I love March. Spring seems to yawn and stretch with the first cheery daffodils pushing through the hard ground and opening their eyes toward the sun, having lain buried and forgotten for 11 months. I can almost smell the fresh chartreuse of new leaves and reawakened grass. And in the next month or so, the unassuming and delicate flower of the dogwood tree will begin to bloom. Amanda McNulty shares an insightful history of this oddly named but favorite tree on page 110, as well as tips for planting and maintenance.
All in all, it is undeniably a wonderful time to be outside. Here in the Midlands, the most untapped resource for enjoying the outdoors is arguably our amazing rivers. Robert Clark takes us on a beautiful photo tour on page 66 of our state’s diverse and stunning riverscapes, from the mountains to the Midlands to the coast. Whether fly fishing for trout on the Saluda, paddling serenely in a canoe or kayak down the Broad, or just enjoying a stroll on one of the river walks, Columbia’s rivers offer endless opportunities to enjoy nature at its best.
Our local Boy Scouts are one group of people intent on making the most of time spent outside. From rugged excursions out West to the more banal tasks of keeping our lakes and rivers clean, read on page 40 about their wonderful contributions to our community as well as the impressive life skills they are learning.
Tired of dog hair on your sofa? Why not try an outdoor pet this year … more specifically, a barnyard pet! Read on page 78 about Columbians who have made some unusual choices in their four-legged friends that are surprisingly good companions.
For those who prefer the kitchen to the backyard, we have quite the assortment of recipes in this issue! But first, learn how to properly organize the refrigerator on page 36. Then to spice up your menu, add a new ingredient to your kitchen with Susan Slack’s recipes involving sorghum and molasses on page 58, or try your hand at homemade pasta with Helen Dennis’ tips on page 92. And to top it off, craft the perfect gin and tonic, Dubonnet cocktail, or Vesper with suggestions from Vona Weiss on page 46.