Denise Goldberg's blog

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

behind Sand Beach

I suspect many people don't stray from the (ocean-facing) beach at Acadia's Sand Beach.

I find walking behind the beach to be much more interesting. There is water changing shape between low and high tide. Sometimes I look away from the ocean to see the mountains, sometimes I look to the ocean. Water, sand, water...

behind Sand Beach, Acadia National Park

Monday, October 29, 2012

late season fern

In honor of this wet and windy day (as I listen to the sounds of Hurricane Sandy), here is a late season fern captured on a rainy day in Acadia.

late season ferns, Acadia National Park

Friday, October 26, 2012

curves and colors

From the Gorham Mountain trail in Acadia National Park, an edge of rock, trees painted in autumn colors, the curve of the land, ocean...

from high on Gorham Mountain, Acadia National Park

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

before the storm

I visited Jordan Pond late Friday afternoon. The clouds had started to drop in preparation for the coming storm, highlighting the bright leaves and the still surface of the pond.

on Jordan Pond, autumn leaves and reflections

portrait, Rover

I was looking over Denise's shoulder as she started to sort through the photos from our Acadia wander when I saw this portrait of me. I was standing on a rock on the Schoodic Peninsula, and oh! I like this image.

--- Rover

a portrait of Rover on the Schoodic Peninsula

Monday, October 22, 2012

a walk and a drive

My morning was filled with simple wanders in Acadia. I started at Sand Beach, checking out my favorite spot behind the beach, then walked along the path on the ocean side of Park Loop Road. I stopped often to wander on the rocks, to listen to the ocean, to look...

Before I left the park I took a quick drive up Cadillac Mountain. The wind at the top of the mountain made it quite difficult to stand still. Movement (in the form of walking) felt more stable than standing still.

The change in colors from when I arrived last week and today was amazing. I was lucky to see what I think were near peak colors during the first two days of my visit. The storm on Saturday pushed the colors and caused a lot of leaves to fly. As I drove north between Ellsworth and Bangor the predominant color on broad-leafed trees was rust, with occasional splashes of yellow.

It was a good Acadia visit. I don't think I'll ever tire of visiting there.

a view behind Sand Beach
from this morning's walk, a view from behind Sand Beach

Sunday, October 21, 2012

back to blue (skies)

Hey... it's my turn to write! Sometimes I need to remind Denise that I like to write too.

We started our wanders today on the other side of the island. I thought we were going to start by hiking the Beech Mountain trail but somehow we ended up on the southern edge of the western half of the island first. We stopped in the Seawall area for a bit, then walked the Ship Harbor nature trail. The trail is two connected loops. We walked the whole second loop but we did one side of the upper loop twice so we could stay by the water. The view at the end of the trail is a nice one; I think that's why we always seem to come back to Ship Harbor. But oh! the trail was underwater in a couple of sections. Luckily there were a few stepping stones that Denise could use to avoid getting very wet feet. I jumped in the camera bag for the wet chunks of trail.

On to Beech Mountain... we tried this trail for the first time back in May, and Denise liked it well enough to head back up again. I had to ride in the camera bag because the trail had a stream running down it, so wet! I guess all of the rain from yesterday is still running off of the mountains. The trail was rocky in places, just dirt in others. We walked down pretty slowly since Denise was trying to make sure she didn't put her feet on a slippery spot. I left the zipper on my riding spot open just a bit so I could see the pretty scenery.

I'm going to include a photo from our trip in May so you can sort of see what we saw today (with green showing instead of today's varied colors.

We made a quick stop in Somesville to enjoy the reflections of the clouds in the water, so pretty!

I thought we were going to head up Cadillac Mountain next but we drove right by the road that snakes up the mountain. Denise told me that we needed to stop at Jordan Pond first. She wanted to see it under blue skies instead of yesterday's low clouds that obscured the mountains. There were clouds too, both in the sky and reflecting in the lake. Cool!

