Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Picture Acadia

Were you wondering if I was keeping my Acadia photos to myself? My camera was busy capturing images as I wandered, and those images can now be viewed. You can jump to the top level gallery, Absorbing Acadia, or you can click on the photos below to enter a specific gallery.

Looping... around the park:

Looping... around the park

Schoodic haze:

Schoodic haze

Late day light:

Late day light

Flowers popping:

Flowers popping

Southwest interlude:

Southwest interlude

Rover's buddy

Oh! I was going through the photos from our trip, and I found this one of me with my new friend. This wonderful bear owned the room we were borrowing at the Holland Inn. He was a wonderful host.

I think he must have learned from Evin, the owner of the inn. She has so much information to share with the guests!

Rover and host bear

...Rover's ramblings

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mid-day ramble

Ah, it's Friday. I planned to work at home today, and I planned to ride in the early morning with the hopes of missing the predicted rain. My early morning ride plans were scuttled very early - I woke up at 5 to the crash of thunder and the sound of heavy rain, not a good sign when I was planning to be on the road by 6.

Instead of an early ride, I started working early with the hopes of getting out later. The forecast had the probability of rain increasing as the day progressed. Hmmm...

I had several meetings in the morning that set my next earliest start time at noon, and at noon the sun was shining. Time to ride!

It was a good mid-day break, sweat-producing because of the humidity, but mainly dry. A light rain fell for a few minutes mid-ride, and then a steadier (but still light) rain started when I was about a mile from home (at the end of my ride). What a good mid-day escape!

clouds over pond, green, summer

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The skies have been so gray, water falling in the form of rain and in the form of heavy mist. It's been a walking kind of week, but a time of longing to be riding.

The gray continued through much of the day today, but by late afternoon the sun had emerged from the clouds. And oh, look! Blue skies!

Finally, a bicycling kind of day... it felt so good to wander on two wheels, to see the light filtering through the trees that lined the roads, to see reflections in the ponds.

How much?

I just added some more CompactFlash cards to my stash, food for my camera. After all, I have a two-week trip coming up in August, and I need to make sure that I have enough media to keep my camera (and me!) happy.

Yes, I know, I can copy the data onto my computer. Two problems with that... I don't carry my computer with me when I travel, and I don't wipe the cards until I have them copied to two places, not one. That's an "after I return home" task.

Back to this week's purchase though. I really wonder how manufacturers set prices on items like CompactFlash or SD cards. The price needs to be set high enough that both the manufacturer and the retailer make a profit. I understand that. But how much profit?

Oh, you want to know why I am asking this seemingly silly question? I just picked up some SanDisk Extreme III 4GB cards. The cards were $33.95 each. But - there is a rebate available right now.

Purchase 1 card, get $10 back.
Purchase 2 cards, get $30 back.
Purchase 3 cards, get $60 back.
Yes, you're right, I did buy 3 cards. I paid $101.85 for them. I'll be getting a $60 Visa prepaid card, so my cost will really be $41.85. That's $13.95 per card.

That's a good deal - no complaints from me. I don't believe that the manufacturer and retailers are selling these at a loss, even with the rebate. Makes you wonder how much the media really costs, doesn't it?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunlight? Gray!

Month may become dimmest on record --- this headline leaped from the font page of this morning's Boston Globe. Somehow I usually think that I am imagining that the weather is gray and unseasonable, cool and wet, day after day after day. Apparently it isn't my imagination this time!

I was fascinated with the description of the device that is used to register sunlight at the Blue Hills Meterological Observatory:

"...the primitive, softball-sized glass sphere on the observatory’s roof, a device that has burned lines on paper since 1885 to record nearly every burst of sunshine strong enough to cast a faint shadow."
According to the article, the sun has been obscured by clouds this month more than any other June on record since 1903, and there is still a possibility that a new record could be set.

Interested? Read the Boston Globe article, Month may become dimmest on record.

I found the diagram of the instrument used even more interesting than the article. Click to see how a pyroheliometer measures sunshine.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A day of...

