Thursday, April 24, 2014

Osprey attempts to build nest in front of traffic camera

In the contest between bird and traffic camera, it's a question of which will blink first.
A persistent osprey — likely in league with a mate — has been trying since late last week to build a nest smack dab in front of a traffic cam keeping watch on the eastbound U.S. 50 approach to the Bay Bridge.

The Maryland Transportation Authority has removed the nest three times, only to have the determined bird or birds return. Late Tuesday afternoon, a branch — possibly the beginnings of another nest —could be seen in front of the camera, lying on the steel gantry over the highway.

"Good grief!" said John Sales, spokesman for the authority, when informed of fresh evidence of nest building.
This isn't the first brush with wildlife for the transportation authority, which manages the state's toll bridges, tunnels and highways. Eagles, ospreys and even a peregrine falcon have been allowed to nest unmolested on the Bay Bridge and other structures before, Sales said. But this is the first time any have chosen to build their home in front of one of the cameras providing a live view online of cars and trucks whizzing by below.
"We're concerned because she's blocking one of our traffic cameras that we use for monitoring traffic conditions at the bridge," Sales said. Authority officials also worry for the birds' safety, he said.
"This camera moves back and forth, and we notice whenever it does that the bird gets agitated," Sales explained. He predicted that the agitation would get worse if the female succeeded in laying eggs there.
Though many thrill to watch ospreys in flight and catching the fish that make up their diet, the birds can sometimes rub humans the wrong way when they nest in inconvenient places. They favor spots off the ground and near water, anyplace where they can pile up branches and twigs and lay a few eggs.
"Historically, before man put up all these artificial structures for them, they would traditionally nest in a dead tree," said Glenn Therres, associate wildlife director in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Now, he said, ospreys have been known to nest on all kinds of human structures — piers, boat houses, even baseball backstops.

"They get themselves into some precarious situations," Therres said. "Occasionally some nests have to be removed."

Ospreys are abundant around the Chesapeake Bay, having rebounded over the past four decades from pesticide contamination that impaired their reproduction. They and other migratory birds are protected under federal law. So, before demolishing the traffic cam nest, transportation authority officials checked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Sales said wildlife officials approved the evictions as long as no eggs had been laid.
The birds don't seem to have taken the hint. That's not surprising, said Therres, who cautioned that once a mating pair picks out a spot for a nest, the birds will keep trying again and again, despite natural or human-caused setbacks.

There may be a way to end the standoff, though, to the satisfaction of bird lovers and traffic-watchers alike. Craig Koppie, a federal wildlife biologist, visited the Bay Bridge Tuesday and said he advised state officials to try luring the nest builders away by erecting another elevated platform nearby, baited with some of the material removed earlier from in front of the camera.

"I told them just to put a handful of sticks [on it] that were dropped underneath," he said, predicting that the birds "will go to it quite quickly. I'm sure that the osprey will be happy."
Authority officials welcomed the suggestion, the spokesman said, though they still need a few days to see if it can be done safely.

"That's what our hope is," Sales said, "that this [bird's] a newcomer and can be convinced to look elsewhere." 

All the best,


Monday, April 14, 2014

Recent sale by the Mr. Waterfront Buyer Agent Team is featured in this month's edition of What'sUp Eastern Shore magazine

Primary Structure Built: 1963
Sold For: $1,275,000
Original List Price: $1,325,000
Last Sold/Price: 2004/$875,000
Bedrooms: 4 in main house; 1 in guest house
Bathrooms: 3 in main house; 1 in guest house; 
 .5 in pool house
Living Space: approx. 4,198 square feet
Lot Size: 2.83 acres

It’s no wonder that the original developer of this community chose this spot for his own during the area’s early construction days. Situated on an outcrop of land on Kent Island, it offers amazing water views and deep water access on Price Creek. Yet for such a private setting, it also is conveniently located near Blue Heron Golf Course, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and even Bloody Point Lighthouse, which can be spotted in the distance.

