Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, December 31, 2011


The last day of 2011 brought cool air with light rain turning into fog. It was a good afternoon for a long walk, a ramble in the woods.

tree & reflections, in fog

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Painting on ice

A painting... courtesy of Mother Nature, created by the angle of the sun, trees, and reflections on ice.

reflections, trees on ice

Monday, December 26, 2011

Water & ice

Part of the water's surface is fully frozen, some is still clear of ice. This reservoir was split into three - a section close to shore that was frozen solid, a narrow band of glittering jagged ice, and a large body of open water.

The light hitting the jagged section pulled my eyes, requiring a quick stop.

in the process of freezing, water & ice

Walking in the woods

People, walking in the woods... so small in comparison to the trees.

walking in the woods, Maudslay State Park

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bird hopping backwards

It was a crisp bright afternoon, a good time to watch birds enjoying the bounty of black oil sunflower seeds filling a tray hanging in a tree. I watched a red-bellied woodpecker hop into the tray, select a seed, and hop backwards down a slanted branch to get to a place to enjoy his treat. Seed devoured, the woodpecker hopped back to the tray of seeds, took another, hopped backwards once again.

What a beautiful bird! He has a red head, and an intricate black and white pattern on his back.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Photos! Southwest wander

Photos from my wander in California & Nevada are loaded into galleries and ready for viewing. Start with the top level gallery, California Nevada, 2011 or click on the photos below to enter a specific gallery.

A smattering of desert images:

A smattering of desert images

Death Valley in sunshine:

Death Valley in sunshine

Red Rock Canyon and ...:

Red Rock Canyon and ...

Valley of Fire:

Valley of Fire

Designed by humans:

Designed by humans

Interested in words? You can find my ramblings in my blog entries tagged California Nevada 2011.

Winter? nicely warm

The calendar says that the winter solstice has arrived, but the weather wizard has granted us a one-day delay. Today was graced by 50 degree temperatures, clear skies, and a taste of warmth before winter settles in.

Unexpected green

December isn't the time when I expect to see green leaves in a desert setting. When I think about it though, I know nothing of the snow and rain patterns in Las Vegas; it might just make sense!

green leaves, Red Rock Canyon

This photo was taken on the edge of the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Las Vegas, NV.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Same spot, different sky

Pure blue or patterned gray...

I continue to be amazed at differences in images due to the sky. Of these two photos, I prefer the older, grayer image, taken on my first visit to Valley of Fire State Park in February of 2009. Yes, I know, the vantage point is slightly different, and my preference is for the composition of the first image. The sky color and its effect on the overall image makes a big difference, doesn't it?

Valley of Fire, gray sky with patterned clouds

Valley of Fire, pure blue sky

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Finding beauty...

...close to home.

Today was brr! chilly, a sign of the soon to arrive winter solstice. A brisk walk was in my plans - I just needed to decide whether it was a close to home day or a day for wandering along the coast. It was well after noon when I donned warm layers, opened the door, and headed out - close to home.

I walked through neighborhoods, then turned to the trails in the Moncrieff Cochran Sanctuary (on the grounds of Phillips Academy). The sun was dropping lower, angling through the trees. Ponds showed sections of water, sections of ice, and rippled reflections.

This reflection? It reminds me of an impressionist painting.

reflection, trees in a pond

Colors and angles

From my first afternoon's wander at Red Rock Canyon... I'm fascinated by the colors in the desert southwest, the red rocks, the deep yellows of fall groundcover, the angles of the terrain.

red rocks, autumn colors, Red Rock Canyon

mountains and slanted ground, Red Rock Canyon

These photos are from the one day (of seven!) when I had interesting cloudy skies. Only a photographer would complain about pure uninterrupted blue above!

Photo galleries? Soon...

I probably don't need to tell you that Denise is still sorting out the photos from our southwest wander, do I? She told me that she planned to publish her galleries today, but I think it really might be tomorrow or the next day (or maybe even the day after that).

In the meantime, here's a shot of me bouncing along the very red rocks in Valley of Fire State Park. You can look through the sampling of photos in the gallery A smattering of desert images if you haven't already been there. Denise added a few more photos since she published that gallery; I think most of them are in her blog too.

