Denise Goldberg's blog

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.

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

distance

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.

daffodil

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.

orchids

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.

camellia

Sunday, March 19, 2017

tiny

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.

clivia
clivia

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

waiting

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

squalls

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

snowdrops

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.

snowdrops

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.

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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

misplaced

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?

misplaced

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.

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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

simplicity

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

delicate

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