Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The ocean at my side...

Ah, the middle day of a 3-day weekend, and I woke this morning to find that the skies were blue and crystal clear. It seemed like a good day to ride by the coast. (Yes, of course, the same New Hampshire coast that I rode along on my quick escape early in May.) I have to admit that I prefer the quietness of the off season, but it was a good destination for today.

My first stop was just before Hampton Beach. I looked to the left just before I started riding up the bridge, and there was a rider standing next to a penny farthing. Amazing. Of course I had to stop to talk with him. The bike was in beautiful shape, and its owner clearly enjoys it. He told me that of the 4000 miles that he rode last year, 800 miles were on the penny farthing. We probably stood talking for at least 20 minutes, and in that time no one else stopped. That surprised me, although I'm not sure why. It just seemed natural to me to stop and say hello.

It was a day of riding and stopping, heeding the call of my camera.

It was also a day for visiting the two mute swans who seem to live in one of the ponds (or maybe I should call it a combination pond and swampy area) on the west side of the road. As I was headed north, I looked across and I could see what I thought were the mute swans on the far side of the water - much too far to see anything other than a couple of white spots. I sent a message winging across the water to them in the hopes of seeing them on my way back. And guess what - they must have received my message because as I was heading south, coming close to "their" water, I could see both of them standing on the side of the road. I quickly stopped short of the birds - after all, it's their space, not mine - and pulled out my camera. I stood there for quite a while, watching, and taking pictures. And again, I was very surprised that people just kept driving by. There was one couple on a motorcycle who stopped and watched the birds, but no one else stopped. I wonder if my habit of traveling by bike makes me more conscious of the things around me. Actually, I think it's probably the other way around - that I enjoy traveling by bike because I like to soak in my surroundings.

A beautiful day for a ride, and a beautiful day for playing with my camera...

Interesting bike - although I can't quite imagine myself riding one of these.

And yes, I did suggest that he switch his hat for a helmet. Although he agreed with me, I suspect he'll keep wearing his hat. It is more in keeping with the time period of the bike. Personally, I'd opt for a modern bicycle helmet.

An interesting spot to dig a hole... although turning your back on the ocean doesn't seem like the right thing to do, this is a pretty quiet area and this little girl's connection to the water was pretty much her own.

These birds are really big.

I checked, and apparently their typical length is between 55 and 62 inches. And I suspect the length is the distance between tail and head. When I "met" them outside of the water, it seemed that the bigger of the two birds came up to my shoulder.

One of the birds seemed to paddle with one foot in the water and one foot out of the water. Not a problem with its feet because both birds quite happily walked along the shoreline on both feet - it just seemed to be a swimming idiosyncracy.

More pictures from today can be found in my photo gallery at

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