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Articles by Michelle Steel

Toys help patients having a rough day at Children’s Hospital

It’s a big job making sure Dr. Bear’s closet at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., is never bare.  
    For the children, it’s a closet as crucial as the closets that hold bandages and medicine.
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Wagging, walking, running and smooching for a good cause

They came out in packs.    
    Some walked or ran on two legs, some on four, to raise $180,000 at the Anne Arundel SPCA’s most successful Walk for the Animals April 7 at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis.
    Two walking trails — one mile and two-and-a-half-miles — plus the new Tails & Trails 5K drew 184 humans and more than 50 dogs.
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Blue-hued bulbs help raise awareness

One in 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    This month — Autism Awareness Month — the Autism Speaks organization is recruiting residences, businesses and buildings to change their exterior light bulbs from white to blue to raise awareness.
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You’ll laugh until you ache, then laugh some more

Four affluent couples gathered in a posh suburban residence for a dinner party to honor friends’ 10th anniversary celebration find mischief surrounding the event.
    There are no servants: How can the party continue? The hostess is missing. So is the host — the deputy mayor of New York City — who has reportedly shot himself through the earlobe.
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Bubbles and Squeak invite you to join the fun

Calvert Marine Museum’s most popular residents, river otters Bubbles and Squeak, are throwing parties to subsidize their enriched lifestyle.
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Mythical egg deliverer is maybe a hare — or a rabbit

Is the Easter Bunny a cottontail or a snowshoe hare?
    Both are native to North America, unlike domesticated rabbits, which are elaborately bred descendents of European wild rabbits.
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Tiny frogs seldom seen but often heard

Spring has sprung.    
    Spring peepers are wide awake and calling out loud.
    These tiny frogs are among the first to call and breed. Only the males sing. They’re calling for mates.
    Competition’s tough.
    Females choose a mate by the quality of his call.
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Marshmallow creatures inspire creativity

Sam Born began selling Peeps in the early 1920s, in a small Pennsylvania grocery store he owned, under a sign that read Just Born.
    Nowadays March brings Peeps madness.
    The craze took off in 1953 as cellophane selections of packaged Peeps flew off neighborhood grocery shelves.
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Red Wigglers demonstrate the inside story of composting

Red Wiggler worms are busy digging and dining in a compost Can-O-Worms at Annmarie Garden.
    Second graders visiting Annmarie Garden on daily CHESPAX field trips explore the world of composting with a little help from the Garden’s squirmy residents, about a thousand in all.
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Blue herons return for Valentine’s Day

The great blue heron’s return to Chesapeake Country and consequent mating occurs mid-February, bestowing these majestic birds the nickname, lovebirds.
    “Their local nickname, along with love birds, is Johnny Crane,” said Mike Callahan, president of Southern Maryland Audubon Society.
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