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One man is the difference between life and death for creatures great and small

Oh, the creatures we’ve seen

Learn from plantsman Bill Cullina and ­benefit Unity Gardens

Can our Free Will Astrologer break the late-winter blues?

There’s work overhead on the ISS

Put your down time to work

While binoculars help reveal distant stars and planets, our own galaxy is disappearing before our very eyes

  As the sun sets around 8:30 this week, Venus appears in the west, the brightest object visible. Note the difference between Venus and the two first-magnitude stars Castor and Pollux a few degrees above and to the left. Venus sets in the northwest around 11pm, and pretty much sticks to this schedule throughout summer. Sunset also reveals our other neighbor, Mars, high in the southwest. Mars has been inching to the east, toward the blue star Regulus of Leo the lion. The evening of Sunday...

-We welcome your opinions and letters – with name and address. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, 1629 Forest Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403 •E-mail them to editor@bayweekly.com. or submit your letters on-line by clicking here.

Living Shorelines Give Us the Best of Both Worlds Dear Bay Weekly: While I certainly appreciate the amount of work that the Holland Point community and Woody Young had to put into preserving their eroding shoreline, I think that Bonnie Lefkowitz leaves readers [Between a Rock and a Hard Place: May 31] with the impression that there is an inherent tension between doing the right thing by the Bay and protecting private property. A number of local communities with several miles of fetch across the...

Ed Sparks never left the land of rock and roll

  Dorothy Gale was caught up in a tornado and wound up in Oz. Ed Sparks was caught up in the winds of a changing pop scene and wound up in the Land of Music.  While Dorothy went home, Sparks is still there, following his own yellow brick road, playing, singing, songwriting, constructing instruments and making friends all over Chesapeake Country and beyond.   Born to Rock and Roll A tall man with soft white hair falling beneath his ears, a white mustache and a honeyed voice,...

Once a year, Hammond Harwood House opens the gates to the capital city’s secret gardens — and invites you to look inside

  High walls, secured gates and similar impositions block out the curious and provoke questions: What grows on the other side? Is that water I hear? What flower can smell so sweet, even from a distance? Even on tiptoes, the answers are evasive. Nothing tempts as much as something one cannot see, as we learned in The Secret Garden from little Mary Lennox, who sought the hidden walled-in garden and unlocked its secrets. But unlike the mysterious garden in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s...

It’s Bay-friendly, so it may — or may not — be the lawn you want

  A Bay Weekly reader wanted to know how to encourage clover to grow in her lawn because she likes the looks of it. Clover has other benefits. It doesn’t need to be mowed as often, it is very drought resistant and it does not have to be fertilized with nitrogen. By maintaining a high soil pH and low levels of nitrogen, you can encourage white Dutch clover to grow at the expense of grass. It will take approximately three years to crowd out most of the grasses. You will find that...

Who knows what you’ll find if you step inside?

  Since the Garden of Eden closed, who hasn’t wanted to get back in? It must be that archetypal connection that makes gated, walled or out-of-view gardens such an obsession. They show up all the time in literature. Oscar Wilde wrote about the frozen garden of the selfish giant, which thawed when a child was invited in. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Secret Garden, written at the beginning of the 20th century, has inspired many a child to enter the magic territory of imagination....
  -Horseshoe crabs, one of the Bay’s links to prehistory, hear the call of summer’s new and full moon and crawl out of the water to mate. They arrive at high tide, when the greenish clumps of eggs deposited by the female are farthest from the churning waves. This is not a sight for the puritanical; the ancient creatures are polygamous, with as many males as possible clinging to a larger, fertile female. The male fertilizes the eggs as they are dug into the sand. Her golf-ball...

Who and what will save us from such a calamity?

  The oily horror movie playing in the Gulf of Mexico is a wake-up call. No, we’re not looking at a deep-ocean well exploding on our doorstep. Absent a hurricane, we’re going to dodge this deadly bullet. But oil tankers deliver oil up and down the Bay every day — while we are woefully unprepared to handle even the smallest spill. At this stage, it would be crazy to believe anything you read about our ability to protect the environment from an oil spill. President Barack...

See them this season in Galesville, October 1 thru 3

With no gallery to call their own, the Muddy Creek Artists Guild makes its followers wonder where they are going to pop up next. Surprise “keeps the Guild’s shows fresh,” says Elizabeth Ramirez, chair of the upcoming October show. The Where’s-Waldo approach for the two-year-old Guild’s three annual shows creates “a sense of urgency” that “people have to take advantage of while it’s happening,” says Bea Poulin, photographer and Guild...

A new breed of wind-sellers can lower your utility bill while saving the environment

In wind power, the money is in the marketing. We learned as much long ago from the experiment of William Wrigley Jr., the millionaire whose success you’ve no doubt chewed on more than once. The maker of Juicy Fruit and Doublemint gum, among other chewables, kept a weather eye on opportunity.  How he put chewing gum in vending machines at about the turn of the 20th century is a milestone of entrepreneurial capitalism. Gum sans machine was already sold in New York. Would vending...