Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wandering Maudslay

As I walked through the Wild Gardens of Acadia last weekend I started chatting with other folks who were also absorbing the beauty there. They told me about Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, and I knew I needed to visit there soon. From the park's web site:

The former Moseley family estate on the Merrimack River, this park features 19th century gardens and plantings, rolling meadows, towering pines, and one of the largest naturally-occurring stands of mountain laurel in Massachusetts. Most breathtaking are the ornamental trees and masses of azaleas and rhododendrons that bloom in May and June. An exquisite place for walking, biking, horseback riding and informal picnics.

I wandered at Maudslay this morning for the first time. I know I'll be back; this is a park that needs frequent visits. Now I have two favorite parks in Newburyport - Maudslay State Park, and Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Having too many place I want to visit is a good problem to have!

flowers at Maudslay State Park

path winding through trees, Maudslay State Park

More photos from today's wander can be seen in the gallery Wandering Maudslay State Park - 2011.

Field of poppies



Acadia photos? not yet...

Denise was thinking that photos would jump into her Acadia galleries by now. I told her that she was being silly, there just wasn't enough time for her to sort through the photos after work. If the weather wizard had brought a rainy weekend she would have had some "inside" time - but the weekend has been warm and sunny, good weather for riding, and good weather for taking more photos.

I told her you wouldn't mind waiting. You don't, do you?

--- Rover
Rover on Gorham Mountain, Acadia National Park
Hey, it's me! at the top of Gorham Mountain in Acadia National Park.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Changing flowers

Today was my first glimpse of the flowers at Stephens-Coolidge Place in two weeks, and what a change! The tulips that were still hanging on at my last visit are gone, the height of the "green" in the gardens has grown, poppies are out but staring to fade, iris are starting to emerge, flowers have popped out on some trees too. Beautiful!

purple iris

flowers blossom on a tree

poppy sans petals

More photos from today can be seen in the gallery Spring color... 2011, starting with this photo and ending here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Marking the trails

Hiking on well-marked trails is a security blanket for me. Walk, look ahead, look around, follow a trail worn through the woods, follow a trail on solid rock.

trail markers, rock cairn

trail markers, blue blazes

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Different views

When we turned down the Schoodic Peninsula on Saturday morning the fog followed us. Denise stopped at a picnic area just before the road turned into a one-way loop so we could stretch our legs. Looking inland it was cloudy but clear. Looking over the water there was fog.

I was looking over Denise's shoulder yesterday as she was started to sort through her photos (yes, it does take her a while, and she's not close to done yet!). I saw these three shots from that quick stop before heading to the tip of the peninsula. I thought I would share them with you now instead of waiting for the Denise's galleries to be completed.

Hmmm... I wonder if I can convince Denise we need to visit Acadia again before the autumn months roll around. I think I'm probably going to need to wait, but...

Oh! I almost forgot I wanted to tell you that we were standing in almost the same spot for all of these photos. We were standing on the ground to the right of the dock for the first two photos, and on the floaty thing at the end of the dock to get the really foggy shot.

--- Rover
schoodic peninsula, acadia national park, reflections

schoodic peninsula, acadia national park, pier

schoodic peninsula, acadia national park, fog

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rabbit warning

A (somewhat) protected plant in the Wild Gardens of Acadia:

no rabbits allowed

Pure luck

Rain accompanied me as I drove home late this afternoon, giving way to sunshine, blue skies, and pure white clouds.

The weather forecast called for isolated thunderstorms. I chose to ignore the warning, heading out for a long fast walk without any rain gear. About two miles from home I heard a loud crack, the rumble of thunder. I looked up to see the blue disappearing, shades of gray decorating the sky. Uh oh! I was sure I was going to get very wet, and soon.

I walked faster, watching the sky, listening to occasional rumbles. Just as I got home I saw sunlight on the edge of a cloud, a small remnant of white. Five minutes after I walked in the door, the sky turned black. A few minutes later the rain started, an unbelievable deluge.

Pure luck...

clouds, before the rain

Monday, May 23, 2011

One last wander, a travel day

I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of rain. This morning the ground is wet, the sky is gray, and the air is dry.

Breakfast first... today's treat was rosemary scramble (eggs!), french toast topped with a sweet walnut almond crumble, and a bit of watermelon. Evin's breakfasts always give me a good start.

Ah, time for a walk along the ocean, a last morning to absorb Acadia. An ocean walk, a quick trip to the top of Cadillac Mountain to stand inside a cloud, to feel the wind. Then it was time to head home, driving south and west.

Sometimes a quick trip is just what I need.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rock hopping

Denise promised that we would hike Gorham Mountain today so I was pretty surprised when we started our morning with two garden visits. Our first stop was at the Wild Gardens of Acadia. I wasn't surprised by that one since it is just off of Park Loop Road - it was on the way to our hike.

