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Creature Feature

Buck moth caterpillars are interesting to look at, but don’t touch!
 

Baby birds growing bigger

Nests throughout Chesapeake Country are full of baby birds. Fluffy young osprey are learning to tear their fish into bites in nests topping nearly every channel marker and many utility poles. Mom and Pop Osprey are still delivering the fish to their fast-growing babies.

Ancient sea creatures provide food for birds, medicine for us

On the beaches of the Chesapeake, you can consort with creatures that predate the dinosaurs and whose existence you’ve benefited from if you’ve been to the doctor in the past 30 years.     Especially if you get up very early in the morning.

At Annmarie Garden, nature and art live in harmony

Among art from the Smithsonian and the National Gallery of Art at the Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center in Solomons stand seven houses occupied by bluebirds.     Bluebirds are masterpieces in the world of gardening, both for their beauty and for their appetite for garden bugs. So Annmarie is more than happy to host them. To encourage the birds to add life to art in the garden, staff artists have hand-painted the houses. Baby bluebirds are now growing feathers amid the woven grasses and pine needles that make up bluebird nests.

To stop emerald ash borers, you’ve got to think like a bug

To stop a thief, you’ve got to think like a thief. To stop a bug, you’ve got to get more basic.     That’s what Maryland Department of Agriculture has learned in its 10-year effort to stop the inexorable march of the emerald ash borer.

Baby warthogs, prairie dog pups, small-clawed otters and zebra foals

Yes, panda infertility is a problem. But while we’re waiting for the experts to solve it, plenty of other babies are looking adorable in our regional zoos.

Avenue Q’s puppet actors are ready to steal the show

The human actors who’ll bring Avenue Q to the stage of Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre from July 5 to 29 are already hard at work. They’ll invest over 100 hours in the production before the high intensity of tech week begins June 28, according to Theatre president Carolyn Kirby. But, she says, you’ll hardly have eyes for them.

Please drive considerately

This time of year, you don’t have to join a herptile hunt to see Eastern box turtles (see Sandra Lee Anderson’s story: ). But you do have to drive carefully lest you squash one you didn’t see. Box turtles are crossing our roads — very slowly.     Habitat destruction is the primary culprit for the species’ decline. As once-rural areas continue to be developed and subdivided, automobile traffic increases on roads once less traveled.

Cole Bros. Circus pays for ­elephant mistreatment

Elephants that traveled with Cole Bros. Circus — which visits the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds this week — were so thin that the circus has been fined for bad care.     “The gravity of the violations herein is great and includes the repeated noncompliance with the regulations for veterinary care, handling and licensing,” a U.S. Department of Agriculture attorney wrote of the plight of Asian elephants Tina, Jewell and Boo.

Who’s who in the pecking order

The side porch of our home in northern Calvert County faces east. It’s a great place to have our morning coffee and feel the first warm rays of the sun. It’s also where my wife sets out the hummingbird feeders, so we get to watch the high-speed high jinks of these delicate little birds.