Denise Goldberg's blog

Friday, April 28, 2017

not quite open

Tiny flowers wearing a wonderful shade of violet are about to open.

tiny flowers about to open

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

rainy days

Rain has been falling for two days. While I'm ready for a dry walking window, the flowers like the water. I love visiting the garden to see tulips in an almost fully open state.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Daffodils come in many shapes. This one is a Narcissus poeticus, also known as a poet's daffodil. Its pose with the flower tipped toward the ground caught my eye.

poet's daffodil

Monday, April 24, 2017

spring green

Some trees are still wearing bare branches while others show emerging leaves in a light shade of green.

leaves in spring green

Sunday, April 23, 2017

greenhouse color

I walked into the greenhouse at Stevens-Coolidge Place late this afternoon, curious to check the plugs we planted not too long ago. Some are showing only leaves, others are bursting with color.

flowers in bloom

Friday, April 21, 2017

in the rain

The air is chilly, water is falling from the sky.

Tulips wearing raindrops create a bright spot in a gray day.

tulips, standing in the rain


It appears that the attorney general of the United States doesn't understand the separation of powers specified by the Constitution. He also doesn't seem to know the names of our states.

"I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power", Sessions said.

Don't we have 3 branches of government as a balance, a protection for all? And shouldn't the attorney general of the country understand the law of the land and respect participants in other branches of the federal government?

I love Tim Kaine's Twitter response to Jeff Session's ridiculous statement.

Tim Kaine response to Jeff Sessions statement

Isn't that perfect?

Thursday, April 20, 2017


The stamen of this tiny flower appear to be reaching for the sun. Isn't spring a wonderful season?

tiny flowers, stamen reaching for the sun

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


It's a good time of year; each visit to the garden brings a new surprise. Today, a tulip preparing to open shows a lightly curved petal.

tulip, almost open

carpet of periwinkle

As I was walking in the woods I came across a carpet of periwinkle, a tapestry of green mixed with flowers in a light blue violet color.

Monday, April 17, 2017


I was walking in Maudslay State Park this afternoon when a flash of pale pink pulled me off the trail. It's early; I suspect the warmth triggered an early bloom.

early azalea in pink

Maudslay is the former Moseley family estate. There are azalea and rhododendron spread through the property that usually bloom in May and June. I treasure today's preview and look forward to more color in the weeks to come.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


I stopped by Stevens-Coolidge Place late this afternoon to find a surprise, a single bed of early-blooming tulips.


a powerful letter

I find it hard to believe that the head of the EPA is someone who denies the accepted science of climate change, someone who is determined to undo protections that are already in place.

The article EPA staff "openly mocking" Trump's "arrogant and callous" policies, says retiree references a letter written to Administrator Pruitt by Michael Cox as he retired from the agency. The article is short and interesting.

Cox called Pruitt’s claim on national TV that CO2 is not a primary contributor to recent global warming “shocking” — and directly compared it to the congressional hearing with the CEOs of the major tobacco companies where “all of the CEOs categorically denied that smoking causes lung cancer.”

What’s the result of this denial? “You will continue to undermine your credibility and integrity with EPA staff, and the majority of the public,” Cox wrote, “if you continue to question this basic science of climate change.”

from the ThinkProgess article

The letter is longer and very powerful. Read it!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

low tide

It was a few hours past low tide when I arrived at Kittery Point this morning for a walk in Fort Foster Park.

I walked, stopping to absorb the vistas, to chat with other walkers, and to laugh at the dogs who were enjoying a romp between the water and dry land.

at Fort Foster Park, Kittery Point, Maine

Friday, April 14, 2017

early daffodil

Standing among the crocus, a few early daffodils are beginning to bloom.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Wednesday mornings are gardening mornings at Stevens-Coolidge Place. While we were working my eyes kept looking to the carpet of crocus blooming beneath a tree.

Work done, I headed back with my camera to spend some time soaking in the beauty.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

a different view

The entire 6+ miles of beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is closed for the piping plover nesting season. It closes each year on April 1st and reopens when the birds are done with it, often in late August or early September.

Today I walked a bit in the refuge away from the beach.

Parker River is a special place; visiting there always leaves me with a feeling of calm.

at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Monday, April 10, 2017

in a sea of crocus


Today's temperature triggered a need to visit Maudslay State Park for a wander in the woods, a search for early blooming flowers. There have been enough dry days since last week's snow and rain to provide reasonably dry trails in the park although I did need to walk around some very muddy spots. It was a good day for walking.

My favorite spot in the park today was a grassy knoll that was covered in crocus and chionodoxa luciliae (also know as "glory of the snow"). I sat there for a quite a while absorbing the beauty of the tiny flowers.

a sea of crocus

a pair of crocus wearing white

For more flowers from today's wander, jump to the gallery wandering Maudslay :: 2017.

