Denise Goldberg's blog

Thursday, June 22, 2017

mountain laurel

One of the things Maudslay State Park is known for is " of the largest naturally-occurring stands of mountain laurel in Massachusetts". I had never before walked in the area of the park where the mountain laurel live; today I set out to correct that lapse.

It was simply amazing to be in the woods surrounded by a sea of exquisite white flowers.

mountain laurel

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


It seems that the flowers in the garden know that the summer solstice has arrived. The beauties of late spring - the iris and the peonies - are faded and almost gone. Summer blooms are starting to arrive.

While I prefer the cooler temperatures of spring and autumn, the longer days of summer can be a treat. Technically the solstice started at 12:24 AM today, making yesterday the longest day of the year.

wild rose

If you're curious about the solstice you may be interested in the article Summer solstice is here. What does it mean? in today's Boston Globe.

Monday, June 19, 2017

back to the beach

Today felt like a good time to visit the completed sand sculptures at Hampton Beach. While the light later in the day would have been kinder from both a photographic and a looking point of view, I chose to listen to the forecast of a severe thunderstorm watch for the afternoon, heading to the beach in the early morning.

I headed straight for the sand sculptures, comparing the in progress work in my mind with the finished creations waiting to delight the eye.

Get out of the box, by Abe Waterman

I walked on the beach for a while, eventually moving to the sidewalk as the water encroached on the sea wall. The air inland was a bit muggy but there was cool air rising from the ocean, a wonderful feeling.

Photos of the finished sculptures can be seen in the gallery emergence :: Hampton Beach 2017 starting with this photo.

Sunday, June 18, 2017


Tiny flowers appear in a cloud of white.

tiny flowers in white

Saturday, June 17, 2017

emerging from sand

This is the week of the annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic. The solo competition runs for three days, with the sculptors set to work specified hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Since I enjoy seeing the work in progress, I headed to Hampton Beach in the middle of the day yesterday.

The sculptors were on their lunch break when I arrived. That meant I could see the sculptures at a quiet point, and that I was able to watch some of the creative process a bit later. As always, I'm in awe at what these skillful sculptors are able to create from sand.

Keep in mind that the sculptures in the photos below are works in progress; work time left included Friday afternoon, and Saturday.

Look at the eyes in the second sculpture below, simply amazing.

sand sculpture at Hampton Beach

sand sculpture at Hampton Beach

The full gallery can be seen by clicking emergence :: Hampton Beach 2017.

My goal is to head back within the next few days to see the finished creations.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


I was about to head for home when I looked up and saw an impressionist painting, a reflection on the surface of a pond at Harold Parker State Forest.

I moved closer to the water, looking, enjoying the beauty.

a watercolor, at Harold Parker State Forest

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

a busy bee

As my eyes seek the color and shapes of a beautiful garden, bees feast on the nectar of the flowers.

bee on flower

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


You can see a glimpse of the pale purple flowers of a false blue indigo in the background. This evening the green of the opening leaves caught my eyes.

leaves of a false blue indigo

calm water

Yesterday afternoon I braved the heat for a walk along the water in Portsmouth, NH.

It's always interesting to see the current state of construction on the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery. There are more connected (or almost connected) bridge sections in place than there were the last time I visited.

Sarah Mildred Long Bridge construction

The new bridge is scheduled to open to traffic in late September or early October, with project completion in June of 2018.

If you're curious, check the MaineDOT page The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge Replacement - The Regional River Crossing .

Monday, June 12, 2017


I spotted a rabbit happily munching on grass this evening. Somehow I managed to sneak outside without startling him; moving closer was not an option.


Sunday, June 11, 2017


Purple shines in this beauty of an iris.

purple iris in late day light

Saturday, June 10, 2017


This afternoon I followed an urge to walk at Maudslay State Park. I had no flower expectations although I suspected I would find color popping in the woods.

It was peaceful. Although there were other people walking and mountain biking, I found solitude in the woods.

As I turned a corner on the trail I heard a crashing noise. I stood still, quiet, looking around. As I turned my head to the left I saw a deer looking back at me. We both stood silently for a few minutes, watching each other.

