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Highway medians become home to the birds, bees, butterflies

The tiniest employees of the Maryland State Highway Administration are hard at work while we sit in traffic. Glance out the window to see them buzzing about their daily routines. In exchange for their work, MSHA provides room and board — in the medians of state highways.     Important work is happening in these often overlooked parcels of land: over 100 acres along Maryland highways are now wildlife habitat for pollinators.

Yumi Hogan shares her favorite Korean recipes for the Governor’s Buy Local Week Challenge

When Maryland’s governor and first lady throw a party, it’s not often Mrs. Guv will be doing the cooking.     First Lady Yumi Hogan proves the exception to that rule. This week, for the eighth Annual Buy Local Cookout, she prepares and serves her own adaptation of pork bulgogyi, which she calls “a classic household dish for a Korean family.”

See how nature treats him on the Weather Channel July 19

Anne Arundel County cop Ron ­Gamble, of Arnold, always considered himself a fat guy. Now the ­Weather Channel has made him a Fat Guy in the Woods. In the reality show episode airing July 19 Gamble and two other fat guys venture into Kentucky cave country guided by survival expert Creek Stewart. Stewart — who is neither a fat guy nor a cop — intends to teach them “the skills that make a man a man.” Here Gamble previews his week-long experience — from ordering room service to hunting crickets for dinner.

Fishing with the Charlotte Hall Vets

The Bay Gardener took a day off from gardening to go fishing with 15 heroes and four staffers from the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. The Lothian Ruritan Club sponsored the fishing trip.

How Eddie McGowan made a local stop on the Celtic circuit

There may be nothing quite as rousing as men in kilts wailing away on bagpipes — at least to Eddie McGowan.     A group of bagpipers walked into a bar, and he was smitten. “I knew I had to learn how to play,” says McGowan, whose appreciation of all things Celtic has grown into the Annapolis Irish Festival.     Back in 2010, McGowan talked a few bands into coming to Annapolis for a weekend of music.

Unity Gardens grants grow leaders as well as plants and flowers

Plants and flowers aren’t the only things that grow in a garden. Leadership and civic involvement can also bloom. That’s a motivating idea behind Unity Gardens, a nonprofit that backs its philosophy with dollars.     “We want projects that build community partnerships, bringing in volunteers and creating opportunities for leaders to emerge and take on new projects,” says Unity executive director Barbara Dowling.

Unsung hero of the ­Annapolis July 4 Fireworks

Planning and producing the fireworks display in Annapolis Harbor on July 4 is a big deal. “The 15-minute show takes a thousand hours of work to plan and produce” says Tom ­Chepurko, this year’s coordinator of July 4th Annapolis, the non-profit set up to raise the funds for the display. Twenty thousand people will come by car and boat to watch the show — and all will leave safe and happy. The plan to assure this success is 30 pages long, spelling out the roles and details for the police, fire, harbormaster and several other city agencies.

Leg 8 gives women their first win and Abu Dhabi Racing the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race trophy

It has been a long time coming, but an all-woman team has won a leg of the modern Volvo Ocean Race.     English skipper Sam Davies and her largely rookie crew of Olympic champions of Team SCA had won some in-port races but not an offshore leg.

Bernie Fowler’s Sneaker Index measured 44 inches — the best in the annual Wade-In’s 28-year ­history but a long way from the days of his youth

Ninety-one-year-old river warrior Bernie Fowler added some new followers at his 28th annual Wade-In to measure his beloved Patuxent River’s clarity by Sneaker Index.     Chesapeake chronicler Tom Horton flew in on water taxi. The Patuxent Voices sang a tribute, adding a capella artistry to Island Girl Deanna Dove’s folk hymns and bridging the gap opened by the 2010 death of Chesapeake bard Tom Wisner, Fowler’s inspiration in the now-famed ritual.

Special Olympics athletes set their sights on the summer games in Los Angeles

Brandan Ehrmantraut of Prince Fredrick loves being part of Special Olympics. “It shows we aren’t different even with our disabilities,” the 20-year-old says. “We can compete like everyone else.”     Ehrmantraut and seven unified cheerleading teammates are journeying to Los Angeles later this summer to support and energize special athletes from around the world in the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. They will be cheering on five of their Maryland peers at the games.