Denise Goldberg's blog

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A walk in the snow

Would you say that it was snowing just a bit?

snow steadily falling

Working at home on snowy days like today gives me the option for a nice mid-day walk, a walk while the sun is still shining. Yes, I know, the sun was really hiding behind the clouds; it was a very gray day. But it was light out, not the dark of my normal evening walk.

Footing was a bit slippery. For the most part I was able to put my feet down on non-icy surfaces but I did have a couple of sliding moments. It was a good afternoon for a walk. As much as I'd like the ground to stay dry, snow really can be beautiful.

snow packed remnant of a wildflower

snow on evergreen

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mixing words and pictures

I jumped onto Denise's computer while she was at work today. I needed to select some photos to scatter among the words describing our wanderings in the desert.

When she got home tonight we went through my choices and added photos to the posts about our trip. I know, I know, you've probably already read about our trip, haven't you? If you're curious about the landscape that inspired the words... well, I think you should scroll through the posts from our trip one more time. And this time, you will be able to enjoy a few photos too.

--- Rover

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Emerging blue

One variation of today's weather forecast called for the rain to stop by late morning. The forecast and the wet didn't agree; it seemed as if it was going to be another day without sunshine.

I waited until the air changed from wet to dry in the middle of the afternoon before I headed out walking. The temperature was a very warm 54 degrees, warmth in December! The wind cleared the gray, sending white clouds flying across a bright blue background.

blue sky painted in white clouds

Desert images

My photos have jumped from my camera and are now available for viewing. You can start with the top level gallery, Desert beckoning - December 2009, or you can click on the photos below to enter a specific gallery.

Addiction... Death Valley:

Addiction... Death Valley

Ghosts of Rhyolite:

Ghosts of Rhyolite

Afternoon & morning in Red Rock Canyon:

Afternoon & morning in Red Rock Canyon

Words? You can find my ramblings in my blog entries tagged Death Valley December 2009.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Warmth & sunshine

A mid-week day off, a day with a forecast for sun and (relative) warmth...

It was cloudy at home, but as the temperature edged up towards 40, I jumped into my car and headed for the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve to satisfy my need to walk along the ocean. I was rewarded by sunshine, by paths that bore a light coating of snow, enough to decorate the landscape but not enough to make walking difficult.

As I got closer to the coast I started to hear the crash of ocean waves. It must have been a greeting for me; as soon as I started walking the crashing sound receded. My walk was calming, very enjoyable.

A quick stop at Cape Neddick to see Nubble Light capped my wanderings.

quiet, beach rock unearthed by waves

snow covered beach, winding river

Cape Neddick Nubble Light

A few more photos from today can be found in the gallery White, winter... 2010.

Monday, December 21, 2009


I really thought that I wouldn't need to write to tell you that the photos from our trip will be coming soon. I guess I assumed that they would be ready by now, even though I know it takes time.

Denise spent a lot of time at her computer over the weekend going through the photos from our too short trip, and she is still at it. Trips are always too short, aren't they? She is identifying the keepers and getting rid of those that don't live up to her quality standards. She seems to get pickier and pickier! When I asked this morning, Denise said that she is close, just not done yet.

In the meantime, here's a shot of me on our very salty walk beyond the boardwalk on the Salt Creek trail.

--- Rover
Rover walking on salt, Death Valley National Park

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I woke to a world of white. White on the ground, white flakes in the air, a little fog too. Snow...

snow on trees

Yes, I suppose it really is winter.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ice to ocean

It was gray and cold, but with snow forecast to begin late tonight I knew I needed to get some wandering in today. I grabbed my camera and headed to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

The inland side of Plum Island showed (mostly) frozen water, in contrast to the rolling active ocean on the east side.



More photos can be seen in the gallery Ice to ocean... Parker River

Thursday, December 17, 2009


That was fast. I gave Canon the go ahead to repair my camera yesterday. They fixed it, shipped it, and it was back in my hands this morning, ready for camera play.

I'm happy!


Sometimes I let myself think about where I would like to live when I retire. I know, I know, that's still a long way off. Perhaps I should be planning - but plans are made to be broken. So I'll just continue to wonder, to dream.