Later, my eyes caught some bright flowers, azalea in wonderful shades of orange. Oh look! A butterfly, enjoying the flowers, stayed on its floral perch and posed for me.

a deer in the woods

butterfly on azalea

early evening

Yesterday's visit to the garden early in the evening framed flowers in magic light. An iris standing tall shares wonderful color.

iris in early evening light

Friday, June 09, 2017

in the wind

Focusing on delicate flowers can be a challenge as they dance in the wind.

yellow daisies dance in the wind

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

spring green

Trees in Acadia were dressed in light green shades of spring. The growing and leaf season starts a little later there than it does at home.

spring green, in Acadia National Park

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

photos! Acadia

Photos from my recent wander in Acadia National Park are available for viewing in two galleries, one focusing on my wanders in the park and the other focused mainly on outside-of-the-park gardens (with a few additional images).

Start your viewing by clicking to the top level gallery Acadia :: May 2017 or by clicking on one of the photos below to go to a specific gallery.

wandering Acadia

on the Schoodic Peninsula

gardens, and...


Monday, June 05, 2017

raindrops on iris

Light rain fell early this morning. When it stopped I set out to visit the iris. I found beautiful flowers dressed in droplets of water.

iris in deep purple

what's next?

I think our trip to Acadia was a great success. We had sun and clouds and a little rain too. Denise really prefers changing weather, so the weather wizard's changing conditions made her happy.

Denise is still sorting through the photos that jumped into her camera, and I am starting to think about another away from home wandering spot. I'm not sure where that will be but it's always good to dream.

--- Rover
Rover, at Jordan Pond
standing on a big rock at Jordan Pond

Sunday, June 04, 2017

edged in purple

This iris wears a painted look with petals edged in purple. I'm in awe at their beauty.


Saturday, June 03, 2017

blue behind clouds

On my last morning in Acadia I could see blue behind clouds as I looked to the center of the island. Once I reached the coast the blue sky disappeared.

along Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park

Friday, June 02, 2017


In the time since my last garden visit just five days ago the iris have started to open. Some are in full bloom, others wait to provide decoration a little later.

This cluster of white iris creates a dreamy image.

white iris

Thursday, June 01, 2017

morning walk

For our last morning in the park we chose to walk a portion of Ocean Path. It runs along the coast from Sand Beach all of the way to Otter Point. We actually walked a good chunk of this trail on Tuesday; today we walked a different section.

It's funny, when we left Bar Harbor this morning to head into the park the sky was clear. As we drove on Park Loop road we started to see some clouds. When we looked out over the ocean we saw what looked like fog. The misty gray didn't extend inland; it seemed to be hovering over the sea, filling the sky with gray. I thought it was interesting.

Denise & I had a good wander - we both really like Acadia.

--- Rover
along Ocean Path, Acadia National Park

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

upside down

I think our day today was upside down because we were planning to walk from our B&B to the Wild Gardens of Acadia via Jesup Path this morning - but we didn't head down that trail until the end of the day. Denise says that's not an upside down day, but I think it is.

It was a good day though, no matter the order of our activities.

When we looked at the weather forecast last night it called for rain early, then clearing. The forecast was a bit flipped this morning - sprinkles in the morning, then rain starting later. Since Denise doesn't mind walking Jesup Path in the rain we moved it to later in the day.

Our first stop of the day was Schooner Point. The view at the end of that trail is amazing, and the ocean was quite active. Next we parked by The Tarn, walking through the woods to the Wild Gardens. When we finished there we headed back to Park Loop Road for a combination of driving and walking. Our longish walk was out and back, a nice distance doubled. There were occasional sprinkles, but nothing to convince me to jump into Denise's camera bag to stay dry.

We stopped at a beach of rounded rocks, one that doesn't seem to have a name. I know, it must have one but I can't find it! Denise finds the round rocks to be difficult to walk on but she likes to visit there because the waves and the rocks create their own kind of music.

... the waves rattle the stones, as if a child has dumped over a large bucket of marbles.

Bob Trebilcock, "In Defense of Maine's Cobblestones",
Yankee magazine, April 1988

By the time we arrived at Jordan Pond it was raining sideways. We kept on driving, heading up Cadillac Mountain to check the crazy conditions. It was cloudy, foggy, and very wet. We didn't stay too long!

When we arrived back at our home at the Holland Inn the air was clear. After a few minutes rest we headed out to walk to Sieurs de Mont. As always, it was a good walk and a good day.

--- Rover
along Park Loop Road, Acadia National Park

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

walking, watching

It was a day of walking short trails, a good mixture of flat and hilly. Whenever I walk with Denise I see new things; she is teaching me to look around as I bounce down the trail. Sometimes I like doing a long trail but I'm learning to like stopping and looking around. It's hard to walk with Denise without picking up that habit!

