Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, March 31, 2007

A tree disguise

Look at that strange tree. It's tall, a straight trunk leading to a very small green hat.

Oops! That's a cell tower masquerading as a tree. What a great disguise.

And where was my camera? You'd think I'd learn to always have a camera at my side for sights like this one. I was on a limited access highway at the time though, so a decent picture still would have been unlikely.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tiny signs of spring

Spring emerging, temperatures easing upwards during the day yet dropping to embrace chill overnight...

Howling winds, a field full of robins, Canada Geese roaming, swimming...

Sprigs of green, a frame for spring perennials, starting to pop up from the still brown ground...

Roads swept clean of sand and salt, an inviting surface for bicycle wheels...

Howling winds...

Oh, I already said that, didn't I? I suppose the winds are a gift from the month of March!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Upside down visions

This morning's snow disappeared from the trees within hours, and the wet roads of the morning were almost totally dry by early afternoon. In spite of cooler than desired temperatures (in the low to mid 40s), I listened to my bikes and headed out on two wheels, camera close at hand.

I had to stop by one of the ponds in Harold Parker State Forest to enjoy the reflections once again. This picture? Yes, it absolutely is right side up!

The curiosity is caused by reflections on open water beneath ice.

A morning greeting

...of white!

I think that someone forgot to tell the weather wizard that it is supposed to be spring. Yes, I know, the season actually trails the vernal equinox, but I prefer to believe the calendar.

Snow! At least it was only about an inch...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Dodging rivers

...and fighting the wind!

The temperatures have been creeping up again; today's low 50s tempted me (or maybe I should say tempted my bike) to use the short after-work daylight for a quick ride.

Some parts of the road were dry, but some were streaming with water from the melting snow. And the wind! Yes, it was trying to push me backwards at times, but I did manage to roll where I wanted to be. It felt good to be moving into spring once more.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


A bird gathering

Ah, it's the first day of spring according to the calendar (if not the weather). Stark branches of trees decorate the sky. And birds decorate the trees.

Look up, the trees are just loaded with birds perched high in the branches. Sitting, chirping, loudly talking. Do you ever wonder what they are talking about? I do!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunshine returns

...accompanied by a chilly wind

It's a weekend day, and the sun is shining. Doesn't that mean I should be wandering on my bike?

I had a bit of an argument(about riding vs. walking) with myself in the morning. I won, of course - don't you always win arguments with yourself? My decision? It was to wander by foot. It was still cold enough that the road surface was dry, but the roads are much narrower than they should be because of the piles of snow (ice!) that line them. And more than that, only the major roads are really clear. Riding and dodging snow turned into icy piles didn't really appeal to me today.

Two feet moving forward, stopping, wandering onto a surface that was soft snow at one point but that had changed to slippery crusted ice... What do you mean I should have stayed on the dry pavement? My baby camera insisted on some photos that required that I walk onto and across that icy snow!

Here's proof that our snow was followed by some form of water from the sky, icicles dripping from a window ledge.

Ruffled feathers... There was no sign of the bird (or birds) that these came from, a nice pile of soft fluff.

Unfortunately I suspect that these beautiful feathers are probably a sign that something bad happened to their owner.

Ah... the gleam of the sun highlighting clouds and the edge of a tree against a brilliant blue sky.


Snow to ice... White snow covered the ground, and draped over stationary items that live outside. It started out as snow, but as the precipitation changed to varying types of freezing water the blanket of snow changed too.

The covering on this car became solid and slid to the side, creating an overhanging curve of ice. A curiosity, and a form of wonder too...

And yes, I'm still eagerly awaiting the metamorphosis from winter to spring, from snow and ice back to bare ground, from brown remnants of last year's plants to buds and colorful flowers. Waiting, waiting...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Blanket of snow


Spring is edging closer, but it's not here yet. The equinox is just a short week away; I have to remind myself that the feeling of spring will probably lag that by several weeks. This week? It's a real jumble of seasons. I was able to take advantage of our unseasonal warmth earlier this week - riding in summer attire - and now the weather map shows an impending snowstorm. Ouch! I think I'm in a bit of a winter funk, and yes, that has been hanging over my head for about the last 6 weeks...