Uh oh. After our Wild Gardens visit the car turned towards Northeast Harbor instead of continuing along the loop road. I poked Denise to remind her of our plans. I should have known she had something sensible in mind - we were still going to bounce up the Gorham Mountain trail, just a little later. The temperature was still in the mid 40s, and the forecast called for better weather in the afternoon. Denise thought a second garden visit would be a good morning activity. It's still early for azaleas, but we visited the Asticou Azalea Garden anyway. Even though it was early for most of the blooms there was scattered color.

It was still morning when we parked at Sand Beach for our loop hike, following the ocean path to the start of the Gorham Mountain trail, heading up the mountain, over the top, and down, ending near Sand Beach. Denise almost decided to do it as an out-and-back hike because the trail up was so wet. The "down" part is almost always wet, and with so much water on the "up" side she figured it was going to be a very wet walk down. She talked to some people on top of the mountain who were doing the loop in the opposite direction. They told her that the trail was very wet in spots but there were rocks she could use to keep her feet dry. I usually bounce along the trail with Denise, but there were a few sections where I was quite happy to ride in her pack. Bouncing between rocks is hard when you're as little as I am!

Rock hopping was hard work for Denise too. She said that her feet were very happy to walk on a smooth surface again.

Blue finally started peeking out from the clouds in the middle of the afternoon and Denise started chasing reflections. We found the first set along Park Loop Road, and the second set near the Eagle Lake carriage road parking area. Nice...

Cadillac Mountain called early in the evening. The top of the mountain is a good place to see the late day light.

--- Rover

Breakfast report

I know when I'm staying with Evin that I'm going to be spoiled with fabulous food to start my day. Today's mix of breakfast tastes: a frittata loaded with vegetables and black beans with a bit of cheese and spices thrown in for extra flavor, french toast topped with bumbleberry jam, and apple chunks with currents, almonds, and a light dressing. I'm happy, loaded with walking energy.

unlike yesterday when I was the only early breakfast attendee, there were some other folks at the 7:30 sitting. There was a couple from Cape Elizabeth (Maine), and I finally met David, another Holland Inn repeat visitor from the Boston area. We've been at the inn at the same time before but we haven't previously crossed paths.

Good conversation, good food, a good start to the day...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Schoodic, and...

I knew it was going to be a day of lots of stops when Denise hopped out of the car on the edge of Mt. Desert Island. Of course I hopped out too. That stop was because Denise was fascinated by the fog on the water. Hmmm...

We were headed to the Schoodic Peninsula to start our wanders. Silly me, I thought that would be our first stop. I should know better. After all, I've been traveling with Denise for a long time, and I know if something jumps out and grabs her eye, we always stop.

There were foggy spots and almost clear spots. At one point we even saw a few flashes of blue sky. That disappeared really quickly. We walked on the big rocks of Schoodic (well Denise walked, I bounced!). Denise even sat and watched the waves crashing into the rocks for a while. It started sprinkling, we kept walking. Denise even asked some sea gulls if they would pose for a portrait!

Sprinkles turned into heavy rain, then sprinkles again. When we got back to Mount Desert Island we headed up Cadillac Mountain. I thought that was a little crazy, but Denise wanted to see if the top of the mountain was in the clouds. It was. The rain was steady, and waves of white flowed across our vision. Wet...

The rain disappeared as we left Cadillac, leaving occasional sprinkles for a little more wandering. We wandered, we returned to our home away from home for a bit, fueled up with some food, and then we headed back up the mountain. The top of the mountain was still totally socked in, but there was interesting light as we descended. It was a good end to a good day.

--- Rover

Morning delight

Morning, it's time for another of Evin's fabulous breakfasts.

Today's treat was an egg layered with good tastes, cranberry currant pancakes loaded with lemon zest, and a baked pear topped with crispy gingery goodness. Yum!

Fog is decorating the landscape. Now, it's time to wander.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Driving, afternoon into evening

I've been keeping an eye on the weekend weather forecasts for a few weeks now, hoping to find a dry few days to satisfy my need for a wander in Acadia. This week's gray and wet conditions fed my into need to get away. Yesterday I decided that it was time to take a chance on the weather, and this afternoon it was time to head to Maine.

The skies were gray. The ground was dry for the first time in days. Driving...

Fog appeared in the distance, hugging the ground.
Rain started, light, heavy, light, stopping.
Signs warning to watch for moose in the road changed, from simple text to images of a moose.

Miles rolled by.

My drive ended in Bar Harbor at the Holland Inn, my home away from home what I suspect will be a too quick 3-day weekend. The weather? Only time will tell - I'm hoping for more dry than wet. No matter, it's time to recharge, to absorb the wonder of Acadia National Park.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Walking in a cool mist

The weather forecast called for rain today, tomorrow, the next day...

