Denise Goldberg's blog

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sky paintings

A Monday play-day... I have a feeling that going back to my normal 2-day weekends in January is going to be a real shock, but for now, I'm enjoying my December long weekends.

I woke to a gray day, with raindrops occasionally decorating the ground. One of my bikes insisted on a morning ride to start the day, and then it was time to head to the New Hampshire coast to share some walking with a friend. What? You think I'm getting into a bit of a habit of walking along the New Hampshire coast? True, but it's a good habit to have.

The drive to New Hampshire was accompanied by on-and-off rain. It wasn't heavy, but it was (windshield-wiper) noticeable. The weather wizard decided to be kind today though, because when we arrived at Odiorne Point State Park the rain stopped and glimpses of blue edged through the gray sky, providing a backdrop for both white and dark clouds.

Our exploration started indoors, at the Seacoast Discovery Center. Curiosity drew us inside, and I'm glad it did. Sea creatures in glass tanks provided some fascinating visions. There were strange-looking fish who appeared to be watching us (and who I'm sure thought that the 2-legged creatures peering at them through the glass were strange looking too). There was a skate with its underside pressed against the glass; instead of the normal "top of the creature" view we had a clear view of its mouth and a far away view of the eyes that were perched on its top (not bottom) side. And in the same tank there was a wonderful optical illusion - I think caused by the thickness of the glass. The view from the side of the tank appeared to be totally different than from the front. It almost felt like I was looking at two totally different tanks when there was really only one.

Off to another tank... The inhabitants were fish that appeared flat when viewed from the top (or bottom). These creatures apparently change their coloration to blend in with their surroundings. The ones that we were watching were a perfect match to the sand that lined the bottom of the tank.

Curiosity satisfied, it was time to walk and to soak in the views. A loop to the south following a trail started our exploration, but the rocky coastline beckoned. As we turned and headed to the north and east, we left the trail, feet treading on land coated with rounded rocks - no sand here! The ocean was quiet, and clouds painted the sky.

Walking, stopping to enjoy the views, a quiet ocean accompanied us to Frost Point. Rocks adorned the coast on the southern (ocean-facing) side of the point, a strong contrast to the sand-clad northern side looking into Little Harbor. The quickly setting sun decorated the sky and cast gleaming reflections on the water.

Paintings created by sunlight, by patterns of clouds. Absorbing beauty...

A tree silhouetted against a sky striped with clouds.

I find it amazing that the distinct line in the clouds seems to be reflected in the water.

And a little more late day magic...

More photos can be seen in my Beauty on a gray day gallery.

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