Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, February 28, 2015

camellia Saturday

The early morning temperature was quite cold, cold enough to convince me that a visit to the greenhouses of the Lyman Estate would be a good way to start my day. The camellias were just starting to bloom when I was there three weeks ago; more were showing color today.

I wandered from greenhouse to greenhouse, stopping as flowers large and small caught my eye, absorbing color and beauty.

camellia reaching

More photos from today's greenhouse visit can be seen in the gallery greenhouses of Lyman Estate - 2015 starting with this photo and ending here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

reflections

Reflections in nature, reflections in thought...

As I look back over the past month I see a quiet existence and I see a lot of snow. My wandering with a camera has been focused more on indoor spaces, and my (almost) daily outside walking has been limited at times by the conditions under my feet.

It remains cold, and we've made it through two predicted snowfalls that were less then expected, almost minimal. It seems that the snow depth is less. I thought that was my imagination until I read David Epstein's article When Will We See Bare Ground And Have We Really Had 100 Inches Of Snow? earlier this week. He presented sublimation as part of the reason for the shrinking snow depth.

"You might not realize it but snow, which is a solid, can change phases and become a gas, or disappear without ever becoming a liquid. The process, called sublimation, occurs when any solid object goes directly into a gas. Things like mothballs and dry ice can also sublimate over time. The ice cubes in your freezer sublimate, this is why they shrink in the tray. The snow on the ground is sublimating and therefore the depth is decreasing."

quote courtesy of David Epstein's article in the Boston Globe

I hope that as we move closer to spring that new snow comes less often and with less depth. I look forward to more comfortable walking outside, walking without the worry of ice underfoot.

Now it's time to think about changing seasons, about wanders close to home and far away.

reflecting clouds
at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

a splash of pink

The ground outside is covered with white, snow sticking around as the temperature continues to dip low.

I think it will be a while before spring's color emerges this year. Last year my first crocus photo was taken on April 1st; I hope that this year's flowers aren't much later than that. For now I'll need to continue to visit indoor gardens for a splash of color.

a splash of pink
from the point where flowers emerge from leaves, Queen's tears

Monday, February 23, 2015

obstructed

A front door is often the welcoming point to a house.

In this season of deep and drifted snow the path to many front doors is obstructed with waves of white replacing the walkway.

obstructed

Sunday, February 22, 2015

stop!

An open letter to the weather wizard...

First, let me say thank you for only dropping a couple of inches of snow on us last night.

You have gifted us with a number of storms over the last several weeks, several dropping large amounts of snow. This all started with a storm tagged as a blizzard on January 27th, and it continued with major snowstorms on at least a weekly basis. Boston is approaching its snowiest winter on record; the record of 107.6 inches was set in the winter of 1995-1996, and so far this year the snow in Boston has been measured at 99.9 inches.

There is a lot of snow on the ground now - don't you think it's enough? Oh, you're right, perhaps one more smallish storm is in order to help Boston tag this season as snowiest ever.

Really, it's OK to stop now. I know spring is still weeks away and I'm not asking for warmth. A little bit of melting and a lot less snow would make me very happy.

What do you think weather wizard? Can you stop now?

stop sign buried, during the very snowy winter of 2015

gear review :: Lowepro Inverse 200 AW

When I wander with my camera I am usually very happy with my f-stop backpack but as I walk near home during this very snowy and slippery winter I've felt the need for something smaller. Somehow shrugging out of a backpack when I'm wearing layers and layers to promote warm walking isn't as quick (or natural) a movement as it is in warmer times, and the size of a full pack isn't really warranted when I am only carrying a camera and single lens.

Knowing that I'm not happy with weight hanging from a single shoulder and thinking that even a sling bag wouldn't be ideal I started looking for something else. I love that the belt on my backpack pulls much of the weight into my hips; that led me to explore the availability of belt packs.

I found (and ordered) a Lowepro Inverse 200 AW.

A word of warning: this pack sells on the Lowepro site for almost twice the price of the same pack on sites like Amazon and B&H Photo. I'd recommend buying this from a site other then the manufacturer's.

There are two sizes available, the Lowepro Inverse 100 AW, and the Inverse 200 AW. While I was leaning toward the smaller of the two I'm glad I listened to the little voice in the back of my mind telling me it would be too small. The Inverse 200 AW fits my Canon 7D with lens attached with no problem.

I have to admit that I was concerned about having the weight of a dSLR strapped around my waist. I ordered it anyway and now that I've had a chance to use it I'm happy that I did.

The magic of this bag is the combination of a wide and very padded belt with compression straps that pull the contents in closer to the belt. This makes it quite comfortable to wear, easily absorbing the weight of the camera. The main compartment opens easily with a single pull of a strap on the top, and the bag also has an integrated rain cover.

