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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

It’s back to work we go

A holiday is always welcome, no matter when it falls. But many of them seem to fall as randomly as the leaves that will soon illustrate for us the meaning of deciduous. New Year’s Day, for example. What business does it have falling in the middle of winter, when nothing is new? And if in winter it must be, why not on the equinox, when the new year really does begin with sunlight’s slow enlargement? Christmas, too. Midwinter seems an unlikely time for the birth of the redeemer of...

An exorcist heads to the sticks to wrestle evil and his own crisis of faith in this smart and trim chiller.

Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian: TV’s Big Love) is palling around with a couple documentarians to film his confessional. The fast-talking evangelical minister from Baton Rouge is a sleight-of-hand exorcist standing on shaky faith, and he means to expose his own con by documenting one of his so-called exorcisms. But when he follows a handwritten plea to the Sweetzer farm in backwoods Louisiana, he discovers innocent child Nell (Ashley Bell: Stay Cool) is afflicted with something his placebo...

Less daytime and a waning moon leave plenty to see

With summer on the wane, the sun sets around 7:30 at week’s end, shedding more than a minute of evening sunlight each night. In the morning it’s more of the same, as the sun rises at 6:37 Saturday and almost a minute later each morning. The setting sun reveals three bright objects in its wake: Venus and Mars, and the first-magnitude star Spica, all within five degrees of one another, the field of view of most binoculars. Look to the west immediately after sunset. While closest to...

Top-water fishing’s all about how you play the lure

The quiet waterscape flowing around us was only dimly illuminated by the first blush of a calm and breaking day as my son and I made our casts. Drifting slowly in our skiff on the fresh start of a gentle ebb, we were moving about 100 feet out and parallel to a long, weathered bulkhead, footed by heavy, barnacled stone piled along its base. Fish Are Biting Rockfish, Spanish mackerel and bluefish are making life interesting for anglers enjoying our nearly perfect weather the past week or so....

Bet you didn’t know these tricks

If you examine a rose plant carefully, you will notice that it has compound leaves, meaning that there are either three or five leaflets to each leaf. The three-leaflet leaves appear near the top and bottom of each stem, and the five-leaflet leaves appear in the middle of the stems. In the axel of each leaf is a vegetative bud; however, the buds are more robust and pronounced in the axels of the five-leaflet leaves than in the three-leaflet leaves. You can control the growth of roses by pruning...

This 1992 Neil Simon comedy was a snoozer in the 1996 film adaptation, and it remains drowsy in this productions.

Jake’s Women, 2nd Star Productions’ fall season opener, presents an attractive setting for some fine local talent. But despite a valiant effort on the company’s part, this 1992 Neil Simon comedy fails to grab the audience by the collar and draw them back for more. It was a snoozer in the 1996 film adaptation, even with an all-star cast headed by Alan Alda, and it remains drowsy in this production. José de la Mar is excellent in the lead role as an emotionally distant writer...

Expect great music — if not great theater

Buddy Holly was a remarkable music innovator; he heard disparate influences and blended them to expand the limits of the newly named rock and roll musical genre. He was so remarkable that his short three-year career and his short 22-year life span are both still being celebrated and appreciated today, 51 years after his death in a plane crash. The comet-like trajectory of Buddy Holly’s life deserves an equally intense and glowing theatrical presentation. I’m sorry to say that Buddy...

And the Winners Are …

In Bay Country, our pet photos are as precious to us as our baby photos — and often a lot cuter. Which is why we asked you to send us your pictures to feature in our annual Pet Tales issue.   We were wrong to worry you wouldn’t respond. You did, in abundance, from near and far, confirming the reach of our online edition. We’ve learned many things from the photos of your furry, feathered and scaled friends. Bella is a favorite pet name, but not all Bellas are beautiful in...

Friends of Felines sanctuary provides a last chance for feral felines

From the road, the 198-acre tract is unremarkable, anonymous by the absence of signs and unscathed by improvements. The woman driving the green John Deere Gator knows her way through the woods of almost-wild Southern Maryland. She’s been driving these rutted dirt paths for eight years to care for the hundred-plus inhabitants of the region’s only sanctuary for feral cats. Petite, energetic and almost fanatically committed to the cats, Carol Hall is a founder of Friends of Felines,...

For mobile vets, house calls are the norm

Ozzy isn’t sure about the ladies with the needle. The Jack Russell-Dalmatian mix warily eyes the women kneeling on owner Mary Quayle’s kitchen floor, even though the ladies in pink T-shirts pat the ground and offer treats. Ozzy would rather not be Mobile Pet Vets’ first patient of the day. Dr. Lisa Beagan and tech Robin Hennick brush off Ozzy’s rejection. They have plenty of time to win over the anxious pup. House calls don’t have a time limit. Eventually, Ozzy...