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Today's Features

  •  By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

    It’s my favorite tree. Has to be!

    Everything about it is interesting, and all its parts are attractive. I first learned about this tree when I was a tiny undergraduate student in my first botany class. Our field trip was to the wild and mysterious Congaree Swamp, where this tree is common along the bluffs that border the floodplain. There we learned that it is sometimes called “initial tree,” a reference to the practice of carving one’s initials into the bark, which is very smooth.

  •  March is a green month. It’s time when the trees start to bud and everything starts looking bright and green. St. Patrick’s Day is coming up next week and thoughts go to green food.

    March is also National Nutrition Month. This year try to combine the best parts of these two celebrations and look for some green foods that can brighten, fortify and add some nutrition to your March menus.

  • Holden Beach VFW Post 8866 will have a St. Paddy’s Day dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, March 17 at the post, located 1.5 miles past the light on Sabbath Home Road.

    Plates include corned beef and cabbage and fixings, including drink and dessert. The cost is $8 per plate. All are invited.

  • Have you ever seen a starfish served its lunch?

    You can at the Museum of Coastal Carolina.

    At 11 a.m. every Friday, museum visitors can get up close and personal with all the critters in the touch tank at the museum at 21 E. Second St. in Ocean Isle Beach.

    Children and adults of all ages are invited to come and watch the museum docents feed the array of live, local sea animals that live at the museum.

  •  IF YOU GO

    What: “The Fantasticks”

    When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20; doors open at 7 p.m.

    Where: Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College

    Tickets: $29 adults; $27 students and seniors 65+; $10 ages 12 and younger; plus handling fees

    Go to: www.bccowa.com or call the OWA box office at (910) 755-7416

  • The town of Carolina Shores will have its sixth annual Arbor Day celebration starting at 9:30 a.m. Friday, March 21, at town hall on Persimmon Road.

    Highlights include presentation of a Tree City USA Award by a Brunswick County forest representative.

    Second-graders in Jennifer Parton’s class at Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School will again assist with a tree-planting ceremony, facilitated by members of the town’s tree advisory committee.

    The Calabash Fire Department will also be on hand with fire truck tours for the class.

  • Dance fitness pro Sara McGrail will lead a Zumbathon fundraising party Friday afternoon, March 21, to benefit the Veterans Welcome Home and Resource Center in Little River, S.C.

    The event kicks off at Little River United Methodist Church, 1629 U.S. 17 at Mineola Avenue in Little River, with registration from 12:30 to 1 p.m., followed by a Zumbathon master class from 1 to 3 p.m. and a silent auction and raffles from 3 to 4 p.m.

    The cost is $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Donations are greatly appreciated.

  • Smoking is bad for people and secondhand smoke is bad for pets. No news there. The real news is that the now ubiquitous e-cigarette can also pose a deadly danger to dogs. If you thought secondhand smoke was dangerous, wait until you hear about the evils of e-cigs.

  • I try to keep up on both the research and fads in foods and nutrition. The latest I’ve come across is the chia seed. They are all over the health food websites and TV doctors are pushing them as the food of the year. I’ve even found them in chips and crackers in my favorite big-box stores. There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm from the proponents.

  • For a long time, the only parts of a chicken that held my interest were the legs, wings and breasts — I was never much of a thigh guy. Lately, though, I decided to embrace them and have begun looking around for different ways to cook them.

    Surprisingly, they have the best flavor and tend to stay juicy even if you overcook them. Full of flavorful dark meat, they are much cheaper than those top-dollar skinless chicken breasts.