a black site holding facility. They want him to go in blind. His team won’t know his location, and he’ll be out of touch with the outside world. It’s a risky deal, but the money is good, and...

How to become Spider Woman, the Mummy or the Walking Wounded

And the winner is …     Creating memorable homemade Halloween costumes is a long-running tradition for crafty moms and dads. Some are as easy as cutting up your mom’s favorite sheets, while some require a little more preparation.     If you always wanted to create your own costumes but were discouraged by the complexity or didn’t think you had time, follow these quick directions for a contest winner. Spider Girl or Woman Transform your little...

Man-made reef alive with seed spat

A new oyster reef lies alongside the Bill Burton Fishing Pier in the Choptank River. Sportsman and Maryland outdoors writer for nearly half a century, Burton retired from the Baltimore Evening Sun and came to Bay Weekly. Over 16 years with us, Burton became increasingly adamant and outspoken about restoring the Chesapeake.     To make the reef, Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s oyster restoration boat, the Patricia Campbell, dropped 300 two-foot-tall, igloo-like reef balls built...

Tawes Garden a living museum of Maryland in miniature

Visit the corner of Rowe Boulevard and Taylor Avenue 30 years ago and you might have been in time for the carnival.     Visit today, and you step into Maryland in miniature at Helen Avalynne Tawes Garden.     Already home to our state’s three distinct environments, Tawes Garden is now the arboretum in our back yard.     Arboretum, as in the National Arboretum on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., is a living museum of trees and plants for...

This is the scary season

Timing is everything in the harvesting of figs. Take the fruit too early and you lose the sugar. Wait a moment too long, and the bugs — wasps, flies, ants and Hercules beetles — beat you to it. Or the squirrels, who I watched running up the hill with ripe figs in their mouths. This weekend, looking down on my tree from an upper balcony, I saw the dried-out stems and shriveled tops of the last of the fruit.     In the vegetable kingdom, perfection is a moment...

Despite a penumbral eclipse, the moon will dampen the Orionid meteors

As the sun sets Friday, the full Hunter’s Moon rises, shining all night long and reaching its highest around midnight. Like last month’s Harvest Moon, the Hunter’s Moon travels its shallowest arc along the ecliptic, rising far to the north of due east and setting far to the south. Rising so much farther to the north than other months, the Hunter’s Moon reappears just 30 minutes later from night to night, as opposed to 50 minutes normally. The effect of this is several...

Three ways to eliminate it and one way to grow it

Wet springs and summers bring moss. Mosses like to grow in cool moist places and on soils and organic matter tending to acidic.     If moss is growing in your lawn, most likely the soil is acidic. Raising the pH to above 6.0 will help your lawn grow better and discourage the growth of moss. Have your soil tested (read back to my advice on September 26) and add lime as specified in the recommendations.      Mosses also thrive in shade. Wouldn’t moss under trees and...

If a rock won’t bite, maybe a bluefish will

Moe and I imagined a fantastic day for rockfish. We had done well the previous afternoon with limits of bright, healthy stripers 26 to 28 inches. Hoping the pods would remain close to those same Bay Bridge structures overnight, we were back on the water early the next morning.     The tides were nearly identical, the last hour of the incoming. Our aerated bait bucket was full of Norfolk spot that were just right for the larger stripers we were after and, we hoped, too big for the...