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Features

  •  By John Nelson

    This week, two mystery plants –– a pair of plants that fit perfectly into the season at hand!

  • October means Oyster Festival in Ocean Isle Beach.

    The 35th annual North Carolina Oyster Festival is unfolding this weekend, Oct. 17 and 18, in the Brunswick Islands town, same times and place — 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday on the island between Second and Third streets.

    The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce is staging the 35th annual North Carolina Oyster Festival, presented by Novant Health.

  • For many years, The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra, aka TUKUO, has been crossing the pond to entertain United States audiences.

    Brunswick County will be added to the mix when the quirky British band of small-time strummers bring their “I Got Uke Babe!” talents to the next subscription series concert at Brunswick Community College’s Odell Williamson Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22.

    It’s unbelievable such a small instrument can create such an enormous sound, artfully exemplified by the traveling orchestra.

  • The Coastal Harmonizers, a group of melodic men who love to sing barbershop harmony, are tuning up for their inaugural concert, “Barbershop Goes Broadway.”

    The concert will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, in Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College in Bolivia, and admission is free.

  •  Atul Gawande, medical doctor and skilled writer, has the medical field abuzz with chatter—both positive and critical—about his book BEING MORTAL: Medicine and What Matters in the End. It helps to know he has made the New York Times bestseller list, but it is even more beneficial to know his work is being read and discussed in multiple and diverse venues across the nation. Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center led the parade locally, followed by Lower Cape Fear Hospice, with presentations being planned by church groups.

     

  •  In your everyday life, do you tend to run on autopilot much of the time?

    Like most of us, your mind and body have gotten accustomed to dashing around and crossing things off your to-do list. A certain rhythm has been established, and you’re off to the races.

  •  Science is once again confirming what many dog lovers suspected: Our dogs know our smell, and they love it. Recent research by Emory University’s Dr. Gregory Berns used advanced brain-imaging to prove dogs recognize our scent even when we’re not present. Even more interesting is how the canine brains responded differently to the odor of other dogs and humans versus their own human family. You are your dog’s favorite smell.

  •  By John Nelson

    A flash of brilliant red-purple: one way nature reminds us it’s time to say goodbye to summer.

  •  By Linda Arnold

     

    I’ve been paying a lot of attention lately to the times I jump to quick conclusions. 

    Sometimes it seems like I’m on autopilot. When I’m able to catch myself, though, I stop to ponder that I may not have all the information.

     

    What did I do wrong?

  •  New research from University of Florida warns dog owners to avoid warm ponds and lakes in southeastern U.S. because of the potential of deadly parasitic spores.

  •  By John Nelson

    Here’s my former student, Bill Stangler, standing next to a very tall plant we found growing in great abundance on a big sandbar along our beautiful Congaree River, not too far from Columbia. Now, Bill is the official “RiverKeeper” in Columbia: his very capable outfit does a terrific job in protecting the natural aspects of the three-river complex that dominates our urban center here in the geographic center of South Carolina.

  • For nearly 23 years, Mike Sapp has quietly served as manager of Odell Williamson Auditorium, lining up an annual concert series, special events and assorted name-drop-worthy artists like Willie Nelson.

    For all the spotlights surrounding him, Sapp has always preferred to remain behind the scenes for these ongoing stage acts regularly entertaining local audiences at Brunswick Community College in Bolivia.

    But a special concert lined up this Sunday will be a little different.

  • Big Daddy Weave, one of Christian music’s biggest headlining artists, is making a return visit to Brunswick County this Saturday night, Oct. 10.

    The gospel-hit band is bringing its “My Story Tour” to the stage of Odell Williamson Auditorium at Brunswick Community College at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10.

  • UPDATE: Because of the weekend's deluge of heavy rain and possible flooding, the seasonal opening the haunted trail had been postponed until Oct. 9-10.

    GRISSETTOWN — This isn’t your average kiddie-kindergarten Casper the Friendly Ghost trail. This is the real deal. Only the older and braver dare enter.

    Every year, the award-winning Station 31 Haunted Trailed hosted by Grissettown Longwood Fire & Rescue gets better and scarier, with thousands of people stopping by to brave it.

  • UPDATE: Due to last weekend's rain, these events were rescheduled for this Saturday, Oct. 10.

    It’s the season for autumnal goings-on. Following is a roundup of what’s in store in coming days.Get set for Sunset at Sunset on Saturday

    Vendors and music will once again collide when the ninth annual Sunset at Sunset celebrates the fall season in Sunset Beach in the Village at Sunset Beach next to Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach.

  •  I’ve spent the better part of the past few weeks in ICU units, tending to my brother who is critically ill. Talk about a perspective change! Remind me never to complain again about traffic jams or lines at the grocery checkout.

    Waiting can be the hardest part, and I’ve had plenty of time to observe myself — and others — in this scenario. I know many of you are going through similar situations, so I thought I’d share some life lessons learned along the way. And it turns out they all start with Cs!

     

  •  The dog couldn’t move.

    Every concerned veterinarian’s darkest fear is to treat a patient that not only doesn’t get better, but gets worse. I was living that nightmare and it was breaking my heart.

  •  By John Nelson

    One of my pet peeves as a plant taxonomist comes up again when we look at this little plant. Its common name suggests that it is a grass, but it is not a grass. Not even close.

     

    Nevertheless, it looks at little bit like grass, with elongated, slender grass-like leaves, and a long stalk. Each stalk makes a seedpod-looking thing, which might resemble a grass, but the individual flowers, of course, aren’t grass-like at all.

  •  By Linda Arnold

    It’s back-to-school season. Maybe it’s been years since you’ve been in school. Trust me, though. You’re still getting graded.

    Not by teachers, mind you. If you’re like most of us, you’re grading yourself. And you’re probably not even aware of it.

  •  That annoying buzzing in your ear? It’s the sound of the deadliest animal on the planet –– the mosquito.

    To most of us, mosquitoes are merely a nuisance; to approximately two million people and untold millions of dogs, cats and other animals, it’s the harbinger of death. I’m not talking 1800s death in the Amazon, I’m talking 2015 death globally. At least 700 million people are infected with life-threatening diseases each year by this critter not much bigger than a grain of rice.