Denise Goldberg's blog

Friday, January 31, 2014

fewer layers

My early evening walk tonight was a treat - the temperature was in the upper 30s, allowing me to wear lighter layers. What a difference the temperature makes! Upper 30s was a wonderful change from the low teens with wind that has been the norm over the past few weeks.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

to Bar Island

We're one month into winter and I can already see the change in the light. I actually drove home late this afternoon in daylight! I'm looking forward to the predicted warmer (ok, just a little bit warmer) temperatures this weekend. It's too early to wish for spring...

Here's a memory from my early May visit to downeast Maine last year, a walk to Bar Island as the tide was changing directions, heading in.

walking to Bar Island

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


delicate flowers, a study in purple and green

Monday, January 27, 2014


Bright pink and spiky, a flower of sorts...

spiky flowers, tropical
in the butterfly conservatory at Magic Wings

Sunday, January 26, 2014


As I wandered through the butterfly conservatory yesterday I was fascinated by butterflies wearing translucent wings (glasswinged butterflies). So beautiful...

translucent, glasswinged butterfly

Saturday, January 25, 2014

on the wings of butterflies

Although the temperature was forecast to rise into the 30s today it looked like it would be a number of hours into the day before that happened. I thought about wandering somewhere in the snow but I felt like I needed a change of scenery - and some color! Hmm...

It didn't take too much thinking for me to remember the Magic Wings, a butterfly conservatory in South Deerfield, MA. They are open year-round, unlike a much closer-to-me butterfly conservatory, and the weather looked good for a drive. I double-checked the forecast before heading out; an almost two-hour drive (each way) in the snow didn't appeal to me. Snow showers were expected for late in the day. Given the clear but still chill morning weather I thought a drive to visit butterflies sounded good.

I arrived, purchased my entry ticket, stuffed my warm layers into the empty space in my photo backpack, and opened the door to magic. There were butterflies, a few birds, and some tropical inhabitants as well. I found the butterflies easiest to capture at rest although there were always many more flitting through the air.

Some of the butterflies showed bright blue wings when flying but that blue was hidden when they were resting; they usually rest with wings closed and the blue was only on the top surface of the wings. Very interesting.

It was wonderful to walk in a warm place and to be surrounded by splashes of color.

More photos from today's walk with butterflies can be seen in the gallery on the wings of butterflies.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

reflecting lines

It almost seems as if the clouds and the sea are forming reflecting lines.

reflecting lines, sky and sea
at Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

cold, little snow

Brr... it's cold out there!

Those of us who live and work north of Boston were lucky though; yesterday's snow pretty much stayed south of a diagonal line stretching from Boston to the south and west. I found less than an inch of snow this morning at home and about the same amount in the town where my office lives. That was a nice surprise, especially when compared with the 18 inches (of snow) that hit the ground in some towns in Plymouth County.

from the bridge to plum island, looking to the north
from the bridge to Plum Island

Sunday, January 19, 2014

to Maudslay

Yesterday's snow left white under foot and white decorations in the trees. It called to me to go out and play, to wander in the woods.

I headed to Maudslay State Park thinking that the snow depth didn't call for snowshoes. I saw a few folks with skis, kids with sleds, and other people walking like me clad in simple winter boots. There was still a bit of snow in the air this morning, most of it pushed from the trees by the wind.

after the snow

More photos from today's snowy walk can be seen in the gallery Maudslay State Park - 2014.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Today's forecast changed from a possibility of an inch (or so) of snow to a winter storm warning with a prediction of 3 to 5 inches of the white stuff. It started as a mix of rain and snow this morning before changing to heavy snow.

I walked, listening to a crunch under my feet as I traversed fresh snow, quiet, peaceful.

coated, as heavy snow is falling

Friday, January 17, 2014


The prediction for today is sunshine and relatively warm temperature. It's January though and I'm sure there will be more cold and snow coming our way. For now I'm using flower portraits to remind me of summer warmth and color.

pink echinacea against a background of daisies

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Tide rushing in, ocean waters swirling across hard-packed sand...

swirling, tide inbound
at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

a bit of green

Delicate leaves, a bit of green in the desert...

a bit of green
at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Sunday, January 12, 2014

wild waves

I headed out this morning without an exact destination in mind. I just knew I wanted to walk along the coast, somewhere.

Direction... to the north and east. I jumped off of the highway at Hampton Beach, heading to the ocean, following the road as it hugged the very short New Hampshire coastline, enjoying a view of today's very wild waves. In Portsmouth I followed the road across the new Memorial Bridge to Kittery. I drove a little further with the thought of walking at Fort Foster Park. The park isn't open this time of year but there is plenty of room to leave cars outside of the park gate. Ducking under the park gate and walking in usually works quite well. There were other people there as I pulled up, looking at the very icy road. Once I was out of the car and walking to that icy surface I started to think. A chat with someone else who had fallen on that ice earlier in the week made me realize that a walk at Fort Foster today needed shoes adorned with Yaktrax, something I didn't have.

I turned back and drove to a wide spot in Chauncey Creek Road, leaving the car at a trailhead in the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. I walked down the road a bit, ending at a what turned out to be a better walking spot for today with a view of wide open waters as opposed to the somewhat protected waters of Fort Foster. I walked along the beach, then headed up a trail that skirted the edges of a point. There were people and dogs walking, playing, enjoying the sight and sound of an ocean full of wild waves. What a beautiful place!

wild ocean waves, Kittery Point, Maine

More photos from today's wander can be viewed in the gallery south coastal Maine - 2014.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

bouncing temperatures

The temperature took a big bounce today, from the single digits of early this week to the current (afternoon) warmth of 59 degrees. Most of the snow has disappeared; where it remains a mist was rising.

