Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Jumping to mid coast Maine

I told Denise I wanted to write today. I think she needs a break, and I haven't played with words for a while...

We headed to mid coast Maine for a change of pace. A drive, a wander, a night away from home, a little more wandering tomorrow. We headed up I-95, then switched to I-295 and then route 1. The ride was fine until a few miles south of Wiscasset where we came to was seemed like a total stop. Slow, slow, until we crossed the bridge over the Sheepscot River. That was really odd. There was nothing slowing down the traffic, no block. And when we headed south again in the late afternoon we could see the northbound traffic was still really slow. I'm glad we're not heading back that way again tomorrow!

We started with a wander through the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. So beautiful, even though I think it would be prettier in the spring than after a few hot summer weeks. Next stop was Boothbay Harbor, and then a drive back up the Boothbay Peninsula to head south again.

Tonight we're staying in Bath. We're staying at the recently opened Hampton Inn in a room that looks out on the Kennebec River. Right after we got here we went walking through town, and then we walked across the bridge over the river. We could see a railroad bridge next to us, and we even saw a train crossing the river. It's one of those lift bridges that have a section that can be raised to let bit boats through. And as we looked to the south we could see boats and tall cranes. Bath is the home of Bath Iron Works, a very big shipyard.

Late in the day Denise decided that we should drive to the beach to see the beauty of late day light. We were going to go to Popham Beach State Park; instead we drove a little past there to Fort Popham. We went into the fort for a bit, and then we walked along the beach. There were pinks and blues reflecting in shimmering water. It looked like a painting! I have a feeling that we'll head back that way in the morning.

It was a good day.

--- Rover

Friday, July 30, 2010

What camera?

Oh no, not again!

Damn cameras. Wouldn't you know that my camera started misbehaving tonight, when I'm leaving in the morning for two days of wandering in Maine? And yes, those days were slated to be for camera play.

I don't know what made me turn the camera on tonight. It turned on as usual, but when I went to clean the sensor, something just wasn't right. I heard the mirror lock up, and then nothing. Turned the camera off and back on again. Still nothing. Pulled the battery plus turned the camera off and back on. It came back on in sensor cleaning mode, then nothing. Crap! That's the same problem I had in December, right before I was heading to Death Valley. And crap again! The repair came with a 6-month warranty, and it's been seven and a half months.

I know, I know, it might be a different problem, but from the outside looking in (without the benefits of a camera technician's eyes) it feels like exactly the same problem. If the replacement part lasted only this short amount of time I'm not sure I want to attempt another repair. My reaction? I started pricing cameras. Yes, I do already know what I want. Does that surprise you?

Then I called Canon Service. The person who was helping me said he would try to get a free repair given the quick failure. Even with the possibility of a free repair I was feeling pretty uncomfortable about it. If it wasn't the same problem... But it feels like it is. A part failed and was replaced with a new one. Another failure? Oh! It turns out there is another option. I can have my current camera repaired, or I can take advantage of Canon's customer loyalty program. The program allows owners of no longer functioning Canon cameras to purchase a refurbished body for a significant discount in exchange for the broken camera.

A new-to-me camera will be joining me next week. It's one that has been lurking in the back of my mind since it was released last year. Yes, it's an upgrade for me, a Canon 7D.


I was out walking this evening when I saw two dogs and a woman walking, side by side, happy companions, coordinated in space and time.

There was a very little dog taking little steps with fast paw turnover. There was a big dog taking big steps at a slower pace, covering the same amount of ground in the same time. And there was a women walking between them at a comfortable but brisk pace.

Little dog steps, big dog steps, person steps, all coordinated.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Low tide

Sunday morning, a morning ride through damp, warm air. Humid...

Mid-day, a break at home, experimenting with recipes, preparing a cold soup for dinner... What soup? Chilled corn vichysoisse, from Judith Barrett's Saved by Soup, a collection of low-fat soup recipes. Yum!

Mid-afternoon, I gave in to the pull of the ocean, heading to the New Hampshire coast to see the colors in Fuller Garden, reflections along the coast...

cone flower

green grass, cloud reflections in water

Portsmouth houses, reflections

A few more photos from today's coastal wander can be seen in the gallery New Hampshire's short coastline - 2010. Today's images are at the beginning of the gallery.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


A summer day, sticky...

Yesterday's rain left humid air behind. When I rolled out of the door this morning, the temperature was in the 70s - a reasonable temperature for riding if not for the moisture in the air. I was covered in sweat in a no time at all.

My ride? It was still an enjoyable wander.

queen anne's lace


Saturday, July 17, 2010

High tide

Twice each day, the ocean takes back the beach.

It was late afternoon when I arrived at Wells Reserve for an ocean walk. I could hear the waves as soon as I stepped out of my car - even though it's a good 3/4 of a mile from the parking lot to the beach.

It was close to high tide, and the ocean was definitely in control. At the entry point to the beach, it was only possible to walk to the north. South? There was only water, no beach.

It was quite a contrast from my low-tide visit just two weeks ago. At low tide, the beach stretched from waving grasses across exposed sand, walking surfaces felt close to flat. High tide walking was harder; there was a definite slant to the remaining beach.

The difference was evident at the Little River mouth. Two weeks ago I could wade across. Today? Waves filled the area, no wading across!

rolling waves, no walking!

Look to the estuary. Two weeks ago there was just a small amount of water. Today? A lot! Two photos taken from a similar spot.

two weeks ago, a little water

today, lots of water!