When the sellers, Curt and Kathie Jeschke, first bought it 10 years ago, they loved the setting, but eventually remodeled the home completely. The couple incorporated dozens of high-end finishes, and Kathie, an interior designer and owner of The Purple Door Design Studio in Stevensville, Md., was especially instrumental in selecting top-grade appliances, materials, and furnishings. After seven months on the market, with a brief delisting period, the home sold to buyers who loved the property’s privacy, expansive water views, pool/guest house, and exquisite renovations. In fact, the buyers so appreciated the sellers’ tastes, they purchased a number of furnishings from them.

Large flagstone steps lead to the front of the main house, which appears to be a charming bungalow-style contemporary. But step inside and the wow factor takes over, with an open floor plan, striking white rafter ceilings, and walls of windows for water sightlines.

Every room has water views and many include unique features, such as a pocket door in the master bath or a limestone hearth in the family room. A gourmet kitchen—filled with such high-impact items as a curved, Calacatta marble-topped island, Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer, Wolf gas range, and Asko dishwasher—is open to the living room and outdoor spaces.

Outside, a multi-tier deck with stainless steel cable railings for unobscured views leads to a waterside swimming pool, complete with water falls. A pool house includes a sink and refrigerator, an indoor half bath, and outdoor shower, while a nearby guest house above the garage is finished with a living area/office, bedroom, and full bath. The property also includes a pier with water and electricity and has 4-plus feet MLW access.

Sources: Teresa Dennison (listing agent), Champion Realty,  Brad Kappel (buyer’s agent), Mr. Waterfront Team, Long & Foster.

Article by: Lurdes Abruscato

Now is the time to find your waterfront dream a reality!  Call me and let's make it happen~


Monday, April 7, 2014

Ancient ocean found under Chesapeake Bay

The remains of a salty ocean ancient enough for dinosaurs to have drowned in it have been found deep in the sediment under the Chesapeake Bay.
The seawater — believed to be 100 to 150 million years old — was isolated, trapped a half-mile underground, and preserved with the help of an asteroid that smashed into the area around 35 million years ago, creating a huge crater.
The watery fossil holds around 3 trillion gallons, and is "the oldest large body of ancient seawater in the world," according to government hydrologists who made the amazing find while mapping the ancient crater under Virginia's Cape Charles.
"We weren't looking for ancient seawater," the lead researcher tells the Washington Post, calling the find "surprising."
The underground seawater, twice as salty as that found in today's oceans, comes from a time when "the Atlantic was a smaller ocean," the lead researcher tells NPR. "It had only been in existence for about 50 million years and it was isolated from the rest of the world's oceans. It had its own salinity and its salinity was changing at a different rate and by different amounts from the rest of the global oceans."
But while the distinct chemical signature of the Cretaceous-era ocean has been preserved, the remnants are scattered among countless cracks and pores, meaning any ancient ocean life is very unlikely to have survived.
Enjoy our beautiful bay this spring,

Monday, March 31, 2014

Overview of Historic Maritime Annapolis

I came across this piece yesterday on the Annapolis Maritime Museum website and found it very interesting... 