I had hoped to beat the rain and squeeze in a ride this morning, but when I stepped outside to pick up the newspaper at 6 AM, there was already water in the air.

It was a good day to take a long walk in the wind-driven rain. The rain was quite light, but with temperatures in the low 60s I was happy to be shielded by my rain jacket and hat.

The rain meant that I was quite happy to spend a good part of the day at my computer, reviewing photos from my recent Acadia wanders, starting to build my photo galleries.

Some of the photos are available now if you are eager to look, but you might want to wait another day or two until I'm able to complete my galleries. I'll post a note here when the galleries are completed.

House of bees

I've seen many birdhouses, but a beehouse?

Thuya Garden was one of my stopping places on my recent trip to Acadia, and I was fascinated by the houses with very small holes. Luckily there was an explanation posted on the side of what turned out to be houses for the bees.

"The Blue Orchard Bee,
affectionately called "Bob", is the common name for
Osmia lignaria ssp.

We are providing housing for this
pollinator because it is solitary and
very selective about its nesting.
This "bee condo" provides an ideal

Bob has been mistaken for a house
fly. Unlike houseflies, Bob has a
pair of wings on both sides and a
shiny blue metallic patch on its
back. Bob is not agressive and
can be observed at close range.


Thuya Garden welcomes BOB for
his/her beauty, activity, and helpful
pollination to our plants.

Text courtesy of Thuya Garden

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Walking through a garden, enjoying the sweet smell of honeysuckle...


Unexpected sunshine

The forecast was for a rainy Saturday, and yet... I woke to find dry pavement and a blue sky decorated with white clouds. I never have trouble finding something to do outside on a beautiful day like today! It was a good day for riding, a good day for camera play, a good day for...

cloud patterns over water

Friday, June 19, 2009

After the rain

Ah, a respite from a gray, wet day...

The sky was very gray for the bulk of the day, and rain fell. The rain was light but constant. As I drove home, it was light, heavy, then light again. The sky was clearing when I headed out for my walk (yes, I did want to bike, but it was oh! so wet!), but it still looked threatening so I grabbed a rain jacket just in case. Maybe it was my jacket that caused the sky to clear. As I walked, the cloud cover thinned and then disappeared. Blue sky!

And yet, the flowers all wore droplets of water.

raindrops on flowers

Maybe this evening is a sign of hope, a sign that the weather wizard will grant us at least one reasonable for playing outside day over the weekend. The forecast calls for rain for the foreseeable future, but maybe...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

By land and sea

It's August vacation decision time, and yes, I have (finally) decided on a destination. It's been floating in my mind for a long time now, and in spite of the distance-related transportation annoyances I really do want to get to Gros Morne National Park on the western side of Newfoundland, and Cape Breton Highlands National Park on the eastern end of Nova Scotia.

At first I thought I'd take the ferry from Portland to Yarmouth. Then I started leaning toward just driving.

Google Maps told me that it is was 809 miles and 13 hours driving from home to North Sydney, NS to catch the ferry to Newfoundland. And it told me that it is 743 miles (same begin and end points) and 19 hours if I take the ferry from Portland to Yarmouth. I was close to the decision to drive to the jumping off point for the ferry to Newfoundland, but then I looked again. That 743 miles from home to North Sydney, Nova Scotia includes 214 miles across the Bay of Fundy. That certainly changes the number of driving miles, doesn't it? 809 miles for the all land route vs. 529 miles for the land and sea route.

Hmm... maybe I should take the ferry over and drive the long way back. I wouldn't mind stopping in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and wandering out to the water from there. It would make a good first-day destination for a day-long stop, followed by a next day drive to North Sydney to catch the ferry to Newfoundland. I'll save the Cape Breton explorations for the second half of my trip.

When? My wander will be slotted into the 3rd and 4th weeks of August.

map courtesy of
Map courtesy of

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A little longer...

Denise tells me that you will need to wait a little longer before our photos from Acadia pop up for viewing. It feels like our trip was a long time ago, but it really wasn't. After all, we've only been home one day over a week.

