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Articles by Michelle Steel

Bubbles and Squeak invite you to join the fun

Calvert Marine Museum’s most popular residents, river otters Bubbles and Squeak, are throwing parties to subsidize their enriched lifestyle.
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Mythical egg deliverer is maybe a hare — or a rabbit

Is the Easter Bunny a cottontail or a snowshoe hare?
    Both are native to North America, unlike domesticated rabbits, which are elaborately bred descendents of European wild rabbits.
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Tiny frogs seldom seen but often heard

Spring has sprung.    
    Spring peepers are wide awake and calling out loud.
    These tiny frogs are among the first to call and breed. Only the males sing. They’re calling for mates.
    Competition’s tough.
    Females choose a mate by the quality of his call.
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Marshmallow creatures inspire creativity

Sam Born began selling Peeps in the early 1920s, in a small Pennsylvania grocery store he owned, under a sign that read Just Born.
    Nowadays March brings Peeps madness.
    The craze took off in 1953 as cellophane selections of packaged Peeps flew off neighborhood grocery shelves.
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Red Wigglers demonstrate the inside story of composting

Red Wiggler worms are busy digging and dining in a compost Can-O-Worms at Annmarie Garden.
    Second graders visiting Annmarie Garden on daily CHESPAX field trips explore the world of composting with a little help from the Garden’s squirmy residents, about a thousand in all.
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Blue herons return for Valentine’s Day

The great blue heron’s return to Chesapeake Country and consequent mating occurs mid-February, bestowing these majestic birds the nickname, lovebirds.
    “Their local nickname, along with love birds, is Johnny Crane,” said Mike Callahan, president of Southern Maryland Audubon Society.
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February 2 is too important a day to sleep through

February 2 is halfway through winter, so what better time to gather with friends and neighbors to eat good food, drink heartily and look ahead to the coming spring?
    The Pennsylvania Dutch descendants of German immigrants did just that. Among the first celebrants of Groundhog Day, they partied hardy in Punxsutawney, Penn., as far back as 1887.
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By the glass, water’s cheap. Not so when you have to drill 260 feet for it

Water is pretty cheap in the United States: 61 cents a day supplies each of us with our daily ration of 123 gallons of water. Cheap enough that we take it for granted, until the well runs dry. That’s the day dreaded by every well owner, and there are lots of us.
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A second life for Christmas trees

After you take your Christmas tree down, recycle it for a second life.
    In your own backyard, recycle your tree by placing it near a bird feeder. The tree’s branches shelter smaller birds. Throw unsalted, unbuttered popcorn into the branches as free-form birdfood. Branches also provide a good place to hang pinecones smeared with peanut butter and rolled in birdseed.
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Fortunately, its roar is worse than its bite

Few things look scarier than a gelatinous mass with tentacles twisting in the Bay.
    Chesapeake swimmers endure sea nettle stings in summer. But few have been stung by a lion’s mane jelly, the world’s largest known jellyfish species. Lucky for us, these jellyfish are seasonal inhabitants of the Bay from November to March.
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