     When the first English settlers arrived here aboard a ship in 1649, they found a pristine Chesapeake Bay with an abundance of seafood and a native American population that had been living from the bounty of the Bay and the land for centuries.
From their small, hand-built boats, the first Europeans gathered oysters and caught fish and crabs to feed their growing families, and grew their own crops. They also grew tobacco for trade. In these early days, long before we knew that smoking tobacco can kill people, growing "sotweed" was the way the wealthiest people here made their money.
After the town of Annapolis was founded in 1695, it became an important port for shipping barrels of tobacco to England. Sailing ships returned from across the Atlantic Ocean and up the Bay to Annapolis Harbor with an amazing assortment of goods for sale. Some ships also brought slaves, like the one in 1767 that brought a man from Africa named Kunta Kinte.
After the Revolutionary War, Annapolis Harbor gradually lost most of its shipping business to the growing Port of Baltimore. The large, ocean-sailing ships that once packed Annapolis Harbor were replaced by smaller boats that were used to harvest oysters, crabs and fish on the shallow waters of the Chesapeake.
Oyster ShuckingOystersOysters were the biggest money-maker in the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s. Watermen gathered oysters with dredges and long-handled shaft tongs and brought their catch to one of the many oyster packing plants surrounding the harbor. Men and women, and sometimes even children, shucked the oysters and packed them in cans. Canning allowed the oysters to last longer, so they could be shipped by railroads and steamships to as far away as the Rocky Mountains.
Boatwrights and craftsmen worked in boatyards surrounding the local creeks to build and repair boats for the watermen. Many of these were located in the Eastport peninsula, across the harbor from Annapolis proper. Earlier on, the little peninsula was devoted to farms for raising crops and racehorses. After the town was founded in 1868, most of the working residents, both black and white, made their living from the seafood industry, in the boatyards or at the Naval Academy.
SailboatsDuring World War II, boats were built in Eastport for the British and Russian navies. Later, the Trumpy family built world-renowned luxury yachts there. As the oyster business ebbed, the watermen's workboats were replaced by sailboats and powerboats used for having fun out on the Bay.
Today, Annapolis is known as "America's Sailing Capital". Major national and international sailing events take place here and the harbor is filled with vessels of all sizes and shapes year-round.
Tour boats and boat rentals provide opportunities for families without boats to spend a day on the water. Water taxis are fun way to get a boat ride across the Harbor.
The history of Annapolis cannot be told without telling the stories of the Chesapeake Bay. Our ancestors came here by water. We are here, most of us, because of the water. The Annapolis Maritime Museum is telling the story of our connection to the water.

Gotta love living in Naptown!



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Md. leaders celebrate Maryland Day with festivities

Lawmakers and leaders across Maryland are celebrating the state's history Tuesday on a holiday known as Maryland Day. 
2014 marks Maryland's 380th anniversary. It also coincides with the bicentennial of the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Maryland Day commemorates March 25, 1634, when settlers disembarked from two small sailing ships onto Maryland soil, landing in what is now known as St. Mary's County.
That followed a charter authorizing Maryland's settlement two years beforehand. Charles I of England gave the charter to Cecilius Calvert, the baron of Baltimore.
A lot of events are going on around the state Tuesday to mark the anniversary. At 10 a.m. in Baltimore, a ceremony and a wreath-laying honoring Cecilius Calvert will take place at the Baltimore Basilica.
In Annapolis, a full day of events is scheduled starting at 12:15 p.m. The recreated Star-Spangled Banner Flag will be carried from the dock and unfurled on the steps of the State House, where Gov. Martin O'Malley will present Star-Spangled 200 grants to local organizations across the state.
From 2-4 p.m., there will be free tours of the Pride of Baltimore II, which are open to the public.
At 5 p.m. Tuesday, a former state archivist will give keynote remarks about the meaning of Maryland Day at the Annapolis city dock.

I hope to see you out celebrating our state's great history.
All the best,

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Your invited to one of the best parties of the year... The 2014 Rock and Roast at the Annapolis Maritime Museum

Saturday, April 12, 2014
6:00 - 10:00 PM
Annapolis Maritime Museum
Tickets On Sale Now!
Entertainment by The Dan Haas Band
Heavy Hors D'oeuvres, Oysters, Sushi & More
Beer, Wine & Signature Cocktails
Exclusive Auction Packages Including a Stand-Up Paddleboard Raffle

