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April 2013

Maryland’s license plate heron in identity crisis

You see him every time you drive to pick up Chinese. He’s lined up in the grocery store parking lot. You stare at him during rush hour. And now, you get to name him. He — or is it she? — is the blue heron on Maryland’s Treasure the Chesapeake licenses plates.     Who would have thought such a popular bird was nameless?     After 27 years, the bird is in identity as well as gender crisis.

Poopendous! author Artie ­Bennett turns  bodily functions into kid-appropriate art

“Matt said the F-word!” tattled five-year old Maya as my sweet little kindergartners did their morning color, cut and paste. I was shocked, but not so much when I learned that the F-word in question ended in -art. Children are intrigued by smells, noises and products of the bathroom.     This month the Key School welcomes a writer who turns references to bodily functions into kid-friendly and kid-appropriate art.

The Joes’ greatest mission will be finding a decent screenwriter

Special Forces team the G.I. Joes are tasked with keeping America safe. Leader Duke (Channing Tatum: Side Effects) and his best bud Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson: Snitch) recover nukes, blow up baddies and look darn good doing it. They are the go-to team whenever anyone threatens truth, justice and the American way.

Spray horticultural oil now to control them

The mild winter is likely to be followed by early invasions of scale insects, spider mites and other bugs that over-winter in the cracks and crevices on the bark of trees and shrubs. Roses, Alberta spruce, blue spruce and roses are the most susceptible species for spider mites. Scale insects will attack euonymus, crab apple, cherries including cherry laurel, oak and pine. Wax scale insects especially like hollies.

Help Globe at Night shine a spotlight on light pollution

With the moon waning through early morning skies, this weekend is a great opportunity to participate in the latest round of the Globe at Night program, which goes on through Tuesday, April 9. Relying on the observations of volunteers from all around the world, Globe at Night is gathering the most comprehensive data on light pollution.

You’ll laugh until you ache, then laugh some more

Four affluent couples gathered in a posh suburban residence for a dinner party to honor friends’ 10th anniversary celebration find mischief surrounding the event.     There are no servants: How can the party continue? The hostess is missing. So is the host — the deputy mayor of New York City — who has reportedly shot himself through the earlobe.

The river gave up gold

It had turned into a beautiful day despite a forecast of high winds and rain. Trees were whipping overhead, but down the well-worn path we followed on the forest floor, it was sheltered and calm. When we broke out of the tree-cast shadow line, the bright sun warmed us so that we had to open our jackets and slow our pace.
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