Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Today was a totally unplanned day. Before I moved from the house I received an email from the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge requesting help. The beach was attracting people, and there were no plover wardens scheduled.
I called the gatehouse to let them know I was coming, and started my trek to the water. I spent several hours on the beach stopping the occasional (people) incursion, attempting to explain that the beach belongs to the birds, and chatting with some interesting people.
I was posted at the south end of the refuge at the "border" between the national wildlife refuge and Sandy Point State Reservation. Most people were understanding but there were a few who were quite unhappy when I stopped them from proceeding onto the refuge beach. As I was heading out I stopped to chat with the state park ranger who was posted in the parking lot. She told me a couple of people complained about my stopping them; her response to me was "good job!".
I'm glad I'm able to help.
plovers are too tiny for me to catch but these sea gulls were happy to pose
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:03 PM
Friday, June 24, 2016
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Yesterday I went to the Andover / North Andover YMCA to check out the newly expanded facility (opened in April of this year). I've been a member for a long time but I haven't used the facility at all in too long. It was time to revisit and rethink.
From an article in the Eagle-Tribune:
The completed expansion created new exercise spaces and added a 3rd swimming pool. With free time during the day it appears that swimming in a non-crowded pool is a real possibility. I'm not a fast swimmer, and swimming laps in circles in lanes where most are populated by faster swimmers doesn't work well for me. The new "family" pool has 3 lanes available for lap swimming between 6 AM and 3:30 PM, and the lap pool includes lap swim at some times during that time period as well. When I walked through the building yesterday in the middle of the morning there were empty lap lanes in both pools. I think it's time to swim again.
The $23 million renovation of the Y, which took roughly two years to complete, upgraded a facility which had not seen many improvements since it first opened in 1974.
In January, the new Y opened to its members for the first time. Since then, members have enjoyed the 109,000 square foot building's various new features, including new swimming pools, workout equipment and studio workout rooms.
The weight equipment is all new, and there is a stretching area as well.
There are 3 studio / exercise rooms. I attended a pilates class in one of the studios earlier this evening.
I'm looking forward to using the Y, taking advantage of free time during the day.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:00 PM
Monday, June 20, 2016
After visiting the sand sculptures in Hampton Beach yesterday morning I headed to Fuller Gardens for a pop of color. There were some perennials still in bloom and many varieties of roses, a treat for the senses.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:43 AM
Sunday, June 19, 2016
I headed back to Hampton Beach this morning to satisfy my curiosity, my need to see the finished sand sculptures. My two favorites from Friday continue to make me smile.
"She loves me" by Justin Gordon features an ogre picking petals from a sunflower, ending with "she loves me". Funny, I saw the sunflower as a pie when I first saw it on Friday. Now I see the flower with one petal remaining, other petals strewn on the ground.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 6:54 PM
Saturday, June 18, 2016
The annual sand sculpting contest at Hampton Beach started on Thursday with sculpture completion later today. I visited yesterday to see the in progress creations. I'm in awe of the detailed sculptures that are created in sand!
I find that the sculptures that pulled me in are by the same artists as those I've enjoyed in years past.
sculpted by Justin Gordon
sculpted by Carl Jara
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:06 AM
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
This morning was my first stint as plover warden at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. The entire 6-miles of beach at the refuge closes each year on April 1st at the start of the piping plover nesting season, remaining closed until the birds are done with it (usually sometime in August or September). The closure is well signed, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service uses volunteers to help encourage visitors to remain off of the closed beach.
The last count I heard indicated that there are 47 pairs of piping plovers on the beach with 32 active nests.
The beach above the high tide line is signed and has a rope border to discourage trespassing, but below the tide line there is nothing showing the closure (other than a continuation of the line above the high tide mark). Most people were aware and didn't go anywhere near the closed section of beach, although I did need to stop someone from chasing her child's beach ball. It was very windy all morning, and the beach ball just took off, rolling onto the closed beach and quickly disappearing. Before it disappeared I could see the mother starting to walk toward the beach closure sign. She wasn't very happy when I told her she couldn't retrieve the ball; luckily it disappeared from sight very quickly.
