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July 2013

Get rid of all your dolls, now!

Lorraine and Ed Warren (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) don’t scare easily. Ed is the only ordained demonologist who’s not a Catholic priest. Lorraine is a powerful clairvoyant who helps her husband investigate reported hauntings around the world.

What I’ll be eating this Buy Local Week

In high Maryland summer, buying local is no challenge. Rain and sun, heat and humidity make the vegetable kingdom grow like it will devour tomorrow. Fields and farm markets are fecund with foods you’ve not tasted fresh since last fall. Corn, cucumbers, cantaloupe, peaches, peppers, squash, tomatoes and watermelon are ready or ripening.     If I were doing the naming, I’d call Maryland’s sixth annual Buy Local Challenge the Buy Local Opportunity.

If you’ve ever wanted your own fresh eggs, Michele Allman can help you decide if keeping hens is for you

I am not alone in imagining chickens in my back yard. Backyard flocks are on the upswing in suburban and urban America, Chesapeake Country included. Why, the state’s capital allows city-dwellers to raise them.     I’d appreciate their weeding skills to keep the violets, dandelions, and chickweed in check and to work compost into the soil where I’d like to install new garden beds. Most of all, I’d like just-laid eggs, firm with bright orange yolks.

Unity Gardens wants to help green your community

From Glen Burnie to Severn Heights to Presidents Hill to Shady Side to Fairhaven, Anne Arundel gardeners seeking to green their communities turn for funding to Unity Gardens (www.unitygardens.org), which twice a year awards grants up to $1,000 to local groups creating neighborhood green spaces.     In a decade, Unity Gardens has sowed over $200,000 in gardens planned and planted by 180 community groups. Unity’s seed money comes from foundation grants, corporate and individual donations and local government support.

LIKE the energy giant to get to know the Bay and Baltimore better

As a fan of Chesapeake Bay, you can get your interest rewarded for each of the next four weeks. But to compete in the Bay Quiz, your love for the Chesapeake must be patient enough to navigate Constellation Energy’s layers of self-promoting websites.

Perched to take advantage of the sun

Long before dinosaurs walked the earth, dragonflies took to the air.     Griffenflies, the gigantic precursors of our modern-day dragonflies, took flight in the Carboniferous period over 300 million years ago.     Their descendants have had plenty of time to spread around the world. Ancient Celts called them big needle of wings. In England, they’re water dippers. In China, old glassy.

Local bounty is all around us, with roots in our hearts

Maryland’s Buy Local Challenge makes the typically sultry last week of July one of my favorite times of the year.     For those of us who take eating locally to heart, it’s no challenge to eat one local delicacy each day from July 20 through 28. Peaches for breakfast, tomatoes and basil for lunch, corn and crab for dinner — plus watermelon for breakfast, lunch and dinner: What’s not to like about that menu? It’s delicious, and it’s convenient.     So convenient that some of it grows steps from my door.

You need bees to get fruit, nuts and berries

At a recent garden club lecture, a member complained that she was not seeing apples on any of the five trees she planted three years ago. The trees were growing in full sun and had a full compliment of blooms this past spring. All were of the Golden Delicious variety.     Were any flowering crab apple trees in her area, I asked.     She was not aware of any.     That’s why her trees have no fruit.

… A white perch will do. If you can’t catch either, God bless you.

Setting up just north of the Sandy Point Light in 40 feet of water, our chum bag was soaking deep on its weighted line, and we were waiting for the rockfish to start to eat.     Our planned destination had been farther up the Bay. But as we passed the spot where we now fished, our electronic finder had marked such a large school of big fish that it stopped us short. Setting up about 75 yards off of the flank of a commercial hook-and-liner that had obviously noticed the same thing, we prepped our tackle,