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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

Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Center plays Santa to injured critters but needs your help

Dozens of raptors were among the thousands of animals rescued this year by the Orphaned Wildlife Rescue Center in Lusby.     One stands out for her size and the relationship she formed with her rescuers.     Big Bird, as she was called, was rescued from a farm in southern Maryland. A nesting mother with three babies and a mate in a nearby tree, she had a broken left wing. What caused her injuries was never learned.     “This magnificent bald...
The light is thin this time of year. But the sun shines bright enough on its rising and falling arc to gild everything in its path: windows, tree trunks, the marsala leaves of oaks, clouds and the heavens. That arc is brief, however, as we inch toward the darkest day of the year. On winter solstice, December 21, the sun gives us only nine hours and 28 minutes of light.     Snatch the light while you can, my instincts tell me, so I watch the long dawn. Sitting through the late...

DNR’s calendar makes your indoors out

With your 2014 calendar just about used up, what are you going to hang on the wall in 2015 to replace it?     Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ 2015 calendar is a best bet for us whose lifestyles keep us inside looking at walls rather than out in Maryland’s beauty.     The 12 photos are creamed from over 800 shot in 2014 by Marylanders who spend plenty of time outdoors, keeping their eyes open and cameras ready to capture beauties small to...

There is more to victory than lights and superstition

About the annual Army-Navy football game, superstitions abound.     When I lived across from the Academy, I’d get up in the chilly dark of morning and stand on the cliff, waving good luck to the busses parked along the seawall to leave with the Brigade.       When my wife and I moved to Annapolis, I needed a new ritual. Now I decorate the tulip magnolia in front of our house. When I can no longer watch Navy screw up on the field, I go outside and...

Our new home welcomed us by testing our resourcefulness

Clara and I moved piece by piece to our new home in Deale. We started moving our belongings from College Park on Thanksgiving Day of 1990, using our station wagon and neighbors’ trucks. Most of the move was made on weekends. Mid-week, one of us would make the trip to Deale to feed Pumpkin, the cat left behind by the previous owners. We selected the name Upakrik Farm while eating dinner in a restaurant in Wayson’s Corner on a return trip to College Park.     We...

Fish, fowl, venison — and winter greens

Eating wild is a priority at my family’s table. During the Christmas and New Year holidays, we feature treats we’ve harvested from the wild. Following are a few favorites. Appetizers Rockfish Ceviche Two rockfish fillets or other firm, white fish (about 1.5 lbs.), sliced into pieces approximately ½ x 2 inches 1 Tbsp. salt 2 Tbsp. olive oil. 1½ large sweet onions, cut in half lengthwise, then very thinly sliced 2 to 3 large cloves of garlic, minced 1 handful of...

Feel the tension of holding fate in your hands

Twelve Angry Men was first produced in the mid-1950s as a play for television, then reworked for the stage and, of course, the famed movie with an all-star cast led by Henry Fonda. Having sat through the trial of an inner-city young man accused of murder, the all-male jury must come up with a unanimous decision of guilty or not guilty. On first vote, it’s 11-1 in favor of guilty. The lone holdout — a meticulous middle-aged man sticking to his convictions among 11 of his peers who...

Great performances marred by poor focus

A story based on real events, Foxcatcher focuses on Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum: The Book of Life), a gold-winning Olympic wrestler who believes he deserves better. His life is cramped and overshadowed by older brother David (Mark Ruffalo: Begin Again). Himself a gold medalist, David has achieved the standing Mark longs for.     Mark finds his way out in John du Pont (Steve Carell: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day), the eccentric heir to the du Pont...

Many hearts out of hiding

“My heart in hiding. Stirred for a bird, — the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!” wrote poet Gerard Manley Hopkins of a hawk called the windhover.     In the week since I wrote in Farewell to My Dog Moe, I’ve learned that dogs release many a heart from hiding. Your letters brought me joy, comfort and consolation by introducing me to your dogs, echoing my loss and sharing the stretch to find words for a relationship so intimately wordless. Here is what...

How do we know if our oyster dollars are paying off?

Open any local newspaper these days, and you’ll probably read about the dollars we are pouring into restoring oysters. In writing a few myself, I pondered how we would cut through the hyperbole and verify, in a scientifically reliable way, whether the efforts were bearing fruit — or in this case, oysters.     A little poking around in Maryland Department of Natural Resources led to an invitation to see the answer firsthand. I’d spend a day aboard the vessel...