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Features (Creature Feature)

Osprey leave Chesapeake Country

Somebody’s bound to be the last osprey to turn out the lights on summer 2012 on Chesapeake Bay.
    By eight weeks old, this year’s babies were as big as their parents and ready to leave the nests. By the end of July and early August, you could see the youngsters trying out their wings, fishing skills and independence.
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With summer at an end, hummers prepare for their long journey south
Two hummingbirds have been warring in my backyard over nectar the color of cherry Kool-Aid.
    They hover, frozen in time, sipping at the feeder and my hibiscus plants. I sit frozen too, watching them.
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Meet Facebook favorite Puff

There are many fish in the sea. The census of the Chesapeake extends to the thousands, filling 324 pages of Fishes of Chesapeake Bay.
    But few are as cute as the young northern puffer John Mayer, captain of the charter fishing boat Marauder, caught in the Patuxent River about six miles above Solomons.
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How a baby squirrel at the doorstep stole our hearts

Bay Weekly has acquired a furry friend, an orphaned baby squirrel. He (or she?) first caught our attention when he was stretched across the screen of our front window. We heard his cries through the open windows. Once our awhs stopped, we went back to work.
    When the mailman came with his delivery later that day, he stepped over the squirrlel to get through our front door.
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Your front porch is the buffet of choice for the orb weaver spiders, and your light is the headliner, attracting the smorgasbord of bugs that the spiders feast on.
    As autumn comes upon us, the days get shorter and the orb weavers come out to play. Hatchlings born in spring grow up in summer. Come fall, they’re amping up their eating to make big egg sacs.
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Lend an ear for the D.C Baltimore Cricket Crawl

It’s a symphony out there. The players are crickets and their cuter green cousins, katydids.
    Their instruments are their wings, specifically the tooth-covered stridulatory organ thereof, rubbed one against the other. Males play this instrument to attract females and repel other males.
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Bay Weekly Route Dog

Piper, who has been on the Bay Weekly masthead as a distributor since 2007, knows when it’s Thursday. She picks up her leash, route sheet, and she’s ready. She watches over distribution partner Jim Lyles’ shoulder just to be sure he does it right. You can’t always trust humans to do everything correctly, you know. Us dogs must watch carefully.
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Cheetahs named to honor America’s fastest man and woman

On top of their Olympic medals, America’s fastest man and woman have another cause for pride. They’re the namesakes of two of the world’s fastest animals, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s cheetah twins born April 23 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va.
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Good for the garden and for myth making

Masters of disguise, praying mantises camouflage themselves to capture beetles, bees, spiders, lizards and even frogs, then dine on the prey head-first.
    Mantises don’t hunt their prey. Instead, they wait unmoving and invisible on a leaf or twig, ready to seize any insect or amphibian unfortunate enough to cross paths.
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Young whitetail deer growing fast

In the last couple months, you may have seen small white-spotted deer curled up in brush and leaves or taking tentative walks through the woods — or across the road. It’s the tail end of fawning season for whitetail deer. After six or seven months of gestation, a new batch of fawns has arrived in the world.
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