view counter

July 2012

Jones Station Severna Park Farmers Market celebrates 25 years

A sensory feast — colorful fruits and veggies, fresh eggs and meat, well-tended ornamental plants along with herbs and veggie plants — that’s the main reason to go to a farmers market. But education and the ability to speak directly with producers run a close second. At the Jones Station Farmers Market, education includes beekeeper and honey seller Peter Quinton’s display of what bees do to make honey and Lori Beard spinning wool roving into yarn.

Baby birds growing bigger

Nests throughout Chesapeake Country are full of baby birds. Fluffy young osprey are learning to tear their fish into bites in nests topping nearly every channel marker and many utility poles. Mom and Pop Osprey are still delivering the fish to their fast-growing babies.

The emerald ash borer chews half of Maryland

Nothing may seem amiss, but the entire western half of Maryland is now a quarantine area. In 14 counties west of the Chesapeake and Susquehanna, Maryland Department of Agriculture has found evidence of the emerald ash borer. The destructive Asiatic beetle, which has conquered the west in nine years, kills ash trees from the inside out.

No need to check your eyes, that was Kevin Spacey in Annapolis

No, you’re not seeing things.         When you thought you saw Kevin Spacey getting coffee at 49 West, drinking martinis on Metropolitan’s roof deck or throwing darts at Stan & Joe’s it wasn’t a mirage from the extreme heat wave and lack of air conditioning. It was Keyser Soze, seriously.

 Go to summer school for TEAM DNR and you’ll be teaching come fall

“I’m proud of you that you can name all the states in our watershed and not miss any,” said longtime TEAM DNR volunteer Penny Vahsen to fourth-graders at West Annapolis Elementary School. “Some students say California is part of our watershed.”     Not Candice Gaylon’s class this past school year. They’re up on buffers, erosion and water pollution.

Ancient wisdom from the days before AC

One by one, we’re getting back in touch with the grid. By July 3, electricity was restored to three out of four households that lost power to June 29’s derecho. The storm has taught us all a new word and reminded us of some old coping skills.

I use fences, smells and my dog

Squirrels, rabbits, ground hogs and deer are a common problem in home vegetable gardens. I surround my garden with a four-foot-high four-inch-by-two-inch turkey fence supported by steel fence posts at 10-foot intervals. I also attach an 18-inch-wide pullet fence at the bottom with hog-nose rings. Groundhogs will not climb the turkey fence with the bottom pullet fence. They try but fall backwards because the pullet fence is loosely attached. The bottom edge is buried two to three inches deep to discourage the ground hogs from digging under.

Get up early to find the fish and beat the heat

We were drifting quietly well off the mouth of the Severn in 30 feet of water. It was not yet sunrise but the first blush of daylight lit the water’s surface well enough to show some very nervous schools of baitfish swimming around us.     Here and there small menhaden — peanut bunker — would shower into the air, fleeing something sinister below. There must have been a heck of a spawn this spring because I don’t believe I’ve ever seen so many menhaden schools this early in the year.

Ted

Teddy bears can be pigs

Young John Bennet (Bretton Manley) didn’t have many friends, so for Christmas his parents bought him a stuffed bear named Ted (Seth MacFarlane: Family Guy). Thanks to the magic of the season and the power of a child’s wish, Ted became real.     At first, Ted is a godsend, giving John confidence and companionship. Twenty-seven years later, however, Ted keeps 35-year-old John (Mark Wahlberg:  ) stuck in permanent ­adolescence.

Who — regardless of age — doesn’t love a good story?

Will Bartlett’s light musical adaptation of Rumplestiltskin has run continuously off-Broadway since 1985 with good reason. With its cantankerous characters and timeless moral, Rumple Who? makes an entertaining way for parents and grandparents to share love of theater with their children.