view counter

Creature Feature

You can run, but you can’t hide

Invading aquatic species will have to speed up their evolutionary development of evasive strategies to outsmart the newest addition to the University of Maryland Environmental Science research fleet. The 155-foot barge, known as the Mobile Test Platform, has the job of testing the array of new ballast-water treatment technologies developed in hopes of keeping invaders out of Chesapeake Bay.

Catch one last glimpse of these orange beauties before they head south for the winter

Each year as the leaves turn orange in Maryland, orange-tinted butterflies turn south. Monarch butterflies, easily recognizable in bold orange and yellow hues, visit Maryland each spring and summer to enjoy nectar and liquids from fruit.

Death interrupts but does not end the osprey cycle

As the osprey head south this year, we say goodbye forever to one special bird: Olive Osprey.     Like many of her species, she was shot. Not over Cuba or the Dominican Republic, where fish farmers consider osprey birds of prey. Olive was shot as she sat on her eggs in her nest in Southern Anne Arundel County, where she had been welcomed and had gained celebrity.     Her killers were neighborhood boys.

How Patuxent animals coped with high water

The record-setting flood on the Patuxent River that shut down parts of Route 4 and Route 301 on September 8 also created chaos and danger for the animals living in Jug Bay marshes. Mattress-sized clumps of uprooted marsh plants and large logs floated fast downstream. The current in the river’s main channel was pumping three times faster than normal.

Itching is the least of their nasty woes

Downed trees, dented houses and absent power are the larger consequence of Irene, Lee and their ilk. But the smaller consequences can also get under your skin. And keep you itching.     Mosquitoes are biting. Many kinds of mosquitoes.     The extraordinary amount of rain from the two storms is just what the eggs of opportunistic female fresh-floodwater mosquitoes have been waiting for to hatch.

$2.4 million federal grant resolves the conflict

The little Puritan tiger beetle has it way better than many other bugs in the news.         Stinkbugs and emerald ash borers: We’re dead-set on eliminating those alien destroyers.     But the Puritan tiger beetle was here long before us, and to keep it here we go to great lengths.     And great expense.

Pumpkin Ash found at Jug Bay adds to number of native species

When your official list of trees includes only 29 species, the addition of one more makes a big boost. Anne Arundel’s rise to 29 from 28 came from the addition of Fraxinus profunda.     Profunda, familiarly known as the pumpkin ash, was identified and measured at Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary this month by Maryland Big Tree volunteer Dan Wilson of Harford County.

Canine Candid Camera

We all think — make that know — that our dogs are the smartest, funniest, sassiest, most beautiful creatures in the world. To prove it, more and more of us are picking up video recorders to share our dearest with the planet.     The Internet makes it easy to become an international celebrity. Sites like YouTube allow millions to watch Fluffy shred toilet paper or see Spot chase the squirrel up a tree.

Like John Steinbeck, this osprey wanted to see America

In between migrations most osprey are homebodies. Conventional wisdom holds that male osprey almost always return to the vicinity of their nests to breed.     Not every osprey is conventional.

Endangered species squeeze through DC's budget war

Off limits to some members of Congress in the contentious budget war that’s been raging in Washington.     In a Republican proposal, the Endangered Species Act would have been amended so that no new species — regardless of numbers — could be added to the threatened or endangered list. The bill would, however, allow species to be removed from the list.