This is one of my favorite events to attend.  The Annapolis Maritime Museum in Eastport is a really cool building with tons of history.   The Museum campus is the site of the last remaining oyster packing plant in the area, the McNasby's Oyster Packing Company. The McNasby’s building was severely damaged by Hurricane Isabel in 2003. In December 2008 the Museum re-opened the newly restored McNasby’s building and today provides the Annapolis area with a state-of-the-art waterfront educational facility.  We had a blast last year bidding on all of the great auction items, dancing to the live band and of course sampling all of the fine foods.  All of the proceeds go to the Box of Rain Foundation which is a year-round program designed to inspire and encourage Annapolis area youth, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to gain self-esteem and to develop life skills that lead to positive contributions to the community.  The programs focus on the diversity of maritime culture by offering free sailing lessons, boat building classes and tons of other cool nautical programs for the areas youth.

Hope to see you there!

Today is the last day of winter... I'll cheers to that!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Key School to host open house for younger children

The Key School’s First School will hold an Open House on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Families interested in learning more about what Key’s First School program offers children ages 2 to 5 are invited to attend.
Beginning at 9:00 a.m., Key faculty members will introduce children to an array of hands-on activities in various subject areas ranging from language arts to math and science, and from music to P.E. Parents will have the opportunity to observe the activities, meet faculty members, and talk with current parents.
Key School is pleased to introduce its Key-Wee program—opening in September 2014. Key-Wee applicants must be 2 years 8 months old by September 1, 2014.
The Key School is an independent day school that encourages intellectual rigor, independence of thought, curiosity, creativity, and openness to differing ideas and perspectives. Key School is the oldest pre-kindergarten through grade twelve nonsectarian independent school in Anne Arundel County.
The Open House takes place Wednesday, March 26, 2014, from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. at The Key School, 534 Hillsmere Dr., Annapolis, Md., 21403. 
All the best,

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Eastport Green Beer Races.. This Saturday!

     You are invited to attend the 2014 Eastport Green Beer Races on Saturday, March 15th from 12noon to 9pm (Rain or Shine) at the Eastport Democratic Club, 525 State Street in Annapolis. The private club, will host 4-person (2 men, 2 women) Bar/Restaurant Relay and Children’s (Kool-Aid) races in addition to the annual Men’s and Women’s Keg Toss.  The Event will feature a series of team relay races in which contestants will carry Green Beer on trays while completing a team course as fast as possible.  The competition works like the NCAA Bracket and will consist of teams facing off in a single elimination setting, with the winning team of each race moving to the next round. Prizes for the best dressed pooch and cutest Leprechaun.  Performances by Teelin Irish Dance Company and The Eastport Oyster Boys.  This is a such a fun event and the perfect warm-up for next weeks "Burning of the Sock's party where everyone will gather to celebrate the start of the boating season and spring!

I hope to see you there!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

When to Eat Farm-Raised Oysters?

When is the best time to eat a farm-raised or cultured oyster? The answer is anytime, even summer! 

The outdated mantra we’ve heard of only eating oysters in months that have an “r” in them harkens to a time when refrigeration was not widely available, especially during extended transport. 

This is certainly not the case today with refrigerated trucks and containers shipping raw oysters all over the country and world. Oysters harvested by today’s shellfish growers are brought to the dock quickly after harvest and no later than 10 a.m. during the hottest summer months. 

The oyster farmer follows strict handling guidelines and oysters leave their hands safe to eat. The key to keeping these oysters safe to eat is to ensure that everyone down the distribution line keeps them cold. 

Another reason that anytime is the right time to eat cultured oysters is the use of triploid technology in oyster aquaculture. This ensures that the cultured oyster that one consumes, even in the non-r summer months, will be plump, fat and tasty. 

The use of triploid oysters has revolutionized oyster aquaculture, as it has other agricultural products — triploid watermelons, bananas, grapes and citrus, to name a few. That juicy seedless watermelon one loves is a triploid fruit, with three sets of chromosomes, just like a triploid oyster has three sets of chromosomes. While triploid technology was developed in a laboratory, triploid oysters for eating originated in a dedicated shellfish hatchery. At the hatchery, an oyster is “born,” coddled as a juvenile and then planted in the Chesapeake to mature, where they acquire the essence, or “merroir,” of the waters in which they are grown.