--- Rover

Rover in Red Rock Canyon

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Magic sky

Looking to the south at the exit from the loop road at Red Rock Canyon, magic in the sky...

sky painting, looking south from Red Rock Canyon

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In the valley of fire

Looking down a curving road in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada...

looking down the road, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Monday, December 12, 2011

Quiet water

...near Badwater, Death Valley National Park. These photos jumped into my camera in the late afternoon, just after the sun sank behind the mountains.

at sunset, near Badwater in Death Valley National Park

at sunset, near Badwater in Death Valley National Park

Morning colors Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, just west of the outer loop road around Las Vegas.

fall colors in grasses, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

pond and late fall colors, Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

Breakfast delight

I was introduced to ground flaxseed as a topping for hot cereal at Peg's B&B during my Newfoundland trip last summer. Somehow I lost the thought when I returned home, but it rushed back when I saw some bags of coarsely ground flaxseed at Whole Foods recently.

Breakfast this morning was oat bran with a bit (OK, a tablespoon) of flaxseed stirred in, topped with walnuts and bananas. Yum!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Slowly emerging

We've been home for 3 days now, and Denise is still wandering through the photos from our desert wander. I just reminded her of the starter gallery we used after our Newfoundland trip; she decided that was a good idea for this set of photos too. She's going to stash some favorite photos in the gallery A smattering of desert images. Take a look now, but check back again because more images will be jumping in to that gallery as Denise continues to go through the photos.

It was really windy when we were in Death Valley - look! my ears were flying in the wind as I bounced down the salt flats!

Oh! You probably want to see some photos of our wanders too, don't you? The first photo (below) was taken from the Keystone Thrust Hike in Red Rock Canyon. Yes, that really is snow on the trail. Luckily there was dry ground too so my feet stayed warm. The second photo is in Death Valley, heading south from the Golden Canyon trailhead. The two parks are very different looking, aren't they?
--- Rover

hiking the Keystone Thrust Trail, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Death Valley National Park, heading south from the Golden Canyon trailhead

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Heading home

Just before boarding time the gate attendant said he had good news and bad news. He asked which we wanted to hear first, and everyone said "bad news". The bad news was bad for the airline but good for the passengers - there were only 48 passengers on a 737, meaning that everyone who wanted a row of seats to themselves could have one. Ah, stretching out on a flight - that's almost unheard of these days.

The good news? Southwest's bad news was good for me, but they had better news too - the flight is due to land early, at 12:30 instead of 1 AM. We'll see.

Oh, this flight has wifi! It's slow, but I'm connected. Nice.

The wifi service includes a banner at the top of the page that shows the remaining flight time and the weather at flight's destination. I like the information but the silly banner almost stopped me from posting to my blog since it sat on top of some of the controls in blogger and the close button needed some convincing to work properly. Luckily it finally decided to behave.

posted from Southwest flight 1265, enroute from Las Vegas, NV to Manchester, NH

Blue skies, that is! The sky was clear (again), colored a deep blue, no cloud decorations. The photos I viewed on my camera showed a blue sky that looks like the color has been boosted or altered. Nope; that's color direct from the sky!

A flight at 5 PM supported a last day of wandering in Red Rock Canyon. I started by a walk along the Calico trail, still fascinated by the colors of the rocks. At the beginning the sandstone wore stripes of white and red, changing to all red as I walked. The ground wore a bit of green, a bit of brown.

I had a conversation with a man and two (little) dogs early on the trail. The dogs were wearing fleece coats when we first met; when I saw them as they were returning from their loop they had shed the fleece, still happily prancing down the trail.

It was a day to try a part of a new-for-me trail. I had parked at the Sandstone Quarry lot, and I noticed a faint trail leading off to the left. I started to follow it, discovering that it was the Grand Circuit trail. It's an 11-mile loop that I'd never considered walking before. Now that I've walked a small piece of it I will definitely consider walking the full trail on another visit. The trail was in the open, winding towards interesting vistas, allowing closer access than I had from the road. It was quiet enough that I could hear the crunch of my footsteps. There were birds flying and singing, and there were small ground squirrels darting around.

