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Barking up the Christmas Tree

As a field of expertise, Christmas trees — like medicine — has generalists and specialists.
    Generalists decorate their trees with the collections assembled over lifetimes by inheritance, early childhood artistry, gifts and outright purchase.
    Specialists prefer a theme.
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AACo connects families in need to people who want to help

What if you could see the child’s face light up when you drop off a new toy? Or watch the worry slip off the faces of a family when you deliver a Christmas dinner they weren’t sure they were going to have?
    The Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services’ Holiday Sharing Program has been matching people who want to help families and seniors during the holidays for 32 years.
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The rediscovered Chesapeake woodcuts of Eastport’s Philip McMartin

When Philip McMartin arrived in 1963, Annapolis was still a watermen’s town with workboats coming and going.
    The 33-year-old journalist-photographer-filmmaker-sailor had fallen under the spell of the water, which drew him to Eastport, where he and his wife and four children lived a stone’s throw from Back Creek.
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Leon Tucker’s tour in Mongolia has him longing for Southern Maryland’s balmy winters

To step out into December’s minus-20-degree weather, Leon Tucker layers up “in bundles and bundles” with long underwear, thermal sweatshirts, camel wool socks and a North Face parka. This is not what he meant back home in Deale when he called himself “an outdoors person.”
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A winter’s wind blows water from the Bay, revealing relics from the past

On a cold winter day, with a stiff northwest wind blowing the Chesapeake Bay south toward the Atlantic, 11-year-old twins Cole and Wyatt Greene stumbled on a strange sight as they explored the exposed mudflats of Herring Bay. Buried in the mud appeared to be the remains of an old ship. A really big ship.
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Lessons from Build-A-Bear to the magical Chesapeake Christmas tree

When its lights went on, the Christmas tree seemed suspended above the Bay like magic. The suspension was an illusion. The tree stood on the solid base of the Fairhaven community swim platform in Herring Bay. But the magic was — and remains — real.
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These long-distance travelers migrate from the Arctic for our mild winters

The swans have landed.    
    In November, tundra swans succeed osprey as Chesapeake Country’s big new birds.
    The snow-white swans average four feet in length and weigh between 13 to 20 pounds.
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Get help with your bills as winter blows in

As the temperature goes down, utility bills go up. The Anne Arundel County Community Action Agency wants to help.
    The agency helps eligible Anne Arundel Countians pay utility bills. The state is the ultimate source of funding, so you’d be getting a bit of your taxes back.
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Help map out long-term climate changes

Calling all wanna-be weathermen: You can help measure long-term climate changes with 11,000 wanna-be weathermen across the country.
    The National Weather Service is looking for volunteers in Calvert County’s Dunkirk area to take daily maximum and minimum temperatures and measure rain and snowfall. The Service will train and equip you.
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Time’s End? Or a New Cycle’s Beginning?

If you’re nervous about numbers, the combination coming up this week could give you quite a scare. So portentous is this once-a-century triple 12 that it might — or might not — coincide with the end of the world.
    Or was it 122112 when time stopped on the Mayan calendar?
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