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Monthly Archives: August 2010

Rolling back the clock … if only for a summer

Ken Ilgunas with the chickens, June 2010 Summer is over. Ken went back to school yesterday. One of the disappointments of getting older is that most young people care so little about how the world used to be, or whether in some ways it might have been better. I have often said that I will […]

Bat visitor

Photo by Ken Ilgunas It was dusk, and Ken and I were at the supper table. The table sits beside a window that faces north. All of a sudden Ken was gesticulating and pointing toward the window. The word he was whispering was so out of context that it took me a few seconds to […]

Shiitake mushroom garden

Ken Ilgunas with the mushroom logs — all done except for the deer protection Acorn Abbey has only five acres. But on those five acres, it’s amazing how many microclimates there are. Only an acre is open to the sun. That’s where the house and garden are. There are four acres of woods, with a […]

Two Bambis at dusk

Two Bambis (white spots and all) came wandering out of the woods behind Acorn Abbey at dusk this evening to steal my clover. I did not see their mother, but I doubt that she was far away. The photo is blurry because the light was poor. The photo was taken through a window of Acorn […]

Almost as green as Ireland

I was expecting a miserably hot, dry August. But instead we’ve had a long run of rainy weather. About 7 inches of rain has fallen here in the last nine days. Everything is emerald green. The cloudy weather has held the temperatures down. The high for today was about 77. The meadows are boggy, just […]

Defending your privacy on the Web

The social and political classes in George Orwell’s novel 1984 We’ve all been told that there is no such thing as privacy on the Web. That is true. Still, we are not helpless. Recently I got quite angry after I learned about a whole new category of privacy threat on the Internet — shady private […]

Here come the hurricanes?

Weather Underground Statistically, the chances of an Atlantic hurricane rise rapidly around Aug. 18. The odds peak around Sept. 10 and remain high through mid-October. If you’re a weather nerd, as I am, a great source of expert commentary on the weather is Jeff Masters’ blog at Weather Underground. During hurricane season, Masters posts pretty […]

A good year for butterflies

Butterflies on the milkweed behind Acorn Abbey I’ve seen a lot of butterflies this year, particularly monarch butterflies. The presence of monarch butterflies is a good indicator on the health and variety of the local ecosystem. The life cycle of monarch butterflies is dependent on milkweed. Though I wish I had more milkweed here, there […]

Apple economics

Ugly apples = good apples If you want good apples, the best way is to grow them yourself, I’m sure. But my young apples trees probably won’t produce for two more years or so. The summer heat is hard on the appetite and the urge to cook. I haven’t made sourdough bread for over a […]

A good persimmon year?

The wild persimmon crop won’t be ripe until early fall, but they’re coming along nicely. I pass three wild persimmon trees on the way to the mailbox, and they’re all heavily loaded with nice, plump, green persimmons. I’m hoping for some nice persimmon pudding this fall.