It was a good week, over too soon - but somehow my vacations always seem too short. Hmm... maybe I should plan a longer vacation for next year.

I need to remember (before my next trip) to put an order in with the weather wizard for some variations in the sky. I really would have preferred some days with interesting clouds; I really can't believe that every day had clear blue skies. That's a wish more than a complaint though. The nights were chilly but for the most part the days were comfortable with temperatures rising into the low 50s (OK, the low 60s in Death Valley). For December days that's more than acceptable.

posted from Southwest flight 1265, enroute from Las Vegas, NV to Manchester. NH

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Scenery in outline

Las Vegas was visible in the distance as I drove west on I-15 at the end of the day.

The sun was dropping in the sky. I could see the outline of the mountains and the outlines of the buildings on the strip, standing in a mist.

Fire in rocks

I was going to let Denise write today but she said that her brain is thinking in circles. Taking over for her is fine with me; I really like playing with words!

Valley of Fire was today's wandering spot. At first Denise was thinking about leaving very early, by 7 AM, but then she realized how cold it was going to be and she decided an extra hour of sleep might give us a little more warmth when we arrived in the park. We were in the park by 9:30, leaving us plenty of time for exploring.

There were a lot of other people in the park. We still had our alone with the environment time though; as soon as we started walking we were alone, sharing space with the birds and other local creatures. We only saw birds although Denise took a quick look at a close-to-the-ground twisted looking cactus and thought it was a snake. Yikes! Even if it had been a snake we weren't close enough for it to be a problem.

From the park's web site: "Valley of Fire is Nevada's oldest and largest state park, dedicated 1935. The valley derives its name from the red sandstone formations and the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert."

Valley of Fire is really amazing. There are very red rocks, and there are other colors too, yellows, greens, whites, and...

We stopped a lot as we drove through the park, jumping out of the car so Denise could play with her camera. We walked in a few spots too. The trail at the White Domes is a favorite of Denise's, so of course we walked there. The start of the loop heads down, deep sand covering the trail, sand on top of sandstone in a canyon. It was a good place for bouncing; I bounced down and back up a bit to check on Denise. She walks slower than I do sometimes, especially when she thinks she might slip. At the bottom, we turned to the right and went through a narrow slot canyon. Wow! It was really chilly in there. I was happy to come back out into the sunshine to warm up again.

When we drove to the end of the road Denise noticed a small sign labeled "wave" with an arrow pointing to a faint trail. We passed it again on the way out, then we turned around and went back to the small parking area just before the sign. It started as a dirt trail, then continued on hard rock. There was an occasional trail marker, a pile of rocks. Denise looked back to make sure the little trail was findable, and then we continued on walking on rock (no footprints to follow back!). The colors were just amazing. Hopefully some of Denise's photos will give you an idea of the colors. We stopped walking when we came to a smooth rock striped in orange and white. Cool!

--- Rover

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Choosing the scenic route

I chose the shortest route when I drove into the park on Sunday morning. My plans were to reverse that route today, but then I saw a sheet in the visitor center that listed 4 different routes back to Las Vegas - shortest, easiest, ghost town, and most scenic. It didn't take me too long to decide to take the route labeled "most scenic".

I headed south, taking Badwater Road to its endpoint where it met CA-127. The route continued on CA-127 and then onto the Old Spanish Trail. The piece of the route on Old Spanish Trail was 41 miles long - I didn't see another vehicle until the last 5 miles. It was desolate but beautiful.

The scenery changed as I crossed two mountain passes in the Amargosa Range, Jubilee Pass and Salsberry Pass.

It was a drive when I wished for a camera mounted on the car. I could easily have spent more time stopping than driving if I had attempted to document my drive with photos; for the most part the images are only in my mind.

My rental car has a GPS in it so I entered my end point before I started driving, selecting the option to stay off of highways. The GPS's route and the route I intended to follow were slightly different. It had me taking route CA-178 (and then NV-372) to meet up with NV-160 in Pahrump. It was quite unhappy when I continued on CA-127, heading for the Old Spanish Trail. Silly GPS kept telling me to turn around a block, finally suggesting that I find a safe spot to make a U-turn. It wasn't until a few more miles down the road when it decided that taking the Old Spanish Trail would work. Silly computer!

