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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Small solutions for light pollution

The new LED fixture, aimed in such a way as to limit its coverage to 180 degrees. Acorn Abbey is near the end of an unpaved private road. The abbey feels remote and isolated, but there are other homes on the road. Luckily the other places are closer to the nearest paved road than I […]

Tiny lives

Click on image for high-resolution version While getting laundry off the line this evening, I noticed this tiny egg shell in the grass. Its diameter is not much greater than the diameter of a pencil. An ant was checking it out. I have no idea what hatched out it. I don’t get to travel as […]

Two takes on Handel’s Largo

Earlier this evening I had an email from a friend asking if I ever played the Largo from Handel’s opera Xerxes on the abbey organ. “Ha!” I replied. “I haven’t played the Largo since I was a first-year organ student.” My friend caught my offhandedly rude dismissal of the Largo. He’s a trained musician and […]

Ironies in the evolution of tyranny

Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America. By Jack Rakove, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. 488 pages. My reading at present is focused on the American colonial era, the revolution, and the development of the American Constitution. I took a lot of notes while reading this book by Jack Rakove. But one passage in […]

Ken’s new book

In a recent comment here, Jo asked whether Ken Ilgunas was involved in the upkeep of the abbey’s orchard. Yes he has been, actually, very much so. Though the first trees were planted before Ken first came to the abbey, he has slaved in the orchard for many hours — planting new trees and replacements […]

A killing frost, and a close call

It’s as though March and April got reversed this year. March was obscenely warm. April has been dangerously cold. The warmth of March teased all the plant life into venturing out, so that April’s frosts could bite. The fig trees had put out leaves, and all those leaves were killed. With luck, the fig trees’ […]