Book Review: Granite, fire, and fog : the natural and cultural history of Acadia by Tom Wessels


Author: Tom Wessels
TitleGranite, fire, and fog : the natural and cultural history of Acadia
Publication Info: Hanover : University Press of New England, 2017.
Summary/Review:

This book integrates the natural and cultural history of Acadia National Park in an intriguing way.  Wessels describes the geological processes that created Mount Desert Island’s unique formations and how the location of the island brings together fauna and flora not found together anywhere else.  For a short book, it can be quite detailed, as almost an entire chapter is dedicated to the different types of lichen that grow on the island’s rocks (don’t step on them!) and nearly as much as space to how fogs provide hydration and nutrients to the island’s plants.  The Fire of 1947 is also described as a cataclysmic event that unexpectedly shaped the national park that we know today.  This is a fascinating introduction to the wonders of Acadia, and a good field guide for visitors there.

Rating: ****

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Book Reviews: Acadia: The Complete Guide: Acadia National Park & Mount Desert Island by James Kaiser


Author: James Kaiser
TitleAcadia: The Complete Guide: Acadia National Park & Mount Desert Island
Publication Info: Destination Press (2016), Edition: Fourth edition
Summary/Review:

This is a spectacular guidebook to one of my favorite places.  You’re not going to find much about hotels or restaurants here but you will find detailed descriptions of the geology, ecology, history, and culture of Mount Desert Island.  Also there are in-depth descriptions of wildlife, local foods, notable persons, and popular hikes.  And all of it is richly-illustrated with glossy photographs.  This is a travel guide you can read cover-to-cover like an ordinary book.

Rating: ****

Photopost: Mount Desert Island


We spent the long Labor Day weekend visiting Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park in Maine. It was our first visit in 10 years, and thus our first visit with the kids. I’ve been blogging long enough to have a full travelogue of our “babymoon” in 2007 still online.

We stayed at terrific vacation home in Bass Harbor on the “quiet side” of the island.

Highlights of the trip include:

Here is a small selection of my photos of this most photogenic island.

Beer Review: Allagash Sixteen Counties Ale


BeerSixteen Counties Ale
Brewer: Allagash Brewing Company
Source: Draft
Rating: **** (8.8 of 10)
Comments:

A golden/orange beer offering yeasty and grassy aromas.  The flavor is a complex balance of fruits, spices, yeast, and grains.  A smooth and robust beer.  I love it.

 

From the same brewery:

 

Beer Review: Peak Organic IPA Evergreen 


Beer: Evergreen IPA
Brewer: Peak Organic Brewing Company
Source: Can
Rating: *** (7.7 of 10)
Comments: A cloudy golden/orange in color, this beer offers an appropriately piney aroma.  The flavor is grassy with hints of spice and a hop aftertaste.  It’s basically a liquid Christmas tree, and a like it.

From the same brewery:

 

Beer Review: Baxter Pamola 


Beer: Pamola Session Ale
Brewer: Baxter Brewing Co.
Source: Can
Rating: *** (7.7 of 10)
Comments: A straw colored beer with a thin head, this beer offers the scent of fresh mown hay.  The flavor is sweet with a touch of spice.  It’s a nice balance of subtle flavors in basic ale, good to pair with spicy food.

From the same brewery:

 

Photopost: Recompence Shore


This weekend we returned Recompence Shore in Freeport, ME, and the adjacent Wolfe’s Neck Farm for camping and nature discoveries.  Here are some photographic highlights from my brand new Canon Rebel T5.

Related Post:  Photopost: Wolfe’s Neck Farm (2015)

Beer Review: Allagash Fluxus 2015


Beer:  Fluxus 2015

Brewer: Allagash Brewing Company 

Source: Draft

Rating: **** ( 8.6 of 10)

Comments:  A golden hazy brew with a pinky-width head, Fluxus gives off a sweet strawberry aroma. The taste is reminiscent of a hard candy, as if Jolly Rancher made beer. Thick lace clings to the glass after consuming. It’s not as sweet as my description would make it sound but it makes a good dessert beer. 

Beer Review: Shipyard Summer Ale


Beer: Summer Ale
Brewer: Shipyard Brewing Co.
Source: Can
Rating: *** (7.3 of 10)
Comments:

A copper ale with beaucoups bubbles and a thin, but solid head.  The scent is musty cereal grains and the taste is a mellow blend of malts and yeast with a little tang.  Yummy, simple and unique.

 

From the Same Brewery:

Beer Review: Baxter Window Seat


Beer: Window Seat
Brewer: Baxter Brewing Company
Source: Can
Rating:  *** (7.4  of 10)
Comments:

Window Seat pours out a deep black with lots of bubble and a thin head.  The coconut is strong in the nose, while the taste is coconut with a prominent almond flavor and a roasted coffee aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium.  The lacing is light, and the head dissipates quickly.  Basically this is a dessert beer in a can, a delicious treat.

