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Today's Features

  •  By John Nelson

    A bizarre plant in a very small package ...

    Here is a fern that you won’t see unless you are way down on the ground, at least on your hands and knees, or better yet, crawling around in the grass. It is only a few inches tall, emerging from the ground in the late winter and early spring. It is one of those tiny little plants that is really delightful, but not very well known. You can find it pushing out of the ground right now, usually in open lawns, roadsides and grassy ditches.

  • Spring has sprung, and so has the Sea Notes Choral Society, which is tuning up for its annual spring concerts set for March 27-29 at Hatch Auditorium at Fort Caswell Beach.

    This year, the 40-year-old community ensemble is celebrating the season with “Songs from the ‘60s,” with free performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 27 and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at Hatch Auditorium on the grounds of the North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Caswell Beach/Oak Island.

  •  By John Nelson

    My hometown, Columbia, S.C., was discovered and originally inhabited by a group of brave Irish explorers, who, after a perilous oceanic crossing, sailed up the mighty Santee River until it got so rocky that they had to disembark on the banks of the Congaree River. There they lived and prospered, establishing a ceremonial portion of town called Five Points, and there they began a tradition of celebrating the life and exploits of their beloved St. Patrick.

  •  Which plant group displays the showiest, most flamboyant flowers? Sunflowers and daisies? Lilies, daffodils and amaryllis? Or maybe the iris family? It’s fun to ponder this weighty question now, as spring is about to erupt, and not too soon! But many of us will insist the most spectacular flowers are found among the various orchid species.

     

  •  Here’s a story that might sound familiar: You thought ahead and put a frozen piece of meat in the refrigerator to thaw for dinner tomorrow night. Good for you, but your neighbor calls and suggests you go out to dinner instead. So what do you do with the thawed-out meat? Is it safe to refreeze it?

  • I am always amazed at the synchronicity of things. Just when I think I have an interesting, even unique idea for a column, a multiplicity of similar topics appears before me. It happened again during the Christmas season –– a time when I crave quiet and am bombarded with noise mimicking joyfulness. Richard Rohr, now my daily companion, presented a series on silence. His thoughts and mine coincided!

  •  Our family has always eaten a lot of pork chops. I remember my wife’s mother serving them quite often when we were first married. The chops were thinner then, and almost always bone-in. She would pan-fry them so you could just pick them up and eat them in bunches.

     

    These days, though, we prefer thicker chops and although we prefer bone-in, it really just depends on what’s available at the market.

  •  Our family has always eaten a lot of pork chops. I remember my wife’s mother serving them quite often when we were first married. The chops were thinner then, and almost always bone-in. She would pan-fry them so you could just pick them up and eat them in bunches.

     

    These days, though, we prefer thicker chops and although we prefer bone-in, it really just depends on what’s available at the market.

  •  By Patti Schleig

    Extension Master Gardener Volunteer

     

    There is nothing better than a freshly picked tomato from your garden. A method called trench planting piqued my interest last year, so I decided to test the method and do a comparative study of the traditional method (vertical planting) and trench planting.

     

    What is trench planting?

  • The Kennedys are popular in Brunswick County.

    Just ask Jeannie Dufour, orchestrator of Listen Up Brunswick County, who has lined up the acclaimed vocal duo for a repeat performance for the local concert series because of the crowd they drew here last March.

    “After their performance last year, we knew we found a match made in heaven,” Dufour said. “They were so well received, we immediately asked them back again for another evening of great music and entertainment.”