There were many years when I thought I'd like to live in the Pacific Northwest. Then I thought about the rain, the gray. The area still holds interest, but right now it's down the list a bit.

My next thought was somewhere in Colorado, east of the Rockies so I wouldn't be in heavy snow for the entire winter, with the snow reachable when I wanted to play in the cold. That thought has been with me for quite a number of years now.

Two places, both in the west. Instead of becoming more certain, ideas have been percolating.

I've been spending more time near the ocean lately, and I'm not sure I want to give it up. From my current home in eastern Massachusetts, I can ride my bike to the coast. Or I can hop in my car, drive for as short a time as 40 minutes, and find myself in an ocean-wandering spot. I've been doing that more and more often lately.

I'm thinking somewhere in south coastal Maine would be a good spot, maybe in the Portland area. That gives me the ocean, a reasonable jump up to Acadia National Park, relatively easy access to the Maritime Provinces. Maine still means four (classic) seasons, including my not-favorite winter snow and cold.

But then, I keep running off to the southwest, don't I? Much as I dislike the gambling aspect of Las Vegas, I'm starting to think it would be a good place to live. I had an interesting conversation with a cyclist in Red Rock Canyon on Tuesday morning. He had stopped for a quick (warming / cooling) layers change and an energy bar. I started chatting with him, saying that it appeared that the loop road was a wonderful place to ride. He said that it is, told me that he chose to live not far from there in order to have good access to the park. Riding is reasonable year-round, although June, July, and August are brutal from a heat standpoint. Those months call for very early morning exercise.

I think it's the access to some drop-dead gorgeous parks that really pulls me in. Death Valley, Zion, Bryce, the Mojave Desert, more...

Huh. Living in the desert?

Could I survive the summer heat? More than that, could I live and be active in that season?

No ocean access. But the California coast isn't that far away. And there's good air service to Las Vegas.

No plans, just thinking...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Canon conversation

I spoke with Canon support today about my misbehaving camera.

It was a case of a disappearing email; the electronic estimate they sent never reached my mail box, but an estimate by voice worked. I gave them an OK to do the work (along with my credit card number of course!) and I was told I should have my camera in my hands once more in 5 to 7 days. I'll be happy when it's back to satisfy my photo-play needs.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Welcome (back) to Manchester

The airport was (almost) empty when we landed. The only person at the Southwest ticket counter was this snow person.

snow person
--- Rover

In the sky

Everything was moving much faster than expected at the airport today. Denise thought McCarran was more of a wait-in-line airport than Manchester, but that just wasn’t the case today.

We finished the loop at Red Rock Canyon at a little after 1. Time to head to the airport... It was about a 20 to 25 minute drive to the rental car return. Car returned, Denise swapped part of her hiking dress for travel attire, time to check baggage. Funny, we used to try to just do carry-on, but since Denise started carrying her big camera and two lenses and both a tripod and a monopod she has been checked a bag. Oh! The camera stays with us. It's sort of OK if clothes get misplaced, but the camera is another story entirely. She actually asked someone from the TSA if it would be OK to carry the tripod onto the plane, and he said that they aren't restricted. That surprised both of us. It's too much stuff to carry on though.

The airport was so quiet that Denise said something to one of the people at Southwest. The women said "quiet, don't jinx us!". She said the business goes in spurts; we just happened to walk in during a lull.

We'll miss our normal evening eating time today, so we grabbed some food (veggie pizza, yum!), relaxed a bit, then headed for the gate. I kept an eye on the window, looking at the wisps of clouds that painted the sky. Then, I saw our big airplane pull up, early.

Do you like flying? We can't see much except for clouds, but it lets us wander much further (in a short period of time) than we would be able to if we stayed on the ground. I like the feeling when we take off, climbing at a steep angle, flying. I'm still amazed that these big heavy airplanes can get off of the ground. I mean, even if I run really fast I can't fly myself. And the airplane is bigger and heavier than I am. I keep reading about flying (you do know that I use Denise's big computer when she's not home, don't you?). For now I just accept that flying is possible.