Beer Review: Rising Tide Ishmael


Beer: Ishmael
Brewer: Rising Tide Brewing Company
Source: Draft
Rating: (6.8 of 10)
Comments: This beer pours out with a deep amber color and a thin head.  The aroma is a sweet, bready caramel with a mild flavor that follows the nose. Medium mouthfeel, no lace, no head leftover.  A plain ordinary beer.  I like it.

By same brewer:

Beer Reviews: Peak Organic Super Fresh


Beer: Super Fresh
Brewer: Peak Organic Brewing Company
Source: Draft
Rating: ** (6.7 of 10)
Comments:  This is a hazy orange beer with a finger-width head.  The aroma is floral with apricot.  The taste is bready with some citrus and spice and a grapefruit aftertaste.  There’s a nice balance and interesting complexity, but too much on the bitter side for me.

 

Photopost: Wolfe’s Neck Farm


This weekend, we took our kids on their first camping trip at Recompence Shore in Freeport, ME. The oceanfront camp sites are adjacent to Wolfe’s Neck Farm.  We enjoyed a tour of the barn and garden with a livestock educator, and had a good time exploring the shore and hiking in the woods.

Song of the Week: “Violet Clementine” by Lady Lamb


The second song of the week comes from indie folk rocker Lady Lamb (stage name for Maine’s own Aly Spaltro) with a track off her new album After (stream in entirety here).

This is Lady Lamb’s second appearance on Song of the Week, previously appearing for her track “Rooftop” in January 2013.

Beer Review: Allagash Saison Ale


BeerAllagash Saison Ale
Brewer: Allagash Brewing Company
Source: Draft
Rating: **** (8.0 of 10)
Comments: A hazy pale yellow beer with light carbonation, this Farmhouse Ale offers a peppery spice aroma with hints of herb and citrus.  The taste is a pleasant balance of spice and citrus which leaves a fruity tingle on the tongue and a yeasty aftertaste.  There’s not much of a head or lacing after a few sips.  This is a tasty, complex beer.

 

15 New England Municipal Place Names That Are Fun To Say


  • Belchertown, MA
  • Bozrah, CT
  • Effingham, NH
  • Groton, CT
  • Hooksett, NH
  • Isle au Haut, ME
  • Mashpee, MA
  • Ogunquit, ME
  • Seekonk, MA
  • Tewksbury, MA
  • Thetford, VT
  • Tiverton, RI
  • Wethersfield, CT
  • Winooski, VT
  • Woonsocket, RI

Previously: Words That Are Fun To Say

Beer Reviews: Peak Organic Oak Aged Mocha Stout


Beer: Oak Aged Mocha Stout
Brewer: Peak Organic Brewing Company
Source: 22 0z. bottle
Rating: **** (8.7 of 10)
Comments: Is there such a thing as a dessert beer?  This is it.  The stout is a chocolate-brown with the sweet scents of vanilla and cocoa.  The bittersweet chocolate comes through in the flavor with a roasted coffee finish.  The dissipates quickly with no lacing.  Yum!

Beer Review: Allagash Dubbel Ale


Beer: Dubbel Ale
Brewer: Allagash Brewing Company
Source: 22 oz bottle
Rating: *** (7.3 of 10)
Comments: This beer pours a cloudy amber with a big-bubbled head.  There’s a whiff a caramel, and the beer is tingly then sweet.  A well-crafted, strong all-around ale.

Beer Review: Rising Tide Daymark


Beer: Daymark
Brewer: Rising Tide Brewing
Source: 22 oz bottle
Rating: *** (7.6 of 10)
Comments:  This is the first beer I sampled from the January selection of the City Feed & Supply New England Craft Beer Share.  This American Pale Ale is the flagship of the Portland, ME  brewery.  The beer presents as a hazy, tangerine orange with lots of tiny bubbles.  The aroma is grassy and spicy.  The flavor is bitter with a tingly kick and a spicy aftertaste.  After drinking there is splotchy lacing and still a lot of bubbles with a lot of foam left behind.  This is a complex and unique beer and definitely one I’d like to try again.

My wife Susan adds that the likes the aftertaste and that the froth is kind of nice.

According to my City Feed notes, “The rye is malted by Valley Malt, a malthouse in Hadley, MA (and one of the only malthouses this side of the Mississippi River) especially for Rising Tide.”

Songs of the Week: “Hvíld og ró” and “Rooftop”


No songs jumped out at me as being THE song of the week, but there are two songs I’m liking more that I listen to them.

 

The first song features the ethereal vocals of Icelandic singer/songwriter Sigurlaug Gísladóttir with fellow Icelandic singer/songwriter  Snorri Helgason on guitar and backing vocals.

Closer to home, Lady the Lambkeeper  is the stage name of Portland, Maine folk rocker Aly Spaltro:

 

Today I learned of a new service called Pitchfork Advance which allows one to preview new albums online.  This week’s album is Fade by Yo La Tengo.  As Yo La Tengo is one of my favorite bands of all time, I encourage you to listen to it early and often.

What are you listening to in 2013?