BY Pat Bradford

Celebrating spring in North Carolina is there a finer place to be?

This month we went farther afield than normal; we had to bring you the story of Hillsborough a charming little town located halfway on the Mountains-to-the-Sea Trail a mid point on the route crossing our great state from Boone to Wilmington.

We know for a fact that many coastal parents send their prodigy to one of the three prestigious schools in the state s triangle: Chapel Hill State or Duke.

So we bring you a well-researched and photographed weekend in nearby Hillsborough and what a weekend there could be for you.

In our quest to illustrate the locavore movement — local food served fresh hours from the farm — it is fitting that we would end up in the American town where author Frances Mayes ( Under the Tuscan Sun ) resides to produce the food feature that we call Under the Hillsborough Sun.

It was a blast to create and in doing so we met new and dear friends ate amazing food and fell in love with Hillsborough. You will too.

We have a side trip to see and learn about black-and-white cows and the delicious milk and ice cream that can be found here locally.

We have for you artist Peter Butler s beach cows and swimmers painted in his Clinton studio en route from Wrightsville Beach to Hillsborough.

I am thrilled to bring Allison Potter s photographs of the D.C. Virgo Prep band to you. When I first heard of this story and how Bob Moulton donated all of the instruments it touched my heart. It is a very encouraging story; one man can and does make a difference. 

In these pages you ll find a stunning beach home in a town house on Fontenay Drive in Landfall.

We also honor the mothers among us with a Mother s Day tribute to one of world s most recognized maternal icons: Anna McNeill Whistler of Wilmington. Her story will fascinate you.

We bid farewell to one of Wrightsville s most celebrated arbiters of style and grace the beautiful Baby Dehler.

Marietta Gwathmey s story of her son s rescued seagull will have you laughing along with us as we turn our attention to the month s end the official start of the summer season at the beach.

— Pat Bradford