Skyline Lodge at Christmas
Skyline Lodge Celebrates the Holidays

Skyline Lodge in Highlands NC celebrates Christmas.

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The Scaly Screamer
Highlands NC

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Letters to Santa at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founder's Park

Neither a global pandemic nor their occasional random acts of naughtiness will prevent Santa from hearing the wishes of his dedicated followers.

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Ice, Ice, Baby
Highlands NC

Highlands Ice Rink is open at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park. (Note to Olympic Hopefuls: The Beijing Winter Olympics debut in two months, so

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Jubilant Illumination
Highlands NC

Decked out in jubilant illumination, Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park sets the stage for a joyous Holiday Season.

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Trim our Town
Highlands NC

Trim Our Town is an ardent way to bring the Jolly to downtown Highlands.

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Amens and Hallelujahs

One thing churches have in common all the way back to the Middle Ages is strong, influential families.  Charismatic preachers, popular community figures, and prominent members often characterize and define the church persona.  When I was growing up, two families dominated our church’s congregation: a U.S. Representative and a drug store chain owner (interestingly enough, named Moses).  They claimed the …

At the Crossroads, 1987

One of my recently discovered cousins, Doug Tritt, who knows I’m always looking for a subject for a new article, told me about this old 1987 aerial view of the Cashiers Crossroads taken prior to the addition of a traffic light.  Susan Fowler, whose father, Conrad Adrian Fowler, owns the picture, lent me a copy, which I had scanned and …


Talking Turkey

Like the potato, tomato, corn, and tobacco, the Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is a North American gift to the world.   According to Lovett Williams, in 1492 the population of this indigenous bird covered a good deal of the eastern and southern continent and numbered 40 million.  By 1940, overhunting and habitat loss had reduced their presence to just 12 …

Time to Protect Your Bulbs

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, we should at least have a plan in place, because Old Man Winter will have a heavy foot this year.  Once he starts tromping through our gardens, he won’t let up until Spring.  In Novembrrrrrrr, the elusive “midsummer night’s dream” morphs into an early winter’s day scream.  It’s time to protect your bulbs.  When …

Fostering a Research Corps

For over 50 years, the Highlands Biological Foundation has provided grants in support of scientific research, bringing graduate students and research scientists to Highlands from all over the country and the world.   Vetted by our Board of Scientific Advisors, these grants make it possible for researchers to conduct their research in residence at the Highlands Biological Station, fostering an …


Hooded Merganser

(Lophodytes cucullatus) This distinctive winter resident can be found on wooded ponds where it feeds on fish, crustaceans and insects. The hammerhead crest is mostly white in males and brown in females. Wing flapping produces a high trill in flight.

Happily Bogged Down

The bog turtle, North America’s smallest turtle, lives right here, free as he should be, in the Western North Carolina mountains. Gabrielle Graeter, wildlife biologist and herpetologist for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, is very fond of these little reclusive critters.   “They live in a mysterious underground world.  When I get to see one it is a wonderful …

Anything with Pomegranate

Sweet Potato with Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate Seeds Anything with pomegranate looks great on the holiday table. This simple and colorful vegetarian dish can be enjoyed both hot and cold.  The recipe presents a simple, yet wonderfully rich flavor combination, and even those who hate brussels sprouts usually like this dish.  The naturally bitter flavor of brussels sprouts is offset …


Bake a Sarah Cake

It’s November and time to pull out the family recipes.  While we know you’re obligated to present the ubiquitous pumpkin and pecan pies, Sarah Sloan of Highlands suggests you might want to try this yummy chocolate cake to have around.  She says it’s great to feed unexpected drop-ins and she usually bakes it in a sheet pan.  It makes a …

All About Pours

What’s in a pour? You’ll notice that the quality and variety of wines available by the glass in most restaurants has improved. As people become more wine savvy, expectations have increased. This change is made possible partly by tweaking the amount of a standard pour. Some choose to give value by using a 6 oz pour. As employees tend to …

Chef Michael Alton

Interviewing excellent chefs has to be on my Top 10 List!  Getting to know Meritage Bistro Chef Michael Alton reinforced the thrill of my current Laurel beat.  Sitting in Meritage on a rainy day while the restaurant was closed and listening to his many life changes and travels, this chef is a classic example of Frank Sinatra’s, “My Way.” This, …