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Cicadas, crickets and katydids can create quite a racket

You hear them everywhere: driving in your car with the top down, sitting outside on a warm, summer evening and falling asleep to their songs with your windows open. Who are they? Cicadas, crickets and katydids — the trio you hear separately or together at all hours — starting in spring and belting out a peak performance this time of year.
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At 10 million oysters, SMOCS calls it quits

"Oysters are a lost cause. You’re going to fail."

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They’re building strength for a fall assault

Bay Weekly readers are asking me where the stinkbugs are.
    Stinkbugs may not have plagued you this summer, but I can assure you that they are building their population.
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Where to find the charity of interspecies connections

Not every human is an animal lover. Slip Mahoney, the subject of one of this week’s dog stories, drove quite a few people to the other side. But he also wiggled into quite a few hearts, even some outside his immediate family. One dog sitter called him Nurse Slip, crediting him with seeing her through an illness compounded by a broken heart.
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Mark your calendar

Chew on these tales of bad behavior before you add a new member to your family

Through the beveled glass oval of the front door, I could see trouble. My friend and hair-stylist Kathy Burns’ brother was not making a social call. His khaki uniform meant he had come on official business. Dogcatcher business.
    The dog in question, Slip Mahoney, wasn’t home. Wherever he was, he had stirred up enough commotion to bring out the dogcatcher.
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Divergent paths through the Civil Rights era

As a young boy in 1920s Georgia, Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker: The Last Stand) learned how the world worked for black people. On a whim, their white land-owner not only rapes Cecil’s mother but also shoots his father, who is buried by his fellow black sharecroppers in a shallow grave.
    In compensation, Cecil is invited in as a house servant. The work is
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But brilliant Sirius isn’t to blame

For kids heading back to school, summer has truly gone to the dogs. But neither that nor your canine companion panting on the cold basement floor is why the hottest days of the year are referred to as the Dog Days of summer. The answer shines in the heavens in the form of a star more than 81⁄2 light years away.
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Travel Maryland with your pets

You work all week and want to relax on the weekends — get away perhaps? The only thing keeping you on the leash at home is you can’t bear to leave your furry friend behind.
    Your problem is solved by Visit Maryland’s new directory of Fido-friendly destinations. The list includes places throughout Maryland where both you and your pet are welcome to visit, stay or play.
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    Calvert County’s feral cat sanctuary is home to many cats who would otherwise have been destroyed, yet there is not a scruffy one among them. All have beautiful thick coats in the winter, and I wondered how each cat would manage the transition to summer.
    Turns out, nature provides fallen tree limbs. Branches and still-pliable twigs serve as stationary cat-combs.
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