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Features

Open horizons and swans to unite us

     If Bay Weekly were a three-ring circus, you’d find swans in every ring. For that, there’s good reason.      This week’s paper, our first in December, marks the arrival of meteorological winter. Here in Chesapeake Country, it’s not the serious winter already chilling our northern-tier neighbors. As I write, it’s –2 degrees in Crosby, North Dakota, right up on the Canadian border.

Tundra swans return

     “The first tundra swans of the season have arrived on Fairhaven pond.” Jimbo Degonia‎ posted the news on Bay Weekly’s Facebook page Tuesday, November 21, documenting their arrival with this photo. That’s early for birds usually seen after the first of December.      A week later I saw a pod of three of the snow-white birds on the same pond, and more since.

North Beach wants to show the world a pretty, seasonal face

     The Calvert County town of North Beach takes beatification seriously. Last month, three awards recognized town citizens and business people for keeping up appearances.      The yard of Denise LaGrange and Rit Aldi at 9210 Dayton Ave. was named October 2017 Yard of the Month by the North Beach House & Garden Club.

It takes six to 10 years of attention to get it right

     The most common species of conifers used as Christmas trees are white pine, Scots pine, Douglas fir, balsam fir, Frazier fir, concolor fir, Canaan fir, Colorado spruce and white spruce. Norway spruce are not recommended because they shed needles rapidly if allowed to dry out once. In more southern states, Virginia pine, white cedar and red cedar and often used.       Most growers purchase seedlings from nurseries that specialize in growing these species from seed.

Artist John W. ‘Bud’ Taylor inspired an ethic of land preservation

     Mayo resident John W. ‘Bud’ Taylor told us (https://tinyurl.com/BW-Taylor-99) that for him, being outdoors wasn’t exactly a drive. “It’s more a refreshment, like recharging your batteries,” he said. It turns out that it was actually Bud, who passed away at the age of 86 on Oct. 28, who was recharging our collective drive all these years to treasure and protect the Bay landscapes. 
     With the coming weeks offering events and attractions promising to wow you, amaze you and fill your hearts with holiday wonder and glad tidings, how do you choose which of the season’s pageants makes it on to your calendar?      Here’s a bit of guidance that may help you to inspire a new tradition or rediscover a forgotten favorite.   What: Illuminated London Town  

Six small ways Chesapeake neighbors are making a better world 

     Our neighbors are some amazing people. They do not take for granted the privilege of living in Chesapeake Country in comfort and community amidst a larger world where so many suffer famine, flood, fighting and so many degrees of inferiority.      They interpret that privilege as a challenge to make a better world. Rich in resources as we are, many of us take that challenge far and wide. Others find their mission here at home — for even here, good fortune is not equally distributed.

Play Santa in ways that matter

     Taking care of each other is one of the cornerstones of the Christmas spirit, for everyone deserves a gift from the heart — especially those for whom any gifts are hard to come by.      You can give in small ways, like dropping a donation into a Salvation Army red kettle. Or in large ways, like fully funding a family’s Christmas meal and wish lists.      Use this guide to spark an idea on how to spread the warmth and generosity of the season.
Coming our way from Kootenai National Forest, Montana
     Christmas is coming to our nation’s capitol.      In a 47-year tradition, the Christmas tree that shines throughout December on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol is cut in one of the nation’s states.

Thanksgiving novels now in season

     In novels, everything happens for a reason. Thus the coexistence of Thanksgiving and National Novel Writing Month in November can be no coincidence.      Our national holiday is a cornucopia of potential plots.