Tomorrow I plan to head to the east, destination Valley of Fire State Park.

Canyons and badlands

One last Death Valley wandering day (for this year)...

Denise thought that today was going to be a three-canyon day; it turned into a two-canyon plus badlands day instead.

We started with a walk through Mustard Canyon. It's just a small loop, a good one to start our day. We wandered out on the salty spots near the Harmony Borax Works then continued around the loop.

Next stop, Twenty-Mule Team Canyon... That's a favorite, a loop that we drove, stopping often. Usually we pulled to the side of a wide spot in the road to play for a bit, but a couple of times Denise just stopped in the road. That wasn't a problem since we didn't see any other people on that loop. Either the other people were moving as slowly as we were or we had the loop to ourselves - and I think it was our private loop today. I wonder if I can convince Denise to walk that one the next time we visit. It's a bit long for a road walk - 3 miles on a winding 1-lane dirt road, then the walk back down the highway to rejoin the car. Hmm... Maybe I'll just plant that idea in Denise's head.

The colors in Twenty-Mule Team Canyon were wonderful even though we were there in the strong morning light. I think the colors would have been more intense in the afternoon; somehow it seems like we've always visited this canyon in the morning. I know there will be a future visit to Death Valley; guess I'll need to remind Denise to try an afternoon loop there the next time.

We stopped at Zabriskie Point for a quick view that turned out to be a long visit. As we stood on the overlook looking down we could see faint trails left by wandering feet on top of the ridges of the badlands below. I convinced Denise that we should skip the next canyon hike and spend our remaining time in the badlands below Zabriskie Point. I think we just found a new favorite spot!

--- Rover

Monday, December 05, 2011

From Salt Creek to Badwater

It was another day of wandering under clear blue skies. The temperature warmed up to (and hovered in) the low 60s, and the wind was howling.

Salt Creek was my first stop of the day. I walked the boardwalk trail to the halfway point, then stepped off and followed a faint trail on the ground, crossing salty ground between several different kinds of plants. Every so often there were larger bodies of water, ponds or a widened creek. The ducks playing in the water quickly flew off when they heard my footsteps.

I followed the road across Daylight Pass, crossing back into Nevada for a quick trip to Rhyolite, a ghost town and home of the Goldwell Open Air Museum. The sculptures were accessible and touchable. The structures in the ghost town were another story, blocked off with barbed wire. That's too bad because one of the buildings was a bottle house. I would have liked to see it from the inside. I was able to walk into a bottle house on Prince Edward Island many years ago; seeing another one would be fun.

Back in Death Valley, sliding down and climbing sand dunes called to me. I was hoping that the seemingly constant wind would have scoured the dunes of footsteps. Nope!

About an hour before sunset I headed back to Badwater, thinking I'd try to catch some late day light. The sun dropped behind the mountains quickly leaving a subtle edge of pink hugging the peaks.

It was another (non-stop) good day.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Seeking water

I'm so glad we left early this morning; we had lots of hours for wandering once we arrived in Death Valley. We started with a walk up Desolation Canyon. I don't remember bouncing there before. It's funny, the dirt road leading to the trail didn't have a sign on it. I guess we were lucky that one of the rangers told Denise about it. That was a good way to start our day!

I thought we were heading to Badwater next, but Denise kept driving south. She was hunting for water; there isn't as much surface water as last year, but there is some. It was well worth the hunt - we found some strands of water in the middle of some crunchy salty ground. After that quick walk on uneven terrain we headed for Badwater. Denise played with her camera for a while and then we started walking. The salty surface closest to the water and the boardwalk is worn flat; we walked out until we started to see patterns in the salt.

Late in the day we followed the road to the north, looking for more sparkles of water in the salt. Denise is really good at spotting sparkles - we had a late afternoon bounce between narrow strands of water cutting through very white crunchy salt. Nice.

It was a beautiful day with a clear blue sky. It's funny though; Denise really wanted some clouds. Do you think that's a photographer's odd wish? Or do other people like clouds too?

--- Rover

How far?

