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Now’s the time to prepare your fruit trees and berry bushes

Fruit quality and size are based not on the amount or kind of fertilizer you apply but on how well you prune the plants in the spring before they bloom. You should be pruning your apple, peach, nectarine, apricot, pear and cherry trees now, as well as your blueberry, raspberry and blackberry shrubs.
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For her 10th birthday, Maggie Strandquist asked her guests to help her help animals in need

For the big One-Oh, Maggie Strandquist of Arnold said no to presents for herself and yes to presents for the animals at the SPCA of Anne Arundel County.
    “I didn’t think I needed anything, so I thought who else needed things,” Maggie reports. “I love animals and really wanted to help them, so I thought of the SPCA.”
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Where would we be without them?

“People want and use their libraries in pretty tremendous ways,” Anne Arundel County library administrator Skip Auld told me when we met.
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Identity and integrity figure large in this Dignity Players’ showing that addresses the masks we hide behind.

What is truth: fixed standard or fluid interpretation? Is a visionary artist an outsider or an insider? Is an expat a pioneer or a coward? Is a fist perhaps just a hand? Is an ex-lover ever a friend?...

Six Chesapeake volunteers tell how the 50-year-old Peace Corps changed their lives

Walking through Gaziantep, Turkey, meant keeping an eye on any young man walking toward me. At the instant he was about to bump me, I did a quick sidestep. In that conservative eastern country 45 years ago, this was nothing to worry about: just a young man’s trick. My sidestep was one small adjustment Peace Corps volunteers make to live by the rules of a foreign culture.
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Dear Bay Weekly:
    Recently published here was an article about black walnut trees, mainly about their impact on surrounding plants [Bay Gardener: Feb 11]. I thought to balance this article by adding something about the impact of the surroundings on black walnut trees.
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Sometimes we can’t see the things right before our eyes

By week’s end, the moon is lost amid the glare of the sun, with new moon at 3:46 Friday afternoon. While you might say that the moon has disappeared behind the sun, it has in truth disappeared in front of the sun. As our natural satellite, the moon’s orbit around earth never carries it opposite the sun. Rather, the new moon is there before our eyes, as close as ever....

With Chesapeake Bay the striped bass nursery of the Atlantic, our actions have an impact far beyond Maryland shores

Jerome Collier of Severna Park has initiated an online petition (http://www.petitiononline.com/yrrejmaj) to halt the use of gill nets. Collier says his goal is not to stop commercial fishing but to urge Maryland Department of Natural Resources to shift this rockfish allocation to a more manageable method of harvesting.
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Annual festival set for May 21, 22

Sarah Petska has already got the blues, though her festival doesn’t start until May 21. In preparing for The Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival’s 10th anniversary, the event coordinator has been putting in long hours.
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