In the meantime, I thought I'd post a photo of me perched on a rock on top of Gorham Mountain. Oh! That was a wonderful hike! I think I'll plant a suggestion in Denise's mind that we do it again someday.

--- Rover
Rover on top of Gorham Mountain, Acadia National Park

Monday, June 15, 2009

Watch the clouds

I was treated to a wonderfully painted and changing sky as I drove home from work this afternoon. There were building, billowing, bright white clouds postioned in front of dark gray clouds. There were patches of blue peeking through. And the bright white kept growing, moving.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Singing rocks

A last morning in the park... the last of this trip that is, because I know I will be back again to feed my addiction to Acadia.

I walked along the ocean, sometimes on the path, sometimes on the rocks, absorbing the beauty, feeding memories. Before I headed out of the park, I stopped at a small cove. I hesitate to call it a beach because there is no sand there. Instead it is composed of small rounded, rolling, rocks. The rocks have clearly been moved about by ocean waves, forming a very difficult walking surface.

It's a place that fascinates me. The very round rocks are a surprise, but it's the sound that pulls me in. As the waves approach and recede it sounds as if the rocks are singing. Rocks rolling in moving water, clinking, making music of a kind...

singing rocks at Acadia National Park

Watching big birds

Denise was going to take a different road into the park this morning, but then I reminded her that we needed to drive by the trail head for the Precipice Trail. You're right - we would never hike that trail because it's an almost vertical trail, and Denise likes to be able to see land (not air!) under her feet.

The trail is closed because perigrine falcons are nesting there. In the morning the park rangers set up two spotting scopes, and I really wanted to see the birds. Denise wanted to see them too - she just needed me to remind her to stop.

Denise looked through the scope pointed at the chicks, and she said she just saw rock. I looked next, and oh! the chicks stretched their wings and I could see them. I traded places with Denise, and she saw the chicks too. They were pretty big and they had real feathers on their wings, well beyond baby fluff.

Then we switched to the other scope. That one was pointed at one of the adults perched high on top of the cliff. Then we looked through the chick's scope again. They had disappeared down into what appeared to be their crevice in the rock, and then - they popped up again.

That wasn't enough though. We heard some cries from the sky, and we saw a peregrine falcon chasing a bald eagle. Amazing! The falcon is a much smaller bird, and they are oh so protective of their young.

Birds, birds, birds!

--- Rover, official bird dog

Monday, June 08, 2009

A day in three parts

My last full day in the park, and I managed to more than fill it.

Breakfast was delightful again. Today I had a baked egg on top of blue corn chips, rounds of French toast topped with crunchy tasty grains, and a baked pear. Rover tells me I'm getting spoiled; I think that's a good way to be spoiled, don't you?

It was a morning for hiking but not getting to my planned destination. I started by following the trail around the southern end of Eagle Lake, on the way to the trail named Conner's Nubble. It was the trail on the western side of Eagle Lake that stopped me. The first part of the trail was narrow and root-covered, requiring careful foot placement. As I crossed from the east side of the lake to the west side, the trail became progressively worse. The trail guide I was following said "The Eagle Lake shore trail has many rocks, slowing the pace of most hikers, but repair crews have improved the trail with boardwalks, and the hike remains high in quality." Hmmm... the further I went the rockier it got. I finally turned around when the rocks in the trail became large boulders. The trail markers at that point were a bit too far apart for my comfort, and honestly I was getting tired of climbing over rocks. That's not my normal happy hiking style. It was a beautiful jaunt through the woods even though I didn't get to climb the nubble.

And hey - did you know that nubble is really a word? I figured it was a made-up word, but then i went looking and discovered that a nubble is a small lump. I suppose a hill with an elevation of 588 feet could qualify - it's about a third the height of Cadillac Mountain.

After I retraced my steps, I thought about taking a roundabout route to get to the start of the trail. I could have walked one of the carriage roads then spent a very short distance on the Eagle Lake trail to get to the starting point. I'd already spent a chunk of time walking, and there were other things I wanted to do today. Maybe another time...