WBUR Listen

I always listened to public radio on my commute to work. Now that I'm not working I don't spend a dedicated morning and afternoon time slot in the car, and that means I'm missing some of the shows I enjoy. Yes, I know, I can listen at home - but that doesn't always happen.

At the end of my volunteer stint at WBUR last week I stayed for a tour of the studio. It was quite interesting to see where some of the shows are produced.

Our tour guide mentioned that an updated version of the WBUR Listen app was available; I made a mental note to check it out. I've installed it on my phone, giving me the option of listening to my favorite shows either live or at a later time when (I'm away from radio and computer and) I feel the need to listen. I'm happy.

WBUR Listen

Saturday, April 08, 2017


Early spring has graced us with snow, rain, and chilly air, all contributing to early flowers.

Knowing that there is a field at The Steven-Coolidge Place where crocus and daffodil bloom, I headed to the garden this morning looking for early flowers. Several varieties of small early spring flowers have started to push color across the landscape. Crocus wearing purple and white is a favorite of mine.


Friday, April 07, 2017

spicy guacamole

On Wednesday afternoon I volunteered for a couple of hours at the WBUR Marathon, a 26.2 hour fundraiser with the goal of raising $1,000,000 for the NPR news station. And yes, the goal was met and exceeded!

It was a good experience; I'll happily volunteer there again.

Food was provided for the volunteers and station staff. A late afternoon snack of chips and guacamole was supplied with a huge supply of guacamole; I assume it was donated by the (local) creator. At one point a staff member went through the event room handing out tubs of Chica de Gallo Spicy Guacamole to be taken home. I like guacamole and luckily I like spice as well since this variation was made with ghost peppers. It was a good taste treat!

chica de gallo spicy guacamole

Thursday, April 06, 2017


Heavy rain fell in waves throughout the day. I'm hoping that the combination of the rain and predicted warmer days to come will trigger spring flowers to visit.

While I dream of this year's color to come, a flower from last spring brings a smile.

pink peonies decorated by raindrops

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

a lighthouse

Yesterday's sky was blue with increasing wisps of clouds. It was a good day to visit the Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Portland Head Light

Sunday, April 02, 2017

a blue poppy

The delicacy of poppies is simply amazing. I was lucky to visit Longwood Gardens when blue poppies were in bloom; Himalyan Blue poppies are forced to flower every year in March.

blue poppy


Today's editorial in the Los Angeles Times titled "Our Dishonest President" is an introduction to a 4-part editorial to be published this week. The words are powerful; they make me realize I am far from alone in being concerned about the behavior and policies of this president.

I plan to read the rest of the series scheduled for publication over the next 3 days.

It was no secret during the campaign that Donald Trump was a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters. The Times called him unprepared and unsuited for the job he was seeking, and said his election would be a "catastrophe".

Still, nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck.

from the Los Angeles Time editorial:
Our Dishonest President

Read the editorial. What do you think?

Saturday, April 01, 2017

wet and white

Wet snow fell for much of the day leaving white on the grass and deep slush on the roads. I'm very glad this wasn't a repeat of the massive April Fool's blizzard from 20 years ago.

a snowy April Fools Day

It looks like we will have two clear (and warmer) days before predicted rain appears on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to flowers soon.

Friday, March 31, 2017

winter's return

The calendar says spring but the weather headed backwards today with late season snow.

It snowed much of the day with little accumulation with accumulating snow arriving overnight. The current forecast calls for 5 to 9 inches of snow overnight with another 3 to 7 inches possible tomorrow. Here's hoping that the snow depth is on the lower side of the prediction.

late season snow

Yes, that's falling snow decorating the photo.

news release oops

I hate what the president and the head of the EPA are doing to climate change rules.

On the other hand, I love the news release that was initially sent out yesterday.

"With this Executive Order, President Trump has chosen to recklessly bury his head in the sand," read a statement in the release attributed to Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

"Today’s executive order calls into question America’s credibility and our commitment to tackling the greatest environmental challenge of our lifetime," it read. "With the world watching, President Trump and Administrator Pruitt have chosen to shirk our responsibility, disregard clear science and undo the significant progress our country has made to ensure we leave a better, more sustainable planet for generations to come."


Indeed, the statement actually came not from Capito but from Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, who blasted Trump’s executive order on Tuesday.

