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February 2013

Girl Scout Badge

  Junior Girl Scouts earn their In the Mud badge. 1-3:30pm at Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons. $11; rsvp: 410-236-2042; 

Consider your space as you plan your vegetable garden

For the best harvest, plan before you plant. Crowded plants that have to compete for light do not produce a good crop and often have disease and insect problems. Here’s how I plant my garden to give each plant the best chance.     Sweet corn should be planted in blocks, not single rows. Four to five short rows of sweet corn sown six to eight inches apart in two-foot-wide rows will produce higher quality ears due to better pollination.

Blue herons return for Valentine’s Day

The great blue heron’s return to Chesapeake Country and consequent mating occurs mid-February, bestowing these majestic birds the nickname, lovebirds.     “Their local nickname, along with love birds, is Johnny Crane,” said Mike Callahan, president of Southern Maryland Audubon Society.

Good intentions bring unintended consequences

Balloons were fresh on my mind when the Heart Healthy Foundation sent the press release announcing a balloon release to kick off Heart Health Month.     The Annapolis-based foundation was releasing 200 heart-shaped balloons spaced at 33 second intervals. That’s how often an American dies from heart-related diseases.     A few weeks earlier, I’d written about balloons in a very different context: as killers of sea turtles. (Read the story at

Energy Star Tax-Free Weekend

  Replace energy-guzzling appliances this weekend when the 6 percent sales tax will be dropped on qualified Energy Star air conditioners, clothes washers, furnaces, heat pumps, boilers, standard-size refrigerators, dehumidifiers, programmable thermostats and compact fluorescent light bulbs. Solar water heaters are tax-exempt at all times.

Contra Dance

  Kim Forry calls dances to the electric music of Broadside Kinetic for American contra and square dancing. No experience or partner needed. Bring snacks to share. Introductory session at 6:30pm; dancing 7-10pm at Annapolis Friends Meeting Hall, 351 Dubois Rd., Annapolis. $10 w/discounts: 443-540-0864: 

Julia Child Performance

  Mary Ann Jung engages you in the life of Julia Child, who changed culinary history, enacting a 45-minute scene in Child’s home. After the performance, enjoy French wine and pastries. 5pm at the home of Pat Freiberg and Steve Schulman, 1276 West River Rd., Shady Side. $55 to benefit Captain Avery Museum; rsvp: 410-867-4486;  

Slider Saturday

  Honey’s Harvest Market & Deli serve sliders and milkshakes on Slider Saturday. 4-8pm at Honey’s Harvest, Rose Haven: 410-257-7757; 

Love Doves • free

  Learn about local animals’ mating rituals in the spirit of Valentine’s Day. 2-3pm at Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, Upper Marlboro: 410-888-1377.

KIDS Winter Wonderland

  Kids explore the winter woods to find animal tracks, tree holes and beaver chew. Ages 6 and up bundle up. 1-2:30pm at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, Lothian. $5 w/discounts: 410-741-9330;