view counter

Creature Feature

Bring on some homeless Mutts and Mousers

A handsome array of dogs — plus a cat or two, running as Monday Mouser — have joined our weekly Facebook posting. As for other creatures, “we’re always hopeful,” says Bay Weekly’s Facebook mod Diana Beechener. “But we haven’t gotten any yet.”     Monday Mutts have ranged from Nipper the Jack Russell through Martini the Great Dane; Olive the golden retriever; and Lola the Lab-Spinone mix.

In 2011, the terrier was king of the box office

If you want to stand out in movies, never work with dogs or children. This Oscar season, however, films featuring terriers are racking up the nominations.     First popular in screwball films of the 1930s, such as The Thin Man and Bringing Up Baby, terriers dropped back to the relative obscurity of television shows such as Fraiser and Wishbone.

We’ll know by spring

Elk could once again roam the forests of western Maryland — unless citizens say no way in a survey beginning next month.     Elk are big. Females reach 500 pounds; males, which grow the towering antlers, get up to 700 pounds. They’re herbivores, but it takes a large range to feed the appetites of creatures so big. Thus farmers worry about their crops.

Grass beds survived storm to welcome waterfowl, Bay babies

Housing stock is on the rise for the young fish and crabs who’ll be sheltering at the top of the Bay come spring. The vast grass-filled Susquehanna Flats, the circular area where the Susquehanna River meets the Bay, appeared unexpectedly healthy in aerial survey images made late last year.     The valuable Bay habitats seem to have survived fall 2011’s deluge of runoff and sediment.

Bird artists flock to 2012 competition

Duck stamps have been preserving marsh and wetlands for waterfowl since the Great Depression, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the federal Duck Stamp program to support the purchase of land for national wildlife refuges.

A Hound’s Jolly Humbug!

As I decked the halls with boughs of holly I put a Santa hat on this dog to be jolly. When down to the dog park we went to play, The strangest things my dog had to say! Santa Hat, for who? Not me!

Arsenic additive accumulates in poultry, soil and us

It’s not just chicken feed; it’s arsenic as well that fattens chickens in their short seven-week lifespan from egg to market. The chicken we love to eat fried, sautéed, roasted and broiled contains traces of the poisonous element. That’s one finding of a new study commissioned by the Maryland General Assembly and done by the University of Maryland’s Harry R. Hughes Center for Argo-Ecology in Queenstown.

Hang a gift on the National Zoo’s Enrichment Giving Tree

Grateful for the wild things that enrich your world? Choose a wild gift from the Animal Enrichment Wish List to hang on the Smithsonian National Zoo’s Enrichment Giving Tree.     Speaking for the animals, zookeepers and researchers have asked for toenail clippers, bubble machines, natural-colored feather dusters and shower radios with CD players.

What to call a giant octopus?

The National Zoo’s new giant Pacific octopus will pick its own name, but suggestions from local kids are welcome. The zoo asks invertebrate enthusiasts ages five to 15 to submit their favorite name for the rapidly growing cephalopod.     The only hitch is that the zoo isn’t sure if the octopus, now the size of a grapefruit, is a boy or a girl yet. So you may want to stay away from suggestions like Ralph.

Your gift makes room in the inn, warmth in the stable

The Christmas story tells us that animals made the only warmth in the stable where baby Jesus was born. If animals have also warmed your home and your heart, making a gift to the animals may be the right way for you to give back this season.     Especially because so many animals nowadays lose their warm homes because their owners no longer have the means to afford their pets.