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August 2010

Week 22: On the Go

Last Monday morning when I went out to look for Junior, he was not on the pier he was on the night before. He was on the roof of a boathouse two piers farther away from his nest. His mother was with him and having him flap his wings and run around the roof. He would get about six inches into the air, then settle back on the roof. Finally, she got him to fly, led him home to the nest platform and fed him.

Show off your animal relations

We know you have pets.     According to the Humane Society of the United States, 77.5 million dogs and 93.6 million cats around the country share our homes. On top of that staggering census, the Humane Society reports that we also spend generously on our pets — at least $200 per year on vet bills alone. Why not show off your furry money pits? This week, Bay Weekly collects the final reader submissions for our annual Pet Tales issue August 26.

Maryland Department of Environment makes it easier — and cheaper — to ditch your dirty old mower

Find a greener way to care for your lawn Saturday, August 14, at the Great Maryland Lawn Mower Event in Baltimore’s Camden Yards. The first 1,000 people who bring their gas guzzling power mowers to the event can exchange them for a discount in purchasing one of two environmentally friendly electrical Neuton mowers.
Dear Bay Gardener My son-in-law has a Lavatera shrub that I want a cutting from. How do I go about getting a good start from the original plant? I can’t find a Lavatera. The only nurseries that have them seem to be in England or Ireland. –Vicki Marsh, Deale A Lavatera plants are grown almost exclusively from seeds. Cuttings root poorly and do not perform well; they don’t transplant well either. The seeds are easy to germinate, but they have about a three-month dormancy period after they have matured.

Here’s a repellent that passes the Bay Gardener’s tests

Deer, racoons, groundhogs, rabbits and squirrels are a major problem in vegetable gardens and in landscapes. Many home gardeners have stopped growing hosta because the deer ravage their ornamental plantings. Groundhogs and racoons as well as deer invade the vegetable garden to feast on corn, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and beans. Rabbits love to feast on lettuce, cabbage and snap beans.

Walk with me for our grandchildren’s sake

Maybe it is just my age, but every summer in Annapolis seems to be getting hotter, humidity thicker. Satellite technology tells us that carbon, a greenhouse gas, is increasing in the atmosphere and that the whole world is heating up. The world’s natural thermometer, ice, agrees. Ice asks no questions, has no political ideology and no agenda. It just melts. The Arctic icecap is shrinking. The Antarctic ice cap is thinning. Glaciers in the world’s mountains are disappearing.
Dear Bay Weekly I was pleased to see the recent oil spill response bill (CLEAR Act) pass the U.S. House of Representatives with full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund included. All of us should take a moment to thank Congressman Steny Hoyer for his part in shaping the legislation and in helping build bi-partisan consensus in this hard-won victory.
Dear Bay Weekly: Glad you put together the summer reading list! Some good selections in that July 1 issue. My most recent book to be finished was Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel, which everyone but yours truly read eons ago. Particularly interesting because we detoured to Asheville, NC, and saw the scene — and heard how some townsfolk resented his romans-a-clef. I think of the recurrent question in our memoir-writing workshop, Re-Create Your Life: What will people say?
Dear Bay Weekly: I’d like to add my belated praise for Diana Beechener’s July 15 story “Hope Is In the Melody,” on the group that entertains wounded soldiers. In a time when so much news evokes cynicism, I’ve rarely found a story so moving. Well done! –M.B. Lefkowitz, Holland Point

Bay Weekly’s new and improved online edition gives you a voice

I’m writing these words on a screen, and it’s more likely than ever that’s where you’ll be reading them. Not that newspaper readers have abandoned print pages in their run to e-journalism. Millions are still print readers: 385 million people buy a newspaper each week, meaning we print-makers have, conservatively, one billion weekly readers. Count me among them.