I know better; I haven't been to any interesting destinations since my September trip to Nova Scotia. I suspect that my winter funk is a combination of the months of cold weather (even though this hasn't been a bad winter overall) and my stay-at-home life. I guess I need a mid-winter escape, whether it's a full-length vacation or a simple long weekend away. My goal for next winter is to plan ahead of time and avoid the funk!

For now, I know that spring is not too far away. Even knowing that, I've planned a short escape to help my attitude along. My rules for a long weekend destination is that it is a non-stop flight away, and then that it is within a reasonable distance from my target airport.

Three weeks and counting... I'll be flying into Las Vegas, then driving to Springdale, Utah to play at Zion National Park. I found what appears to be an interesting B&B to serve as my home away from home, and I've always enjoyed wandering at Zion. I'll have two full days to play there, then a traveling day. Since my flight home is in the late afternoon, I'm planning to stop at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada for a little more exploring on my way back to the airport. This will be a hiking and a play with my camera trip...

It's times like these when I really wished I lived on the west coast within reach of Hawaii. And yes, I really would go there for a long weekend. After all, flying to Hawaii from the west coast for an extended weekend isn't much different (from a time perspective) than my planned east coast to west coast jaunt.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A fleeting gift

Technically it's still winter. The spring equinox is not too far off, but given that the change of season seems to lag the equinox, today was either a gift or a huge tease.

Late afternoon warmth... it was 70 degrees out when I rolled down the road on my bike, supporting my first ride of the year in summer cycling clothes. I was lightly clad in shorts and a short-sleeved jersey, just a tad off my usual summer sleeveless attire. And I was warm and comfortable, a wonderful feeling.

The forecast for the next few days signals a return to winter - including the possibility of significant snowfall. But for today? I'm sending thanks to the weather wizard, along with wishes for more days like today.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Loops within loops

Happy! Our return to Daylight Savings Time gives me enough daylight to ride after work. And ride I did...

I headed out as late afternoon traffic was building with everyone rushing for home. And while extended daylight made an after-work ride possible, it didn't give me time to head for lightly traveled roads. I had a solution though - a ride with all right turns!

Loops within loops within loops...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I startled a turkey

...and a turkey startled me!

Close to the end of my two-wheeled wander, I was heading up the road, focusing on both the pavement and the sights around me when I heard something. I looked toward the sound just in time to see big wings to the side and a little behind me. What - or who - was that? I stopped and looked back to see a turkey perched on the guardrail. As I reached for my camera some cars hurtled up the road, and the big bird flew again, ending up high in a tree.

Ah, two days in a row with a reasonable temperature for riding. It was close to 50 degrees out, keeping my hands and feet warm. The roads - awash in snow melt - managed to coat my poor bike with a coating of dirt. Ponds (lakes to those of you who live outside of New England) are still mostly frozen, with swatches of water on top of the ice reflecting light from the sky.

My bicycle was happy with her good ride followed by a bath and re-lube, and I am happier but really wishing for dry roads. I'd like to think that spring is here, but I have a sneaking suspicion that days with relative warmth like today's will still be interspersed with some cold. It's coming though...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Reflections & moving water

Temperatures easing up, bodies of water starting to emerge from their ice-covered state, gray skies decorated with an occasional glimpse of sunshine, reflections of that cloudy sunlight in the puddles sheathing the melting ice, beauty in changes...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

And the North Pole is where?

Something jumped out of the newspaper today and hit me in the face. No really - it did!

As I flipped through the pages of the Boston Globe, the title of an obituary jumped out at me: "William Anderson; sailed sub under North Pole". Tell me, how do you sail under a point on the surface of the earth?

Am I wrong? Is the North Pole somewhere else? I went searching... The Boston Globe obit clearly said "under the North Pole". Out of curiosity, I looked for another obituary for William Anderson, and I found that the LA Times worded their version as "under the polar ice cap to the North Pole". That was more acceptable to my silly brain because I've always thought of the poles as a location on the surface of the earth.