Today it was time to switch states, moving to California and Death Valley. When I checked the directions on Google maps I doubted my memory of the driving time; as it turns out my memory was correct. The distance shown was 128 miles, with a projected time of 3 hours 22 minutes. Hmm...

Much of the drive was on two lane roads, roads with speeds ranging from 45 to 70 miles per hour. The roads were empty, verging on desolate. No traffic, no delays, just over 2 hours elapsed time. I arrived in Death Valley at 9:30 AM, leaving me a full day for wandering.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Windy wanders

Today dawned clear and very windy. The air was cool, warming just a bit as the day progressed. I couldn't resist bouncing down the trails in the afternoon, but I have to admit that I spent part of the day riding in the camera bag. I don't weigh that much and I really didn't want to get blown away!

We started our wanders today at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park. We had the trails to ourselves other than the ducks paddling in Lake Harriet. It's funny, at home big bodies of water are called ponds, and here this relatively small body of water is called a lake. Isn't it a little odd that two words are used for the same thing? I remember Lake Harriett from last year. It looked different today, partly because it didn't contain as much water, and partly because the surface of the water was covered with ripples from the wind. Last year it was a big reflecting pond.

Denise was planning to walk along the red rocks of the Calico Hills today but I convinced her to try a new trail today and to save a stroll along the very red rocks for later. Our exploration of the Keystone Thrust trail took a little longer than expected since we missed the trail at one point. The trail cut across a wash and Denise didn't notice the trail moving away from the wash again. Oops! We walked up the wash for a bit before we chatted with two hikers coming the other way. They were trying to find a loop to connect to the Keystone Thrust; we all turned around. This time we found the trail. Up a gentle grade, the trail was a combination of visible ground and a bit of snow. Then there was a big stone arrow on the ground, pointing down and to the right. We followed the arrow and were treated with a view of the Calico Hills and Turtlehead Peak. Oh! That was a really nice trail.

It was a good day.

Tomorrow? It will be a driving and a hiking day, time for Death Valley.

--- Rover

Friday, December 02, 2011

Three extra hours

It was a travel day, a day with three extra hours. An early flight made it a wandering day too, in spite of the 6 hours flying (across the country).

I started by following a somewhat odd set of directions, looking for a squished building. It took a few loops around the block. Some of the sculpted part of the building is a facade, but other pieces are a shaped building, very interesting.

It was a Red Rock Canyon afternoon, a time for some walking, some driving, absorbing the beauty. There was snow on some of the high peaks, and there were patches of snow on the ground in some of the higher spots along the loop road.

Tired, ready for an early sleep...


Oh! We're at the airport in Manchester, New Hampshire right now, waiting to board our plane. I met a little white dog as we were waiting to go through security. She is really quiet, and she seems to be content to stay in her red bag. Her owner had to carry her through the security checkpoint, and she (the dog) didn't say a word. She seems to be a calm traveler; or, I suppose she could just be sleepy!

Let's see, we are supposed to leave here at 7:05 and arrive in Las Vegas a little after 10. That sounds like we'll be on the plane for just over six hours. I think I'm glad we don't need to drive too far today; we're planning to wander at Red Rock Canyon.

Flying soon now...

--- Rover

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oregon by time lapse

All I can say is wow! I saw this video on Google+ and I just had to share it.

From the authors at Uncage the Soul Video Production:

"Finding Oregon is the compilation of six months of timelapse photography across the state of Oregon, punctuated by a 1600 mile road trip in September. We've filmed the Columbia River Gorge, Mt Hood, Mt Jefferson, the Southwestern Coast, the Alvord Desert, Leslie Gulch, Blue Mountains, Crater Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness, Deschutes River, and more. We're proud to have touched all four corners of the state; however Oregon is the kind of place that the more you see, the more places there are to still discover."

Finding Oregon from Uncage the Soul Productions on Vimeo.

Watch in full screen mode by clicking the arrows symbol to the right of HD after the video starts playing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I feel like the days have been flying by. Soon I'll be on my way to the desert southwest, heading for not one but three favorite parks.

This magic sky above mountains is from last year's visit to Death Valley.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A visiting weekend

The Thanksgiving holiday was a long weekend for visiting, for walking, for sharing.

trees, Valley Forge National Historic Park

It wasn't intended to be a photography weekend, but you know me - I did have a small camera with me. A few more photos can be found in the gallery Autumn 2011 starting with this photo and ending here.

