Features (Creature Feature)

Saw-whet owls passing through on their annual southern migration

      Hearing something going bump in the night? Perhaps it’s a northern saw-whet owl passing through Chesapeake Country on its annual flight south for winter.
      Volunteers with Project Owlnet hope that’s the case this week as they set out mist nets at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater to try to catch the little raptors.
...

Orb-weavers put on early fall displays

     The chill in the air has sent nature’s insect and arachnid world scurrying to get in those last meals. Suddenly we start seeing long-legged and acrobatic guests in our gardens and window frames.
...

Toadstools

One big, happy fungi family

     As summer ends, toadstools seem to appear from nowhere.
...

What makes milk chocolate?

     The NPR report that “seven percent of adults still think that chocolate milk comes from chocolate cows,” got me thinking. 
     Breed and coloration can factor into milk production, reports Anne Arundel 4H-er Patricia Williams, who notes that Holsteins are the best milking cow. A single Holstein produces some 2,674 gallons of milk each year.
...

With monarch butterfly numbers on the wane, they need our help

     Jane Bishop of Dick and Jane’s Produce Stand in Harwood has been filling empty stomachs for decades. For one set of mouths, however, she goes the extra mile.
     Bishop gathers milkweed leaves to hand-feed tiny monarch caterpillars, checking the undersides for new caterpillars.
...

This bee drills into wood and flowers

     Gazing out at your garden, you’re sure to see pollinators great and small, from bumblebees to butterflies and wasps. One of these winged creatures is out in abundance this time of year. It’s a big bee. But which bee?
...

For a few days around the full moon, blue crabs are at their most vulnerable    

            Our precious resource, the Atlantic blue crab, grows by backing out of its armored shell. This feat is achieved by the crab swelling its body with water until it literally bursts out of the back seam. The crab will then begin wriggling free, leg by leg times eight plus two claws.

            Full moons like the one coming August 7 are prime shedding times.

...

Crabs and osprey in, oysters and swans out

In Chesapeake Country, creatures define seasons more accurately than weather. Crabs and osprey are the creatures of this season, even now replacing oysters and tundra swans on the calendar of Chesapeake life. Each comes, and goes, with fanfare.
...

Chinese New Year celebrations begin

Saturday, January 28 marks the beginning of the 15-day Chinese New Year, ushering in the year of the Fire Rooster.
    In the Chinese zodiac, every year is associated with one of 12 animals: Rooster, dog, pig, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat and monkey — the year we are ushering out. Each 12-year cycle is ruled by one of five elements: Gold (metal), wood, water, fire and earth.
...

Readers shared their stories — and pictures — of animal companionship. The stories are wonderful; they'll bring tears to your eyes and laughter to your heart and lips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

...