The sky was mostly clear in the morning but in the afternoon interesting looking clouds started to accumulate. I first noticed the clouds when we were walking near Jordan Pond. I thought we were going to head to Cadillac Mountain in the early evening - before sunset - but when Denise saw the late afternoon sky decorations she decided we needed to change our plans. It was windy and a bit chilly at the top of the mountain. The cloud paintings were wonderful!

The weather wizard says it might be a bit wet here tomorrow. It's possible we may be doing some walking in the rain.

--- Rover
on Jordan Pond

garden morning

We started out this morning with a focus on gardens.

Before the flowers, we bounced down a short trail to Hunter's Beach. I think it's a bit odd that the name says "beach" because that word makes me think of sand. This is a beach composed of round rocks. Denise say they are hard to walk on; that must be because she is bigger than me. I was able to bounce across quite comfortably. It's too bad it was low tide when we visited; at high tide the water makes the rocks roll against each other creating a kind of music.

The first flower stop was at Thuya Garden in Northeast Harbor. We walked a winding trail up the hill, then wandered through the garden. It was too early in the season for most of the flowers at Thuya; the garden was very green, with just a few blooms. It was a good walk though.

Next we absorbed the color at Asticou Azalea Garden. It's been a while since we visited when the azaleas are in bloom. Some of the azalea were past peak, some were in prime conditions, and others were still in a bud stage. What a delightful place!

The last garden of the day was the Charlotte Rhoades Park & Butterfly Garden. Flowers in bloom included a few tulips and a couple of thriving patches of very purple dwarf iris. I'd love to see this garden as summer approaches; a garden designed to attract butterflies seems like it would be a good place to visit often.

--- Rover
at Asticou Azalea Garden

Monday, May 29, 2017

to Schoodic

Our first wander of the trip was at the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula. We've decided that Schoodic Point is a place of pure magic.

The tip of the peninsula is made up of very walkable big granite rocks, with black, basalt dikes drawing patterns through the pink granite.

The most striking bedrock feature at Schoodic Point is the array of black, basalt dikes which cut through the pale pink granite. Basalt is a smooth, dark colored rock that forms from rapid cooling of molten rock. In places where the molten rock erupts on the earth's surface, as in Hawaii or Iceland, basalt is a volcanic rock (lava).

credit Maine Geological Survey

Tomorrow we'll be wandering on Mount Desert Island, in Acadia and in some spots outside of the park too. I really like it here!

--- Rover

on the Schoodic Peninsula

driving north & east

We had a pretty early start today, jumping on the road at 7:30 AM (just a half hour later than Denise planned to leave). I think that was pretty good, don't you?

I wondered if we would run into holiday traffic but Denise told me she thought it was probably too early. We saw a pretty long line of cars heading towards north towards Bangor on Route 1 as we were heading south. That was just after 11 so I guess that might have been folks heading home from Acadia.

The weather was pretty good. It was cloudy when we left home. By the time we started across the bridge across the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth the upper sections of the bridge were covered by fog. Then it rained just a bit, staying gray until we turned toward the Schoodic Peninsula.

I thought it was a good drive. I know, I know, I was just watching, not driving - but Denise said it was a very reasonable drive.

--- Rover


Iris has always been a favorite flower of mine. As I walk through the garden I see a few that are open, with many others showing buds in different stages of flowering. I'm looking forward to seeing the intricacies of these soon to open beauties.

iris, preparing to open

Sunday, May 28, 2017


Poppies create a bright splash of color in the garden.


Saturday, May 27, 2017


Wow, I just realized that it's been a really long time since I wrote. I try to help Denise by writing blog entries when we travel to very cool places. That gives her more time to play with her camera without the need to think about words too. I just looked back, and the last time I wrote was during our visit to Acadia National Park last fall. Yikes! I guess I need to start gathering a list of travel places for later this year.

Over the past several years (or maybe more than that!) we have been trying to visit Acadia twice a year, once in the spring, and once in the fall. We usually go in early May but Denise says that some things got in the way of that this year. When I saw that the end of the month was coming I started telling her that I need a trip to Downeast Maine even if she doesn't. I'm so glad she listened to me; she said she needs a wander there too! Happy, happy...

I just checked the weather forecast for Bar Harbor and it looks like it could be a little wet while we're visiting. I know Denise likes cloudy days; if it's wet I can always jump into the camera bag to stay dry. I guess I'd better remind Denise to bring her rain jacket for wandering in possibly wet conditions.