Robins were happily prancing about... it's too bad they are year-round residents as opposed to a sign of spring.

snow melts, some ice and puddles remain

I was very lucky to manage a mid-day dry walk. There was water in the air, a mist of sorts. Now? Rain is falling. I just heard a bit of thunder too.

Friday, January 10, 2014

wishing for color

We're just 3 weeks into winter and I'm already looking for color. A photo will need to satisfy that urge for now; here's one from early summer.

delicate petals in a light shade of purple

Thursday, January 09, 2014

quiet water

Although the sound of the waves filled my ears the water was quiet as I walked on the beach last Sunday. The tide had just switched to incoming, raising the waterline slightly with each new wave set.

quiet water, incoming tide

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

shiny, icy

It was 18 degrees out when I got home from my brisk walk tonight; compared to yesterday it felt positively warm. It's pretty amazing what a difference the wind makes. Today's light wind and 10 degrees higher temps made it much more comfortable.

The tricky part of my wander was for me to remember that the shiny spots on the ground were very slippery ice and not water. Luckily most of the pavement was dry and my feet stayed beneath me.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

to Parker River

The weather wizard said that today would be a warm day for winter; it felt like it would be a good day for a walk by the ocean. I suggested to Denise that we head to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and she said yes.

We headed out in the middle of the morning, waiting for just a little warmth. The temperatures actually edged into the 30s while we were walking on the beach. That was really nice!

I think Denise has a much easier time walking on the beach when the tide is going out. It was coming in today and I had to keep reminding her to watch the water. I'm really surprised she didn't get wet - she kept looking through her camera at the ocean moving onto the beach, forgetting that the wave sets were coming further inland each time.

When we left Parker River I thought we were heading straight home. Nope, we stopped again! As we drove over the bridge from Plum Island back to the mainland Denise liked the colors of the sky and water. She found a place to leave the car so we could walk back up on the bridge. Oh! The blue sky was reflecting in the water, so beautiful.

--- Rover
snow, sand, and water, looking south in Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

from the bridge to Plum Island, looking to the north

More photos from today's wander can be viewed in the gallery Parker River and... 2014.

a splash of color

This pitcher plant at Longwood Gardens satisfies my need for a bit of color this morning.

pitcher plant in deep pink

photo by phone

Saturday, January 04, 2014


The sky was blue, the snow sparkled in the sun. It was a nice bright day.

remnants of plants, in snow

The temperatures rose slowly from the cold of the last few days to the mid-20s by afternoon, a nice change. That's still cold but in comparison to Thursday and Friday it felt quite warm!

Friday, January 03, 2014

how deep?

There is still light snow falling. The winter weather advisory is in effect until 10 AM (today) with the wind chill advisory continuing until 9 AM tomorrow. It's really winter, isn't it?

I ran outside with a measuring tape in the hopes of seeing how much snow is on the ground, finding a spot that looked like it hadn't drifted. That patch of snow was about 15 inches deep. It looks deeper out back but it's entirely possible that the wind pushed the snow against the building. Funny thing though - the air conditioning unit looks like it has a layer of snow that is much deeper than 15 inches. I checked the snow depths reported on the National Weather Service site and saw a town just to the east of us reported 21 inches and a town just to the south is reporting 10 1/2 inches. News reports yesterday said that this storm was behaving like a thunderstorm, that heavy snow was falling in pockets. Oh, and they said that some of the snow was ocean-effect snow, similar to the lake-effect snow that happens near the Great Lakes.

I'm sure Denise and I will be going for a walk later in the day (even though it's really really cold outside). For now, here's a photo of a tree and sideways-falling snow from yesterday's cold wander.

--- Rover
a tree standing in blowing snow

Thursday, January 02, 2014

a snowy day

It's been snowing steadily all day, and it's been getting colder too. When I looked at the National Weather Service page for our town earlier today it said that the temperature was 11 degrees (Fahrenheit). Now it shows at 4 degrees with a wind chill temperature of -17. Yikes, that's cold!

Oh, I started my story in the middle... let's go back to early this morning. When Denise went to bed last night she said she planned to work at home today, but when she woke up and only saw light snow she changed her mind. Luckily I jumped into the car with her this morning; it was easy to convince her that working at home was smarter after she felt the slippery surface of the road. We drove in a big square to get home again and she settled in to work here. Phew! Sometimes she really does silly things!

Last night the projected snow totals map showed our house in the 10-14 inches of snow band. This morning we were moved to the 8-10 inch band. Now? The map changed again and I'm not sure where we are. We seem to be on the edge between a 10-14 inch band of snow and a 14-18 inch band. It's already way over my head, but it's not too deep for Denise (yet). She could easily walk through it when she took a wandering break in the middle of the afternoon, saying that the snow is very light, fluffy, and fun to walk through.

Uh oh... it's a bit later, 7:24 PM, and I just looked at the snow depth forecast map again. I don't think I should tell Denise - now it looks like we are in a location where the prediction is for 18-24 inches of snow. Double yikes!

trees collecting snow, snow flying sideways

I was really surprised that the big camera came with us on our walk this afternoon. Denise only took a couple of pictures because it was very hard to keep her hands warm in the thin gloves she uses (under heavier mittens) to operate the camera. I'm glad she grabbed the camera though - I think it's interesting that if you look closely you can see the snow flying sideways across this big tree.

--- Rover