Bailey posing

Have you ever lived with an animal who made you laugh?

This is Bailey. He is a character, a source of smiles, laughter, and love.

Bailey, at Valley Forge National Historic Park

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I wonder if we'll find water in Death Valley this year. Denise said we were very lucky last year to see water in more than the usual wet spots, and a friend of hers saw almost no water on a visit to Death Valley just two weeks ago.

I know that Denise will be happy to wander there in any conditions, to see the wonders of the desert, salt flats, and sand. I'd love to see water again. I wonder...

--- Rover

water, Death Valley National Park

Thursday, November 24, 2011

One more week

I'm still looking through photos of our previous desert southwest wanders to make sure that Denise has all of my favorite spots on our list of places to bounce through. Last year was the first time we visited Spring Mountain Ranch. It's kind of funny - it's a Nevada State Park, but it's on land that belongs to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. The loop road and trails in Red Rock Canyon are definite wander spots for us, but I think I'd like to stop by Spring Mountain Ranch too. I really liked the way the light reflected in this pond.

It's a good thing that Denise is letting me help plan our wanders, isn't it?

--- Rover

reflecting sky, Spring Mountain Ranch

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wild winds

The flight from Manchester (NH) to Philadelphia is usually much calmer (than today's flight). We were delayed for a half an hour this morning waiting for ice pellets to clear the area. Then a short wait for de-icing, and we were off. The plane lifted off, and then...

The winds were wild! It felt like we were being tossed all over the sky. It was a time of non-level flight, wings dipping, plane bouncing. As we climbed higher we found quiet(er) air for most of the flight. The bouncing returned a couple of times, smoothing out after a bit.

It's been quite a while since I've been on a flight this wild; in fact, I think this one was the wildest.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dreaming forward

It seems like the days are flying by; our wander out west is coming soon!

I decided it would be fun to go through some of the photos from our previous trips to the same parks. This is a favorite from our very first visit to Valley of Fire State Park. I know Denise wants to go back to this spot; I do too! It's near the end (or I guess the beginning if we hiked the trail in the opposite direction) of a loop trail. We could do an out-and-back walk to find this spot, but I think I'll convince Denise that we need to walk the full loop.

--- Rover

dreaming of Valley of Fire

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Parker River afternoon

What a beautiful day! The temperatures warmed into the low 60s by late morning, a treat for a November day. It felt like a good day for a walk by the ocean.

Today's destination was the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. I stopped at a few inland spots first, then headed to the beach. Low tide was at 12:33 PM, and that's when I started heading south along a rather slanted beach. I spent a good two hours walking, listening to the quiet sound of the waves, watching the birds, soaking up the warmth.

grasses and water, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

reflecting sky, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

More photos from today can be viewed in the gallery Parker River wonders - 2011 starting with this photo and ending here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

River sunset

sunset over the Merrimack River

A quick Maudslay visit

Hmm... I clearly need to start remembering that the sun sets earlier now!

It was a day for a mid-afternoon was Maudslay State Park. Knowing that daylight was limited, I did an out-and-back walk, not wanting to get caught in the woods by darkness.

reflections, Maudslay State Park

a tree without leaves, Maudslay State Park

A few more photos from today can be viewed in the gallery Wandering Maudslay State Park - 2011 starting with this photo and ending here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A walk in the rain

The hardest thing about going for a walk in the rain is opening the door and stepping outside.

I'm glad I convinced myself open the door tonight. My walk was decorated by the quiet sound of falling rain.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Warmth in November

Crisp temperatures in the morning warmed into the low 60s by early afternoon. It was a good day for wandering outside in very light layers, a good day for walking, a good day for riding.

Warmth... nice!

through the branches

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Following the sun

Today was a gift from the weather wizard, a November day with temperatures in the 50s. Tomorrow promises to be a repeat too!

Afternoon came, and I headed for Odiorne Point State Park along the New Hampshire coast. It has a mix of inland trails and coastal walks along rocky beaches, a good place to wander. I started on the inland side, following a paved trail, then heading back through the woods with occasional "beach" stops to check the light on the water.

