• By John Nelson

  • By John Nelson

    Some of the most interesting field trips a botanist can take are right there in your own backyard: this has been proven over and over again. Right now I’m at work, sitting in my office at the university, and although it’s not exactly my backyard, our campus here in Columbia, S.C., is also very interesting botanically. I want to take you on a little “mental” tour of one part of it.

  • By Linda Arnold

    Here we are at the end of another year. A good time to take stock of our lives.

    While you may be focused on what you want to bring into your life, it’s also helpful to examine what you may need to release.

    After all, it’s a two-way street. And there’s only so much capacity. There may even be competing interests with what you say you want to bring in and what already exists on your platter.

  • Each New Year, we’re inundated with lists of things to do, buy and become. We read these lists, make promises to ourselves and then promptly forget it ever happened by February.

    This year I’m taking the opposite approach: Here are the things you definitely don’t want to do, purchase or aspire to be more like. It’s time for my “New Year’s don’ts for pets.”

  • Christmas volunteer opportunities

    The Salvation Army of Wilmington administers many programs and services designed to restore broken lives, build healthy relationships and develop and encourage people of all ages.

    To volunteer at the Christmas Center at 2307 North College Road in Wilmington, fill out an online form and email Maj. Leigh Ann Craddock at Leighann.Craddock@uss.salvationarmy.org.



  • By Laura Lewis and Brian Slattery

    It’s that time of year to jump in the car and journey to see some of the prettiest after-dark lights displays you and yours have ever seen in Brunswick County.

    Here’s a closer look at some of the most widely known ones at different points and directions in the county.

    Along the way to observing these, Christmas lights aficionados are likely to see a few other colorful displays as well along their routes.

    Happy holiday viewing!


  • Brunswick County author Anne Clinard Barnhill and her poet son, Mike Smith, are collaborating on a mother-and-son Literary Salon slated for 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29, at Rourk Library at 5068 Main St. in Shallotte.

    Smith, who directs the honors program at Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss., is promoting his new book, “And There Was Evening and There Was Morning,” published by WTAW Press, a memoir about the death of his first wife from cancer and his daughter who developed the same cancer but survived.

  • By John Nelson
    Three hundred million years ago it looked a lot different outside. For one thing, it was a very damp, humid time over much of the earth. Don’t worry; there wouldn't have been any dinosaurs to chase you around. (They came a LOT later, as did the cavepeople.)

    But there was plenty of vegetation, of course. Large forests dominated major portions of the earth’s landscape, including much of what is now Europe and North America.

  • I love the holidays. I love the fellowship, festivities and family get-togethers.

    I don’t love the inevitable, and largely preventable, holiday veterinary emergency visits.

    To make sure the holiday season is enjoyable for your pet family members, here are some last-minute holiday pet safety tips.


    Stop sneaking sweets

  • By Linda Arnold

    “Are you ready for the holidays?” How many times have you heard this in recent weeks? “Ready” is relative, isn’t it? In most cases, it refers to the endless “to do” list of decorations, presents, cards, baking, the holiday programs at school and church, travel plans, entertaining, etc.

  • Holidays coming … and that means lots of tasty things to eat and drink. Time for cooks to start strutting their stuff in the kitchen. Of course, about the only thing that I know how to cook, though, is instant oatmeal in the microwave. I’ll leave holiday cooking to the experts.

  • By Linda Arnold

    Does it seem that everywhere you look you see images of happiness and glee, along with anticipation of close family gatherings and chestnuts roasting on an open fire?

    You’re not exactly feeling it, though, and you don’t know why. Holidays can do that to us. Internally, there are huge emotional triggers. And, externally, it’s hard to sustain that level of heartfelt awe in the Folgers coffee commercials or Hallmark movies.

  • Chloe was a beautiful, if occasionally blundering, bulldog puppy. Her only issue was she was growing too fast. Her pet parents plied her with an endless supply of “training treats,” leading to excess weight gain.

  • Another big holiday market, a new Christmas Village featuring more than 50 unique vendors, debuts from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, in Mulberry Park at 123 Mulberry St. in Shallotte.

    Celebrate with Santa Claus, hayrides, personnel from police and fire departments, children’s crafts and the Stardusters Big Band presenting a Christmas show.

    Other highlights include winter vegetables, artisans, jewelers, photos with Santa, hot cider and maybe even a few extra holiday surprises.

  • West Brunswick High School Theatre Arts classes will present the holiday classic, "It's a Wonderful Life."

    Performances are scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 14, and Friday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. in the West Entertainment Student Theatre, Room 123 at the school.

    Admission is free, but donations are accepted to support the theatre arts program.

    For more information, email Jennifer Creighton-Negron atjcreighton@bcswan.net.

  • The annual Bolivia Fire Department Christmas Parade will be held under the lights this year, beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16.

    The parade route will remain the same, proceeding from the Brunswick County Government Complex, 30 Government Center Drive, through Bolivia on Old Ocean Highway and ending at Bolivia Elementary School at 4036 U.S. 17 Business E.

    Lineup for parade participants begins 5 p.m. at the government complex.

    The road will be blocked off at 5:45 p.m. and will reopen at the end of the parade.

  • Commandant: Bruce Smith

    Meets: Second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Shallotte Town Hall

    Contact: Bruce Smith, shallotte2005@gmail.com

    For Toys for Tots gift assistance in Brunswick County, call Brunswick Family Assistance at 754-4766 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Last date of application this year is Friday, Dec. 15.

  • Blues & Beach Music Concert

    The Heavy Hitters of Soul present a Blues & Beach Music Concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College in Bolivia.

    The concert will feature Jim Quick & Coastline, Clarence Carter, Theodis Ealey and Pat Cooley.

    Tickets are $35 general and $40 premiere and available through 5:15 p.m. Dec. 8.

    Go to bccowa.com or call the Odell Williamson Auditorium box office at 755-7416.

    ‘Restless Heart Christmas’

  • Visitors to Brunswick Town will once again be feted with an up-close look at how American colonists celebrated the yuletide as the state historic site stages its annual An 18th Century Christmas from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10.

    Highlights include costumed interpreters providing on-the-hour guided tours of St. Philips Anglican Church on the grounds of the pre-Revolutionary port site overlooking the Cape Fear River.

  • By Linda Arnold


    Sir Richard Branson says, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re too small.”

    That quote got me thinking about the risk/reward ratio of our behaviors. If there’s something that’s been tugging at you and you keep ignoring it, maybe you’re playing too safe in your life.

    Of course, there are lots of valid reasons to pull back. If you find you’re continually doing this, though, it may be time to redefine your dream. Or get off the fence.