And oh! I'm so happy to be able to travel. We're heading home now, which means it's time to start passing ideas to Denise for our next trip.

--- Rover


One last morning, one more chunk of time to absorb and enjoy the beauty of Red Rock Canyon... There's such an amazing contrast between the section of red rocks close to the entry of the loop through the park and the jagged mountains visible to the north and west.

It was interesting to be able to see the park in both late afternoon and morning light. I didn't have a full day to spend there on this trip, but the combination of yesterday afternoon and this morning showed different lighting conditions. The sun did a few disappearing acts this morning, escaping behind a cloud and then jumping out again. The rocks went from vibrant to quiet, back to vibrant again.

The sun warmed the air allowing me to shed my light layers. And those layers jumped right back on as I walked a trail through narrow openings in the rocks, in the shade. Patches of snow still decorated the edges of the path. I chatted with a hiker going in the opposite direction as he constructed a very baby snow person (yes, inches high, not feet!), carefully placing it in a shaded section of the trail. There really wasn't that much snow...

If I lived here, I think I could very easily spend a lot of time in this beautiful place. I will return, soon...

cloud painting, mountains, red rock canyon

red rock canyon

red rock canyon

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jumping to Red Rock Canyon

It was close to noon by the time I pointed the car towards Las Vegas. Driving...

I headed straight to Red Rock Canyon for an afternoon walk. My first stop was the new visitor center, a beautiful building with a full wall of glass overlooking the very red rocks of the Calico Hills.

window at the visitor center, Red Rock Canyon

I knew that my mid-afternoon arrival didn't provide a lot of daylight, so I stopped at the first parking area (Calico I) to begin my walk. Red rocks, fabulous shapes, some solid red, some wearing stripes...

red rock canyon

I headed further around the loop road, stopping at the High Point Overlook (at an elevation of 4771 feet). Looking to the east I could see red rocks. To the north and west were jagged peaks decorated with a brush of snow. While most of the snow was on the high peaks, there were some small patches of snow on the ground at the overlook. I've been looking at white for the past 4 days and seeing salt. Today's remnants of snow surprised me.

The sun quickly dropped below the peaks. It was time to find my home for the night, to dream of one more day of walking among red rocks.

late day in red rock canyon

Sand dune sunrise

Morning, still dark, the Sand Dunes were calling to me. The sky was well beyond dark when my feet started moving across the dunes, seeking a place to wait for the sun to rise above the mountains. I walked through flat areas, climbed diagonally up steep dunes, walked a bit further. And then I waited.

It was a beautiful clear sky morning. I could see light reflecting on the mountains before the sun jumped above the horizon. Funny, sunrises seem more impressive when the sky is decorated with clouds, turning colors as the sun moves higher. The sun seemed to edge up slowly and then that flaming ball jumped above the mountains, highlighting ripples in the sand. Beautiful.

sunrise over sand dunes

sunrise over sand dunes

Until last night's ranger talk my Death Valley morning plans were simply to absorb the sights of the sunrise. But then, Bob showed a photo of the spring that is the point of origin of Salt Creek. I walked the Salt Creek boardwalk already, but it didn't take much to convince me to head out there again this morning. I asked Bob how to find the spring, and he told me where to find the jumping off point. Boardwalk to a trail across a salty surface, to water sparkling, reflecting. Deatb Valley is very much a desert, and yet... As I walked I saw the white of salt, green desert plants, and the occasional pool of water.

salt creek

salt creek

Rover and I left for our sunrise viewing just before 6 AM, and it was 10 by the time we returned from Salt Creek. It was time for a late breakfast and time to throw my bags in the car. Before leaving the park, there was one more stop we needed to make.

Bob's talk last night mentioned one more thing that I decided I needed to find. He showed a photo of a sinkhole in Devil's Golf Course. I looked, I walked a bit, heading to the southwest from the information sign (per Bob's description). No sinkhole... Obviously I wasn't in the right place - and neither were the other people who were also searching for sinkholes. The surface is a scary one to walk on - uneven, jagged blocks of crystalline salt.
Oh! I need to jump in here so you know I am looking out for Denise. I told her to be very careful because I think it would really hurt if she tripped and hit the ground - and she listened. She set her feet down carefully on the very crunchy uneven surface. I walked with her down a smooth salty trail to find the spring from which Salt Creek flows, but I told her I wanted to ride in her camera bag instead of bouncing through the clumpy salt of Devil's Golf Course. I think that would have hurt my feet.

