Let’s Talk Food: First day of spring

Today is the first day of spring, marking the vernal equinox. The sun crosses the celestial equator going south to north. The Northern and Southern Hemispheres receive roughly equal amounts of sunlight; neither hemisphere is tilted more toward or away from the sun than the other.

An American who has helped clear 815,000 bombs from Vietnam

DONG HA, Vietnam — On a visit to the former battlefield of Khe Sanh, the scene of one of the bloodiest standoffs of the Vietnam War, the only people Chuck Searcy encountered on the broad, barren field were two young boys who led him to an unexploded rocket lying by a ditch.

Tropical Gardening: Vireya rhododendrons and azaleas bloom in Hawaii

Tropical Asia is well known for its spectacular rainforests loaded with many species of palms and carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plants but it is easy to miss the tropical Vireya Rhododendrons growing as epiphytes high in the tops of gigantic trees. Most folks spend their time looking at terrestrial plants, or avoiding leeches, snakes and other jungle critters.

Tropical Gardening: Native epiphytes and lithophytes not well represented in Hawaii

If you were to visit the humid tropics of Asia, Central and South America you would be amazed at all the plants that grow on the branches of trees and even on rocks with no soil. We do have lichens, mosses and even ferns that have evolved here to festoon rainforest and cloud forest trees, but there are few compared to the rest of the tropical world.