The addition of the Lowepro Inverse 200 AW to my camera carrying bags gives me another option for simpler wanders. It's always good to have a carrying choice that matches my selected activity level.



Saturday, February 21, 2015

winter trees

The thermometer read zero when I got up this morning, brr! Luckily after dropping another degree to -1 it changed directions and warmed up into the 20s, supporting a long afternoon walk.

As I finished my walk snow started.

trees stand tall, decorating a winter landscape

apples

What types of apples do you like? While I have a tendency to stick with varieties I know please my taste buds, sometimes the selection available leads me to experiment.

The latest "new to me" apples that have joined those that I'll happily eat again are Kiku and Opal. Kiku has quickly turned into a new favorite, crispy and sweet. The Opal surprised me since it is a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Topaz. I tend not to like Delicious apples but this variety is good.

Different apples, different tastes...

Opal and Kiku apples

weather waiting

I'm waiting for this morning's cold temperatures to rise.
I'm waiting for today's predicted snow.
I'm waiting for tomorrow's warmer weather before cold returns.

I'm waiting for spring!

tulip, open and inviting
While I'm waiting I'm wandering through flower photos from previous spring seasons.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

sculpted

The wind has been busy sculpting the snow, forming ridges and patterns.

snow, sculpted by wind

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

edge view

A camellia blossom and leaf create interesting lines.

edge view

Monday, February 16, 2015

a glimpse

Saturday's visit to Tower Hill Botanic Garden gave me an early glimpse of spring. I've always loved iris; seeing these flowers made me smile.

dwarf iris

Sunday, February 15, 2015

obscured

The snow stopped falling while I was out walking this morning.

I saw the sun hiding in the clouds.
I saw snow driven by the strong wind.
I felt the cold against the bare skin of my face.
I saw trees obscured by wind-driven snow.

obscured by blowing snow

Saturday, February 14, 2015

color before snow

Before the snow started late in the afternoon I headed out for a taste of color.

This morning's destination was Tower Hill Botanic Garden where I knew there would be some indoor flowers. Two large rooms, the Orangerie with a cathedral ceiling of glass, and the Limonaia, both housed plants. A hallway connecting the spaces was home to small pots filled with early spring flowers.

I think this is a fitting image for the day, a flower blooming inside, snow outside.

from color to snow

More flowers are waiting for your eyes in the gallery Tower Hill Botanic Garden - 2015.

blizzard warning

It's hard to believe - in a normal winter we get some snow, but the past 3 weeks have been well out of the norm. This time the snow events have brought deep snow and very cold air.

The area is again under the threat of a blizzard warning, this time with a lower predicted snow depth than in the previous storms. I am in the area that is painted with the prediction of a 10 to 14 inch snowfall (on top of the many feet of snow already on the ground).

There is both a blizzard warning and a wind chill warning posted, both serious when taken alone and worse when combined. One of the pieces under the precautionary/preparedness actions of the blizzard warning brought a smile to my face:

THOSE VENTURING OUTDOORS MAY BECOME LOST OR DISORIENTED. STAY INDOORS.

Weather wizard, haven't we had enough?

Friday, February 13, 2015

curved

A camellia wears bright pink petals, curved and layered.

curved and layered, the petals of a camellia

Thursday, February 12, 2015

posing as a butterfly

I can almost imagine that this flower is posing as a butterfly.

a flower posing as a butterfly

What is it? It's a Christmas Cactus living in the greenhouse at Lyman Estate.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

warm below freezing

After days with high temperatures in the low teens and a cold wind blowing this evening's walk actually felt warm. It was 25 degrees (F) in still air when I headed out, with clouds decorating the horizon, twinkling stars overhead. I walked on quiet streets, listening to the snow crunching beneath my feet.

It was a brisk walk, warm below freezing.

Monday, February 09, 2015

snow day

I'm so glad the world has changed in a way that makes it both reasonable and easy to work from home. With snow forecast to last all day and into the evening I settled in to work at home, no driving on snowy roads. It's still snowing; the winter storm warning is posted until 4 AM on Tuesday.

I haven't seen an actual amount for the town where I live but I did see this snow total map:

snow totals as of late afternoon on 9 February 2015
snow total map courtesy of The Boston Globe

The map shows Boston with 27 inches from this multiday storm. I live somewhere between the 16 and 18 inch designation to the north of Boston. This is our third major storm in two weeks, and I'm hearing that there may be another one on the way before the end of this week. I so hope the forecast is wrong!

updated snow totals on 10 February 2015

The snow total map in the Boston Globe has been updated this morning showing 31 inches of snow in Boston and 20 inches in the area where I live during the multi-day storm that just passed through!

We've had so much snow that there are a number of places - including Boston and Logan Airport - that have requested and been given permission to dump snow into Boston Harbor. Even with the large snow melting machines that Boston uses the "snow farms" that are used for the snow removed from the streets are full.

