• It’s time once again to savor the flavors in Calabash.

    The fourth annual A Taste of Calabash gets under way this Saturday, April 27, in and around some of the Seafood Capital’s finest eateries.

    This year’s daylong event will once again be anchored in Calabash Community Park at 868 Persimmon Road, where there will be arts and crafts vendors, music, children’s activities and event ticket sales launching at 10:30 a.m.

  • It’s a bargain hunter’s paradise unfolding in a new venue this year.

    The St. James Service Club’s 21st Annual Flea Market takes place 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, April 27, at the Brunswick Senior Center at Supply at 101 Stone Chimney Place.

    The annual event is a shopper’s showcase of indoor and outdoor furniture, household goods, tools, books, dishes and glassware, and golf items collected and donated by residents of St. James for a period of months prior to the sale.

  •  Maybe we should have had this Mystery Plant back at Thanksgiving. Some people think that the leaves of this little tree resemble a turkey’s foot, which for me would require a good bit of imagination. I suppose that the middle lobes look a bit like the turkey’s toes on the sides, and of course the points of the lobes are quite sharp, like claws. The leaves typically have a prominent bristle tip at the end of each lobe, although sometimes these are worn away as the season progresses.

  • By Linda Arnold

  • “I blame it on the alphabet. More specifically, the letter L. I always found it a little crooked.” I gave a little chuckle to myself as I sketched a dog’s ear canal. Mrs. Watkins didn’t laugh. She just glared a bit more intensely. This wasn’t going nearly as well as I’d hoped. Let me explain what was happening by taking you back a couple of weeks when we first met.

  • Busy people are always looking for a quick way to make a healthy and nutritious dinner. One meal that we make frequently in our house is fajitas. They are quick and easy and leave lots of flexibility for creativity based on what’s on-hand in the kitchen.

    I also like to serve fajitas to guests and let them do-it-themselves. It’s easy to set up a fajita bar for any number of diners. Not only is this an “activity” for them to do, it allows people to use the ingredients they like.

  • Ocean Isle Beach is serving up family fun, kite-flying and a Peace on the Beach event this Saturday, April 20.

    Free admission is offered to Brunswick County residents with valid ID during Family Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Museum of Coastal Carolina at 21 E. Second St. Special Family Day admission for non-residents is $3 per person.

  • Easter weekend is upon us and so are a variety of events in coming days.

    Following is a roundup of highlights.

    Easter Sunday Beach Worship Service — Calabash Covenant Presbyterian Church, 8 a.m. Sunday, April 21, near the Sunset Beach Fishing Pier. A musical prelude to the service begins at 7:30 a.m. Bring your beach chair or blanket and enjoy a moment of meditation in God’s sanctuary by the ocean.

  • Family fun, food and frolic abound once again at the second Brunsco Spring Fling scheduled this Thursday, Friday and Saturday on the grounds outside Planet Fun at 349 Whiteville Road in Shallotte.

    The community event includes mechanical rides for kids, beer for adults, fair food and games, vendor shopping, entertainment and a band contest.

    Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

  • By Linda Arnold

    Public speaking and snakes: What do they have in common? They consistently rank at the top of our fear lists. Fear: that four-letter word that holds us back. We all have it. It’s just a matter of degree.

    There’s a theory that actually links our fears of public speaking and snakes, according to Glenn Croston, Ph.D. Evolution predisposes us to fear some creatures as a throwback to the days of predators.

    Social creatures

  • We have a really flamboyant tree here in Columbia, which has been showing up for years. It can be a nasty weed, often occurring in old vacant parking lots, along railroads and broken-down littered places in tiresome, scratchy urban settings.

    The tree has a spreading crown once it attains some size and it makes dramatic purple flowers: tubular and cigar-shaped, about 2 inches long and fragrant. The trees are conspicuous when they bloom in the spring as there are no leaves at all to see.

  • Each spring legions of pets visit their veterinarian for their annual vaccinations. Why spring, you ask? Because that’s when most animals are born, meaning most are vaccinated during the period of April to July.

    Perhaps no other medical advancement has saved more lives (human or animal) than vaccinations against infectious diseases (I’m looking at you — smallpox, measles, parvo and rabies).

  • What comes to mind when you think about sprouts?

    I’m talking about those tiny leafy green alfalfa or radish sprouts found on salads and sandwiches. Also, there are crispy mung bean sprouts that are eaten raw on salads or cooked in Asian foods.

    If you’re thinking healthy or health food — think again — at least from the food safety point of view. While sprouts do contain protein and vitamins, they may also contain something we don’t want: pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses.

  • The Friends of the Leland Library will have a Paperback Tent Sale on Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Tents will be outside the Leland Library at 487 Village Road in Leland. As usual, paperbacks are 50 cents each, DVDs are $1 and children’s books are marked even lower.

    Members of the Friends may purchase anything at half-price. Purchase a new membership or renew your present one on that day and be included.

  • Calling all amateur photographers.

    North Carolina Wildlife Federation is sponsoring its inaugural Wildlife Photography Contest that launched April 1 and continues through June 15.

    Did you catch a monarch butterfly emerging from its chrysalis or an osprey diving in the water to catch its meal? How about a memorable sunset vista from the mountains or a picturesque sunrise on the Outer Banks?

    Submit these photos to share with North Carolinians and be one of three winners in our first photography contest.

  • With Easter just down the bunny trail (April 21), two of the first local children’s events are scheduled this Saturday, April 13, in Calabash and Ocean Isle Beach.

    Both events are free and open to the public.

    Calabash Easter egg hunt

    The town of Calabash once again stages its annual Easter egg hunt from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Calabash Community Park at 868 Persimmon Road.

  • “Now ‘tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted;

    Suffer them now, and they’ll o’ergrow the garden

    And choke the herbs for want of husbandry.”

    Shakespeare, Henry VI (part 2)

    Watch out for the weeds, both the annuals and the perennials! Even in Shakespeare’s time, as now, gardeners had to be vigilant, getting rid of the interlopers as soon as they appeared. Of course, they didn’t have fancy, expensive herbicides to spray all over the place. (Maybe that’s the way it should be now.)

  • By Linda Arnold

    Click. Add to cart. Confirm.

    It’s so easy. Just how do they know what you want?

    Because it’s big business for companies to know everything they can about you. And you leave a trail every time you make a choice.

    They track our every move. What do you read? What kind of car do you drive? What are your favorite brands?

    There’s even a series of books and a movie, “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” that highlight this behavior. 

  • Not many things could be finer here in Carolina or anywhere else as far as wonderful fragrance. We are having a rather early spring, it seems, and this is a plant that is already beginning to unfold its marvelous flowers, which can give off an amazingly sweet fragrance. A stand of these in your garden on a warm spring evening is something to invite your friends over for (for dessert).