Tomorrow we're going to play in the park in the morning before heading for home. It seems like we just arrived, and it's almost time to leave.

--- Rover

from the Beech Mountain trail, Acadia National Park
A view from the Beech Mountain trail in May
Today there were yellows mixed with the greens.

Rover in Acadia

Saturday, October 20, 2012

a rainy day

As I expected from the forecast I saw last night, today was a very wet day. There were heavy downpours, periods of light rain or mist, and even some times with almost dry air. I chose to have a quiet day - flipping between relaxing with a book (yes, on my Kindle!) and wandering outside.

My first outside wander was a visit to the Wild Gardens of Acadia and a walk on the Jesup Path. I thought about walking there from my B&B but luckily I asked Evin what she thought first. She warned me that the section of the trail through the Great Meadow was likely to be very wet, puddles or mud. I think her instinct was right based on the amount of water I saw both in the gardens and along the boardwalk of the Jesup Path. There were pieces of walk in the Wild Gardens of Acadia that were interrupted by water, and there were pools of water along the boardwalk.

The sky was gray and the woods were dark. The combination seemed to make the colors really pop!

I was incredibly lucky. My walk in the woods was relatively dry, accented by mist instead of rain. It was the walk from my car back into the B&B that was wet, accompanied by a strong downpour. Good timing...

Curious to see if the top of Cadillac Mountain was above the clouds, I headed up the mountain in the early afternoon. Swirling clouds low on the mountain allowed glimpses of colors, becoming thicker as I climbed higher on the mountain. Nothing was visible at the top other than the thin ribbon of road immediately in front of the car. The air was very wet.

I stopped at two more places for quick walks and a bit of photo play. Bubble Pond was somewhat visible, with water flowing into the pond covering part of the path. Jordan Pond was pure magic with the mountains behind the pond hiding in the mist.

Tomorrow promises a clear sky and a relatively warm day according to the National Weather Service forecast. The moon reappeared this evening, shining from behind a thin veil of clouds, highlighting the few remaining clouds.

Boardwalk, Jessup Path, Acadia National Park
A view of the Jesup Path from my visit in May

Today the path wore very different colors, pools of water covering brightly colored fallen leaves, trees showing brown and yellow...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Schoodic morning

Knowing that a (wet) change in the weather was predicted for tonight and tomorrow I thought today called for a dry weather visit to the Schoodic Peninsula.

It's one of my favorite parts of Acadia, a place to wander across tilted rocks, granite wearing shades of red with black diorite dikes. The sky this morning wore shades of gray, a good contrast to the ocean waters and the colors of the rocks.

It was a good Schoodic visit, a time of walking, of listening to the ocean crash against the rocks. I chatted with some sea gulls as they splashed in pools of water. After leaving the easy to walk on rocks I stopped at a couple of "beaches" made of rounded stones. I much prefer walking on solid rocks; the cobbles shift as you walk across them. I was fascinated to hear the sound of the cobbles as they were tossed by the waves.

It was after 2 by the time I got back to Mount Desert Island, clouds gathering on the mountain tops. I headed around Park Loop Road to see what kind of magic the light was throwing across the park. My first stop was at a still lake showing reflections of bright trees. The gray of the sky seemed to make the colors brighter. Next I stopped at Sand Beach to watch the waves rolling in and to check the water behind the beach. The water was much higher than yesterday morning and the gray sky gave it a different look than yesterday's blue.

My last park stop today was at Jordan Pond which wore a very magic look from a combination of lowering clouds, late day light, and splashes of yellow leaves. It was beautiful.

Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia National Park
A glimpse of (a piece of) the Schoodic Peninsula, from my visit last May

Thursday, October 18, 2012


A loop on a road, a loop of a trail, loops and loops...

Our morning wander started with Park Loop Road. There are still colored leaves decorating trees in the park. It's seems to be past peak color but it was still beautiful. We stopped a few places to absorb and to try to capture the colors.