Oyster aquaculture is indeed undergoing a boom in Virginia and Maryland. This is a great thing for the Chesapeake Bay as well as other regions where it is happening. Shellfish farmers are proud of their almost $100-million annual contribution to the local economy, but are equally proud of the environmental benefits accruing from their businesses. Shellfish farming is truly a ”green“ industry: no fertilizers, feeds, herbicides, drugs, chemicals or antibiotics are used. Oysters clean the water, remove nitrogen, accelerate denitrification, enhance water clarity, promote eelgrass survival and provide excellent habitat for myriad juvenile fish and crustaceans. Shellfish farmers’ crops are continually improving quality of the waters of the commonwealth. Culturing oysters also takes pressure off the wild populations, letting them do what they do best, provide habitat and filter water. 

People are beginning to eat oysters again, and they want to do it in the summer. What better way to connect with a locale than eating a sustainably grown oyster that embodies the flavor of that place, while sitting at a favorite waterfront bar or restaurant? 

Yes, there is some, albeit small, risk in eating raw oysters, just as with the consumption of any raw food, meat or produce. According to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and the Virginia Department of Health‘s Division of Shellfish Sanitation, from July 2011 to June 2012, there were almost 6 million “servings” of Virginia oysters (wild and cultured). Virginia is well below the FDA threshold of one illness per 100,000 servings of oysters, which makes the chance of getting sick from eating raw shellfish very remote. Actually, illness from eating raw fruit or produce is far more frequent than illness from eating raw oysters. 

It is the responsibility of everyone, from farmer to consumer, to ensure that raw oysters are safe to eat in the summer or anytime. Farmers are doing everything possible to reduce the risks to ensure that oysters leaving the farm are safe to eat. As a consumer, be an oyster consumption expert; know the risks, talk to your restaurant staff, ask where the oysters came from, when they were delivered — and make sure they have been kept cold. With a little diligence from everyone, we can safely keep oysters on the raw bar menu the whole year round. 

Happy Shucking,


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

18th Annual MSP Polar Bear Plunge this Saturday!

     The 18th annual Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge has been rescheduled for this Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Sandy Point State Park.  The previous plunge date was cancelled because the Bay had frozen over along the shoreline.  Let the fun begin and be a part of all the chills and thrills of PlungeFest 2014.  This event has been keeping Maryland COOL since 1997 and has become a winter-time tradition for thousands of warm-hearted Plungers! And it all benefits Maryland's children and adults with intellectual disabilities, as they enjoy the life-changing benefits of participating with Special Olympics Maryland. The stage will be set up and will feature music, lunch will be provided and they will have some prizes to giveaway.  You will receive a "Giveaway" sheet at registration and upon verification of visiting five locations on the grounds you will be able to turn in the "sheet" and entered for a chance to win when they draw for the prizes.  The first 2,500 plungers who turn in their "Giveaway" sheet on Saturday will receive a commemorative "I PLUNGED ON!..." t-shirt.
Plunge schedule includes:
  • 8:00 A.M. – Park and Registration Opens
  • 11:00 A.M. – Pee Wee & Family Plunge
  • 12:00 P.M. – Open Plunge
  • 1:00 P.M. – Open Plunge
  • 2:00 P.M. – Open Plunge
Plunge Sweatshirts will be on-site and available to pick up and other Plunge merchandise will also be available to purchase on-site. Plunge tailgating will be allowed in the Blue Team Bus Parking Lot only. This will be the only location where alcohol is allowed on March 8th.  The Polar Express shuttle will only be transporting passengers to Sandy Point State Park from Navy-Marine Corps Stadium and Kent Island High School.

Hope to see you there this Saturday!

Plunge on~