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Unsung hero of the ­Annapolis July 4 Fireworks

A lot has changed since I last saw the Stones on July 4, 1972

Osprey and falcon chicks thriving, with a little help

Beyond pomp, parade and fireworks to shared heritage

July’s two full moons are prime viewing times

No need for fireworks here

When enough people choose to help, large problems can be solved

The ecology of the planet is experiencing a time of rapid change and ­uncertainty. But we all have one very positive decision we can make: to try to make a difference anyway. In other words, to give a damn; it is a choice.     It is a lot like the story of the old man walking on the beach covered with hundreds of starfish washed up on the shore. A young girl sees him tossing starfish back into the sea. At first glance it seems a useless endeavor, even if it does make a...

Our atmosphere tints summer moons

The moon waxes through the weekend, reaching full phase Tuesday, June 2. This time of year the moon follows a low, lazy arc above the southern horizon. At such a low angle to the horizon, before reaching our eyes the moon’s light must cut through much more of earth’s atmosphere than in winter, when the moon shines high overhead. Gases and trapped moisture within the atmosphere combine to tint the image we see a red, orange or yellow, which explains the names of June’s full...

Oh the harm it causes!

In 1976, I wrote “Over-Mulching, A National Disaster” for a national trade journal. Nasty letters came from as far as Oregon and California. Forty years later, over-mulching has become a monkey-see-monkey-do calamity.      Earlier this spring, I spent several days diagnosing plant problems for several landscape architects. In all but one, the problems were caused by excessive use of nutrient-robbing mulches.     In several instances, well-...

Whenever you can

Everything conspired against my going fishing. When I had the time the weather went bad, high winds or rain, sometimes both. When weather was right, my schedule turned on me: guests from out of town, family gatherings and, of course, work.     When finally I got a break, it wasn’t until the afternoon that I could get away. The worst part of the fishing day is the high-sun, high-heat of the day from noon until at least 4pm. Then again, everyone knows that the best time to...

Focus on the future; forget the plot

As a little girl, Casey Newton (Britt Robertson: The Longest Ride) dreamed of reaching the stars. Her father (Tim McGraw: Country Strong), a NASA engineer, always told her it was possible. But as Casey enters high school, that dream seems light-years away.     Her dreams fall before her eyes when NASA tears down the Cape Canaveral launch pad near her home and lay offs her father. It seems the world has stopped dreaming and stopped reaching for the stars. The environment is...

The shells reminded me of the Star ­Spangled Banner. But these bombs were not bursting in air; they were hitting ships.

Underway on 12 October 1944 aboard the USS Kalinin Bay, we steamed in good weather for Leyte, Philippine Islands. With us were other escort aircraft carriers: the Fanshaw Bay, White Plains and the St. Lo. The St. Lo previously had been named Midway — [until] the Navy Department built a large carrier and named it Midway. I thought it had to be a bad omen to change the ship’s name, which it proved to be.     At 0500 we had general quarters morning routine, secured at...

As construction proceeds, both sides hold their ground

At the forefront of America’s newest energy boom — export of now-abundant natural gas — the standoff continues. Though you wouldn’t know it at first sight.     Trucks are rolling and earth moving as Dominion Cove Point continues on its way to becoming the East Coast’s first liquid natural gas exporter.     “I like the sound of those trucks,” Dominion Energy president Diane Leopold told international dignitaries and...

New mascot replaces PFD Panda

Going to the dogs is under reconstruction. In the olden days, going to the dogs described degeneration, as in another old saw: If you lie down with dogs, expect to get fleas.     No more. Today’s dogs are superior beings offering the unconditional love that seems to be scarce elsewhere. From Haiti to Katmandu, they perform superhuman rescues. Closer to home, kids improve their reading with dogs as listeners.     Now Maryland Department of Natural Resources...

But first we must remember

With Memorial Day upon us, I know you’re as eager as I to slip into something more comfortable — like fewer clothes, bare ankles or the water of a just-opened swimming pool.     But not just yet, for first I have a promise to keep.     Never to forget the original meaning of Memorial Day. That’s what Bill Burton asked of me.     Long before Burton became a newsman, before he became outdoors editor for the flourishing Baltimore...

Telltale signs, and how to fight back

That black and white bird with a red cap and yellow belly is not a traditional woodpecker looking for bugs hiding beneath bark. At work making numerous holes all in a circle around the trunk of your tree is a yellow-bellied sapsucker, who then sucks sap from those wounds.     In early spring, sap migrates to the phloem, the region just beneath the bark, and these birds are eager to suck those juices. Warm days and cool nights make the sap flow hard and furious, and the...