Denise really wanted to get a photo at a spot where she took photos on our last two autumn Acadia visits but the trail was really mucky. It didn't look like it was possible to walk there without ending up with hiking shoes covered in mud so we turned around. I think we'll try again later in our visit. In the meantime I've included the photos of that spot from our October visits here in 2010 and 2011.

Our first longer stop was at Sand Beach. It was two hours after low tide, a good time to be on the beach. It's funny, instead of staying on the ocean side of the beach we usually wander behind the beach. There is water there too, calm water that sometimes reflects the mountains and the trees. It was beautiful back there this morning; we even saw it from two different places.

Next we hopped back in the car and drove the the Gorham Mountain trailhead. That surprised me because we usually walk down the coast from Sand Beach and do the trail as a loop. Denise thought maybe we would walk up the mountain then turn around and walk back down the same trail. I knew that wouldn't happen but I let Denise figure that out herself. The up trail has some steep bits, really just some big steps up rocks - I didn't think Denise would be happy coming back down a few of those spots. We walked up to the high point and just kept going in the same direction, doing the trail as a loop. The really good thing was that we needed to walk along the coast to get back to the car, and when we came down from the mountain it was high tide.

Oh! the ocean was crazy! I could hear it crashing against the rocks when we were still coming down the mountain. I think I started hearing it when we were still at least a quarter of a mile from the end of the trail. It was loud!

We walked the trail by the road, occasionally moving out onto the rocks. We stood at Thunder Hole for a while. The ocean was so wild that you couldn't stand at the end of the walk at Thunder Hole - when the waves came crashing in it was under water. There were people standing high on the rocks just inland from Thunder Hole. They moved when the waves splashed up to the top of the rock and over the edge.

There are some spots where there are rounded rocks on the edge of the water. I could hear the rocks rolling and hitting each other, an interesting sound when added to the sound of the crashing waves.

We kept driving around Park Loop Road, stopping whenever Denise saw something interesting. Then we popped off in another direction, driving into Northeast Harbor late in the afternoon. We've never seen the Asticou Azalea Gardens this time of year. The flowers are long gone, replaced by trees wearing colored leaves, reflecting in the pond. That was beautiful!

It was a good day, a good start to our October wanders.

--- Rover
autumn colors, Acadia National Park
photo from 2010, colors close to peak

colors past peak, Acadia National Park
photo from 2011, with a tiny tinge of color

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

time for wander #3

Oh wow! I can't believe it's time for our third wander in (just about) two months. I'm still surprised that Denise planned these trips with so little time in between them. Honestly I think she was surprised too.

Let's see... on August 17th we headed to Wyoming to wander in Yellowstone and Grand Teton for 7 days. We were home for three and a half weeks before we jumped on another plane for a wander in Rocky Mountain National Park (for 6 days this time). Then we were home for three weeks, and later today - after Denise finishes work for the day - we're heading to Acadia National Park for 5 days. I suppose it would have made more sense to spread the trips out a bit, but I like the short intervals. It's going to be hard to adjust to just being home at the end of the one though.

I just checked the weather forecast; it looks like we'll have at least one rainy day. Most of the days (right now) show a forecast of "partly sunny" during the day and "partly cloudy" at night. Don't those two things mean the same thing? I suppose you can't say "partly sunny" at night since the sun is hiding. I wonder if that's why the night forecast says "partly cloudy".

We'll be heading up the coast late this afternoon, destination Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.

--- Rover
Rover at Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

yikes! earthquake

Yikes! There was just had an earthquake in Maine, an earthquake that extended shaking into northeast Massachusetts.

I was sitting at my computer and the house started shaking. No power loss, just shake. I heard a bit of noise, I felt shaking that seemed to go on for a long time. It . The thought went through my mind that I should get out of the house, but I was frozen in place.

I have to admit that I was relieved when I went outside after the shaking stopped to chat with neighbors who felt the same thing. At least I knew I didn't imagine it!