Working from home allowed me to walk during daylight hours, always a good thing when the roads are narrower than normal. The temperature was 13 degrees, the wind was light (but there) so I bundled up for the cold.

As I walked I stopped to chat with a few people who were shoveling their driveways or the fire hydrants, I crossed to the other side of the road when I saw a plow coming my way, I marveled at the depth of the snow. There were many places where the snow pushed to the side of the road by the plows came up to my shoulder. There were other piles that were much taller than me. There were drifts and buried signs.

It was a good afternoon for a snowy walk.

snow, snow, snow!

Yes, of course, there is a road next to this sign!

reaching

One camellia, reaching to another...

a camellia, reaching

Sunday, February 08, 2015

waiting

There was a bit of snow last night into this morning; the afternoon was gray and calm. The forecast calls for steady snow through early Tuesday morning.

I walked during the lull this afternoon. Previously cleared walks were again full of snow, some fluffy, some hard clumps pushed up by the plows. That forced me back to the edge of the road as my walking path. I walked both on neighborhood streets with no traffic and along a wider main road, watching the road surface and the traffic.

I'd prefer to have this storm disappear; the current state of the weather is "waiting for snow".

snow against a fence

Saturday, February 07, 2015

a flower day

There's a sea of white outside with more snow predicted (starting tonight). Instead of surrounding myself with that cold white snow I chose to spend some time enjoying color today with a visit to the Lyman Estate.

One of the four greenhouses is the 1820 camellia house. The Lyman Estate web site states: "When winter is at its bleakest, the century-old camellia collection puts forth its magnificent blooms."

While it's still a little early in the blooming season there were camellias to enjoy.

curved petals of a pink camellia

More flowers from today's visit can be seen in the gallery greenhouses of Lyman Estate - 2015 starting with this photo and ending here.

again?

Really weather wizard? A multi-day snow storm? Do you think we need more snow?

There's a winter storm warning posted (again!) from 10 PM tonight through 1 AM on Tuesday.

HAZARD TYPES...SNOW.

SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...12 TO 18 INCHES...POSSIBLY AROUND 20 INCHES IN PARTS OF NORTHEAST MASSACHUSETTS.

TIMING...LIGHT SNOW DEVELOPS OVERNIGHT AND CONTINUES AT VARYING INTENSITY THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON. THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY NIGHT.

The detailed forecast calls for a possibility of 1 to 3 inches tonight, 2 to 4 inches tomorrow, 4 to 8 inches tomorrow night, and 4 to 8 inches on Monday.

I don't suppose this is a mis-predicted storm. I can always hope...

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

night walk

I know I need the sanity of outdoor exercise; this time of year that means walking after dark.

The streets are narrower than normal, snow encroaching on my walking space. Although my habit is to walk in a big loop my walks right now I need to follow an out-and-back path. The roads in the neighborhood just to the south of my place are barely cleared wide enough for 2 cars to pass, no room for walkers or runners there. Luckily there is a college campus just to the north. With students in residence the roads are always kept clear. Once I reached the far side of the campus I found that the town of Andover had been out with their sidewalk snow thrower so there was a walkable surface all of the way into the center of town. In some places it was easy walking, in others the snow was deep enough to mimic the feeling of walking on a sandy beach. No matter, it was good to walk.

The temperature this evening was hovering just above freezing making it feel nicely warm. I'm glad I had a chance to enjoy it because another arctic blast is said to be coming our way.

delicate

Flowers are fascinating, aren't they? This tiny blossom wears red outside, patterns inside and is covered with a delicate layer of fuzz.

delicate

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

into a dream

Footprints in the sand, a person walking off in the distance...

I feel like I could get lost in this image, walking into the unknown. I think I'll use it as a reminder to myself to think about where I'd like to wander this year, to walk into a dream.

walking into a dream...

Monday, February 02, 2015

brrr...

It's snowing and blowing and brrr... it's cold outside!

I'm happy to be able to work from home on days like today. I had hoped to brave the snow for a walk but when I looked at the temperature on top of the poor visibility I decided to stay in. The temperature right now is 9 degrees with a 16 MPH wind creating a wind chill of -8 degrees (F). Brrr!

splash!

When I look at this tiny pink flower I almost see the edges of the center as a splash of water.

tiny flowers in pink

Sunday, February 01, 2015

a clear day

Today dawned clear and cold, a calm before tomorrow's predicted snowstorm.

I knew I needed to wander somewhere different than the roads near home that I traverse during my every day walking time outside. Hmm... where to go? I tossed a few destinations up in the air, then decided to head for the New Hampshire coast. I stopped in Portsmouth for a walk in the wind.

from Peirce Island, Portsmouth, NH