Before heading back to the B&B to switch transportation modes, I spent a bit of time at Jordan Pond, walking part of the trail, chatting with other people sitting and absorbing the beauty.

And then... it was time to wander on two wheels. I headed out on my bike and just followed roads that looked interesting, including some I had never rolled down before. I probably couldn't repeat my route exactly since I didn't pay much attention to my turns. I wandered, I looked around, I enjoyed my ride, and I ended up back at the Holland Inn without losing my way. Happy.

Part three? It was late afternoon, time to head back into the park to walk along the rocky coastline, to see the rocks highlighted by late day sun. I meant to stay by the ocean, but after walking for a while I realized that the clouds were painting wonderful pictures. It was time to get closer to the clouds, to the top of Cadillac Mountain once again.

Another good day...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

What day is it?

Wow! Denise totally forgot what day it was today. I think that's a sign that she's absorbed by her vacation, a very good thing. I hope she remembers on Tuesday that she needs to drive home after she's finished playing. I'm not going to worry about that, I'm just going to enjoy every minute we have here.

Let's see, today... Evin cooked us another fabulous breakfast. There were lemon pancakes with currants, eggs scrambled with fresh rosemary, and a fruit salad in a light lemon yogurt dressing. Yum! Denise usually has much simpler breakfasts at home but she does like special breakfasts too. What a good start to the day!

We headed to the southwest corner of the island, driving down a little two-lane road to get to the starting spot for the Flying Mountain hike. It was a relatively short hike that took us longer than the distance implied. Why? The trail up and the trail down were rocky with exposed roots, so careful placement of human feet was pretty important. The views from the top were beautiful, the waters of Somes Sound sparkling in the sunshine, backed by green hills.

Bass Harbor Light was our next stop. To view the lighthouse from afar, we took a long wooden staircase down to the rocky coastline. From there we could see the light perched high on the rocks. Funny, but Denise took a photo of the red beam of the light peeking out between the trees, visible from the parking lot. She said that while she could see the building from below, she couldn't see the light, probably because of the angle from which she was viewing it. According to the information posted, the light is actually visible 13 miles out to sea. That's hard to believe, isn't it?

Wandering back to the east side of the island, Denise stopped the car at Sand Beach so we could explore Great Head. That surprised me a bit because there are some parts of the trail where you really need to clamber over some big rocky sections. Remember, Denise doesn't like to go down steep trails. She did really well, even though she did sit down in a couple of places so she could kind of jump her feet down to the next level. It was much too big of a step. I tried to show her how I bounce in places like that, but she didn't think bouncing would work for her. Up and up, and around the bend where we could see what apparently was Schoodic Peninsula. Huh. That's pretty far away, but it is the next chunk of land extending into the ocean. Oh, and when we first climbed up and looked back the way we came, we had a beautiful view of Sand Beach.

We walked the Shore Path in Bar Harbor at the end of the day. Denise was thinking about going back into the park in the early evening, but I convinced her it was time for a "stay at home" evening.

Oh! We saw an osprey diving into the water earlier today.
Another good day...

--- written by a very happy red dog wandering with Denise, yes, Rover (in case you forget that I always use slanty letters...)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Chased by a bird

Hey, look! Denise & I can both write on the same day!

The afternoon started with a sky that was a copy of yesterdays. Not blue, more light gray... But as we reached the high point of our hike up Gorham Mountain, the sky turned blue with white decorations. I like the blue, and Denise liked the contrast the blue brought to her photos of the tree-covered mountains.

Our hike started at the Sand Beach parking lot. We bounced along the path overlooking the ocean, following it to the point where the Gorham Mountain trail headed up into the woods. It went up and up. We followed blue blazes on the granite and cairns (piles of rocks) that marked the trail. There were places where the trail was obvious - mostly in the woods - and other places where we really had to look from blue marking to blue marking. Following a trail on granite can be a bit of a puzzle.

Denise really liked the section of the trail at the top of the mountain. It helped that the weather wizard turned the sky blue for us, but even if it ha stayed gray it was absolutely amazing how far we could see.