An honest mistake, or a deliberate act of sabotage from a rogue operator in the EPA press office?

from the Boston Globe article:
EPA tries to praise Trump, ends up criticizing him instead

Hmm... it looks like there are two issues in one: a quote slamming the presidents action (that it appears the EPA did not mean to release), and attribution of the quote to the wrong senator. Thank you Senator Carper, well stated!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

one color

As I walked at Longwood Gardens, flowers wearing a light shade of lavender caught my eye.

flowers wearing lavendar

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


As I walked on the beach my eyes were pulled by the curves of an empty shell. The beauty created by nature is amazing, isn't it?

snail shell

Monday, March 27, 2017

orchids and poppies

I was delighted with the orchids, the blue poppies, and other varieties of flowers that were on display at Longwood Gardens last week. It's nice to have a large indoor space to house bright flowers when the air outside is cool.

I'm always amazed by the sheer variety of orchids.


The full set of photos can be viewed in the gallery Longwood Gardens :: 2017. Click the slideshow button for easy viewing.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

beach walk

I headed to my volunteer stint today early enough to allow time for a calming walk on the beach. The sights and sounds of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge are wonderful.

beach walk, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Saturday, March 25, 2017


There was no snow in the forecast, a good time for a visit with two important-to-me women in King of Prussia, PA. I drove down on Monday, heading home again today. The first time I drove from home I followed directions (and GPS) on my phone. That took me through Connecticut into the edge of New York and across the George Washington Bridge. I am not a city gal, and I didn't like that route. I've never repeated it, finding better but longer roads.

I've been fine-tuning the route. I discovered I-287 connecting the NJ Turnpike and the NY Thruway on my first return trip. That works nicely. Since then I've been fine-tuning my route between the northwestern corner of Suffern, NY and Sturbridge, MA.

The shorter of two routes that I've used travels on I-84 from Sturbridge to the NY Thruway. That's a bit of an odd road though. The piece from Sturbridge to Hartford behaves like a limited access road, but beyond there it isn't as nice. It's a main road through several cities, and worse than that there are sections where roads come in from the right and then split off to the left.

The longer route from a distance standpoint only takes a little more time. Today I stayed on I-87 until it intersected with I-90 eastbound. From monkeying with mapping software it appears this route is 50+ miles longer - but it only took about 10 minutes more to travel between Suffern and Sturbridge today than it did on my trip down. While the two roads are only two lanes in each direction, it's a much more comfortable drive. The speed was consistent and faster than the shorter road.

I think I'll stick to the longer route in the future unless snow convinces me to go with the southern route.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

in the woods

As I walked along River Trail in the Valley Forge National Historic Park I was delighted to see daffodils in the woods.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

a flower day

With temperatures in the 30s accompanied by howling winds, indoor activity won the day. We headed to Longwood Gardens to wander among the flowers. The annual Orchid Extravaganza is still running, and there were blue poppies in bloom too.

The number of varieties of orchids is just amazing.


blue poppies

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

warming air

It felt like spring today, a welcome change with warming air.

While native flowers aren't in bloom yet I'm getting my flower "fix" from greenhouse visits. A camellia in pink jumped into my camera as I wandered last weekend.


Sunday, March 19, 2017


I was focused on capturing these tiny flowers but I totally missed the many-legged bug until I was home and looking at the photos on my computer. The flowers are quite small, the bug is even smaller!

tiny flower and bug

Can't see the bug? It's white, and it is sitting at about the 8 o'clock spot on the center of the flower.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

greenhouse morning

The ground is still wearing a layer of snow although the temperature is starting to edge up.

Feeling a need for color and flowers, I headed to the greenhouses of Lyman Estate this morning. I never know which flowers will be blooming when I visit but I've never been disappointed.

Here's a splash of color from today's visit.


Friday, March 17, 2017

ice melt

An ice-covered pond is starting to show large patches of open water. It's good to see the water reflecting the bright blue of the sky.

blue sky reflecting

Thursday, March 16, 2017


The temperature has dropped once again into winter.

The spring equinox is just 4 days away; I'm waiting for the welcome warming and new flowers.

green shoots, perennials

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

snow fog

I hoped to walk outside today but the inability to clearly see through the weather conditions kept me inside.

I managed to go far enough to grab a (phone) photo of what is normally a busy Route 125 so I could share the conditions with you. Amazing...

snow fog

The National Weather Service page shows the current conditions as "Heavy Snow Fog and Windy".

Monday, March 13, 2017

reflections on ice

Today's weather was quiet, a calm before coming storm. It was quite cold this morning continuing the trend from the last couple of days.

Ponds were mostly covered in ice; the ice wore reflections.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

chill air

Yesterday I had a much needed exercise rest day; that meant I was ready to move today in spite of the frigid air. When I headed out to walk it was 15 windy degrees with the wind chill pushing the temperature to just below 0. Luckily it's late in the winter - with practice behind me I'm pretty good at judging the right layers to wear.

