Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Walking in snow & sand

As the temperature edged toward winter warmth this morning, I headed to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. That's a favorite spot at any time of year.

Today's wander started on boardwalks covered with snow. It continued with a walk on the beach, listening to the waves, absorbing the sights of water rolling onto sand, looking inland to see dunes covered in snow.

chunks of ice, salt marsh, Park River National Wildlife Refuge

looking inland, from sand to snow, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

reflections in tide pools, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

More photos from today can be found in the gallery Parker River wonders - 2011. As 2011 progresses and I visit this favorite place again, new photos will continue to jump into this gallery. Newer photos will always be shown at the beginning of the gallery.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fenced snow

fence buried in snow

BIG snowman

Another storm pushed through last night. It dropped lots of white - about 8 inches of snow - before it moved out early this morning. I thought I'd drive to work but then I had a chat with the driver pushing the snow in my complex. He told me the roads were still pretty icy so today turned the day into a work from home day.

I split my work day in two, taking some midday sun time to head out for a walk.

Ah, look, a very big snowman! This was an adult-built creature, a squat snow person wearing the snow removed from the homeowner's driveway. Wonderful.

very big snowman

Monday, January 24, 2011

So quiet

After a big storm comes tranquility...

bench buried in snow, looking out to sea

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rover rambles

I just told Denise that I want to start jumping in with blog entries every so often. I always write when we're traveling, and now I think that I want to write a little more often. I'm going to start borrowing Denise's computer every so often to play with words. So maybe, just maybe, you'll see more non-trip entries from me this year.

I'll start with yesterday's snowshoe wander. I don't always go with Denise when she is doing her winter walking. Brr... it's cold outside! But when she told me she was going snowshoeing for the first time, I just had to go with her. I thought about riding on top of one of her snowshoes, but oh! there's a lot of that cold snow on the ground right now. Instead of getting wet and cold I jumped into her pack. It was snug in there, but I kept the zipper opened so I could see where we were wandering. I think Denise did really well. She only (sort of) fell one time. She didn't really end up on the ground, but she was kind of off balance. That didn't happen more than the one time though.

I wonder where we're going to travel this year? I know that Denise has two islands in mind for a big trip. She'll need to pick one of the two since they are not near each other so we can't go to both in one trip. Before a long trip I think we'll need a quick escape from winter. It's almost the end of January, and I know Denise is thinking about a long weekend somewhere. I'd better give her a push; she was thinking about the end of February or sometime in March, and she hasn't settled on a location yet. Hmm... maybe I can make the choice for her. What do you think?

--- Rover
Rover at Red Rock Canyon

Layers and layers and...

Cold is entering the region with dropping temperatures, wind pushing into dangerous wind chill territories. It's not often that we share the depths of cold that often covers the center of the country; the ocean provides a somewhat calming influence.

I insist on playing outside year-round, mainly walking (and now snowshoeing) on winter's sometimes slippery surfaces. I've learned to adapt my layers to the weather. Sometimes that is a challenge, as I'm sure it will be over the next day or so. From the National Weather Service's Taunton office, here's the forecast for tonight and tomorrow:

Tonight: Clear, with a low around -11. Wind chill values as low as -24. Northwest wind between 7 and 9 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

Monday:Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 9. Wind chill values as low as -25. West wind between 6 and 10 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.

Hmmm... it wasn't too bad today, 20 degrees + wind. But tomorrow? Yikes!

One layer that I added this year is a reversible polar buff - shown in the image below. I was introduced to buffs on my trip to the Lake District back in 2008. My friend Caroline was looking for something protective for her neck, and we were introduced to buffs in one of the shops there. What's a buff? It's a tubular piece of lightweight fabric that can be worn in many ways - as a scarf is my mode of choice. It provides a bit of protection and a splash of color (which means that I tend to wear them a lot in the cold months of the year). At the beginning of the winter there was a new addition to the product line that piqued my interest - a buff with the usual colored lightweight fabric on one side with a piece of Polartec® Ultra Thin™ fleece on the other. Oh! That's a nice addition on really cold days. I can keep it low around my neck, or I can pull it up onto my face for extra protection. Nice.

Hands are another concern, especially when I'm walking with a camera. Mittens are warmer than gloves, but I need individual fingers to be accessible to focus and adjust the settings on my camera. I've taken to wearing a pair of Polartec® liner gloves inside a pair of flip-top glove mittens. That's been working well (no bare skin exposed to the cold air), although I suspect that I'll need something heavier tomorrow.