Finished, I was heading south towards home when I caught a glimpse of the light at Jenness State Beach. It was low tide, and the sun setting in the west was casting pink light over both the sand and the sea as I looked to the east. Yes, of course I stopped for a beach walk!

Odiorne Point, water, reflection

Jenness State Beach, sunset

More photos from today can be found in the gallery Along the New Hampshire coast - 2011 starting with this photo and ending here.

Opening, exploding

milkweed seed pod, opening

milkweed seed pod, exploding

Friday, November 11, 2011

Waiting for December travel

Did you see that today is a funny date? It's the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year. Hmm... maybe I should be writing this at 11:11 AM instead of now. I don't want to wait, so...

Wow! We're a third of the way through November, and Denise and I are going wandering out west in early December. That's not too far away now. There are three parks on our list - Death Valley National Park, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, and Valley of Fire State Park. Denise was thinking she should find someplace new to visit, but early December is a funny between seasons time at some of the other places she was considering. I told her it's a good thing to go back to these three beautiful places. I really like bouncing in these parks, and I know they all have lots of interesting scenery to exercise Denise's camera. And oh! the desert scenery will be so different from Acadia!

I found a different kind of place for us to visit too, a building. Denise really likes wandering outside, but I was wandering a bit on her computer and I found a really funny looking building that I want to see. When I stuck a photo in front of Denise she said she wants to see it too. The building looks kind of squooshed, doesn't it? That's not a drawing, it's a real photograph!

I'm so glad we're going to be traveling again soon!

--- Rover

Lou Ruvo Brain Center, photo courtesy of KIRK GITTINGS
Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas.
Photo courtesy of Kirk Gittings, as published on wikipedia

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Half power

Now that was odd!

At about 8 tonight the power went out. All I could think was not again. I was upstairs in the dark. I looked out of my front windows, and I could see that the lights on the outside of the buildings that are always on at night were out. But it was odd - there were lights coming from some of my neighbor's houses. Hmm...

I turned to head downstairs and realized that the lights were on on the first floor but not on the second. OK, that's flat out weird. I headed outside, standing in the rain comparing notes with my neighbors. A couple of people had full power, but most of us had half power. I've never seen that before. I called the power company, making sure to talk with a person instead of leaving an outage report on the automated system. I wanted to make sure it was an outside power issue as opposed to an inside issue. I was assured that there were power outages in my area, and that it wasn't abnormal to have some power. I settled in to wait.

At 10:30 the house went completely black. Oops! Just as I picked up the phone to call National Grid again, the power popped back on - all of it. Phew!


Today's forecast called for heavy rain. The morning was dry with a soft light rain starting around noon, a good day for a mid-day walking break. Walking in light rain was much better than walking in the later in the day heavy downpour.

fallen leaves, brilliant colors

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Groundcover in orange

...from the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park

color, on Cadillac Mountain

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

So dark

Last night darkness had already descended by the time I left the office. Tonight I left a little earlier, while there was still an edge of glowing light in the west. By the time I arrived home and headed out for my evening walk, it was very dark out.

I walk wearing blinking lights, lights that allow me to be seen. I let my eyes adjust to the dark; for the most part walking in the dark works quite well. The not so well part? I walk in neighborhoods that don't wear street lights. In many places there is enough light coming from the houses to light the road, but in others it is very dark. I only walked into one pile of downed branches from our late October storm tonight, stopping before I did more than brush the wood. Oops!

Turning the clocks back an hour is very noticeable in the first days after the time change. I know I'll become accustomed to starting my late day walks in the dark, hopefully within the next couple of days. Dark...

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Cattails & ocean waves

Walking by the ocean jumped to the top of my things to do today. I headed to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge early in the afternoon, targeting my arrival to coincide with low tide.

I started on the inland marsh side of the refuge. Cattails gone to seed were spreading fluff through the air, browns and reds of autumn were everywhere. Moving to the ocean side, the wind was ruffling sea gull's feathers, ocean waves were crashing on the beach. Listen...

cattails gone to seed

beach, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

More photos from today can be viewed in the gallery Parker River wonders - 2011 starting with this photo and ending here.