Saturday, February 25, 2023

Pic(k) of the Week: Peachtree rapids & riffles

Peachtree rapids & riffles

Rain-filled rapids and riffles on the South Fork Peachtree Creek, in a 120-acre urban Piedmont forest.

Mason Mill Park, in DeKalb County, Georgia, USA. 9 February 2023.


Saturday, February 18, 2023

Pic(k) of the Week: Thicket tunnel

Thicket tunnel

Thicket tunnel or allée over the trail?

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve: DeKalb County, Georgia, USA. 8 February 2023.


Saturday, February 11, 2023

Pic(k) of the Week: Tynt Meadow English Trappist Ale

Tynt Meadow English Trappist Ale

Tynt Meadow English Trappist Ale is an English Trappist beer, brewed by Trappist monks (precisely: the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, a Roman Catholic monastic order) at Mount St Bernard Abbey, located in the town of Coalville, in Leicestershire, England, UK.

The monastery was founded in 1835. Brewing only commenced in 2018, when the abbey's small-scale dairy farm had become non-viable (vs. large agribusiness). Tynt Meadow English Trappist Ale is its only beer.



Short answer: delicious. Long answer:

In color, Tynt Meadow is burnished-copper; clarity is good. The beer is well-conditioned, pouring with a long-lived, off-white head and some nice lacing down the glass...possibly because of bottle-conditioning (with live yeast). That also may have contributed a measure of oxygen-scavenging (i.e, active protection against staling). The beer tasted fresh, despite its trans-Atlantic voyage.

The principal flavor is dark fruit with lesser motifs of bitter chocolate and treacle. Interestingly, the monastery does NOT use Belgian yeast (which is the norm for most Trappist ales) but an unidentified English yeast-strain (in addition to English barley and hops, both also unspecified) that is noticeable in a fruit-cake flavor. The ale finishes smooth (I detest the illogical neologism "drinkable"), although the alcohol does seem to create a strong presence in the aftertaste. 7.4% alcohol-by-volume (abv).

Imported bottle (330 ml / 11.2 fl.oz), tasted in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. 20 September 2022.



Based upon their Cistercian adherence solely to prayer and work, the monks of Mount St Bernard Abbey literally produce only enough beer to pay their bills and support their charities. They quote Psalm 104:
You make the grass grow for the cattle and the plants to serve man’s needs, that he may bring forth bread from the earth and wine to cheer man’s heart.

I say, beer is liquid bread. So, please, "give us this day our daily bread."

A series of occasional reviews of beer (and wine and spirits).
No scores; only descriptions.


Saturday, February 04, 2023

Pic(k) of the Week: Arabia buzzards

Arabia buzzards A pair of turkey vultures scope the carrion scene, atop a pine tree near the summit of Arabia Mountain.

The turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), also known as buzzard or turkey buzzard, is the most widespread of the New World vultures, ranging from southern Canada to the southernmost tip of South America. It inhabits a variety of open and semi-open areas, including subtropical forests, shrublands, pastures, and deserts. A large bird, the turkey vulture has a wingspan of 63-72 inches (160–183 cm) and a length of 24-32 inches (62–81 cm). The body feathers are mostly brownish-black, but the flight feathers on the wings appear to be silvery-gray beneath, contrasting with the darker wing linings. The adult's head is small in proportion to its body and is red in color with few to no feathers. It also has a relatively short, hooked, ivory-colored beak. The turkey vulture is a scavenger and feeds almost exclusively on carrion. It has very few natural predators.

Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area: Stonecrest, Georgia, USA. 27 January 2023.