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Features (Creature Feature)

There are many good bugs ready to help you and your garden thrive
     Before you spray your garden for those pests that seem to sample everything you like to grow, learn who the good guys are, as they will be your allies in the long run. The less insecticides you use, the more a natural balance of predators will occur. There are many good bugs out there ready to help. It may take some time, as they need to be encouraged. 
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Ghoulish but good for your garden

 

      When I think of the predators of caterpillars, I think of birds and lizards. But a more common killer is the Braconid wasp. These tiny wasps find soft-bodied caterpillars including cabbage worms and hornworms and firmly attach eggs to them. The developing wasp larvae live off the caterpillar without killing it until it develops into a chrysalis....

Rocky Mountain elk repopulate much of their Atlantic range — but not Maryland

 

     European settlers arriving in North America encountered huge populations of eastern elk. These thousand-pound members of the deer family ranged from Louisiana to Canada.

     Have you ever wondered how the Elk River and Elkton were named? Elk were quite plentiful in Maryland.

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Dam Snakeheads Nabbed in Migration

 

     If there’s slight consolation in Chesapeake Country’s invasion by snakeheads, it could be that more of them are hightailing it north up the Susquehanna.

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Avoid the masked bandit if you can

 

     A late noise startles you awake. When you turn on the lights, a masked animal gives a rolling growl as it sulks away. That raccoon is back. 

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Birds set the highest standard

 

      Fatherhood in nature varies from the seahorse and pipefish, which carry eggs and then offspring in a special pouch, to the praying mantis father that gets eaten by the female after the reproductive act. In many herbivore mammals, like deer, the father does very little parenting. They are not around for the birth or care of the offspring. Herding mammals like bison collectively parent, with th...

Too fast for my camera to show their namesake inner wings

 

      A small gray-and-blue mirage fluttered wildly around my feet. It stopped for two seconds on a clover flower before taking off again just as erratically. I was trying to get a photo of an opened-winged butterfly, but it was too difficult.

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Animal mystery in the English countryside

      A CNN headline last week roped us in: Raccoon Dogs on the Loose in an English Village. People were told to be on the lookout for these dangerous creatures.

     A Daily Mail story warned that the raccoon dogs “terrorize locals and attack animals in Nottinghamshire.”

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These birds like to announce their presence 

 

      Belted kingfishers are common along Maryland’s waterways. But each has a large hunting territory so they are spread out. They seem to fight constantly over space and don’t tolerate one another. They also don’t tolerate people and can be heard screaming what sound like bird obscenities as they fly from human approaches....

You’ll know this tern by its red-tipped bill and feet
     Here’s another tern to look sharp for in Chesapeake Country.
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