--- Rover
Last day in Death Valley National Park for now... but I know that I will be back again. I think this is a good park addiction.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Blue skies, blue mountains, it was a beauty of a day!

It was a day of mixed but constant motion, some human-powered, much not. I started by driving north, driving, driving, My first destination was Ubehebe Crater, formed by a volcanic eruption some 2000 years ago. That's very young in the overall geologic history of Death Valley. Amazingly (to me, at least), there was water at the bottom of some of the craters. When I asked about yesterday's rainfall totals, I found that while only .02 inches were recorded at Furnace Creek, a half of an inch of water fell at Scotty's Castle which is about 8 miles from Ubehebe Crater. That's a lot of water for this very dry place.


Ubehebe Crater

little hebe crater

Next was a wander out of the park, a repeat visit to the Goldwell Open Air Museum on the edge of Rhyolite, Nevada. I was so fascinated with the sculptures last year that I just had to go back. I even noticed a feature of the large mosaic sofa that I somehow missed last year. There is a section of tiles on the back side that are mirrored. It was fun seeing the sky and the landscape reflected in those tiles.

Denise's face reflected in mosaic sofa

Rover posing with a ghost
I thought these two shots were interesting. The first is Denise trying to catch a reflection of herself. Can you see her face? And this one? It's me posed on the arm of one of those wonderful ghosts. Fun!
--- Rover
Back in the park there was time for a loop around Artist's Drive before the sun dropped behind the mountains. The strong colors there contrasted with the mountains in the distance wearing shades of blue. Blue mountains, blue skies...

sunset over salt

It was warm enough to shed some layers while I was walking. It was warm enough to tempt me to take a dip in the pool at the end of my day. The pool here at Furnace Creek Ranch is fed from a warm spring, with a water temperature of 84 degrees fahrenheit. The air temperature was probably about 60 degrees when I headed for the pool. Ah, that felt good.

warm spring fed swimming pool

Another treat was in store as I walked back to my room from the evening ranger presentation at the visitor center. The sky is clear tonight, filled with glittering stars. The treat of the night was seeing the streaks of light from the Geminids meteor showers.

Another good day...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hey! My wish came true

It was a water kind of day today, water in the ground, water from the sky.

Oh! In case you're wondering, I thought Denise could use non-writing day, so I'm going to tell our day's story.

The morning sky was gray, and then suddenly there were patches of blue and streams of light flowing from the edges of the clouds down to the ground. The blue didn't stay very long, but it was nice to see even for a short time.

We started today's wandering by bouncing down the boardwalk at the Salt Creek Interpretive Trail. There's a small creek there, one that usually has water in it. It's the home of some little fish called pupfish, but they didn't show themselves today. We saw water, and we saw reflections. And oh! it was so beautiful.

salt creek

salt creek

We headed back to the south. I thought we were going to wander near Mustard Canyon, but Denise pulled off to the side of the road way before the turnoff. I looked out, and I saw why she stopped. There were more salt flats, and it looked like there was water there too. We jumped across some gravelly stuff, then wandered through trails (well not really trails, but bare white salty rough ground), trying to avoid brushing against the very sharp vegetation. There were more streams of water. I think it was probably very salty, but I didn't taste it, and Denise didn't either. The tufts of vegetation were browny-green, standing out against the white of the salt flats. (I know, I know, I should use actual color names. But I'm a little red dog, and sometimes I need to be creative with words.)

salt and water

salt, vegetation

We wandered near and through Mustard Canyon - fascinated by the mustard-colored rocks - and then we stopped at the Golden Canyon trail. Denise thought we would hike up the canyon, but I knew that she wasn't in a trail kind of mood today. We wandered along the edge of the flat land and the rock formations. And then... there were raindrops! Just a few, but enough to know it was raining. Wow - isn't that cool? We were in a place where it almost never rains, standing in raindrops! We walked a bit more in dry air, and then a light rain started again. Awesome!
You don't remember my wish? It was to stand in the rain in a place that doesn't get rain. And it rained in Death Valley today!
I wonder what tomorrow's weather will bring. This is a really funny place for forecasts. I just jumped over to the National Weather Service page - there's a winter storm warning for elevations above 5000 feet and yet the forecast for Furnace Creek shows that it could be in the high 60s.

