Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, August 31, 2013

window paintings

Oh! I just loved the decorations on the windows of a store in Canmore that sells things for pets. There were decorations that looked kind of like peel off stickies that were just wonderful.

I'm so glad Denise had her phone handy so I could grab some photos.

--- Rover
for the dogs, pet supplies shop in Canmore, Alberta

for the dogs, pet supplies shop in Canmore, Alberta

(remember to breathe)

The slogan (remember to breathe) was featured on the sleeves of the people staffing the Travel Alberta information center in Canmore. When I commented on that wonderful slogan I was handed the newly updated Official Alberta Travel Planner; apparently it contains more word gems.

I had some ideas about what I wanted to see today. I stopped at the info center to verify that they were good destinations, to check that the trails were open (no bears!), and to explore ideas for more wandering. I thought that Peyto Lake was likely to be the northernmost point on this trip but I've changed my mind; I think I'll be driving past there at least once and possibly twice. Having more possible destinations than I have days here is a good problem to have, isn't it?

I left Canmore, heading north on Trans-Canada highway 1. It's a 4-lane divided highway running north from Banff before turning to the west just north of Lake Louise. I was fascinated by the overpasses that are fenced and vegetation-covered, existing solely to provide wildlife with a way to cross the road. I continued north on route 93, stopping briefly at the beginning of the road where park officials checked for current park passes. I was set since I bought an annual pass when I first entered Banff yesterday. It turns out that buying an annual pass was one dollar less than buying daily passes for the 7 days that I will be here. Hmm... maybe that gives me an excuse to head somewhere in Atlantic Canada next summer.

Soon after passing the park checkpoint a view of Hebert Lake on the west side of the road tempted me to stop. There wasn't a pull-off there but just after I saw the lake there was a sign for a picnic area. Awesome! I parked the car and walked close to the lake to absorb some beautiful reflections.

I stayed a bit longer than I expected, time well spent soaking up the beauty.

Bow Lake was my primary hiking destination for today. I headed down the trail, stopping often to look at the glacial blue color of the water, at the mountains across the water. The trail skirted the north side of the lake; I was heading to the west. I was planning to follow the trail to Bow Glacier Falls but I changed my plans when I saw the state of the trail past the end of the lake. The trail entered the woods, meandering up and down and becoming wet and very mucky. I decided the walk by the lake made me very happy; since I wasn't enthused about traversing a slippery trail into the falls I turned back a little early. Since the light changed as the day wore on I continued to play with my camera on the walk back out.

I ended my northward journey for today at Peyto Lake, walking up the steep hill from the parking lot to the viewpoint way above the lake.

I changed my route home just a bit, veering onto the Bow Valley Parkway from Lake Louise until just north of Banff. I stopped a few times along the way to see empty railroad tracks running next to the Bow River. No train today, just empty tracks...

It was another good day. It was quite chilly when I left this morning but by the end of the day I had shed my warm layers and was wearing summer hiking gear again.

reflections in Hebert Lake, along Icefields Parkway, Alberta
reflections in Hebert Lake

on the wall

What is the correct term to refer to the outdoor toilets that are found at trail heads and roadside overlooks these days? Outhouses? Latrines? Pit toilets? Ah no matter - you know what I mean, don't you?

After finishing my hike along Bow Lake this afternoon I locked my gear in the car and walked over to make use of the "facilities". I had to run back to the car and grab my phone; I needed to share the artwork from the wall of the oh so convenient outhouse.

outhouse art

Friday, August 30, 2013

a good first day

It was a good first day of wandering, one that worked with my lower than usual energy level due to travel, a planned late arrival, and not enough sleep! It was a driving day, a walking day, and an absorbing my surroundings day.

The terrain quickly changed as I drove west, from flat fields outside of Calgary to folded terrain to mountains.

I walked in the Lake Minnewanka area, starting with a small pool just off of the highway (the subject of the "photo by phone" below) and moving on to the larger Lake Minnewanka. The sky went from blue with clouds to filled with rain clouds to blue, to gray to blue once more. Luckily there were picnic shelters scattered through that area; lI spent about 45 minutes sharing a shelter and conversation with 3 other people who were also not interested in getting soaked by the rain.

