Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Beach walk

Today is the last day the beach at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge is open until late in the summer. From the refuge web site:

"Each year beginning April 1 st, the majority of the refuge beach is closed to all public to provide undisturbed nesting and feeding habitat for the federally threatened piping plover. Portions of the beach not being used by the birds may be reopened starting in July. Typically all sections are reopened by mid-late August."

The signs blocking the boardwalks to the beach were in place today, turned backwards and leaning against the fence. Tomorrow, the beach returns to the birds.

closed signs, ready for tomorrow

Today, people were welcome to walk on the beach. I knew I needed a beach walk today at one of my favorite wandering spots.

The tide was coming in as I walked on the wet sand. Somehow I managed to keep my feet out of the water, although my timing was a bit off a couple of times. I don't mind wet feet during summer walks by the ocean, but temperatures in the mid 40s this afternoon convinced me that dry feet were better than cold and wet.

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

driftwood on the beach

More photos from today's wander at Parker River (plus some shots from the bridge to Plum Island) are available in the gallery Parker River - 2012 starting with this photo and ending here.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


This little red squirrel really didn't want his photo taken; at least he didn't want to sit still while I was standing where he could see me. I stood quietly holding my camera, and eventually my lack of movement must have convinced him that I was not longer there. I watched as he stood up and had a good scratching session.

Doesn't it look like he is playing peekaboo?

red squirrel

red squirrel red squirrel

A few more bird & squirrel shots jumped into my camera yesterday. They can be viewed in the gallery Portraits of... starting with this photo and ending here.

Saturday's sky

a painted sky

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Parker River addiction

Yes, I think I have somewhat of an addiction to wandering at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. It's a good addiction!

Last Sunday's late afternoon visit was a wonderful low tide wander. When I arrived at the refuge there was a sign saying that all but the first two parking lots were full. I switched from car to foot at the second lot, walked the boardwalk to the beach, then headed south along the tide line. Instead of reversing direction on the beach, I walked back on the non-ocean side of the refuge.

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, ocean at low tide

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, inland pools

More photos from my wander can be viewed in the gallery Parker River - 2012 starting with this photo and ending here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Morning sky

Breakfast done, I started to walk upstairs to get ready for the day. Ah, wait! Look at the sky, full of magic!

I just had to grab my camera to attempt to capture a bit of the beauty.

painted morning sky

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Summer in March

We had early winter weather with last October's snowstorm so I don't know why I am surprised to have summer in March (while the calendar still reads winter).

The temperatures warmed into the low 60s by late morning, a perfect time for the first bike ride of the season. Nice!

It was early afternoon when I headed to Parker River for a walk on the beach, joining a lot of other people who had the same idea. Even at the coast the temperatures were in the high 70s. It definitely felt like a summer day.

people walking, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

There are more photos from this afternoon's Parker River National Wildlife Refuge visit, but a late afternoon walk on the beach means I haven't sorted through them yet. I'll post a new blog entry when the photos are available for viewing.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Striped purple & white

It's early in the season for formal gardens but it was still a good day for a walk to The Stevens-Coolidge Place. A field behind the still empty gardens showed purple & white scattered through the grass, beautiful crocus.

crocus in purple & white

Floral fungus

I was out walking when I saw a tree stump covered in fungus. At first glimpse, I saw flowers.

tree stump covered in floral fungus

Reflecting light


Friday, March 16, 2012

Seeking color...

...and finding reflections. The calendar says the season is still winter. There were warm days early in the week followed by chill and wet.

I headed out walking late in the afternoon looking for flowers. I found that crocus that had been opened wide earlier in the week had pulled their petals in to protect the bloom. It was a bit of color on a gray day. Next, I wandered in the woods, finding a different kind of color along with wonderful reflections.

From color...

crocus, petals folded shapes and reflections

shapes reflected

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crocus pop

There was little color when I walked on Saturday. By late afternoon yesterday crocus stared popping up, and by the end of today's unseasonal warmth there were more of the little flowers. Some popped in gardens, some in the middle of a lawn.

Seeing early flowers always makes me smile.



I was walking up the steps to enter my office this morning when I looked down and saw the shoes on my feet. Oops! Somehow I managed to walk out of the house wearing halves of two different pairs of shoes. They were similar in color, both funky and comfortable Birkenstocks, but two different styles.

I have a pair of running shoes stashed in my desk so I could easily have changed shoes, but I decided to wait and see if anyone noticed. Only one person saw my mismatched feet, and that was because I told her. We had a good laugh; she said one day she didn't notice that she wore a pair of slippers to work.

Would you have noticed if one of your coworkers was walking around in mismatched shoes?

mismatched shoes

A sign of spring?

Do you suppose this is a sign of spring?

Yesterday morning was chilly, but by the time I finished walking at Fort Foster park in Kittery, Maine the temperatures had warmed into the 50s. I'd like to think that someone (two someones maybe) left their hat and ear band behind as the temperature moved from chilly to warmer.

hat, waiting for owner to return

Sunday, March 11, 2012

One more stop...

