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Good Living

How to shoot the fluid element

     The ever-increasing daylight, songbirds singing, flowers blooming and, of course, warmer weather all signal the return to the water for many citizens of Chesapeake Country. It is also the perfect time to take that camera you received for the holidays (or the one that’s been collecting dust in your closet for far too long) and create photographs of our regions waterscapes.  

Our future is in the hands of real people, not superheroes

      Appreciation for our planet is expressed not only in art, music and literature, but also in our consumer and economic practices, our spiritual and cultural beliefs and values, our foodways and our politics.      Working to clean up our collective mess are passionate eco-guardians who make it their business to fight pollution, clean our waterways, protect wildlife and keep our planet healthy. For most, it’s a lifelong journey.
A lot is going on in the fast-changing world of used plastic and paper
      It’s spring, and the garden is calling. With the threat of hard frost past, you’ve turned on your outdoor water and reattached your hose. But it’s spraying you from leaks all along its length. What should you do with that hose?   a. Recycle it b. Trash it c. Use if for a sprinkler hose.

$215,000-worth of beauty in the works

      Project Spudnik will put more taters into the ground this year thanks to a grant from Keep Maryland Beautiful.          Inspired by the improbable garden Matt Damon grows in the movie The Martian, Project Spudnik teaches teens to live sustainably through gardening. This year, what started as a container garden grows $1,000 richer.

Larry Taylor gives dead wood a second life

     There’s nothing like the sound of a chainsaw to catch Judy Taylor’s attention.      That’s because following it may lead her to an opportunity that could keep her husband Larry Taylor happily engaged for hours at a time. When he disappears into his woodturner’s equivalent of a man cave, magic happens.

$10K helps make veteran-service dog matches

      Trained to retrieve items, alert their partner to important sounds such as a doorbell or alarm, operate light switches and seek help in an emergency, service dogs help many veterans and first responders with disabilities achieve independence. Partnering with a service dog is free.        But preparing those dogs is an expensive and specialized business. The cost of the dog, medical fees and training can run close to $25,000.       Now, Maryland will help pay the bill.

And learn to politely disagree

       A debate on Asian oysters engaged Sunderland Elementary School students in reading, writing and speaking — skills the world’s first universities considered essential for leading and for promoting the best ideas.       Rising to the challenge, students went beyond arguing pro or con.

At home or on the town

      St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17, is the anniversary of the death of the patron saint of Ireland. Kidnapped as a teen, Saint Patrick was brought to Ireland but eventually escaped to his native Britain. He later returned to Ireland and is credited with bringing Christianity to the Irish. He died in the fifth century. But on March 17, at least in America, everybody is Irish. Indeed, more than 30 million Americans have predominantly Irish roots. Between 1820 and 1930, 4.5 million Irish arrived in America.

Bonnie Ott tells us who’s who

      When you hear a sparrow, do you envision only those birds under your bistro table? Bonnie Ott is here to expand your view to the many native sparrow species in our area. An expert naturalist, photographer and lifelong Howard County resident, she is more familiar with little brown birds than just about anyone.
Ban bills return to Anne Arundel, Maryland 
      Another domino has fallen in the war on plastic, toppling close to home.        A bill banning polystyrene, the chemical that gave us Styrofoam, has been introduced for the second year in the Anne Arundel County Council. If passed, it will prohibit the use of food-service polystyrene products in the county by next January.