Cascade Ponds in Banff National Park, mountains reflecting

I was fascinated by the base of an information sign at one stop. It was a metal base with a design cut into the panel allowing the lake and mountains behind the black sign to become part of the sign.

looking through a sign at Vermillion Lakes, Banff National Park

I ended my day at my home away from home, the Canadian Artisans B&B in Canmore. It's just a short walk through the woods to get to the Bow River and hiking trails, my room is lovely, and Valerie & Bob (the owners) are wonderful.

I walked to dinner in a light rain that stopped quickly, painting the sky in a full rainbow.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

an almost oops

The airport in Boston was just nutty this afternoon. First the security line snaked and snaked around. It took a good 45 minutes to get through that line; I guess it's a really good thing that Denise doesn't like to cut airport arrivals too short.

We jumped into line to board our plane. We had an aisle seat reserved which is a good thing for "on the plane" but almost turned out to be a bad thing for Denise's camera. The plane was boarded in a different order; it must be a United Airlines thing. It kind of makes sense though... First the people who paid lots of money for first class seats boarded, then the people who had high status in the frequent flyers program. The next three groups were the window seats followed by the middle seats followed by the aisle seats. That meant we were almost last. And uh oh! before they finished the aisle seat boarding there was an announcement that the overhead bins were full. That's not good because Denise really didn't want to check her backpack which is where her camera and lenses live. She was very lucky - the head flight attendant managed to find a narrow spot in a bin near the front of the plane where the camera bag fit. Phew! I did remind Denise that if we didn't find a spot that she could pull the inner compartment where the camera lives out of the pack - that is a square-ish boxy container that would fit under her seat. She said she'll try to remember that the next time this happens (but hopefully it won't).

The plane took off almost on time even after the delay in boarding. Now we're about halfway between Boston and Denver. I think we have about an hour and a half between flights, and when Denise looked at the seating map for the next plane she saw lots of empty spaces. Hopefully there won't be a bin / bag problem on that flight because we're in an aisle seat so we'll be last to board again.

Oh! A flight attendant just walked down the aisle dangling a shoe from his hand! It was in the middle of the aisle and he was trying to find the owner. He walked up and down with it a few times. I wonder if the shoe's owner was sleeping and didn't even know it was missing.

--- Rover

afternoon flight

The time has flown by and the day of our departure is here!

I made sure to grab a fleece jacket and gloves for Denise to throw into her suitcase; I think she might need it around the edges of the day. The low temperatures in the extended forecast go down as low as 5 degrees (Celsius). That's pretty nippy!

Denise is working this morning and then we'll be flying in the afternoon and into the night. I've been to two of the airports we'll be traveling through today but the third is new. It will be a Boston to Denver to Calgary day; tomorrow we'll start to play at Banff National Park.

--- Rover
environment canada weather forecast for banff, alberta
Banff, AB forecast from

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ebook review :: Landscapes in Lightroom 5

When I bought a new computer last month I also upgraded the copy of Lightroom that I was using. I was still using Lightroom 3 on my old computer. In the time since I purchased that copy of Lightroom version 4 and then version 5 were released. I had a new computer, now it was time for a new version of Lightroom.

I installed Lightroom 5, opened it, and quickly realized that the world had changed. My first stop to find what appeared to be a missing slider was a web search. I found an answer, applied it, and then remembered that I had seen an email from Michael Frye about his new ebook "Landscapes in Lightroom 5: The Essential Step-by-step Guide". I quickly went through my emails to find the subject of my memory, clicked to Michael's blog page and purchased the ebook.

I was delighted with the information I found when I started reading. The differences between LR3 and LR5 were clearly described, starting by answering my questions about where the old sliders went to and moving on to explaining the controls in depth. Video tutorials placed amid the text allowed me to see the effects of editing.