Oh! We saw a peregrine falcon up in the sky. I've never seen one before, and Denise said she hadn't either. She was chatting with someone who was doing the trail in the opposite direction, and he pointed out a peregrine falcon flying high. It was soaring, and then it dove down. Apparently they grab dive and grab their prey - little birds - in their claws.

But you're probably wondering about the bird that chased us, aren't you? After walking across the granite at the top of the mountain, we dropped back to a wooded trail. All of a sudden we heard a noise, and then Denise saw a funny bird with ruffled feathers around it's neck hurrying down the path towards us, making a loud squawk. Denise was very careful where she was stepping because she assumed that the bird was protecting eggs or baby birds. She thought we were OK when the bird hurried past us, but then it turned around and ran at us again. We kept walking, but Denise was getting nervous - she thought the bird might attack us! We walked faster, and faster still. And then we must have passed through the area the bird was protecting because it stopped chasing us. Denise was quite happy that we could keep moving forward, that we didn't need to turn around and repeat three quarters of our walk in the other direction. (We found out later that the bird was a ruffed grouse.)

There was still a little more down to go. After our bird encounter, the trail was covered with running water in spots. I jumped into Denise's pack at that point; I didn't want to get my red feet all muddy! And Denise managed to walk from rock to rock. We weren't sure how much further it was to the trail end, but then we started hearing the crashing of the ocean. Oh! we're back at Sand Beach. I thought we were going to leave Sand Beach for another day, but Denise decided to walk across the beach and around the back where there is a wonderful view of flowing water between green grass with mountains rising behind it.

If you're planning your own visit to Acadia and want to do some walking, Evin has copies of a trail guide to the park that guests can borrow. Denise found the book to be very helpful and a nice addition to the map I had her buy. If you'd like your own copy, the book is called A Walk in the Park, Acadia's Hiking Guide. It was written by Tom St. Germain.
--- a happy Rover

Splashes of color

Morning... the day started with one of Evin's wonderful breakfasts, a vegetable frittata, slivers of French toast, and a baked plum topped with granola. Good food, and good conversation. I had the treat of being the only guest at the early breakfast which meant a chance to chat with Evin and to get more tips about my plans for wandering.

I headed to Northeast Harbor for what turned out to be a morning of gardens. I started at Asticou Azalea Garden where the flowers were splashes of color standing out from the green, reflecting in a pond, a feast for my eyes. The paths were freshly raked, and there was a sand garden with patterns surrounding rocks. The azaleas? Yes, they were in perfect bloom!

My next stop was a walk uphill to the Thuya Garden and lodge. While the Azalea Garden was in full bloom, I suspect that Thuya will be more interesting a little bit into summer. There were fewer in bloom flowers, but those that chose to show their colors were beautiful.

Gardens made for peaceful walking. I finished my morning at a public dock, trying to grab a few photos even as the dock was moving on the water. Hmmm... I wonder if my camera was able to compensate for the movement.

Many thanks to Mount Desert Land & Garden Preserve
for maintaining these gardens.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Pink glow

In spite of the fact that the sky was gray, cloudy, I decided it would be worth a drive up Cadillac Mountain to see if the sinking sun painted colors on the clouds.

There was a tinge of pink that grew as the sun came closer to the horizon. It was very subtle at first, but the glow expanded as the sun approached the horizon.

What a beautiful end to the day!

Schoodic fog and...

Morning rolled around, time for breakfast, a drive, and a wander!

We headed to Schoodic Peninsula, driving from Bangor south to Ellsworth, then heading east and south again to the very rocky Schoodic Point. I thought I was going to have to stop Denise from jumping out of the car and into the water at one point. The water was visible from the road, and so was low-lying fog. There was water, and then a band of white just hanging there. Denise said it was too far out to capture with her camera, so we both have eye photos, a beautiful sight committed to memory.