Funny, sometimes people seem to think the signs aren't meant for them. I wonder why.
Sign showing potential fine of $100,000
Update on 6/17/2016: the refuge beach is now home to 37 pairs of piping plovers with 65 chicks.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:07 PM
Monday, June 13, 2016
Sunday, June 12, 2016
Friday, June 10, 2016
With renovations complete I had one remaining item, adding blinds to the sliding glass door in the living room. The old blinds were not in great shape so I opted to discard them at the start of the renovation. I thought about leaving the door uncovered since there is open land behind my place. No one walks back there except neighbors walking between units so there isn't really a privacy issue.
Even knowing that no one is standing at the door looking in, sitting in the living room with the lights on when it is dark outside drove my decision to add the option of a covered door.
I knew I wanted vertical blinds, and I knew I wanted something simple that would not draw attention away from the photos that live on the walls. I started by looking at sample books from two blind manufacturers at Home Depot, finding nothing that met my needs. That seemed odd to me since I was looking for simple and white. Hmm... I continued my search online.
I chose blinds from Stoneside Blinds & Shades. The company has sales offices across the country with a manufacturing facility in Denver. Abby, one of their design consultants, brought samples to my house. I selected at blind that has a pattern to it where the pattern is embossed but entirely white. Abby measured the door but before the blinds were ordered the installer, Andrew, came and measured again. Just over three weeks after measurement, Andrew returned to install the blinds.
During the installation we discovered that the door wasn't quite straight. With the blind mounting hardware completely level the look to my eyes (and Andrew's too) showed the blind as sloping a little bit to the right. It took several adjustments before the lines looked right to me. Before declaring the installation complete Andrew took the time to patch the holes from the initial tries.
The blinds are exactly what I needed to finish the renovation.
Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Monday, June 06, 2016
Sunday, June 05, 2016
Saturday, June 04, 2016
It felt like a good day for a walk along the coast. I headed to Odiorne Point State Park to wander a small part of the New Hampshire seashore.
When I arrived the sun was shining, white clouds decorated a blue sky. I followed a trail to the coast, then walked across mounds of moving rocks, some rounded, some jagged. As the ocean waves approached the shore the rounded rocks rolled in the surf, create an ocean song. I followed the coastline to Frost Point where a stone jetty extends into Little Harbor, then took inland trails back.
As I emerged on the coast again I saw fog approaching from the ocean. By the time I reached my starting point the fog had taken over.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:36 PM
Friday, June 03, 2016
Thursday, June 02, 2016
When I visited Long Hill just over a week ago the peonies were in full bloom. Today, most had faded.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:42 PM
Yesterday a change was rolled out to all SmugMug sites allowing the use of a cover image at the top of galleries using specified layouts. Most of the galleries on my site use the Collage Landscape style, one of the styles including this new change.
My first view of the change was accompanied by shock. There were two changes implemented, a change in format for the breadcrumb wherever it is used, and the addition of a cover image for specified galley styles. By default in existing galleries, the cover image was off. The breadcrumb change was universal though; for my purposes it needed a little tweaking.
The breadcrumb is the line starting with an icon representing home followed by the names of folders and the gallery that is being displayed. The change to the breadcrumb involved breaking it into two lines with the folder structure shown on the first line and the gallery title shown larger and on a second line. The default gallery title size and the size of the slideshow and buy buttons was too large for my taste, drawing my eyes to the header instead of the photos. A bit of CSS was needed and available to change the size.
My next step was to enable the cover image in some galleries. I was quite surprised that with the cover image enabled the original size of the title wasn't as glaring. Even so, I prefer a slightly smaller size so I left the size-changing CSS in place. That was even more important to me since folders and journal-style galleries don't support use of the cover image - I needed a consistent size that made me happy in both types of displays.
Some photos aren't suited to be cover images since too much pattern obscures the text from the gallery description; others are perfect. With the right cover image there is a bit of polish added to the display.
I like it!