One big plus took this ebook beyond a reading exercise. Six examples were included, each with explanations of why the edits were done, video tutorials, and a big plus, copies of Michael's images so that I could move through the steps in Lightroom to see the changes that Michael made in his editing process. The ability to play with the same raw images that were used in the examples is awesome; it definitely enhanced the learning experience.

I highly recommend this ebook!

Landscapes in Lightroom 5, by Michael Frye

For your own copy, click to Michael Frye's announcement and purchase page, My New eBook is Now Available!

Monday, August 26, 2013

almost time to travel!

Oh! I'm so excited! Denise & I will be heading to a new to me wandering location in just a few more days.

While Denise is at work I've been helping to organize things so Denise won't forget to pack anything important. I found some maps of the parks and I even found some money from Canada. Denise thought she had changed those dollars back into US dollars after we returned from Newfoundland two years ago; I think she just forgot. She laughed when I told her I found some spending money for our trip.

Our flight is due to arrive in Calgary late at night and we have an early flight when we head home so we're staying near the airport both nights. I think that makes sense since I'm not big enough to help with the driving; I can only navigate. We'll be staying in a "regular" hotel those nights since they are really travel convenience nights. It's the B&B that will be our home in Canmore that I really want to see. That sounds like it's going to be a good place to stay.

Denise said this is going to be a wandering without planning trip but I think a bit of thinking about places to see would be a good thing. I've been building a list of lakes we might visit and looking at trail reports on the Parks Canada web site. Uh-oh! there are some trails where the report says:

"Grizzly bears in the area: All hiking parties MUST travel in a minimum group size of four!"

I guess we won't be walking on those trails!

--- Rover
Rover on Trail Ridge Road

Here's a shot of me from one of our wanders from last year,
high on Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

butterfly & flower

Butterflies are so intent on finding a tasty flower. They flit, land, flit again.

butterfly & flower

Sunday, August 25, 2013

humans welcome!

After discovering yesterday that the land I was looking at from Halibut Point was Plum Island I decided to check the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge web site for the status of the beach. It closes each year on April 1st, reopening when the piping plovers nesting season is completed. I've been there in September in past years when the beach was still closed so I was quite surprised to find that the entire beach was open (to people) as of Friday. I couldn't resist so I headed to Parker River this morning.

I backtracked from parking log 3 to 2 when I found lot 3 was full. I wanted some shots of the inland side of the refuge in between the two parking lots so I walked back along the road before taking the long boardwalk to the beach. At the end of the boardwalk I found clumps of people enjoying the beach. I headed south along the ocean's edge where I very quickly found myself walking alone, enjoying the sound of the ocean. When I turned for the return walk I followed a trio of sanderlings as they skittered along the waters edge, taking to flight as the waves came too close, then landing and skittering once again.

What a nice way to spend a morning!

from a quiet ocean beach to inland waters wearing changing colors...

a walk on an empty beach, at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

on the inland side of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, changing colors

The first 16 photos in the gallery Parker River - 2013 are from today.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

quarry & ocean, Halibut Point

I was thinking about a coastal destination this morning when I realized I hadn't visited Halibut Point since early in June. Ah, perfect! It was a good walking day, crisp temperatures and a clear blue sky. Oh, you're right, I do prefer clouds for more interesting photos; sometimes pure blue works too.

I was happy to find a map of the coast at the high point in the park since I was trying to figure out what I was seeing across the water as I looked to the north and west across Ipswich Bay. I believe I was seeing Plum Island, the home of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

If you look closely you can see a rim of land separating the ocean from the sky in the photo below.

a bird painted cliff leads into the quarry at Halibut Point State Park

The first 17 photos in the gallery Halibut Point - 2013 are from today's wander.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

bright, pink

I find it funny that my favorite photo from Sunday's quick visit to Fuller Gardens, a garden containing thousands of rose bushes, was something other than a rose.

bright, pink, and not a rose!

