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Your guide to Chesaeake Country's freshest produce and more!

September 2010

See them this season in Galesville, October 1 thru 3

With no gallery to call their own, the Muddy Creek Artists Guild makes its followers wonder where they are going to pop up next. Surprise “keeps the Guild’s shows fresh,” says Elizabeth Ramirez, chair of the upcoming October show. The Where’s-Waldo approach for the two-year-old Guild’s three annual shows creates “a sense of urgency” that “people have to take advantage of while it’s happening,” says Bea Poulin, photographer and Guild founder.

A new breed of wind-sellers can lower your utility bill while saving the environment

In wind power, the money is in the marketing. We learned as much long ago from the experiment of William Wrigley Jr., the millionaire whose success you’ve no doubt chewed on more than once. The maker of Juicy Fruit and Doublemint gum, among other chewables, kept a weather eye on opportunity.  How he put chewing gum in vending machines at about the turn of the 20th century is a milestone of entrepreneurial capitalism.

For SMECO, it’s a big job feeding our demand for electricity

Something alien is growing in Calvert County. The aliens have sprouted up in the front yards of homes along quiet, winding Bowie Shop Road. Still more are appearing on Route 4. They are big, very big, towering over the landscape. Eventually there will be 23 of them. These aliens are behemoth power poles, erected by Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative in the name of progress. The new metal poles bear little resemblance to the old wooden poles they are replacing, and they don’t exist anywhere else in Calvert County.

This weekend’s final First Sunday is your last chance to join the fusion of community and arts

From May through October, the First Sunday Arts Festival transforms inner West Street into an Annapolitan Casbah. Wandering down West Street, you find the normally high-traffic thoroughfare empty of cars, replaced by dozens of artisans’ tents. Despite the weather — rain to swelter to who knows what — swarms of people stroll the brick road, admiring the treasures on display. From earrings made of bottlenecks to children’s storybooks to paintings to decorative shutters, the selection covers art of many shapes and sizes.

Life stinks for Marylanders

The brown marmorated stink bug has made itself Maryland’s least welcome invader of 2010. Fat from feasting on orchard and soybean crops, flocks of the Asian alien have invaded homes and gardens, causing more than a foul odor. “The populations this year have been astronomical when compared with years past,” says Dr. Joe Fiola, specialist in viticulture and small fruit for the University of Maryland Extension. “Multiple bugs per fruit, whereas with green stink bugs [the garden variety] you would see one or two to a tree.”

U.S. EPA says Stop spoiling the Chesapeake on junk food!

If pollutants were calories, our Chesapeake would be obese, short of breath and diabetic. So it’s good news that the Environmental Protection Agency’s new plan to require other states to follow Maryland’s lead in counting — and limiting — the junk they’re feeding the Chesapeake.

If at first you don’t succeed … try something different

Sundown was only a half-hour away as I steered my skiff toward another deserted shoreline. Well out, I switched over to my electric trolling motor and eased into casting range. My target was a rip forming over the nearest of a number of mostly submerged stone jetties jutting sharply out from the shoreline. 

Owls battle and soar in this beautiful tangle.

Soren (Jim Sturgess: 21) is a young barn owl from the forest of Tyto. The dreamer is just learning to spread his wings when he and his brother are kidnapped by agents of the Pure Ones, an evil flock of hawkish owls who snatch owlets for conscripts. It’s up to Soren, bolstered by bedtime stories about legendary heroes, to escape brainwashing and fly to the Guardians of Ga’Hoole to mount a rescue. His quest for help may forge Soren as a legend himself, as he strives to free the owlets and short-circuit one evil owl’s planned reign of terror.

Don’t welcome them!

If you thought the Japanese beetles (aka ladybugs) were bad last year, get ready for worse this fall, when invading stinkbugs join the Japanese beetles. This is the worst year I have ever witnessed for stinkbugs. Stinkbugs are harmless to humans and pets, but they are a nuisance and difficult to control. They derive their name from the foul odor they release when you squeeze the abdomen. It reminds me of smelly dirty socks with a slightly sweet odor. 

The heavenly bull’s glare

As darkness settles, the bright glow of Jupiter pierces the east-southeast horizon, by far the brightest light in the sky, as the moon spends this week waning through pre-dawn skies. The gaseous giant is high in the south at midnight, and as dawn nears, it sets beneath the western horizon.