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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

With lots of fruit and few demands,
what’s not to like?

  There is nothing like eating a freshly picked ripe fig. They are as sweet as honey and taste heavenly. There is no reason why every home gardener should not be growing at least one fig plant. Contrary to my earlier predictions, the tops of the fig plants were not killed by the severe winter. Matter of fact, figs are growing in almost every node of each stem of the plants growing outside our bedroom window. Last year, most of the fig plants in our area were killed back half-way and...

Dad carries a heavy load, and look how we reward him

  We celebrate this Father’s Day with an Everyman story. We like such stories. Whether the narrators are Everyman, Everywoman or Everychild, they show us so many faces of our shared human nature. Usually, we find out how much we have in common across our differences. Everychild, for example, wrote our Mother’s Day feature story, with Mrs. Smith’s second graders at Arnold Elementary School writing and illustrating the good deeds of their mothers. Read that story, and you...

Despite heavy winds, I landed a largemouth bass, a bluegill and a pickerel

Most folks know that a grand slam is baseball’s term for a home run with the bases loaded. Angling has its own slam. A Chesapeake Bay slam is landing a rockfish, bluefish and Spanish mackerel on the same day. The freshwater version is typically a largemouth bass, a pickerel and a bluegill.  Fish Are Biting When winds permit, there is great fishing on the Chesapeake. Trollers are starting to do well pulling small spoons, fast and on top for Spanish mackerel and blues, slow and low...

Noel Coward’s wit seldom shows its age

Noel Coward was witty, erudite, classy and provocative. His playwriting gifts continue to make Private Lives — a play he wrote in four days 80 years ago — compelling. Colonial Players of Annapolis’ choice to begin its 61st season, Private Lives displays classic Coward irreverence towards marriage and social conventions. The plot line is simple: Sibyl and Elyot are on their honeymoon, as are Victor and Amanda. The complicating factor? Elyot and Amanda used to be married to each...

After raising terrapins from hatchlings,
3rd-graders release them at Poplar Island

  The terrapins are now as tall as a cheeseburger, which is as big as two thumbs on top of each other. They were the size of a quarter when they came to Mrs. Debbie Hendricks’ third grade class at Arnold Elementary School on October 2, 2009. We raised them in a tank. Their names are Flippers and Tsunami, and their favorite things to eat are fish and snails. Their birth certificate told us they were both girls. They were born on Poplar Island. But their mother wasn’t there, so...

Highs and lows on the trotline

  The initial run on our trotline proved a surprising success. The first four baits had jumbo crabs hanging on them, and my netter, Harrison, quickly had them rattling in our collection basket.  After that fortunate start, they continued to come, and there was scarcely need to measure any of them. All were prime Jimmies. My son and I were ecstatic. This was going to prove an easy trip. We would quickly discover that we were wrong again. Our trip had nearly been a casualty from the...

Looking at a star map, the world really is turned upside-down

A reader asked what she was seeing from her northeast-facing window. “Would I see evening or morning stars in this direction?” And would the same be true for planets? “I did look at your column and thought I understood the paragraph about Venus, but now I'm not so sure. Help! Thanks a bunch.” Only after reading and re-reading did I realize her problem: I was flat-out wrong, falling victim to my own sky map, inverting east and west, thus greatly confusing this reader...

Week 15: The Lone Child

  The other morning, I looked out the window to see Olivia off the nest, sitting on a perch I had nailed to a nearby piling. She was busily preening her feathers. After seven weeks virtually glued to the nest, she had taken on a rumpled and ragged look. I guess she finally felt that the kid(s) could get along without her for a short time while she did some personal grooming without being bothered by her ever-hungry chick(s) clamoring for attention. But she was soon back on the job, trying...

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  Marylanders Kill Oysters  Dear Bay Weekly: Putting oysters in the Severn River [Creature Feature: June 10) amounts to little more than animal cruelty. Saving the Bay is not about putting the right number of oysters in the Bay; it is about improving water quality to a point that oysters can survive. The oysters that have been put in the Severn for more than two decades are dead. More than 50 percent of the oysters that Severn River Association planted this summer will be dead by next...

Fowler’s Followers wade in for the Patuxent

  Bernie Fowler’s Sneaker Index did not soar this year. He saw 341x2 inches of leg, for a water clarity index equal to that of 2004, but far below the goal of 57 inches last seen in 1960. The former state senator and Patuxent River champion needed many to the ninth power to describe the years it will take before the river is as clear, hence unpolluted, as in his youth.  “Bernie Fowler is never going to live long enough to see the river cleaned up,” he said, comparing...