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Every rockfish is good; now and again, one is extraordinary

When I planted the skiff’s Power Pole anchor on the remains of an old submerged jetty wall that snaked well over a hundred yards out from the shoreline, my face was numb from the chilled air and the fast run. My electronic finder said the water was four feet deep under the keel. But just off the rocks, it would read closer to seven. Not too much farther away, the bottom fell to 20 feet.
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With fewer tree nuts than in recent years, squirrels are going crazy

I’m under attack. Everywhere I look, squirrels are scampering up trees, toting nuts in their mouths, scurrying across my yard and darting in front of my car.
    The word squirrel was borrowed by the Romans from the Greek word skiouros, which means shadow-tailed. Ancient Greek naturalists found their bushy tails remarkable.
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Sweet success takes tuning

Easing my skiff up near a Bay Bridge support, I launched the lively Norfolk spot toward the sweet spot where the water eddied behind the down-current side of the concrete pier. I thumbed the spool, directing the baitfish to just the right place, inches from the support.
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Leave the bugs outside

If you moved your houseplants outdoors last spring, this is the week to bring them in before the first frost.
    But first you had better inspect them for bugs. One of the major problems associated with moving houseplants outdoors in warm weather is that they become exposed to a greater variety of insects generally not found indoors.
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Serving healthy portions of ­tradition and fellowship

With Christ Church Owensville’s annual homecoming dinner coming right up, parishioners gather to clean the kitchen and wash the dishes for the feast. We eat a potluck dinner because that’s what church people do before we work together. Then, as the dishes come down from the cabinets to be washed, I fall into a reverie. The plates are sturdy diner-style, green-striped, white crockery that, for the most part, match, so they nestle in neat stacks....

Body snatcher targets mud crabs

When it comes to horror, Mother Nature stands at the top of the class.
    Our Halloween Creature Feature comes from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, where scientists have a horribly resourceful parasite under their microscopes. With devilish ingenuity, it takes over its host’s reproductive system for its own replication.
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Sometimes the depths hold more than mystery

I have always felt that the ocean held mystery. … dark and foreboding. I inherited a small cottage on the Atlantic shore from my uncle and would spend weekends there to get away from the daily grind. Although I would enter the waves and laugh with friends, I always felt myself hold back a little, unsure of the dark waters around me. It was not the sea life that I feared....

Stay awake or you’ll become one of them

It was a dark and stormy night, and here I was on a deserted path leading to a deserted house on a deserted hill. The lantern I carried was of little use since the wind was howling and the lightning was flashing and the thunder was crashing. I began to doubt my sanity for having gotten into an argument with Clyde Barston. He had said that the old mansion was haunted, and I had said “With what?”
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How to become Spider Woman, the Mummy or the Walking Wounded

And the winner is …
    Creating memorable homemade Halloween costumes is a long-running tradition for crafty moms and dads. Some are as easy as cutting up your mom’s favorite sheets, while some require a little more preparation.
    If you always wanted to create your own costumes but were discouraged by the complexity or didn’t think you had time, follow these quick directions for a contest winner.

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Tawes Garden a living museum of Maryland in miniature

Visit the corner of Rowe Boulevard and Taylor Avenue 30 years ago and you might have been in time for the carnival.
    Visit today, and you step into Maryland in miniature at Helen Avalynne Tawes Garden.
    Already home to our state’s three distinct environments, Tawes Garden is now the arboretum in our back yard.
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