Denise Goldberg's blog

Monday, August 30, 2010


Two days to go, and Denise's "stuff" has turned from piled to packed. You don't know about Denise's packing habits? She learned a long time ago that packing the night before a trip makes her a bit crazy. She says that she would rather have a day to pick up things she is missing - but I can't remember the last time she was missing anything. Calm is good though, and packing a day early keeps her calm.

I suppose I'm lucky; I don't need to pack lots of layers because my red fur keeps me warm. If it's really cold or wet then I can always jump into Denise's pocket (especially if she's wearing fleece!) or I can ride with the cameras.

Oh! Don't tell Denise that I wandered over to the Icelandic Meteorological Office website while she was busy, and it looks like the weather when we land Thursday morning might be a bit wet. If we go to the Blue Lagoon she's going to get wet anyway...

Denise isn't really all packed - she still needs to organize her camera gear. She says that's easy and not stressful, so that can wait until tomorrow.

--- Rover

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Seed by wisp

I was trying to catch some of the wisps from a purple thistle gone to seed. The wisps kept moving in the wind, going from still to moving.

Then I looked down. Wonderful!

seeds, wisps, ready to fly

Morning ride, afternoon wander

My day followed a pattern that I've fallen into this summer, a morning ride followed by an afternoon wander to the coast for a bit of camera play. There are times when taking my camera with me as I ride feels like the right thing to do, and there are times when I'm happier splitting my passions into two.

I rode a loop within a loop, enjoying the cool morning air. Then, as the afternoon ushered in warmer air, I headed to the New Hampshire coast.

I started with a visit to Fuller Gardens, a place that has become a favorite of mine. I can see that starting next year I need to purchase an annual membership instead of paying by the visit. Many of the perennials are well past their prime, but the roses are still amazing. When I spoke with one of the gardeners on my first visit there she told me the roses often continue to bloom well past the garden's closing date in October.

A bit further up the coast, I stopped to scramble across some rocks. Careful, careful - it's slippery in spots! Later I stopped at Odiorne Point State Park and then along the outer edges of Portsmouth.

It was a good day!

purple, perennial

watching the sea

reflections near Portsmouth, NH

More photos from this afternoon's wander can be seen at the beginning of the gallery New Hampshire's short coastline - 2010.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Leaf confusion

Three days of wet, of cool temperatures, and today I noticed patches of color. Some yellows, some reds, some leaves totally colored, some wearing painted lines...

It's still August, much too early for autumn to waltz in.

green leaves painted with a bit of yellow

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Think layers

The unseasonably cool days this week have brought me a bit closer to packing reality. The temperatures this week (so far) have topped out in the 60s. I expect the days in Iceland to be 10 degrees cooler - but feeling 60 degree days brings me closer to remembering the right layers for 50 degree days and cooler nights.

My packing mantra... layers bring warmth.

Iceland weather forecast for 26 August at noon

Yes, the temperatures shown are in Celsius. The temperatures are as predicted for this time of year, ranging between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you're curious and want to check out the weather yourself, click to go to the forecast on the Icelandic Meteorological Office website.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Listen... the sound of the wind in the trees, to raindrops falling on leaves, in puddles, hitting my rain hat as I walk on a wet, gray evening.

So excited!

Denise is out walking in the rain right now. That means it's a good time for me to jump onto her computer to start sharing words about our trip.

I'm counting the days before we fly to Iceland. Did you know those days are down to single digits now? I've been reading about different places in the country, looking at photos too. Somehow I don't think the time we have to spend there will be enough. You do know about Denise and her visiting places habits, don't you? She says that if she likes a place that one trip is never enough. Hmmm...

I wonder where we're going to wander. I think I'd better do a little more reading in case Denise needs help deciding on a destination. She's always happy when I jump in with suggestions.

I think we're going to go to the Blue Lagoon at least once. Denise thinks that soaking in a geothermal spa sounds like a good thing to do after our long plane flight. We'll need to do some wandering first though; the Blue Lagoon opens at 10AM, and our flight gets in at 6:30. Yikes! I think I'd better figure out a way to help Denise sleep on the plane. I can always sleep on planes, but Denise can't always convince her body that sleeping on a plane is a good thing to do.

I'm so excited!