I was toasty for my entire 4-mile walk.

reflections through snow
photo taken during yesterday afternoon's snow squall

Now it's time to watch the forecasts of Tuesday's predicted nor'easter.

While the words in the National Weather Service website don't yet include snow depths, the Winter Weather Forecast map currently shows the most likely snowfall in my area at 13 inches. Hmm..

Friday, March 10, 2017


This afternoon it was back to winter as snow squalls passed through the area.

Temperatures are predicted to drop to single digits overnight. The weather wizard promises a cold weekend and the potential of a nor'easter on Tuesday.

snow squall highlights trees

For the curious, yes, this is a color photo.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017


Last week's warmth sent me looking for early flowers. Snowdrops were blooming in a spot protected by trees and bushes. It was well worth crawling into the space to get closer to these beautiful early spring blossoms.


The weather wizard says we have some cold days ahead so I'll need to rely on photos of flowers from this season to keep me happy for a while. I won't rule out another greenhouse visit if the cold lingers too long.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

down the crazy tree

The title of an article in yesterday's Boston Globe jumped off the page at me. The article, Trump’s journey down the crazy tree by Michael A. Cohen, is well worth a read. I've included the first and last words below as a teaser.

This weekend Donald Trump fell off the crazy tree and hit every branch on the way down.


But even if not true, the president’s weekend tweetstorm speaks to something even more worrisome — Donald Trump is an unhinged conspiracy troll who is temperamentally and psychologically unsuited to be president of the United States. Whatever the results of the Russia investigations, Trump’s inability to discharge the powers and duties of his office has become impossible to ignore.

credit: Michael A. Cohen, Boston Globe

The events of the weekend clearly caught the eyes of many. I stumbled on words posted by Stephen King on Twitter - little about this president (or perhaps I should call him a non-president) makes me smile, but King's tweets were smile-provoking.

tweets by Stephen King about Donald Trump

Monday, March 06, 2017


This brightly colored piece of clothing draped on a tree caught my eye as I was out walking. The tree is next to a playing field that was empty, no people.

I wonder... is it lost, misplaced, or a deliberate decorative splash of color?


Sunday, March 05, 2017

Painting as a Pastime

I think I was lucky to stumble across the essay "Painting as a Pastime" written by Winston Churchill in 1948. His focus was on using art as a way to deal with

"worry and mental overstrain by persons who, over prolonged periods, have to bear exceptional responsibilities and discharge duties upon a very large scale".

Churchill's fascination was with oil painting, but I can see how other art forms could create a similar feeling. I have a similar feeling about photography, about focusing on seeing small things in the context of a big picture.

Perhaps I need to try painting.

Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely. Light and colour, peace and hope, will keep them company to the end, or almost to the end, of the day.


The whole world is open with all its treasures. The simplest objects have their beauty. Every garden presents innumerable fascinating problems. Every land, every parish, has its own tale to tell. And there are many lands differing from each other in countless ways, and each presenting delicious variants of colour, light, form, and definition. Obviously, then, armed with a paint-box, one cannot be bored, one cannot be left at a loose end, one cannot 'have several days on one's hands.' Good gracious! what there is to admire and how little time there is to see it in! For the first time one begins to envy Methuselah. No doubt he made a very indifferent use of his opportunities.

Winston Churchill, 1948

You can read Churchill's words and see some of his paintings in the Project Gutenberg Canada Ebook by clicking here.

ebook, Painting as a Pastime

Friday, March 03, 2017

first flowers

While the vernal equinox is still two and a half weeks away signs of the season are beginning to emerge. I know we may very well see more snow before spring really emerges but I was very happy to see flowers today.

early crocus

Even though it's early, I've started a gallery titled "spring! 2017" to gather the flowers.

Thursday, March 02, 2017


Sometimes simple things grab my eyes, bringing a peaceful feeling.

As the fog started to lift, closer objects were perfectly framed by the misty air.

a boat stands out on a foggy day

Wednesday, March 01, 2017


While the temperature has been spring-like for a few days now, it's not yet growing season. My color longings were satisfied yesterday with a visit to the greenhouses of Lyman Estate.

It's wonderful to have indoor flower spaces that I can visit when I feel a need for color.

delicate flower

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

broccoli Romanesco

When I saw this new-to-me vegetable at Whole Foods I knew I needed to try it.

Resembling a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, Romanesco is a compact head of beautiful lime green florets attached to a cluster of stalks. These florets form a pyramid of spiraling, pointed cones, resembling a small alien Christmas tree. It is sweet with a mild nutty flavor and absent the somewhat pungent flavor of cauliflower.

description courtesy of Produce Express

The flavor seems close to but a bit different than cauliflower. I'm glad the color and shape enticed me to buy; broccoli Romanesco is now on my list of must buy vegetables.

broccoli Romanesco