We're wandering again tomorrow, searching for new sights, new images.
--- Rover

trail hugging hills

Friday, December 11, 2009

Smiles... mountains, desert

It was a driving day, a walking day, a good day.

I slept much later than I expected given the 3-hour time change. I opened my eyes just before 7 this morning and I feel like I've been in motion ever since. Breakfast first, then a quick grocery store stop to pick up a stash of fruit for the next few days. Time to drive...

Funny, all of the mapping sites that I checked said that it would take about 3 hours and 15 minutes to drive from Las Vegas to Death Valley. I didn't remember the drive being that long but I thought perhaps my memory was faulty. It wasn't - the drive took just over 2 hours.

The sky was painted as I left Las Vegas, bright blue peaking out from the clouds. There were large enough gaps in the cloud cover to allow the sun to decorate the land with swaths of light, alternating with the shadows created by the clouds. As I looked to the west I could see mountains glistening with snow. sun streaming beneath the clouds. What an amazing sight! If it wasn't for the fact that I was heading northbound on a highway with cars traveling in excess of the 70 MPH speed limit I would have been tempted to stop and pull out my camera. (You knew that, didn't you?) I know, I know, it's not a good idea to stop on a limited access highway. I was tempted, but I didn't stop.

Ah, time to wander in Death Valley...

After a quick stop at the visitor center, I headed to Badwater, the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level. I headed out across the salt flats, moving from a smooth wide surface to thinner trails to a downright bumpy surface.

Hey! I think I need to write a little bit too. Yes, this is Rover. Remember, if you see slanty writing, then it's me writing.

I bounced on the salt flats, but I jumped back into Denise's camera pack and rode for a bit too. That salt started to hurt my feet! Oh, and it was really nice to see the salty surface from high up. That let me see the patterns in the salt. There were places where the salt looked like it was broken into hexagons. Fascinating.
Rover on the salt flats

jagged salt

salt flats

A loop around Artist's Drive finished today's wandering. I'd like to go back there again in better light. The colors were amazing, even without the benefit of direct rays of sunlight. I'd like to see it in the sun though.

It's time to dream of tomorrow's wanderings.

looking down the road

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ready to fly!

We're sitting in the Manchester airport. Our plane is having a rest - it's sitting at the gate, and we're sitting on the other side of the gate. It's not quite boarding time yet, soon...

We stopped at Hunt's Photo in Manchester to pick up the rental camera body, the one Denise arranged for after her camera misbehaved on Sunday. Denise was being a bit wacky, worrying that it wouldn't be there. Of course it was, so we're all set for wandering and grabbing images to share.

We have a long flight, a sleep, and a drive before we get to Death Valley National Park. Oh! I'm ready to bounce around the park. Before I do that I think I need to bounce around the airplane - I need to make sure that I'm near a window when (if?) we fly over Nebraska because my friend Gromit promised to wave from the ground.

--- Rover

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

From snow to thunder

The weather wizard called for snow and rain today, with the predicted snow depths changing throughout the day yesterday. When I first saw the storm warning yesterday snow around my house was predicted at between 3 and 5 inches. Before I turned in last night, that had changed, with a new forecast of 1 to 3 inches. This morning? The prediction was once again calling for 3 to 5 inches of snow.

The snow was steadily falling when I woke. It snowed and snowed and snowed some more (yes, about 5 inches worth!). At one point this morning the conditions in my area were listed as "snow fog". Then, at about 12:30, I heard the sound of rain pelting against the windows. Early evening brought the sound of thunder, flashes of bright light. It's still raining...

It was a good day to work at home, to not need to brave the roads.