The waves were beautiful, and so were reflections in pools. This is turning into a favorite spot for me!

spreading waves, wet feet

blue sky, clouds reflecting in water

More photos from my ocean walk today can be seen in the gallery Wells Reserve - 2010.

Seeking shaded roads

Weather... in the midst of a span of predicted 90+ degree days. Hot...

Late yesterday afternoon I chose to ignore the hot, steamy weather, heading out for a ride. I was dripping with sweat by the time I returned home. A ride, a cool shower, it was time to relax.

Crack! Thunder rumbled, and then I heard the sound of rain pelting against the windows. I walked outside to feel cool air. It seemed that the temperature dropped 20 degrees as the storm passed through.

Morning dawned with still reasonable temperatures. I headed out for an early morning ride, before the heat returned. Rolling, circling, choosing roads lined with trees, seeking shade...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dashing through raindrops

The weather forecast was a bit of a moving target today. When I checked it last night, it called for rain starting by 11AM. This morning's forecast pushed off the start of the falling drops to 2PM. Hmmm....

I headed out early on my bike, determined to have a dry ride. The sky was somewhat gray & cloud-filled when I started, but it morphed to a bright blue with fluffs of white. Nice.

I decided to risk a wet afternoon wander. Destination? The New Hampshire coast.

Fuller Gardens pulled me in for another visit. I walked, eyes absorbing the colors of the roses. Ah, a loud clap of thunder... and then the rain came. I wasn't ready to leave, so I ran back to my car to fetch the umbrella that I should have had close to hand. I walked through the roses sheltered by fabric, chatting with a couple who also refused to leave. Heavy rain changed to sprinkles, and then stopped.

I can't tell you how long I was in the gardens; time just disappeared.

Continuing my wanders along the coast, I carried one lesson with me - an umbrella traveled with me as I walked. From dry to raindrops, to dry, back to light rain, dry again, repeat. I was very lucky though - just after I pointed my car towards home, the skies opened up. Rain...

Hey, I need to write a little today too! Yes, I was wandering with Denise today, although I have to admit I hid in Denise's camera pack during the heavier rain. I wonder... do you think I can find a big umbrella that would attach to Denise's shoulders to shelter me and her camera as we walk in the rain? I searched on the web and I did find a silly umbrella hat, but that just won't do. It is much too small - it would protect Denise's head but not me and not her camera.
--- Rover
yellow daisies

clouds over water, impending rain

More photos from today can be seen in the gallery New Hampshire's short coastline, newer photos at the top of the gallery.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Early evening

Friday, early evening, summer warmth, winds, clouds moving, a good time for a wander on two (bicycle) wheels...

sky painting, blue background, pure white clouds

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Replacing bridges

My commute to work starts with a few mile wander through quiet neighborhoods and then moves onto I-495, 3-lanes northbound, 3-lanes southbound, usually moving at a pretty good clip. There's a two to three mile section of I-495 that has been under construction since the start of my commute to Littleton in early October of 2009. The under-construction section moves one lane of the northbound highway to the southbound side. The remaining 2 lanes were scrunched to the left of the northbound side. That changed a couple of weeks ago so those 2 lanes are now to the right.

Until now, I hadn't a clue about the ongoing work. In fact, the apparent lack of workers on the road for weeks on end really made me wonder.

The mystery revealed itself this week. Heading north on the far left, on the southbound side of the road, now provides a view of the ongoing work that before was quite hidden behind jersey barriers. Amazing! They are replacing three bridges by totally removing the old. When I first noticed the work, the road surface had been removed. Now the steel beams are missing too, and beneath the reopened right lanes it is clear that the under-structure of the (right side of the) bridge is totally new.

I find it fascinating that this type of work can be completed without (totally) closing the highway. Yes, the travel lanes have been moved and scrunched into less space than normal - but the road is definitely open and moving.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

A walk in the ocean

Yes, I really do mean in the ocean. I started walking by the sea, but the water enticed me to move away from dry sand. And yes, I did have a camera slung around my neck!

Let's start at the beginning though...

I thought about heading to the coast yesterday afternoon after I finished riding. Thought, but didn't go. And oh! I'm so lucky I waited until this morning. Why? Yesterday's sky was a pure uninterrupted blue, and today's was decorated by bright white clouds. Beautiful.

I walked today at the Wells Reserve. I emerged from the woods onto the beach to find the reserve beach (the portion of the beach to the northeast of my entry point) to be quiet, populated with walking humans and walking and flying birds. The beach to the south sprouted colorful towels and umbrellas, but within the reserve it was a good walking spot.

I started walking on the hard sand near the water, but I very quickly found myself walking in the water. My feet were clad with perfect protection plus water-happy sandals, happy. The tide was low, so low that it was possible to walk across the estuary in just over ankle-deep water. After wandering in the area behind the beach along the snaking water I saw that people were now crossing in water that was at or above their knees.

coastal reflections

low tide, emerging shapes

sparkling water

There are more photos in the gallery Wells Reserve - 2010. The gallery is ordered with the newest photos first. When you get to photos showing brown grasses and a bit of snow you've moved beyond the photos that jumped into my camera today.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Paint by reflection

Late day... I headed out on my bike in search of water lilies. The last time I rode past a pond in Harold Parker State Forest it was full of lilies, and I thought I would capture a few images.

Clearly I wasn't connected to reality since water lilies open and close each day - and their closing point is earlier than my two-wheeled wander.

But look! there are reflections in moving water, looking almost like an impressionist painting.

reflections in moving water, a painting of sorts

purple water flowers, glittering water