--- Rover

Oh! I wonder if there are some new readers here. Just in case you haven't met me before, I travel with Denise. I wander with her closer to home too, but traveling! so wonderful.

Here's a photo of me on our trip to Acadia back in June...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Between the raindrops

Light rain was falling as I drove to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge this morning. Yes, I know, it probably would have been smarter not to head for the coast when rain was forecast for today - but somehow I felt a need to walk along the coast.

I haven't been to Parker River since the beach was closed for the season. It closes April 1st and usually reopens in last July or August. Apparently the piping plovers have been busy this year because the refuge beach is still closed. No matter, I walked on the inland side, and I was able to walk on the beach at Sandy Point State Reservation on the southern end of Plum Island.

beach closed

endangered, terns & piping plovers

It was a day of dodging raindrops, of enjoying the beauty of Parker River. I started on the inland side of Plum Island, startled at how little water was in several always filled ponds.

There were colors... marshy areas still wore green, and sections of yellow and pink-purple blossoms were evident, pools of water on the beach reflected the clouds. What a beautiful place!

so green

water, beach

pink, wildflowers

More photos from today can be seen at the beginning of the gallery Parker River through the seasons - 2010.

beyond Bath... photos

Last weekend's wander to Bath was a good one, both because it's a great place to wander and because it gave me enough variation to help me become more familiar with my new camera.

Reid State Park, Maine, trees reflecting in water

water, sand, straight lines, Popham Beach State Park, Maine

sea gulls on a roof, smiles

More photos can be seen in the gallery beyond Bath.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Island holiday

Usually by sometime in the spring I have identified a vacation destination. This year late spring flew by without a decision. I thought and dreamed, and dreamed some more. There were two possibilities flitting through my mind, both islands, both to the north and east.

What two islands? Newfoundland, and Iceland.

Yes, I know, I went to Newfoundland last year. And I've never been to Iceland.

Eastern Newfoundland calls to me. I spent most of my visit last year in Gros Morne National Park on the west coast of Newfoundland, and while I do want to go back to Gros Morne my dream eye is focused on the east coast and on the islands north of the central coast. It's still in my mind.

Iceland? It's been on my "must visit" list for a long, long time. It was first added as a cycling destination, but it morphed into a photo and walking destination for me a number of years ago. A land of waterfalls, of volcanoes and glaciers, of a jagged coastline and fjords, in short, an island full of features that fascinate me.

Two islands that surprised me with their size - Newfoundland is slightly larger, at 108,860 square kilometers (41,700 sq miles), while Iceland is 103,000 square kilometers (39,769 square miles).

Two islands, north and east of my home, both filled with beauty.

Early in July, after bouncing back and forth (in my mind) between the two islands for months, I finally made a decision. 2010 is the year of the islands for me. I started with a visit to Hawaii in February, spent a bit of time in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in May, and I'll be headed to Iceland in September.

I have reservations to fly, a car for linking wandering spots on the ground, and a place to stay for the first two nights. After that, it will be time for a bit of an unplanned wander.

Image courtesy of Google Maps and Daft Logic, showing a distance between Boston and Reyjkavik of 2436 miles, or 3922 kilometers.

Curious about Iceland? Here's a link to an article that might satisfy a little of your curiosity, at least until I start wandering -

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back to Popham Beach

You don't mind if I take over the writing again today, do you? Denise is busy looking through the photos that jumped into her camera, and I think she needs a break anyway.

Today we went to Popham Beach again. As we were driving there I could hear Denise thinking that she should have checked the tides. I know she wants to see this place at high tide (or close to it), but I also know that the walking is very limited then. It wasn't an issue early in the morning, but I just checked the park's web site and found that today was a "beach advisory" day. From the park's web site: "Dates listing a Beach Advisory have a high tide during peak hours resulting in very little beach space during busy times". It's a good thing we were there before the ocean took back the sand!

We walked on the sand, through pools of shallow water, and I even convinced Denise to walk up the rocky surface of the island that is connected to the mainland at low tide. There were tide pools up there, and wonderful views of waves. The sound of the waves were with us for most of our visit.

Too soon, it was time to reverse direction and head for home. I know we'll be back though.

