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Good for the garden and for myth making

Masters of disguise, praying mantises camouflage themselves to capture beetles, bees, spiders, lizards and even frogs, then dine on the prey head-first.
    Mantises don’t hunt their prey. Instead, they wait unmoving and invisible on a leaf or twig, ready to seize any insect or amphibian unfortunate enough to cross paths.
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Plastic bottles sprout into art in Annmarie’s newest sculpture garden

Reuse. Reduce. Recycle. That’s Dale Wayne’s motto on merging the arts and the environment.
    This summer’s artist in residence borrows from the African tradition of bottle-trees — whose branches have been capped with bottles. Her bottle blossom trees are made from plastic bottles salvaged from Calvert County’s Appeal landfill.
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Touch a Truck fundraiser adds to $35K from county

Kara McGuirk-Allison was ecstatic that Anne Arundel County approved $35,000 to update the Broadneck Playground built in 1991.
    “There isn’t really a playground in Anne Arundel County that serves the needs of kids with disabilities,” says McGuirk-Allison. “We want it to be so cool that people go out of their way to the playground.”
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A starting bell “makes for an orderly market”

Clusters of customers and a couple dozen sellers wait along Fifth Street for the bell to ring at 6 o’clock sharp. That’s the signal to start at North Beach Farmers Market.
    “We need a bell at a market of this volume,” says Mike Cox, a Mennonite farmer from White Oak Point Farm. “It makes for an orderly market where everybody’s on the same footing.”
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From the Bay, you can enjoy a little more

After yet another great rockfish dinner, I decided to do a little research on past warnings about contaminants in our Bay waters, hence in our striped bass.
    Checking out the latest Maryland Department of the Environment Updated Fish Consumption Advisory for Maryland, I found great news and a little bad news.
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How I learned to defend against zombies

I can’t claim to be unfamiliar with the living dead. I logged enough hours watching zombie movies as a kid that I could have received a PhD in zombiology from the George A. Romero School for the Aaaaaarghts.
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Drink deeply of 2012. It’s a vintage year

Summer is half over. August 2 marks the midway point between the solstice, which began our summer on June 20, and the autumnal equinox, beginning fall on September 22.
    That’s the woeful way of saying we have half the season of good times left. So let’s make the most of it.
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Maryland lawmakers return to take up gambling in their ­second special session of the year — here’s what you need to know

When?
    Opening Thursday, August 9 and running “two or three days,” according to Sen. President Thomas V. ‘Mike’ Miller, a champion of expanded gambling.
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Four Maryland farms — out of multitudes

Twenty-first century Maryland is still a farm state. About 1,400 produce, meat and dairy farms, orchards and vineyards thrive on the renewed appetites of Marylanders. We’ve rediscovered the old-fashioned taste of food grown locally, often by neighbors who’ll eagerly share their experiences as well as their results.
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This escapist comedy makes your problems insignificant by comparison

With Love, Sex and the I.R.S., Bowie Community Theatre promises “a wild farce with twists of fate, sight gags, mistaken identities and hilarious comic lines.”
    That’s accurate if you get your laughs from chauvinistic stereotypes, drunkenness and cross-dressing. Judging from audience reaction, Bowie Community Theatre does it darn well.
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