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Nature Books for All Ages

It’s official: On June 21 — three weeks into the month proclaimed by Gov. Martin O’Malley as Great Outdoors Month — the solstice turned spring into summer. To seize the summer season, Bay Weekly peers into books about the great outdoors.

 

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A village turns up for a lost cat

Murphy is missing. The sweet-natured cat disappeared from her home in Chesapeake Overlook, near the Anne Arundel-Calvert line on Sunday, June 5.
    Finding Murphy has become a community effort.
    There isn’t anything particularly exceptional about Murphy, says her human, Colleen Sabo.
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Five Smithsonian cheetah cubs thriving

For five cheetah cubs born May 28 at the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., the first doctor’s visit was a house call.
    In mid-June, Smithsonian biologists spent a few minutes examining the two-pound furballs — and happily reported all five cubs to be healthy and active.
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Can you see the Milky Way?

A week after solstice, the 28th marks the latest sunset of the year, at 44 seconds past 8:35. And while a few bright lights will pierce the glare of twilight, it isn’t until nearly 10pm that the sky truly darkens and the stars start to shine.
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Take children to the outdoors with these authors who evoke the magic and mystery of the natural world.

For wonder-filled, read-aloud picture books, look for author Jane Yolen. Her Caldecott-winning father-daughter tale, Owl Moon, should not be missed: “When you go owling, you don’t need words or warm or anything but hope.”
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Summer Reading Clubs at Anne Arundel and Calvert county public libraries give you ideas, company and rewards for summer reading. At every branch, clubs start this week for children, teens, families and adults. Each age group reads for prizes as well as pleasure.

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While some of this sci-fi flick’s multi-faceted plot is beyond preposterous, it’s still good fun.

Here’s a rarity: The Green Lantern is a sci-fi movie that strays from the well-trampled aliens vs. Earth-guy story. What’s especially rare in sci-fi films is a plot that is multi-threaded and multi-faceted with enough twists to maintain interest....

Your editor’s segue into books about nature

Books leave marks on our lives that may or may not be indelible, the word my grade school nuns taught us to describe the imprint of the sacrament of confirmation. That mark would last so long God would see it on our souls, no matter how little else was left by the time we met up with him.
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Southern High School artists will paint you a wall to proclaim it

When it comes to wearing your heart on your sleeve, Muddy Creek Animal Hospital, in the rural crossroads known as West River, has reached a new high. The artists of Southern High School have splashed a celebration of the Southern Anne Arundel environment — from Bay to wetlands to farm fields — onto the vet clinic’s 25-foot-high exterior wall.
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For fall flowering, first divide, then prune

If you purchased hardy flowering chrysanthemums for your garden last fall, most likely they have survived the winter, and the clumps are producing multiple stems. What was one plant last fall is now a plant with five to 15 stems originating from the stump. Some varieties of chrysanthemums produce from the root system, while other varieties produce multiple stems from above ground.
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