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Good Living

Many hands help monarchs migrate thru Chesapeake Country

       By the time fall arrives this month, thousands of Anne Arundel County school students will be studying and rearing monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus, in their classrooms. Over the next few weeks, regional parks and nature centers have planned monarch events for young and old. All this monarch hoopla coincides with one of nature’s wonders: the eastern monarch population’s migration to Mexico.

Fourth-graders free at state parks and more

      Autumn’s moderate days invite us to pack up the camping gear and head to a park. If you have a fourth-grade student, your park visit can be free.        For the fourth year, fourth-grade children and their families enjoy free admission to national public lands and state parks thanks to a partnership of Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Expanded calendar means more play time

      Squeezing the last remains from summer? Head to a county park, where you can launch a kayak, run trails, play fetch with your pooch or enjoy a picnic.       Beginning this week, four Anne Arundel County parks are open seven days a week, from 7:30am to dusk. That’s more time for you to get outside and enjoy all the Bay has to offer.      Visit Quiet Waters in Annapolis, Kinder Farm Park in Millersville, Fort Smallwood Park or Downs Park, both in Pasadena. 
       It was a long hot summer. With (hopefully) many days packed with fun in the sun and on the water, we look forward to those days when ­summer’s humidity has finally been wrung out and a cool breeze greets us every morning.
       Autumn is on the horizon. The air is light, skies often blue and leaves full of color. It’s one of Chesapeake Country’s most splendid seasons.
       This issue of Bay Weekly shows you how to sweetly kiss summer goodbye and welcome the wonders of fall. Here are 50 Ways to Leave Your Summer, a chronology of fun, fare and festivals stretching from early September through Thanksgiving.
1 Eat Local, Eat Well 
Guitar hero lives up to his billing
       Nine-year-old Jeffrey Allen of St. Mary’s County has had a passion for music since birth, says his mom Kimberly Allen. Specifically the music of country music star Brad Paisley.        “He went to his first concert at the age of three to see Brad Paisley perform in Baltimore,” Kimberly says. “He likes to make signs for concerts, where we may be closer to the stage.”
The Anne Arundel Food Bank’s new face looks to get the ­non-profit new space
      No one has ever become poor by giving. –Anne Frank           Susan Thomas is breaking in some new shoes, walking a path blazed by Food Bank founder Bruce Michalec. 

Nine-and-a half-incher sets an unofficial record

         The minimum keepable size for Atlantic blue crabs is five to five and one-quarter inches, depending on the season. Crabs that size are ranked as smalls. Mediums range up to six inches, large six and a half and jumbo up to seven. Crabs seven inches and up are ranked as behemoths, also called heavyweights or whales.           So what do you call a blue crab measuring nine and one half inches tip to tip?

In Tangier Island, journalists and authors can’t seem to resist the tale of a vanishing people

         The latest is a new book, Chesapeake Requiem by Earl Swift, who spent 14 months documenting the tiny, storied island in the Bay that may be America’s first casualty of climate change.          The 1.3-square-mile island off of Virginia, inhabited since the 1600s, loses swaths of shoreline each year to rising waters.

Historic Sotterley Plantation harvests potatoes to feed the hungry 

The historic Sotterley Plantation is sitting on 200,000 square feet of potatoes — ready for harvest.           On St. Patrick’s Day, Hollywood, Marylanders stepped up to plant more than five acres of red and Yukon gold potatoes, reserved for donation.           Facility manager Joe Goldsmith is reviving the 1703 plantation’s working fields with hay and kale as winter cover crops. Summer’s crop is potatoes.

Show your love for the Patuxent

         Your creative mind can earn you some cash this fall. Design the best float for the Patuxent River Appreciation Days parade, and your group or organization can win $300. Second and third places net a nice hunk of change as well.          Held annually on Columbus Day weekend, PRAD celebrates all the river means to Southern Maryland. The parade wraps up the festivities Sunday afternoon.