I expected to wake to the sound of rain, but it was quiet. The streets were wet, the sky was gray, the air was dry. I headed out for a good fast walk, still dry when I walked into the house. When the middle of the morning rolled by with continued dry pavement my thoughts turned to riding. Just 10 minutes later the skies opened up, heavy rain emerged.

Sometimes a rainy day provides a reason for a quiet day at home. It was a good day - but by early evening I needed to walk again. This time my walk led me through a wall of mist.

Painted petals

painted petals, pansies

Entry, exit

poppy, entering

dandelion, exiting

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Conversations with a mute swan

It was several years ago when I first saw a pair of mute swans in a wet area just off the New Hampshire coast near Jenness Beach State Park. Last year I started sometimes seeing a pair, sometimes seeing a solo swan, and sometimes seeing all three at the same time - but in different spots on the water. These large birds apparently mate for life; based on conversations with another photographer last year I believe that the solo bird that posed for me today lost its mate. It's also a bit unusual to see more than a pair in one spot since they are territorial and don't like to share their space.

As I stood there snapping photos the swan decided to walk towards me. Wow - that is one tall bird! According to this article on Wikipedia, a standing mute swan can be over 47 inches (120 centimeters) tall.

mute swan, paddling away

More photos can be viewed in the gallery Conversations with a mute swan.

First visit of the season

I knew that mid-May was too early for roses, but when I saw that Fuller Gardens was open for the season I just had to visit. I still can't believe that I didn't discover this wonderful place until last year. I'd ridden my bike by the sign many many times, always thinking that I needed to stop there someday. Someday was a day last summer, and I was immediately addicted.

I thought that the perennial gardens would be wearing more color, but apparently the plants in that garden start blooming a little later than this year's chilly May. There were tiny blossoms scattered through the garden bringing small splashes of color, well worth the visit.

fading bloom, still beautiful

apricot colored, flower

More flowers from today's visit can be seen in the gallery Petals pop - Fuller Gardens 2011.
I will be adding to this gallery throughout the Fuller Garden season; the newest photos will always show at the beginning of the gallery.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Surprise sunshine

The weather forecast for this weekend called for rain. The rain visited late Saturday and left the rest of the days with sunshine.

I like this kind of rain! I was happy to ride, to walk, to play with my camera.

grape hyacinth, very purple

tulip unfolded

More photos from my visits to the gardens of Stephens-Coolidge Place late Friday and again today can be seen in the gallery Spring color... 2011, starting with this image and ending here.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


Sunday morning I was alone in the garden with my camera. Alone, sitting on the ground next to the flower beds, playing.

Sometimes I want a flower photo with one or two blooms isolated, and sometimes I want more sharpness in the overall photo. I usually choose one or the other as I am shooting, but this time I decided I wanted both variations using the same set of beautiful tulips. For anyone who is curious (and who hasn't already guessed!), the first photo was shot at f/2.5, and the second at f/16. There's a bit of a difference, isn't there?

f/2.5, tulips

f/16, tulips

Monday, May 02, 2011

An email from a dog

When Denise opened her email tonight I could hear her laughing, so I bounced over to the computer to see what was so amusing. Oh! She got an email from a dachshund! It was from Dash the Dog, from Zappos. She was planning to buy a new pair of hiking shoes, and I guess she put them in her shopping cart and forgot about them. Oops! Zappos sent a message to tell Denise that Dash was looking after her shoes.

Denise said they do that to help push people into following up and buying things. It made her laugh, and her feet really did want new hiking shoes, so in this case I guess it was a good thing.

--- Rover

Zappos, a letter from Dash the dog

Sunday, May 01, 2011

A Prius ride, a beach walk

When I saw Denise head out for her morning walk with a camera in hand I thought maybe we weren't going for a ride in the Prius today. She didn't forget, she said that she wanted to walk on the beach at close to low tide, and she chose the late afternoon high tide because she didn't want to walk in the early morning dark.

Oh! I like the car. It has a smooth ride, and I have a choice of places to sit and look out of the windows.

Rover looking out the window in the Prius

We headed to the Wells Reserve. The trees were mostly still bare, but new leaves were emerging. About halfway from our starting point to the coast we started hearing crashing waves, and it was quite windy too. The sky was a clear blue with only a couple of wispy clouds. Did you know that Denise loves the sunshine but she thinks that skies patterned with clouds are a lot more interesting?
--- Rover

newly emerging, spring leaves

waves of sand, water pooling

A few more photos from today can be seen in the gallery Wells Reserve - 2011, starting with this photo and ending here.

Through the petals

It was a crisp sunny morning, a morning to revisit the Stephens-Coolidge Place gardens to see the tulips in a different light. I had the garden to myself - probably a good thing since there were times when I was sitting on the ground looking at the sun shining through the flowers, creating patterns of light.



Yes, of course there are more photos from today! They are in the gallery Spring color... 2011, starting with this photo and ending here.