The quake was a magnitude 4.6, located 5km west of Hollis Center, Maine.

earthquake near Hollis Center, Maine, 16 October 2012
Image courtesy of USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

late season ferns...

...from a wander last Friday

I was surprised to see stands of ferns this late in the season, still green, covered in spots with fallen leaves.

ferns, still wearing green in early October

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

clouds drop

At the end of my last morning in Rocky the clouds dropped lower and it started to rain in the low sections of the park.

Here's a view from a meadow in the Fall River section of the park:

light rain filling in the meadow, clouds drop over mountains

Monday, October 08, 2012


I just had to stop at Lake Cochichewick on my way to Maudslay State Park yesterday. Most of the lake was on my right as I drove down route 133, but I knew there was a small piece hidden in the woods on the left side of the road.

It was well worth the stop. I found a mirrored image of trees in green with a few patches of colored leaves (in the small hidden section of the lake).

mirrored trees transitioning to autumn colors

Sunday, October 07, 2012

photos! Rocky Mountain National Park

Photos from my wanders in Rocky Mountain National Park are loaded into galleries, ready for viewing. Start with the top level gallery, Rocky Mountain National Park, 2012, or click on the photos below to enter a specific gallery.

from Bear Lake to Fall River:

from Bear Lake to Fall River

along Trail Ridge Road:

along Trail Ridge Road

outside of the park:

outside of the park

Interested in words? You can find my ramblings in the blog entries tagged Colorado 2012-09.

a Maudslay morning

The air was crisp this morning; it felt like a good day for a walk in the woods. I headed to Maudslay State Park this morning to wander, to see if the gardens still showed bright flowers, and to check the state of the fall colors.

I was happily surprised to find flowers still in bloom, including a number of hardy rose bushes. Many of the trees still wore green leaves with pockets of yellow and an occasional splash of red.

slowly changing, green to yellow, fallen leaves...

More photos from today's wander can be viewed in the gallery Wandering Maudslay State Park - 2012 starting with this photo and ending here.

Friday, October 05, 2012

late afternoon

Today was a gift of an October day with warmth and sunshine. I headed out for a walk in the woods late this afternoon wondering what colors I would see. There were patches of yellow and red interspersed with green, beautiful.

tall trees wearing yellow leaves

reflections, green with a touch of red

It's funny, when I look at these two photos together I almost see the first photo as a reflection. Not a reflection, it's a section of tree trunks surrounded by bright leaves. Is it because it is shown with a photo that really is a reflection? I wonder...

Wednesday, October 03, 2012


Such a focused look... I wonder what this beautiful bird sees in front of him. I caught him high on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

I love the bright blue patterned feathers of this Steller's Jay.

steller's jay

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

from Thursday to Tuesday

I was amazed at the difference in the aspens between my arrival at Rocky on Thursday to my Tuesday departure date. It appears that I arrived just in time to see peak colors. I saw the transition from bright yellow to stark white tree trunks and branches.

The two photos below were taken in close to the same spot, with the tree just to the right of center in the top shot sitting on the left side of the photo on the bottom. The photo on the top was taken on Thursday. The photo on the bottom was taken the following Tuesday.

aspen in bright yellow, arrival date

aspens losing leaves, departure date


popping, emerging in  early fall

Monday, October 01, 2012

young elk

Oh! I'd better keep writing because I'll need to help Denise with words on our next trip too. That's just a couple of weeks away now...

We saw lots of elk in Colorado. Sometimes they were standing out in the open, sometimes they were in the underbrush feasting on grass and low leaves (and maybe small branches!) from trees. The easiest place to capture them with the camera was on the golf course in Estes Park. At this time of year it doesn't look like the golfers can depend on an open space to play golf. Hmm... maybe the elk let the golfers on the course early in the morning.

I think these two are very young.

--- Rover
young elk, peering out, curious

elk's butt

reflecting clouds

Late afternoon light created (cloud) reflections in a piece of Lake Estes.

blue sky, clouds, reflecting in Lake Estes