Monday, August 19, 2013

swan in motion

A swan paddling happily, moving across the pond at Boston's Public Garden

swan in motion, heading away

Sunday, August 18, 2013

flowers and fountains

A need for color pulled me to the New Hampshire coast today. I started with a visit to Fuller Gardens and then moved on to Portsmouth to wander through the gardens in Prescott Park.

pansies in purple and white

Prescott Park fountain

Saturday, August 17, 2013

a walk in Boston

The CoolGlobes exhibit pulled me into Boston this morning; walking in the Public Garden and along the Charles River Esplanade kept me happily wandering for a couple of hours.

I parked on a narrow street that runs along the Charles River in Cambridge, then walked across the under construction Longfellow Bridge. Cars can only run inbound to Boston but there are no restrictions on walkers. I found it interesting that while there was only one travel lane for cars there appear to be two bike lanes, the normal to the right of traffic lane for biking from Cambridge to Boston and one to the left of the traffic lane to reverse direction. I headed up Charles Street, then started around the Boston Common in search of a large population of globes. For anyone who heads to CoolGlobes, the globes on the Common are on the Tremont Street side of the park.

I always enjoy my next stop, the Public Garden. I looped the pond, watching the swan boats and the swans too.

Luckily there is a pedestrian bridge at the end of Arlington Street that flies above Storrow Drive, giving me a way to jump over to the Charles River Esplanade. There I found a few more globes and lots of people walking, biking, enjoying the river and the sunshine.

part of the CoolGlobes Boston exhibit

sailing on the Charles River

More photos from today can be seen in the gallery a walk in Boston, 2013.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

layers of light

The setting sun created subtle colors and reflections.

late day light, reflections
on the beach near the tip of the Phippsburg peninsula, mid-coast Maine

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I love that the fasteners on the (new) Memorial Bridge are wearing a coat of blue.

blue bolts

bolts on the bridge, painted blue

Sunday, August 11, 2013

flowers & rust

It was a good day for a walk in the woods, a wander at Maudslay State Park. Only a few photos jumped into my camera, of flowers & rust.

flower in sunlight

a bit of rust, on a gate at Maudslay State Park

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Friday, August 09, 2013

a bee and a coneflower

A flying bee, attracted by a bright yellow coneflower...

a flying bee attracted by bright yellow coneflowers

Thursday, August 08, 2013

curved steel

I love the curves in the structure of the Memorial Bridge.

curved steel and bolts


It's not often I get a chance to walk down the center of a road without dodging motor vehicles; I grabbed that opportunity today. The opening ceremony for the new Memorial Bridge joining Portsmouth and Kittery was this morning. Immediately following the ceremony the bridge was opened to pedestrians and cyclists. When I chatted with someone from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation he said they were considering waiting until overnight to open the bridge to motor vehicles.

As I was returning across the center span the "bridge is going to raise" horns sounded. The DOT staff on the bridge pushed us to move off of the center span. And hey! I was very lucky. I was among the last people to move beyond the space where the safety barriers would drop so I had a front row view of the span raising.

waiting for the center span to start raising

lifting, center span just above stationary surface


center span fully lifted

More photos from today's bridge visit can be viewed in the gallery Rebuilding a bridge, Portsmouth - Kittery starting with this photo and ending here.

Click to read the article Portsmouth, Kittery, two states celebrate new Memorial Bridge in Seacoastonline.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


I love the intense colors and design on the back of this purple blossom.


Sunday, August 04, 2013

a walk at high tide

I suppose it's not too much of a surprise that I felt a need to walk by the ocean today. It was a high tide walk on a beach of rolling pebbles and larger rocks, a place for stepping carefully. Where? my rocky walk was at Odiorne Point State Park on the New Hampshire coast.

ocean reflections, Odiorne Point State Park

Saturday, August 03, 2013

first visit :: Tower Hill Botanic Garden

I woke up this morning to a Saturday without any plans and a need to do something different. Hmm... what should I do?

It felt like a good garden day so I headed to Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA. Today was what I think will be the first of many visits. I'm already wishing to see it a bit earlier in the year, and according to their brochure there is a winter garden that is open from October to May. The grounds were beautiful, varying from gardens to trails through the woods.

a bee and a sunflower

Photos can be seen in the gallery Tower Hill Botanic Garden - 2013.