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Creature Feature

Where to turn for help and to help

Anne Arundel County Animal Control Shelter County animal management service handles nuisance animal issues, sponsors a Thursday rabies shot clinic, sells animal licenses and shelters found and abandoned animals temporarily before placement or euthanasia: 411 Maxwell Frye Rd., Millersville: 410-222-8900; aacounty.org/animalcontrol Calvert Animal Welfare League

Plant a flower garden and extend your acquaintance

Lantana drew this common buckeye butterfly to Sandra Bell’s Port Republic garden. “Butterflies and hummingbirds love them!” she wrote of this bright, cluster-flowered species of verbena.     They’re drawn to open, sunny areas with low vegetation and some bare ground. The six eyespots on the buckeye’s wings discourage predators that take if for something bigger. The warmth-loving species lays three broods in the deep South, and some of those progeny reach as far north as Canada.

10 ways our pets enrich our lives

Our animal companions make us healthier, happier and saner.          Animal lovers have always held that truth to be self-evident. Now, research is backing up that heart-felt conclusion. Benefits range from reducing allergies, blood pressure, stress and loneliness … to increasing self-esteem and activity … to drawing other people to us.     Here’s how those benefits play out in the lives — and words — of Bay Weekly writers and friends.

It’s rewarding all around

There is nothing in the world like the feeling you get when you adopt a homeless animal.     They say the animal you rescue will know that you saved them, and I have experienced that first hand.

Help Bailey find his way home

Oh where, oh where has this giant dog gone? Oh where, oh where can he be?     Five-year-old Bailey, a 120-plus-pound all white Great Pyrenees, ought to be hard to lose. But in the month since Bailey wandered away from his West River home, owners Janet and Bennett Crandell have found not a clue to his whereabouts.     “People from Edgewater to Waldorf are saying, I could swear that I’d seen that dog,” Janet Crandell says. “But the sightings have not been Bailey.”

My guests were not who I expected

At Ivy Neck Farm in Cumberstone on the shores of Rhode River, we have a dock and a very nice boat with a swim platform. We also have a considerable number of river otters who catch fish and oysters and seem to enjoy the swim platform on the boat as a convenient place to eat dinner. They leave an awful mess.     To see who came to dinner, I set up my game camera on the dock. My bait was an old rockfish carcass nailed to the pier to keep the river otters from carrying it off.

The capacity of herons

The discovery that a heron was plundering my catch solved the mystery but did not end my ­curiosity. There was more to be learned.

Who dunnit?

It wasn’t quite the mystery of whether aliens landed in Area 51, but around Casa Melamud everyone was perplexed and spending considerable brainpower trying to solve the case of the missing fish.

Osprey and falcon chicks thriving, with a little help

True to the saying it takes a village, it has taken the help of many friends to ensure the health and success of the on-cam osprey and peregrine families.     Two years of broadcasts on Chesapeake Conservancy’s Osprey Cam have shown Audrey the Osprey as a model mother. She has stayed on her eggs in sweltering heat and storms, shielded her chicks from pouring rain and defended the nest from intruders.

The SPCA wants to make your pet a star

Certainly your dog — even your cat — has the makings of a supermodel. With the help of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Anne Arundel County, your best friend’s full glory can be revealed.     Through July, the SPCA is searching for 13 pets to be featured in the monthly pages of the SPCA’s 2016 Posh Pets calendar, out this October.