I think I'm glad that I'll be escaping to the desert tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Camera misbehavior

Let's see, I'm heading to Death Valley in a couple of days to hike, to absorb the landscape, to capture images.

And yikes! Sunday I grabbed my camera and headed out for a walk. Luckily I attempted to take my first photo not too far from my front door because that attempt came with a very unpleasant surprise. My camera, used just 2 weeks prior - cared for (and not dropped or mistreated) - chose to be in a permanent state of misbehavior. I pressed the shutter. I heard the sound of the mirror flipping up, then nothing. The shutter was locked down. No photo. No apparent way to release the shutter. Hmmm...

I finally discovered that I could re-enable the shutter by removing and replacing the battery plus turning the camera off and back on again. The battery flip alone didn't "fix" it, and turning the camera off and on alone didn't "fix" it either. It was Sunday, so no one was home at Canon technical support.


I convinced myself that I would be OK on vacation with G9 and my S90. But then I thought about the sand dunes, and sunrises, and I knew I wanted an SLR that would play well with my graduated ND filters. I started looking. But oh! it was still Sunday; serious looking would need to wait until Monday.

Monday morning I called Canon technical support, still hoping that they would tell me I had inadvertently selected a setting that would lock the shutter. Nope. It's time to send my 40D in for service. It's now on the way to Canon's factory service center in New Jersey. Fingers crossed that what is needed is a reasonable price. Assuming that I go ahead with the repair, I was given a 5 to 7 day turnaround. That's not too bad, other than the fact that I really planned to use the camera this week.

My other task for Monday was to see if I could rent a camera body. The rental company I've heard the most about is in California, and isn't open on Mondays. So the best I could do with them was to call on Tuesday and hope that they could overnight a body to me that day. Given that I'm leaving on Thursday, I didn't think that would work. I popped over to the Where to Rent? thread in the Digital Grin forum and found that there were two companies listed in the first post of that thread. One was the California company that I knew about. The second was Glass and Gear - which luckily for me is located in New Hampshire.

Wonder of wonders, Glass and Gear had a Canon 40D available for rent. While they do ship (rental) cameras, they also offer the option to pick up the rental camera at Hunt's Photo in Manchester, NH. I was hoping to pick up the camera tomorrow, but a forecast of a snowy day makes me think that it makes more sense to leave a bit early and pick it up as I head to the airport on Thursday. (Yes, I know, that makes more sense than making an extra trip to Manchester anyway. But somehow having it in my possession when I get ready for the trip feels more comfortable to me. It's just a Denise idiosyncracy.)

My camera is on it's way to be fixed.

A substitute camera should keep me photo-happy as I wander in just a few days.


Monday, December 07, 2009

Listening to...

An afternoon gathering, an opportunity to listen to Rosabeth Moss Kanter...

This afternoon we had a break from our normal work day, a presentation by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Her talk revolved around "companies using their power not only for profits and sustainable growth but also social good" as presented in her book supercorp.

Rosabeth is a very dynamic speaker, with an attention-grabbing topic. I walked out with a copy of her book, on my soon to read list. If you ever have an opportunity to hear her speak, (I'd recommend that you) take advantage of that opportunity.

Flying soon...

I'm counting the days...

Denise & I are heading west on Thursday for a quick wander in Death Valley National Park. I know, I know, we've been there before. Yup, we're going again. And if I know Denise, I suspect this won't be the last time.

We've never been there this late in the year. The weather still looks reasonable - the National Park Service site shows average highs and lows in December ranging from 65F/18C to 39F/4C. Denise thinks those are very reasonable walking temperatures, and we're not sleeping outdoors, so the nighttime temperature isn't a problem either. Oh! I just checked the National Weather Service forecast for Furnace Creek, and it's showing a chance of rain several days this week. Death Valley gets a very tiny amount rain - statistics over the last 30 years show an average of 2.5 inches of rain per year. I would love to stand in the rain in Death Valley. I wonder...