I turned to Wikipedia for a defintion of North Pole and found something that could support either of the two examples. The primary definition matched my understanding though. From Wikipedia:

"When not otherwise qualified, the term North Pole usually refers to the Geographic North Pole – the northernmost point on the surface of the Earth, where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects the Earth's surface."

Perhaps the author of the "under the North Pole" description really meant the North Celestial Pole,

"an imaginary point in the northern sky towards which the Earth's axis of rotation points".

I've been told that the way my brain is wired is sometimes too precise. Perhaps this is an example of that somewhat wacky behavior...

Monday, March 05, 2007


...can you hear the wind?

The temperature was still reasonable today - in the 30s - but the wind was absolutely howling. I could hear it, and I could see it in the wild shifting of clouds across a bright blue sky, the swaying of light poles, and flags standing at attention. I missed the snow squalls on my way home though; apparently there were whiteout conditions in several spots.

And yes, I did walk outside tonight. I have a feeling that my exercise for the next couple of days will be inside because of the extreme cold that is marching our way; I had to take advantage of the reasonable temperature today in spite of the wind!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Chasing the setting sun


I feel like I've been glued to my computer lately. Why? I've been playing with my photo galleries, changing the look & feel from the default SmugMug format to something else.

What did I change? Entering the site at the home page starts a slide show of some of my favorite photos. The individual photo galleries are unchanged, but I've exposed a page showing keywords. You can now look at individual galleries (as you could do in the past), or you can select a keyword to see all photos that fall into that category across galleries. You'll also see the keywords listed under each photo - so if you start in a gallery and see a subject that interests you, just click on the keyword to change your view.

Curious? Click to see the changes. If you have feedback, or you'd like to see some more (specific) changes, you can either sign my guestbook or click Contact me from my photo gallery to send me an email.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Attempting to dodge puddles

In case you're wondering, my attempts to dodge the puddles and rivers streaming down the road were definitely not successful. It was a wonderful day to play outside from a temperature standpoint though - so play I did!

I wandered a bit further afield on my bike today. On cold days I have a tendency to stay closer to home thinking that if I get really chilled I'll have a shorter distance to get back to warmth. Today? The temperature of 47 degrees when I headed out felt positively balmy! And yes, I do know that in a couple of months 47 degrees will probably feel cold. For now, that's an awesome riding temperature.

Along with the wet roads, the scenery of the day was snow-covered terrain. Ponds still bore their icy tops even though open spots occasionally poked out around the edges. An occasional robin popped up to greet me, and squirrels poked their heads out before skittering back up into the trees. I guess we were all enjoying the warmth!

Home again, it was time for a serious bike cleaning (and re-lube). And then, a look at myself, bright yellow jacket and black tights decorated with mud splatters... Shower and laundry time, the end of an enjoyable wander.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sights and sounds...

...of a gray (still) winter morning

I woke to the sound of precipitation. The snow had stopped after dropping about an inch, and wet stuff continued to fall from the sky with the occasional snow flake scattered through the falling water. By the time I headed out, it was just regular rain, no more of the freezing (slippery but more interesting) types of precipitation.

Rain, heavy rain... At the office, I left my car resting comfortably in the garage and walked the short distance to the building. There was ice under foot, crunch, crunch, slippery. A group of Canada Geese flew overhead in a crooked V, honking, singing, a beautiful image captured in my mind... And then there was the wind. The light poles were swaying, and the rain was flying sideways.

As much as I like dry weather, today's wet is still a form of beauty.

And there is warmth of a sort in the forecast for tomorrow. The temperatures are supposed to be in the high 40s. So weather wizard, is it possible to get this wet stuff out of the way today so that I can play outside tomorrow without getting soaked?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I thought you were...

...a helicopter!

That's a new one for me. When I walk around the edges of daylight, I always wear flashing lights - three blue lights facing forward, and two red ones facing backward. I've had people tell me how visible I am, and I've had people tell me that they thought I was a police car - but a helicopter?

I was on a relatively dark road, when I crossed paths with a couple and their dog. I said hello, and the woman said "I thought you were a helicopter"! Given that I am not that big, I guess it would have been a helicopter landing in a residential neighborhood. A little odd, but an interesting trick of the mind.

That comment definitely brought a smile to my face!