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July 2013

From gold to butterflies to barnacles to stories to advertisers to delivery drivers to you …

The universe is sparkling with the news that all the gold in the world was formed in the ancient explosive convergence of neutron stars. At least my universe.     That marvelous Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics report has led me as if by the hand to the conclusion that things like company.     How else to explain why atoms of free floating gold got together in coalescing Earth to form nuggets and seams?

No messing with worms and insects; this trio eats a five-star diet

Cinco, Patches and Tripod would be homeless were it not for Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary in Lothian.     Instead, the three female Eastern box turtles live in five-star-hotel style with amenities including rich soil for digging, logs for climbing, flowing ferns for frolicking, May apples, mushrooms and blueberry bushes for foraging and a wading pond for cooling off.     The girls, as they’re called by staff and volunteers, are forest-dwellers, so much of their 16-by-five-foot enclosure is shaded, with sparse sunny spots.

Master Watershed Stewards may not have super powers, but they are cleaning up their communities

Going down John Dawson’s street in Severna Park, you can’t miss the rain garden he’s planted in his front yard — and that’s exactly how he wants it.

Pay it forward in honor of a life saved

Three days in the intensive care unit delayed Amanda Fiedler’s meeting with her third child. Finally her husband wheeled her through the halls of Anne Arundel Medical Center to meet Zachary in the neonatal intensive care unit.     “The nurses took the little blanket off the incubator, and he looked so tiny,” says Fielder, tears welling up. “I remember holding him and whispering in his ear, we did it.”

Barnacles and bryozoans rampage thru summer 2013

You are not alone.         Bryozoans, barnacles and the vast fellowship of the fouling community are settling on submerged surfaces throughout the upper- to mid-Chesapeake.     Anything not protected with antifouling paint is now covered in a thick, brown living moss.

Crabs, Watermelon and Great German Fare

It’s time to get cracking. This Friday, August 2, the Annapolis Rotary Club and its 150-plus members roll out the brown paper for its 68th annual World’s Largest Crab Feast at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (5-8pm).     The feast is a highlight of summer, with all-you-can-eat steamed crabs, corn on the cob, crab soup, hot dogs, BBQ, soft drinks and beer.

Cracking crabs speaks volumes

The water was 90 degrees, murky with algae and the skies overcast. We all peered intently at the barely visible trotline gliding through the water next to our skiff. One chicken neck bait after another appeared, slid over the roller and went back down. But there was no mistaking the first blue crab to appear. That jimmie was seven inches across.

Being young and black in America is still dangerous

On New Year’s Eve, 2009, Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan: Chronicle) decided to take the BART to San Francisco to see fireworks and party with friends. By 9:15am the next morning, the 22-year-old was dead.     Stopped by BART officers who suspected Oscar and his friends were fighting on the train, he was handcuffed, restrained and eventually shot by those sworn to keep the peace. The incident was captured, in graphic detail, by dozens of passengers.

Meet these award-winners at Twin Beach Players Kids Playwriting Festival

Love, not money, sparked 21 kids to seek spots in Twin Beach Players’ annual Kids Playwriting Festival.     Lots of love as each had to write a play.     The $100 prize money was a bonus, all six finalists agreed.     But competing in this festival is the highpoint of the theater life for stage-smitten elementary, middle and high schoolers in Chesapeake Country.

Time to transplant azaleas and other acid-loving plants

Mid-August to early October is the time to transplant azaleas, rhododendrons, mountain laurel, andromeda, leucothoe and blueberries.     What do blueberries have to do with azaleas and these other landscaping plants?     By Aug­ust, all have stopped producing top growth and are now making root growth. Transplanting them at this time of year enables the plants to become well established before the ground freezes.