I wandered the New Hampshire coast, crossed into Maine to visit the other end of the Memorial Bridge, and then... I headed to Fort Foster park in Kittery for a different kind of walk along the shore. The park doesn't open for the season until May, but luckily it's at the end of a quiet road with room for parking along the road.

The park was full of people walking and dogs playing.

Fort Foster, Kittery, Maine

Yup, there are more photos from this park too. You can find them in the gallery South coastal Maine - 2012 starting with this photo and ending here.

Bridge reconstruction

I stopped in Portsmouth to see if there was visible progress on the Memorial Bridge deconstruction. The barge containing the lift section of the bridge floated out several weeks ago, and deconstruction of the remaining sections of the bridge is under way. While the sections remain in place, there is less to the structure.

As I stood on the New Hampshire side and looked across to Maine it appeared that it was possible to walk under the bridge. Interestingly enough it was easier to get onto the I-95 bridge than it was to get onto the closer Route 1 bridge. I hopped on I-95, crossed the bridge, and hopped off again. I wandered through Kittery, heading towards the closed bridge. I crossed the from the mainland onto Badger's Island, then found a way to the water. There was a barge heading to the bridge, carrying a crane and what looked like a couple of vertical sections of steel.

Memorial Bridge deconstruction, Portsmouth / Kittery

Two photos for a structure comparison:

More photos of Memorial Bridge can be found in the gallery Rebuilding a bridge. Today's photos start here and end with this photo.

A walk on the beach

I felt a need for a walk on the beach today. Is this starting to sound like a pattern?

On this first morning of daylight savings time, sunrise was a late 7:05 AM, and the low tide was scheduled for just after 8. I thought about timing my travel to arrive on the coast before sunrise. That thought didn't last too long when I realized how cold it would be; the forecast called for temps in the 20s over night, and I knew it would take more than the sun popping above the horizon to bring some warmth to the day.

I left home at 7:30 AM, arriving at Jenness State Beach in less than an hour. The sand was wet and firm, a happy walking surface. A quick walking pace plus a few layers kept me warm. Happy...

Jenness State Beach, looking inland

A few more photos from this morning's walk can be seen in the gallery New Hampshire Coast - 2012 starting with this photo and ending here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sunday at Parker River

Last Sunday's mid-afternoon wander at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge was under changing light. The sky started with a gray cloud cover. As the time passed the clouds did too, painting the sky with white patterns against blue. By the time I headed home I was under mostly blue skies.

parker river national wildlife refuge

More photos from last Sunday's wander can be found in the gallery Parker River - 2012 starting with this photo and ending here.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Late afternoon light

Looking north while standing on the bridge to Plum Island in Newburyport, Massachusetts

late afternoon light, from the bridge to Plum Island

Watch the waves

waves, parker river national wildlife refuge

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Canon Professional Services rocks!

I packed up my camera and sent it off to Canon Professional Services for cleaning and service on Tuesday. Since I am in Massachusetts and the package was heading for New Jersey, the folks at UPS told me to use ground service. I tracked the shipment and saw that it was signed for at 10 yesterday morning. I was hoping that it would be back in my hands by early next week, fixed and cleaned. I was keeping my fingers crossed.

Imagine my surprise to have my camera back in my hands this afternoon.
Phew, I don't have to live with camera withdrawal pains over the weekend!

Thanks Canon!

Sunday, March 04, 2012


After a pleasant afternoon wander in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge I headed back across the bridge connecting Plum Island to the rest of the state. The views from the bridge told me I needed to stop. Luckily there are small parking areas (down by the water) on both sides of the bridge.

I walked onto the bridge, stopping often to absorb the beauty. So peaceful...

view from Plum Island Bridge, Newburyport, MA

Did you know that you feel a lot of shake when cars cross a bridge while you're standing on the metal grid of the lift section of the bridge? It's surprising how much movement there is.

And yes, there are more photos from this afternoon - but I don't have the energy to sort through them tonight. There will be a new blog entry when the photos are available for viewing.

Thursday, March 01, 2012


Light snow fell overnight and continued falling all day. The total accumulation was quite a bit less than predicted for most of the area; only about 4 inches fell where I live.

When I headed out to walk late in the afternoon it was still snowing, snow through freezing fog.

snow-covered grasses

A few more photos from this light snow event can be seen in the gallery Winter 2012 starting with this photo and ending here.


I haven't baked in a while, but an article on (healthier) muffins in yesterday's Boston Globe caught my eye. I think it's time to break out my muffin pans!

The newspaper article referenced The Great Muffin Makeover on the Harvard School of Public Health web site. The recipe that pulled me in is for lemon chickpea breakfast muffins. There are several others that look very interesting too. The recipes are all published courtesy of The Culinary Institute of America.

Baking time...