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April 2013

Butterfly and Hummingbird Gardening with Native Plants

Event Date:  May 4, 2013 - 10:00am - 11:00am Learn how to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden by using native plantings. We’ll also tour the new Reading and Butterfly Garden as well. Meet at the Visitor Center Parking lot. This one hour program is part of the Naturalist Series of Park Ranger-led programs that are held throughout the year at Quiet Waters Park. For more information, or to preregister (required) call 410-222-1777 or e-mail rpdeva00@aacounty.org. Gate fees apply.

Milestones in words and pictures

1993: Volume I

Don Chomas’ pink pig advances Parole Rotary’s Naptown barBAYq

The Parole Rotary’s Naptown barBAYq is coming to town with more than 50 teams competing to win bragging rights to best pork, chicken, ribs and brisket.     Next weekend you’ll smell the smoke far and wide. Barbecuing begins late May 3 with the festival running May 4 and 5 at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds. You’ll get your chance to taste from 2:30-5pm Saturday ($10).

Vote for your favorite name

More than 550 of us aspire to name the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s famous blue heron on the Save the Bay license plates. Three finalists name the cut. Now you get to vote for your favorite.     Hattie the Heron, suggested by Jane Dimalanta of Jessup in honor of her great-great-great-great-grandmother. “She was a strong woman and so is our beautiful bird.”

Department of the Environment jumps on

Composting is all the rage in the trash world. The newest trash trendsetter, Maryland’s Department of the Environment, now invites its 900 employees to compost food waste instead of sending it to the landfill.     Food scraps take up 20 to 30 percent of precious landfill space. Composting diverts scraps from landfills to compost piles, where it ferments and transforms into nutrient-rich humus that feeds earth, plants and us.

New lane markings, rumble strips and signs help us get across

I’m claustrophobic and scared of heights, so unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations send my anxiety into a full-blown panic attack. Also, I’m easily distracted. Driving over a bridge, with traffic coming toward me, isn’t my idea of fun, even if I am heading to Ocean City for a getaway.     So I was happy to hear of this week’s Bay Bridge safety enhancements.

Asparagus specials are popping up, but to celebrate 20 years, Bay Weekly serves cake

May is National Asparagus Month.         This perennial spring vegetable is one of the first harvests of the season and a favorite on menus. A distant cousin of the lily, asparagus takes some dedication to cultivate, about three years before your first crop. But once it takes, the stalks can grow up to four inches in one day. If your green thumb hasn’t stretched to asparagus, you’ll find the stalky green popping up all over — in farmers markets, grocery stores and restaurants.

We need sustainable, not ­seesaw, management

Our blue crabs are in trouble again. Since last year, the juvenile crab count had plummeted to 111 million, down from 587 million in 2012, according to the 2013 Winter Dredge Survey results. The overall number of crabs in the Bay dropped by over 60 percent.     Blue crabs may, once again, be approaching the crisis levels of five or six years ago.

We need its reminders more than ever

I was involved in the very first Earth Day, and I remain a strong supporter of its goals.

Bay Bard Tom Wisner’s legacy lives on

Crabs tumble from a wooden basket and, along with colorful musical notes, scuttle off into dark blue water and turquoise sky. The cover of Singing the Chesapeake welcomes nature lovers young and old into the world of the late Tom Wisner, environmental educator and musician. Everything about this collection of children’s songs from the Bard of the Chesapeake is bright, sunny and magical.