I have a feeling that our soon-to-be wander will fly by faster than either of us would like. We're flying Thursday afternoon, driving the Death Valley Friday morning. We'll have the remainder of Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday, and either a partial or full day in the park on Monday (although we're not staying there Monday night). We'll be flying home late on Tuesday, so we'll probably circle Red Rock Canyon Monday afternoon and Tuesday before we head back to our winter. (The photo below is from our trip to Red Rock Canyon this past February.)

I'm making a list for Denise. I want to walk further at the Badwater salt flats than we did last year. Did you know that Badwater is the lowest point in North America with an elevation of 282 feet below sea level? Mosaic Canyon is on my list, and the sand dunes too. It might be a little silly, but I'd like to see those fabulous sculptures in the Goldwell Open Air Museum in Rhyolite, Nevada again. I don't think Denise will mind a little side trip, do you? I guess I'd better leave some time free so Denise will think she has some choices too.

--- Rover

rover at red rock canyon

The story of our trip will be in Denise's "regular" blog. If you just want to read about our trip, you can get to those blog entries by using this URL -

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Walking on white

The day was crisp and white, with a clear blue sky. It was a good day for walking, feet crunching snow.

snow, water, reflections

snow covers green

As you've probably guessed, the appearance of snow pushed me to create my winter photo gallery a little before the solstice. More photos can be seen in the gallery White, winter... 2010. The newest photos will always be at the top of the gallery.

Much less than predicted

Phew! Last night's snowfall was on the light side when compared with the predictions.

I think there are about 2 inches of snow outside of my door, and the storm totals shown on the National Weather Service side range from 2.5 to 4 inches. I had visions of a day of very messy roads, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

A bright white winter's welcome...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Raindrops and reflections


Impending winter weather

Winter is marked on the calendar by the winter solstice falling on December 21st. It often visits earlier, and it appears that this year may be one of those early "come to stay" winters.

Early yesterday the forecast showed snow for tonight, a prediction of less than an inch. This morning? The National Weather Service forecast office for this area is now calling for snow totals for tonight of 3 to 5 inches. Yikes! I don't think I'm ready to face that cold white stuff.

I know, I know, we've had a very mild autumn. And it really is time for winter to start. But... I'm still not ready!

Storm Total Snow Forecast
predicted snowfall map

A home for my e-toys

...a traveling home, that is!

I've traveled with a "baby" computer for quite a while now, wrapped in a neoprene case to give it a bit of protection. I recently added a Kindle, also with a neoprene case. I was chatting with a friend about cases for Kindles since he had just ordered a Kindle too. We've both purchased bags from Waterfield Designs in the past, and the conversation sent me back to the Waterfield site, curious.

The small Vertigo bag caught my eye. The dimensions made me think that it could easily swallow both of my small e-toys, and a phone call verified my suspicions. The woman I spoke with took the time to grab a Vertigo along with cases that were the right size for my devices, and she confirmed my thought that the small bag was just the right size to hold my Dell Mini 10, my Kindle, and the power cords for both - with a little bit of extra space too. Ah... time to think.

I placed an order Monday evening for the Vertigo plus a laptop sleeve for the Mini and a slip case for the Kindle. I received an almost immediate email telling me that the color I had chosen would not be available until next week. I emailed back, changing the color to my other first choice (I couldn't decide between blue and celeste in the first place, so it was easy to switch!). My bags shipped on Tuesday and arrived at my door on Thursday, pretty good turnaround for an across-the-country (San Francisco to the Boston area) delivery. Priority mail is an excellent shipping choice, isn't it?

Waterfield Designs Vertigo

Thursday, December 03, 2009

From torrential rain to sunshine

I woke up this morning to the sound of torrential rain. It was raining so hard that if I hadn't used an umbrella to retrieve this morning's (nicely double-plastic-bagged) newspaper from my front walk I would have been soaked to the skin.

Rain, dark gray skies, warm...

The rain stopped relatively early in the morning, and a strong wind pushed the clouds away leaving a clear blue sky. The temperature jumped to the high 60s. Ah, warmth, definitely not December's normal chill.

I couldn't resist. I headed home early enough to start my walk in daylight. Walking, absorbing my surroundings, attired in warm weather clothing, happy.

bare branches against clouds