--- Rover

Popham Beach State Park, Maine

Popham Beach State Park, Maine

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Evening light

Hey... it's me again! We drove to Fort Popham at the tip of the Phippsburg Peninsula to walk along the beach and to watch the sun paint the sky. We were on the eastern end of the peninsula so we saw color changes, not the sinking sun.

On our way back to Bath, we stopped at a pond to watch the sinking sun. We didn't stay very long because the mosquitoes were dive-bombing Denise!

--- Rover

A quick update on Sunday...

Oh! Denise is still wandering through her photos, but I asked her if she would put a couple of the evening light photos in a gallery so I can share them with you. (I think it will be a couple days before the rest of the photos appear.)

sunset near Fort Popham, Maine

sunset over a pond on the Phippsburg Peninsula, Maine

Return to Bath

I have to say I was really surprised when Denise told me we were heading to Bath today to play with her new camera. We were here just two weeks ago, and she usually doesn't go back to a place so quickly.

We went to a new place today, to Reid State Park. It's down the peninsula just north of Bath. There are two beaches, and rocky headlands. Oh! It was beautiful. The "regular" beaches had quite a few people on them, but then there were sections of quiet beach in between the rocks. If you wanted a spot of sand to yourself it would be pretty easy to find one. We walked, we listened to the waves, we stood and watched the water.

I think I need to stop writing for now - we're about to head back out to the coast to see the light paintings created by the setting sun.

--- Rover

Friday, August 13, 2010

A few days of camera play

A few days of camera play, becoming familiar, experimenting...

Jump to the gallery Camera play, introducing my 7D... for the images that I captured last weekend. Some are from upstate New York, some from the New Hampshire coast.

Yes, I know, those two places aren't next to each other. But they suited my wanderings...
first impressions of a new camera, a Canon 7D

Monday, August 09, 2010

New camera, first images

Oh, you want to know if I've been playing with my new camera? Of course I have!

I'm still going through the photos that jumped into the camera over the last several days, but here are a few samples.

geranium blooming

Bailey, dachshund

yellow rose

Portsmouth Harbor

I'll post a link to the gallery once I finish wandering through the photos.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Hummingbird wonder

Visiting my folks in upstate New York...

Early evening, sitting, relaxing. I looked up at exactly the right time to see a hummingbird flit by the window. I stood, moved towards the door, and saw the tiny bird take nourishment from a flower in a hanging pot. It moved next to experience the taste of a day lily, then on to the hummingbird feeder. Such beauty!

Friday, August 06, 2010

In my hands

It took longer than expected, but my new camera (a Canon 7D) is finally in my hands.

As arranged by phone last Friday, the camera shipped on Monday. I noticed as soon as I received the confirmation email that the shipping address was incorrect. It was shipping to my home, a sure way to ensure a non-delivery since the package needed to be signed for. Very odd given that the person I was working with read back my work address to me to make sure it was correct. I know from our conversation that she was dealing with a misbehaving computer, so I suppose the computer flipped the shipping address.

Unfortunately by the time I received the email Canon technical support and sales was closed for the week. They are open from 10AM to 10PM eastern time, Monday through Friday. That wasn't good, but I was sure I could get the address corrected on Monday. I called Canon, and by the end of the day on Monday they had changed the shipping address with FedEx. But oops! Somehow with all of the package tracking they still didn't correct the address on the package. There was not one but two attempted deliveries to my home address. I called after the first one and was told that the package would be redirected. Nope. I called again after the second wrong delivery, and it was finally fixed.

Tell me, how can a company that gives you a tracking number that shows where your package is wandering not be able to correct a shipping address.

Friday morning, my new camera stopped wandering around eastern Massachusetts without me. Now, it's in my hands, ready for some camera play.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Popham Beach

I woke up this morning to find a wall of white outside of my window. The Kennebec River was hiding in a wall of fog, fog that nicely lifted to allow me to discover a new favorite place.

Heading south, down the Phippsburg Peninsula, destination Popham Beach State Park. I arrived just 5 minutes after the park opened for the day to discover a beach at close to low tide. Fox Island was no longer an island; it was accessible by a simple walk.

Photos jumped into my camera to remind me of the beauty of the area.

sunset near Fort Popham

boats on quiet water just after sunset

Popham Beach State Park

Click to view more photos from my visit to Popham Beach...