Soon... we'll be off and wandering!

--- Rover

Rover, on Jesup Path in Acadia National Park
on Jesup Path in Acadia, during our visit last October

Thursday, May 25, 2017

early iris

As the spring evolves, the flowers in bloom change. As I walked in the garden on this rainy afternoon I saw my first iris of the season. I've always been fascinated by the delicate and intricate designs of these flowers.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

pink pops

Maudslay State Park was created from an old estate that was full of flowering plants and trees. Walking in the woods in the season of flowers can be a delight; the colors of both azalea and rhododendron pop from the surrounding green.

pink rhododendron

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Tiny yellow flowers decorate the landscape; it's time for buttercups!


Sunday, May 21, 2017

almost open

A few azalea and rhododendron are in full bloom but many are just starting to open.

azalea, almost open

Saturday, May 20, 2017

a walk in the woods

This afternoon I headed to the Harold Parker State Forest for a walk in the woods. Clear skies and quiet waters allowed trees to form a perfect reflection.

trees and reflection, at Harold Parker State Forest

Friday, May 19, 2017


I started by focusing on the full bloom of a lilac, walking close enough to smell the flowers. Then I realized it was the individual tiny flowers that were pulling me closer.


Thursday, May 18, 2017


Periwinkle is the star in this sea of flowers.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017


The petals of a flower open, wearing a bright color and subtle signs of decay at the same time.

a flower opening

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

forget me not

A tiny flower wears a name that asking to be remembered.

As I walked the gardens at Long Hill today I saw carpets of blue forget me nots, simply beautiful.

forget me not

More flowers from today's garden visit can be viewed in the gallery Long Hill :: 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017


I find the simple beauty of a single flower to be amazing.

tulip in pink
a tulip wearing bright pink

Sunday, May 14, 2017

wet and windy

Today's weather was wet, windy, and a bit chilly with temperatures hovering in the mid-40s for much of the day. Before my volunteer time in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge this afternoon, I headed to the refuge for a wet walk, starting on the inland side of the refuge.

2 Canada Goose and a robin

While the beach in the refuge is closed for the piping plover nesting season I was able to walk to the sand north of the closure point and look to the south. It was almost high tide, and the ocean was quite active.

near high tide, at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

I feel a sense of calm whenever I visit the refuge.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

to Maudslay

This morning felt like a good time for a visit to Maudslay State Park. It had been several weeks since my last visit; I wanted to check the state of the flowers.

Maudslay, the former Moseley family estate on the Merrimack River, has azaleas and rhododendrons scattered through the property. These wonderful flowers usually bloom in May and June. Today I found dogwood in full bloom with the azaleas and rhododendrons just starting to show color. It's always a good day for a walk at Maudslay; I know I'll return to check the spring colors more than once.

Some trees show full leaves, others have leaves just emerging in light shades of spring green.

green grass and trees, at Maudslay State Park

As I was walking I looked up to enjoy pink rhododendron, and down to see pops of purple periwinkle in a sea of green.



Friday, May 12, 2017

flowering trees

Bright colors jump from flowering trees creating delightful scenes.

flowering trees

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Sometimes it's important to look down. Tiny flowers in purple hug the ground, sharing their intricacy with those who look for beauty.

viola sororia
viola sororia

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

bridge of flowers

After yesterday's visit with butterflies I headed to Shelburne Falls for a first visit to The Bridge of Flowers. I'm lucky that a friend told me about this wonderful place recently; that was the first I'd heard of it.

The Bridge of Flowers lives on an old trolley bridge crossing the Deerfield River in Shelburne Falls. Two years after the street railway company went bankrupt, a local woman proposed turning the bridge into a garden. It was opened in 1929 and was repaired in 1983 after concerns about deterioration of the bridge structure. The bridge serves as a home to a beautiful garden and it also carries an 8-inch water line carrying up to half a million gallons of water a day. I suspect that the presence of the water line added to the push for restoration. I'm glad the work was done; it's a beautiful sight!

The entry to the bridge warns against 4-legged visitors.

no dogs, bridge of flowers

The bridge was full of tulips and other early spring flowers. Tulips at home are fully open and nearing the end of their bloom; those on the bridge were just opening.

tulip on bridge of flowers

When I finished communing with the flowers I walked along the river, heading towards a dam on the Deerfield River.

in Shelburne Falls

More photos can be seen in the gallery a bridge, a river, flowers!