Here's to adjusting layers to match the temperature!

layers, buff & double gloves

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A splash of color

Sometimes timing is everything. I was heading home after an afternoon of wandering on snowshoes, heading west on route 101 just outside of Hampton Beach when I caught a glimpse of the setting sun. The sky was painted, with a mirrored reflection in the water.

Route 101 is a two lane road with wide paved shoulders. There were no "no parking" signs in evidence, and the shoulders were very nicely plowed. Instinct took over; I parked, grabbed my camera, and walked back to the bridge I had just crossed.

It was a beautiful sunset.

sunset, near Hampton Beach, NH

sunset, near Hampton Beach, NH

A few more sunset photos can be seen in the gallery Along the New Hampshire coast - 2011.

Long feet

Last Sunday's wander in Odiorne State Park on the New Hampshire coast was gated by the fact that I was wearing (only) boots on my feet. There were places that I wanted to walk where the snow was at least knee deep and wading through deep snow wasn't high on my list of things to do. I still had a pleasant walk, but thoughts were stirring.

I've thought about buying snowshoes the last couple of winters; somehow it never moved past the thinking stage. Last Sunday evening I started by telling myself I'd head to REI one evening after work to look at and pick up a pair of snowshoes. I thought again, knowing that the likelihood of me going shopping after work was very small. Ah, saved by the web! I looked at the snowshoes stocked by REI as a starting point, read some reviews, looked at descriptions, perused the manufacturers web sites. The Atlas Snow-Shoe Company grabbed my attention, and I chose a pair from their trail walking classification. I checked the REI and LL Bean web sites for availability only to find that both were showing my choice as not in stock but available with a wait. You know me, don't you? Once I decide I need something, I don't like to wait. I did a quick web search and discovered that Zappos had the snowshoes I wanted. Their free overnight delivery worked quite well, even though the delivery was delayed by a day because of road conditions due to Tuesday's snowstorm. My new "long feet" we in my hands and ready to be used by Wednesday.

Denise's feet in snowshoes
My small foot made a bit longer by my Atlas Elektra 9 snowshoes

Today was my first day of wandering on snowshoes. My goal for the day was to get used to walking in them, and to play with my camera. I thought about using a baby camera instead of my dSLR. I went as far as to bring a little camera with me just in case I felt unsteady on my now rather long feet, but I felt comfortable on the snowshoes as soon as I started walking.

I walked in deep snow, and I walked on tracks that others had made. Both worked. Happy...

a very cold seat, a bench for relaxing, viewing the ocean, embedded in snow

golden sea grass, a path through snow, a lobster trap

More photos from today can be viewed in the gallery Along the New Hampshire coast - 2011.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Walking in the (freezing) rain

Working from home today to avoid the weather wizard's bit of craziness allowed me to walk during daylight hours. The snow turned to heavy flakes by mid-afternoon. As I started my walk, the snow changed to freezing rain.

Listen! I can hear the snow crunching under my feet.
And then... smoothly plowed surfaces quickly turned into a thin sheet of ice, slippery.

There is a lot of snow on the ground. The first photo isn't a portrait of random pieces of wood - it's the top rail of a fence, a fence that is easily waist-high. And the second? The curved metal bench is almost buried in snow. Brrr! that looks like a very cold seat.

fence railing, buried in snow

a very cold seat, bench in the snow

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Snow and the sea

Sunshine and winter warmth with temperatures edging into the low 30s pulled me to the New Hampshire coast. I walked in the snow and I walked along the beach, sharing space on the beach with the ever-present sea gulls.

snow on Hampton Beach

reflections, clouds on wet sand

More photos from today can be seen in the gallery Along the New Hampshire coast - 2011.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snowy day

There's a lot of white outside, inches and inches of snow.

I took advantage of working at home to take a mid-day walking break. It was still snowing fairly heavily, with wind throwing what felt like sharp-edged snowflakes into my face. There was a coating of ice under the snow making for a slippery walk, slippery, cold, still beautiful.

snow, leaning tree


Mobility, the state of being in motion... Today that refers to the state of my office, my ability to work wherever I am. I'm so glad that working from home is accepted and encouraged.

The storm that has been flowing through the country reached New England late in the night. A deep white coating sits on the roads, on the trees, on everything. Snow continues to fall.

