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Articles by Michelle Steel

Repurposed pages become art for the highest bidder

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle take on new meaning in Repurposed Books as Art, an auction-exhibit by artist Carolyn McHugh to benefit Calvert Library.
    McHugh has created 21 new ways of looking at a book: a clock, a wreath, a matchbook, a framed page, a music box, a planter, a candy dish, a tissue box, bookmarks, a birdhouse, a charging station, a jewelry box, a kitchen-utensil holder, a vase with flowers, purses with pins and Hattie the Hedgehog.
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Then throw your Rock Thoughts into cyberspace

Remember Pet Rocks?    
        The 1970s fad has returned with new legs to Annmarie Garden as a child’s game of hide and seek linked to a global art and collaborative storytelling project called Rock Thoughts.
    Closer to home, Sunderland art teacher Maria Lendacky invited her fourth-graders to add their Rock Thoughts to the 1,500 rocks created worldwide.
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Keep an eye out for these normally reclusive foragers

Driven by the frenzy of breeding season, deer are coming out of the woods.
    From early fall into deep winter, bucks have two things on their minds: breeding and eating — the latter for energy to breed. Normally reclusive, whitetail bucks are out on the prowl. Searching for mates, they leave their thicket lairs and cross open meadows, lawns — and busy roads.
    That’s where deer, humans and vehicles meet.
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Arachnids are out in numbers this time of year

Almost overnight, the way it happens in Sci-Fi movies, spiders have invaded. Webs are spun under the porch light, draped from the mailbox and suspended like chandeliers from every shrub and tree. Walk out and you walk into one.
    The arachnid explosion that ripples across Chesapeake Country in late summer and early fall is what happens when the spiderlings we saw on their mommas’ backs last spring grow up.
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While very hungry, the webworm caterpillar won’t harm your trees

It’s the fall webworm that’s eating your trees from the comfort and security of webby nests.
    The greenish larvae’s appetite is huge and undiscriminating, extending to 636 different species of trees. Redbuds, walnut, hickory, fruit trees and some maples are favorites of these fuzzy worms.
    Late summer through early fall, when the larvae are most active, is prime time to spot webworms chowing down.
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Cicadas, crickets and katydids can create quite a racket

You hear them everywhere: driving in your car with the top down, sitting outside on a warm, summer evening and falling asleep to their songs with your windows open. Who are they? Cicadas, crickets and katydids — the trio you hear separately or together at all hours — starting in spring and belting out a peak performance this time of year.
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Cullen Hunter knows firsthand how to help the furry paws at Calvert Animal Welfare League

What ingredients does it take to make a valuable volunteer for cats waiting for their forever home?
    Cullen Hunter, 19, and his grandfather Robert Sigona — both of Dunkirk — know firsthand how to help out the hundreds of furry paws at Calvert Animal Welfare League.
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Our neighbor, warts and all

The American toad may be the most-seen amphibian in Chesapeake Country. I’ve seen several in my yard this summer, and you probably have, too.
    Odds for spotting an American toad are best near their preferred habitat: garden, forest or meadow. They are active mostly at night, which is when I always find them hopping around my yard or sitting on my patio.
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Meet these award-winners at Twin Beach Players Kids Playwriting Festival

Love, not money, sparked 21 kids to seek spots in Twin Beach Players’ annual Kids Playwriting Festival.
    Lots of love as each had to write a play.
    The $100 prize money was a bonus, all six finalists agreed.
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No messing with worms and insects; this trio eats a five-star diet

Cinco, Patches and Tripod would be homeless were it not for Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary in Lothian.
    Instead, the three female Eastern box turtles live in five-star-hotel style with amenities including rich soil for digging, logs for climbing, flowing ferns for frolicking, May apples, mushrooms and blueberry bushes for foraging and a wading pond for cooling off.
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