Thursday, July 30, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
It's the end of July and it appears that summer has decided to pay us a visit. Hot, humid, blue skies, thunderstorms, summer...
My preference is for dry weather with temperatures that are a bit cooler, but I'm not complaining. After all, I leave in just over two weeks for the north and east. Somehow I suspect that it could be a bit cooler for my wanderings in Canada.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 9:01 PM
Saturday, July 25, 2009
SmugMug - the site where my photo galleries live - recently introduced a new gallery style. It's an in-your-face presentation of photos, with up to 10 photos on a page, stretching close to the width of the browser window. I know, I know, the full screen slideshow takes over the full window, but the photos keep moving there. In this case, the photos stay within the browser window - but they are static. If you want to move to the next photo you need to take action, to scroll the browser window.
I've added a gallery in this new style, and selected a few of my favorite images to live there. I plan to add to this gallery as images jump at me to be included. For now, enjoy my new gallery, Big, bold...
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 9:37 AM
Friday, July 24, 2009
Three weeks from now I'll be waiting to board the ferry from Portland, Maine to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia - the first toe in the water of my trip to Newfoundland.
I've decided to create a separate blog for my wanders. To jump to it, click To Newfoundland! An awesome August adventure. And yes, there are a few entries there already.
If you'd like my posts to be delivered directly to your mailbox, click here, fill in the form, and reply to the email requesting confirmation of your subscription request.
For those of you who have signed up for email notification of updates to this blog, you will need to sign up for the Newfoundland entries too since it is a different blog.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Yikes! It's gray outside, darker than it should be on a summer evening. Light rain is just starting to fall. The forecast? That's my yikes!
FROM 9 PM EDT THIS EVENING THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING
A WIDESPREAD AREA OF RAIN IS EXPECTED TO MOVE INTO THE WATCH AREA DURING LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY THIS EVENING. WIDESPREAD RAIN AND SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TONIGHT INTO FRIDAY MORNING. RAIN WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES...WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR TOTALS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES. ISOLATED HIGHER TOTALS ARE POSSIBLE IN NORTHEAST INTO CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS.Forecast courtesy of the National Weather Service Forecast Office
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:31 PM
Saturday, July 18, 2009
This weekend was the annual New England Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach. I thought I would head to Revere Beach this morning - early, before there were hordes of people around - to see the creatures emerging from the sand, fleeting creations of artists. I kept an eye on the weather forecast; heavy rain was predicted for last night followed by a possibly rainy morning. So... I headed out yesterday afternoon.
It would have been a quieter scene in the morning, but I would have missed seeing the sculptors at work. I'm absolutely amazed at the intricate work that can be done in sand.
More photos can be seen in my gallery Emerging from sand.
Read about the festival in the Boston Globe article At Revere, sport meets art.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 9:44 PM
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I've been perusing tourism publications from both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland as I continue to dream of my not-too-far-off vacation. And oh! I found a place in Nova Scotia that is just calling out for a visit.
Where? A place called Joe's Scarecrows, in Cap Le Moine (near Cheticamp).
© 2005, Niels Elgaard Larsen
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Sometimes I ride and play with my camera at the same time, sometimes not. This weekend I just needed to ride. I headed out on my bike both yesterday and today sans camera. I usually have at least a point-and-shoot camera with me, but I needed to just ride.
Funny, I don't think I could revisit today's ride exactly. I just turned down roads that looked interesting, usually wondering where they would end, hoping that I would (sort of) know where I was. I was surprised again by the lack of street signs in this area. I should be used to that by now, but I'm not. Where else but the greater Boston area are there no signs on the roads. The small roads have names on them, but the larger (but still not large) roads do not. Why is that?
As I rode, I looked around me. And yes, I did need to drive back to the Ballardvale area with my camera after I saw the perfect reflection of a mill building in some quiet water. No, I don't regret riding without a camera. It was a good ride, followed by a good camera wander.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 9:09 PM
Saturday, July 11, 2009
What a beautiful day... I rode early, happy to be wandering on two wheels. But then... I had the urge (again!) to walk along the coast.
It was sunny and warm, a day when the beaches were likely to be quite crowded. I wanted a (somewhat) solitary walk, so I waited until 5:30 to leave home. I arrived at a favorite spot along the New Hampshire coast to find a quiet beach populated with other solitary walkers. The tide was heading out, so there was a wide swath of very walkable smooth sand.
Yes, I did get my feet wet. The water was actually quite warm.
Interested in a few more photos from today's wander? You can find them in the gallery By the sea... coastal New Hampshire 2009. The photos from this evening are at the beginning of the gallery.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 9:16 PM
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Somehow what was in my mind last night jumped away from me when my alarm went off at 3:15 this morning. Why that early? I thought... I thought I might drive to the coast to watch the sun rise. The sun rose today at 5:11AM, with civil twilight beginning at 4:36. I'm a good 40 minute drive from the beach I had my mind set on visiting. But somehow, my body decided I needed more sleep rather than an early morning rise and drive. So yes, I did go back to sleep for another two hours!
