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Articles by Michelle Steel

These bugs have legs 150 times stronger than ours

Clusters of long-legged creatures congregate around my screen door and atop my plants.
    Granddaddy or daddy long-legs, also called harvestmen, turn up just about everywhere inside and outside of my home. I find them on walls and plants, the clothesline and the stone patio.
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The votes have been counted and the results are in for American Farmland Trust Best Farmers Market. The vote brings good news for the North Beach Friday Night Farmers Market, which earned the ranking of number two in the state.
    “But it gets better,” said Stacey Wilkerson, town clerk who also runs the market. “We are ranked number seven across the whole United States.”
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With summer at an end, hummers prepare for their long journey south
Two hummingbirds have been warring in my backyard over nectar the color of cherry Kool-Aid.
    They hover, frozen in time, sipping at the feeder and my hibiscus plants. I sit frozen too, watching them.
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When ­disaster strikes, these dogs are ready for work

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 earthquake hit the capital city of the poorest county in the Western Hemisphere, dumping 19 million cubic yards of rubble and debris on Port au Prince, Haiti, and its people.
    Two-year-old German shepherd Racker, of Eastport, rushed to the disaster, along with search-and-rescue dogs from France and Mexico.
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Good for the garden and for myth making

Masters of disguise, praying mantises camouflage themselves to capture beetles, bees, spiders, lizards and even frogs, then dine on the prey head-first.
    Mantises don’t hunt their prey. Instead, they wait unmoving and invisible on a leaf or twig, ready to seize any insect or amphibian unfortunate enough to cross paths.
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Plastic bottles sprout into art in Annmarie’s newest sculpture garden

Reuse. Reduce. Recycle. That’s Dale Wayne’s motto on merging the arts and the environment.
    This summer’s artist in residence borrows from the African tradition of bottle-trees — whose branches have been capped with bottles. Her bottle blossom trees are made from plastic bottles salvaged from Calvert County’s Appeal landfill.
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A starting bell “makes for an orderly market”

Clusters of customers and a couple dozen sellers wait along Fifth Street for the bell to ring at 6 o’clock sharp. That’s the signal to start at North Beach Farmers Market.
    “We need a bell at a market of this volume,” says Mike Cox, a Mennonite farmer from White Oak Point Farm. “It makes for an orderly market where everybody’s on the same footing.”
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Calvert County Farmers Markets

Tempt your taste buds with summer’s finest. Softball size tomatoes, basketball size cantaloupes, fresh baked cinnamon rolls along with golden sweet local honey are just a sampling of treasures found among Calvert County’s Farmers Markets.
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Buck moth caterpillars are interesting to look at, but don’t touch!

 

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