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Today's Features

  •  By John Nelson

    These are quiet, majestic giants in the swamp, sharing their space with towering cypress and the mournful hoot owls. Their trunks are flared out at the base (much like cypress), and of course you’ve probably seen their peculiar, crooked roots arising from the wet ground, together with knobby, upright knees of the cypress.

  •  By John Nelson

    When I was a kid during the time when the car had roll-down window handles, they would take me and my sister out driving around in the South Carolina Lowcountry every now and then. That’s when I started appreciating just how nice the “low country” of the Palmetto State is. I remember family outings late in the summer to visit some friends at their country home in Hampton County, not too far from the Savannah River, having lunch in the kitchen with what seemed to be miles of old screened windows letting in a fragrant breeze.

  • BIG Sweep is sweeping and cleaning up Calabash on Saturday, Oct. 4.

    Volunteers interested in donating time to help clean up the community for two hours will gather at Calabash Community Park, 868 Persimmon Road, starting with registration and a welcome from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

    Litter pickup from 10 a.m. to noon will again include roadside and river cleanup, if anyone with a boat is interested. After helping out, BIG Sweep participants will be treated to lunch and prizes in the park from noon to 12:30 p.m.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

  • apeworms (Dipylidium caninum) are one of the most frequently diagnosed intestinal parasites of dogs and cats. This long, segmented parasite can grow more than two feet long and live in an infected pet’s small intestine for up to three months. Most pet owners rush to the nearest veterinary clinic as soon as they see the glistening white proglottid segments clinging to their pet’s backside or wriggling in the stool. What every pet owner wants to know is can this disgusting worm be living inside him or her? The answer is probably not. Probably. Not.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

    One nice thing about being a botanist is that there is always something to talk about at the dinner table, even if you are a total carnivore ... after all, where does meat come from? This week’s edible mystery plant fits the bill quite nicely, and offers another slant on the wonderful sunflower family.

  • Ever watch a YouTube that makes you laugh out loud? Then after you laugh you think, “Wow, that was really stupid. And really dangerous.” The more you think about the footage, the guiltier you feel for watching the stupid thing in the first place and the more lethal outcomes you dream up. I just had that reaction after watching the latest video from Polish prankster S.A. Wardega called “Mutant Giant Spider Dog.” Funny, stupid and more than a little risky.

  • Elephants have long been known for their prehensile proboscis. Researchers recently discovered that tucked in that trunk is perhaps the planet’s most sensitive sniffer. Newly published genomic data concludes that elephants possess five times more smelling genes than humans and more than twice as many as dogs. This leads to the logical conclusion that you may spot an elephant snorting through your luggage the next time you check in at the airport.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

     

    It’s a long time until Halloween, but here’s a spooky little plant.

    This is actually one of the most common wildflowers in eastern North America. It grows in all the eastern states, including Florida (maybe not the Keys), all the way out to the upper part of California and the Pacific Norwest, mostly skipping the southwestern states. (You could also find it in parts of South America and Asia.) It is fond of very shady forests.

  • OCEAN ISLE BEACH — Creativity abounds at the annual North Carolina Oyster Festival.

    This year’s festival, scheduled for Oct. 18 and 19 in Ocean Isle Beach, will be no different.

    On Aug. 26, local artist Keith White and jewelry artisan Michael Abushakra once again unveiled their latest creations officially commemorating the 34th annual oyster festival.