Back to my ramblings...Oh, you want to know what civil twilight is? I had to look it up too... it's the time when the sun is below the horizon but not more than 6 degrees below it. And yes, the sky is "lit" at that time.
Looking for sunrise (or sunset) at your house? The U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department provides a tool, Complete Sun and Moon Data for One Day.
I headed out a little before 7, well after sunrise but still quite early in the day. My wanderings started at Salisbury Beach State Reservation. Walking along the beach, by the ocean, listening to the sound of waves. Walking by the fencing at the edge of the beach, fascinated by how much of the fencing - and the stairs from the boardwalks - had been covered by the sand.
I could see Plum Island from the southernmost part of the beach. It was early when I left Salisbury Beach, and my feet still were experiencing a bit of wanderlust. I headed inland just a bit - to get to a bridge that crossed the Merrimack River - and then jumped onto Plum Island. Ah - time for a quick visit to Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. The beaches there are closed since it is still piping plover nesting season, but there was plenty of space to wander on the inland side of the island. I walked some, and then I stood and watched the birds. Beautiful.
Interested in more photos? Jump to my gallery, Waves, sand, wind, walking.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:43 PM
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Late in the afternoon, I was looking for a place to wander, a place not too far from home. I didn't need to look too far.
I headed to Ward Reservation, a short two miles from my door, a place that I've never visited before. My goal? To meander up the trail to the top of Holt Hill. Its low 420 foot elevation is the highest point in Essex County, a point that provides a view of Boston in the distance.
The top of the hill is the home of the "Solstice Stones". Now I think I need to visit again on a solstice or equinox day to see if the stones actually perform their stated function:
The "Solstice Stones" form a compass-like arrangement of stones. The narrow stone in the NE quadrant points in the direction of where the sun rises on the longest day of the year - the summer solstice (around June 21) - and the narrow stone in the NW quadrant marks sunset on that day. At the time of the spring equinox (around March 21) and autumn (around September 23) equinox, the sun rises due east and sets due west. On the shortest day of the year - the winter solstice (around Dec 22) - the sun rises and sets along the narrow stones in the SE and SW quadrants, respectively.
Quote courtesy of The Trustees of Reservations, Ward Reservation
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 6:11 PM
I just had to stop. I was rolling down a quiet road when I saw a somewhat large object moving slowly down the shoulder. I looked, looked again, then stopped to chat. There was slowly moving water and vegetation to the side, and this turtle had scraps of vegetation on its shell. I wonder if he was just out for a stroll or if he was looking for something specific.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 1:39 PM
Friday, July 03, 2009
It feels like it has been a long time since I saw the sun. I know, I know, there was good weather last weekend - but ever since then it has been gray and rainy.
Today marked a change with pleasant outdoor play weather most of the day. Yes, it was a good day to ride.
The weather forecasters were correct in their prediction of thunderstorms between 4 and 5 PM though. I was sitting inside, happily reading, when I heard a loud crack of thunder. What time was it? 4:05 PM!
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 6:10 PM
Thursday, July 02, 2009
It's been raining for so long that there was a diagram in the Boston Globe this morning on how to build an ark. No, I'm not kidding - and the article did bring laughter with it.
Cool, gray, wet...
It feels like summer isn't here yet, even though the calendar has passed the day of the summer solstice.
It wasn't quite a record, as noted by the National Weather Service in Boston:
As we head into a 3-day holiday weekend, I'm hoping that the forecast calling for a return of some sunshine is correct.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
1240 AM EDT WED JUL 01 2009
...JUNE 2009 WAS UNUSUALLY COOL...CLOUDY AND FREQUENTLY WET ACROSS MUCH OF SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND...
THANKS TO A PERSISTENT TROUGH ACROSS SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND...JUNE 2009 FEATURED PREDOMINANTLY COOL AND MOIST CONDITIONS.
THE FOLLOWING IS A MONTHLY CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR THE LONG TERM CLIMATE SITES ACROSS SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND.
BOSTON TIED THE 6TH COOLEST JUNE ON RECORD WITH 1982.
BOSTON LOGAN JUNE 2009 AVERAGE TEMPERATURE 63.3F...DEPARTURE -4.7F
16 DAYS OF MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION 0.01 INCH OR MORE OCCURRED IN JUNE 2009. THE NORMAL IS 10 DAYS. THE RECORD NUMBER OF DAYS WITH MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION FOR ANY JUNE IS 18 DAYS SET IN 1942.
OFFICIAL RECORDS HAVE BEEN KEPT IN BOSTON SINCE 1872.
IT IS LIKELY THAT JUNE 2009 WAS THE SECOND GLOOMIEST JUNE MONTH RECORDED AT THE BLUE HILLS OBSERVATORY. THE LEAST JUNE SUNSHINE RECORDED WAS 25 PERCENT IN 1903 AND 36 PERCENT IN 1998.
OFFICIAL RECORDS HAVE BEEN KEPT AT THE BLUE HILLS OBSERVATORY SINCE 1885.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 6:39 PM