Forecasts for the area near my home show an average (expected) snowfall total of 20 inches. That's a lot of snow! I'm hoping for less, but the weather wizard is clearly in control here, not me.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Metal on the wall

I liked my bare tree in the fog image so much that I ordered it as a MetalPrint to adorn the wall at work. The print arrived on Friday; I really like it. (OK, I know, it's my photo - but that image just pulls me in.)

MetalPrints are offered by Bay Photo, the lab that prints the photos on my site. If you've never seen this media, here's a description from Bay Photo:

MetalPrints™ represent a new art medium for preserving photos by infusing dyes directly into specially coated aluminum sheets. Because the image is infused into the surface and not on it, your images will take on an almost magical luminescence.
If you've been following my blog you've already seen my wall image. I'm including it here again, embedded with a bit of magic. Hover over the photo (with your mouse) to see fog change to (the next day's) blue skies and sunshine.

bare branches in fog

Monday, January 10, 2011

Standing horse

Today brought a (partial) day of jury duty for me. I was called to serve in Newburyport, a town I visit periodically since it is the location of one of my favorite wandering spots, the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. No Parker River visit today, just a morning at the Newburyport Superior Courthouse. I was fascinated to learn that it is the oldest working courthouse in the country. It was designed by Charles Bulfinch and opened in 1805.

When I returned to my car I was pulled to some artwork near the river. This horse is wonderful, isn't he?

sculpture of a horse, Newburyport, MA

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sunday wander

The day dawned under a bright blue sky, sunshine, wisps of clouds, a dusting of snow. Yesterday's storm tracked to the south leaving the roads dry, with just a bit of fresh white decorating the ground.

Hmmm... where should I go? After a bit of thought, I headed to Kittery Point. I parked near a trail in the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, using that as a starting point for a walk to the ocean. There is some inland water, and the road ends at the ocean. It was a good spot for a Sunday wander.

snow-covered rocks, ocean, Kittery Point, Maine

ocean water, snow on the shore, Kittery Point, Maine

inland water, snow-covered grasses, Kittery Point, Maine

More photos from today can be viewed in the gallery South coastal Maine - 2011.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

That was really dumb!

It's winter, and there's a chill in the air. I've adapted to the layers needed to comfortably ramble in these temperatures, grabbing layers as dictated by the temperature, the wind, and whether the air is sharing space with rain or snow. At least I thought I'd adapted!

Yesterday I came home from a late afternoon walk with very cold hands. Huh. That's odd.

It took me until my walk today in the same temperature and conditions as yesterday to realize what I had done. Yes, it was my own fault - somehow I missed a layer and headed out in attire that would have been appropriate with a temperature reading ten degrees warmer than it was.

The layer I missed? It was a very light vest, normally worn under my windbreaker. Oops! I suspect I won't do that again (this winter).

Yes, I was quite warm while I was walking today, just not yesterday.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Same tree, new day

Today's sky was bright blue and crystal clear bringing a very different look to the day as compared to yesterday.

Same tree, sunny day...

bare branched tree, setting sun

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Foggy morning

Morning, time for a walk in the fog.

As I left home, fog encompassed everything. Fog, then drizzle, fog lifting, dropping once more, a bit of rain, fog hugging the ground.

bare branches, tree standing in fog
I'm so glad I grabbed my little camera before I headed out, a tool to capture (and share) a little bit of the magic.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


I'm amazed at how beautiful growing things can be when the growing season has passed. Changing, from green to a golden color...

plant remnants, green to brown

A warm January day

Today was a gift from the weather wizard, a warm (January) day with temperatures in the 50s. It was a perfect day for a long walk along the coast. I headed to the Wells Reserve at Laudholm with winter walking boots and my camera.

Yes, I did think about wearing my lightweight suitable for dry weather walking shoes. Luckily I thought twice since there was still a bit snow on the ground from last week's storm. The path to the shore was packed snow but there were a few deeper puddles, and I just had to walk through a few fields of snow on my way to possible photos.

Like last Wednesday's wander, the tide was heading out, leaving a shiny wet but sturdy surface for walking and reflections.

There were times when it was quite difficult to see the transition from ocean to sky. The sky seemed to be wearing a layer of white along the horizon, even as patches of blue popped from behind the clouds.

patterns in clouds and reflections, wells reserve

sea to sky, reflections

snow covered field, bare branches of a tree in winter

More photos from today can be found in the gallery Wells Reserve - 2011. As 2011 progresses and I visit this favorite place again, new photos will continue to jump into this gallery. Newer photos will always be shown at the beginning of the gallery.