As always, Schoodic Peninsula was beautiful. We walked and walked. From the National Park Service description:

"At the southern end of the peninsula the road to Schoodic Point leads to a windswept coast with dark diabase dikes that intrude between pink granite ledges."
The dikes form lines that always seem to lead to the water. And the rocks are all at different heights. I can usually bounce between the different levels, but you know Denise. She likes to make sure that she can step securely from surface to surface. I wonder if I can teach her to bounce?

The sky was not blue today. It wasn't gray either, just kind of milky looking. As we were leaving Schoodic, driving inland, I could actually see patches of blue sky ahead of us. But somehow we were never under a blue sky today. Maybe tomorrow?

Before we headed to our home for the next few days, I convinced Denise to stop at Acadia National Park Headquarters. I knew there is a bookstore there, and I thought it was well past time to add a good map of the park to our map collection. We don't need a map for riding, but I think we're going to mix riding with a bit of hiking, and trail maps are good to have. Denise was comparing 3 or 4 different maps, and then a very helpful woman came up and started talking about the maps. We ended up with a waterproof trail map from a company named Map Adventures. Oh, and Denise and that woman talked for a really long time. That was a good stop - a map mixed with conversation!

And now... we're at the Holland Inn in Bar Harbor. Evin greeted us and showed us our room in the Quietside Cottage. Denise is happy, so I am too!

--- Rover

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A flowing ribbon...

Driving, following I-95 from the eastern edge of Massachusetts, across the very short New Hampshire border, heading north and east through Maine...

There were times when I saw the road as a long flowing ribbon rolling up and down, lined by the lighter greens of deciduous trees mixed with the darker grees of evergreens. Occasionally the trees dropped away to show rolling green fields. And sometimes bridges allowed glimpses of rivers, flowing water.

It was hard not to stop and pull out my camera - but stopping along a limited access highway with traffic moving well above the 65 mile per hour speed limit really isn't a smart thing to do. I snapped memories with my eyes... photos will have to wait until tomorrow.

Rolling clouds

The afternoon's blue skies with puffs of white changed to pure blue, no clouds in sight. Cadillac Mountain called, and I headed up once more to watch the sun sink to the horizon.

As I was driving, I saw some hanging clouds, or maybe it was fog. Ah, it turns out that my fears of an ordinary sunset were not warranted... it was an interesting sunset after all.

When I reached the highest overlook facing west, the wind was howling and clouds were starting to roll in. I added a few layers to keep myself warm, grabbed my camera and tripod and found a myself a good spot to watch the clouds float over a very red setting sun.

By the time I headed down again, the top of Cadillac Mountain was shrouded in clouds. Interesting... I dropped below the clouds as I drove down the mountain to see the full moon gracing the sky. The clouds were clinging to the mountain top but were not cloaking the sky as I looked up from sea level.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


curving iris petals


Hey... Rover here! I haven't written in Denise's blog in a long, long time, but I thought I'd do some (practice) writing while Denise is out walking. I need to get back into the habit because we're traveling this weekend and I try to help Denise write her travel stories.

I'm so happy! Denise & I are headed to Acadia for a long weekend. This trip was a long time coming; Denise really needs to get away for a bit.

Oh, before I tell you about our trip, maybe I'd better introduce myself to any new readers. My name is Rover, and I'm a little red dog who travels with Denise. Here's a shot of me on one of our bike wanders along the coast. I'm pretty sure this photo was taken in Maine, and that's where we're headed for our extended weekend.

Oh! And Denise is going to bring one of her baby cameras so I can help take pictures too. After all her big SLR is just too big for me.

We're leaving tomorrow in the late afternoon! I suppose I should offer to help drive, but I think I'll just bounce around and peek through the windows. And then on Friday, we'll get to play along the coast somewhere. We might start our wandering on the west side of Mt. Desert Island, or we might head to the Schoodic Peninsula. Or...

Hmmm... maybe I should help Denise pack her bag. Or maybe I'll just wander around the house and make sure she isn't forgetting something important.

Oh! I can't wait! Until tomorrow...

In case you want to know who wrote each entry - as you read Denise's blog, if you see entries with slanty writing - I wrote that entry. Denise's entries use straight up-and-down writing.