Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Today was the middle day of a three-day weekend and Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory was calling my name. I headed west early this morning with thoughts of beautiful creatures swirling through my mind.

As the first visitor of the day I spent some time almost alone with the butterflies. There were a couple of conservatory staff there and me. I was soon joined by a few more people but it stayed fairly quiet in terms of 2-legged creatures. Many of the butterflies flew, settled for a short time, flew again. A few rested for longer. I stood and looked, moved to another spot, looked again.

This one caught my eye almost immediately. My initial thought was that it was a dead leaf... when I looked again I realized it was a butterfly resting, masquarading as a leaf.

an autumn leaf or indian leafwing butterfly

More photos from today's butterfly visit can be viewed in the gallery on the wings of butterflies, starting with this photo and ending here.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

return to Parker River

This year's piping plover nesting season is over for the year. That means that the beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is open once again to creatures other than birds. This morning I felt that beach calling...

I headed to Plum Island relatively early this morning, arriving as the tide turned from low tide to incoming water. It's funny, I like seeing the coastal waters at high tide but I like walking on the beach at low tide. There's more space, and the hard-packed sand surface is good for walking.

I started my visit on the inland side of the refuge, walking, listening, watching the birds. Next, it was time for a walk on the ocean side. I enjoyed the clouds decorating a bright blue sky, the waves rolling in. It was a good day for a walk by the sea.

inland waters

More photos from today can be seen in the gallery Parker River and... 2014 starting with this photo and ending here.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

dahlia delight

I'm loving the summer flowers that decorate the gardens of Stevens-Coolidge Place.

I feel lucky to have this wonderful spot just a mile and a half down the road. Yes, that's walking distance!

dahlia delight

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


The transition of this flower from bud to open flower is fascinating; the middle stage features curled petals.

curled petals, dahlia

I believe this flower is a dahlia.

Monday, August 25, 2014


Yesterday's late afternoon garden visit painted the scenery with late summer beauty.


Sunday, August 24, 2014


a flower, folded

finding falling water

Yesterday was a good day for a visit with a friend and a bit of a wander in Maine. We headed to the north along the west side of the state, stopping often along the road between Newry and Grafton to soak in the beauty.

My favorite stop of the day was at Screw Auger Falls. We arrived just after noon on a beautiful late summer day to views that deserve multiple visits. I'd like to see it with fewer people decorating the scenery; an early arrival on an autumn day sounds enticing.

Screw Auger Falls, Maine

A few more photos can be seen in the gallery finding falling water... Maine.

Friday, August 22, 2014


A bright pink late-summer flower is reaching for sunlight.

reaching for the light

Monday, August 18, 2014

fireplace transformation

My house is ready for winter!

I live in a townhouse that had a wood-burning fireplace in the corner of the living room, a fireplace that I never used. A couple of winters ago I stuffed a big garbage bag with crumpled newspaper and air-filled plastic and placed it in the fireplace to block the cold air from the chimney. That helped, but not enough. I briefly considered ripping it out, reclaiming the corner as living space and removing a big source of cold air. That didn't feel like the right answer; a couple of months ago I made the decision to switch from a wood to a gas fireplace.

Last week brought my fireplace transformation. The old unit was pulled out, as was the pipe that formed the flue. The tiles surrounding the fireplace were pulled down, the ledge that protruded to form a sort of a bench was removed. The new gas fireplace was placed, gas lines run (outside), and construction proceeded. I had the hardwood directly in front of the fireplace and the sliding door replaced by tile. The same tile was used to replace the old tile in the entryway by the front door as well.

I managed some photos by phone to capture the daily changes.

original fireplace under construction, new fireplace in place
original fireplace ... under construction, new unit placed

new, drywall in place, tile started
drywall in place, tile started

waiting for paint
waiting for paint and finish work

It was a week-long adventure, progress greeting me when I walked into the house at the end of each work day. When I left on Friday afternoon for a weekend away the work was almost complete. I returned on Sunday to view the completed transformation.

finished, my new gas fireplace

finished, my new gas fireplace

It's mid-August and the temperature outside is perfect for comfort.

I'm not ready for winter but I'm glad that my house is!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

zoo afternoon

Funny, none of us (me, my sister, and my mom) thought twice about heading to the Philadelphia Zoo mid-day on Saturday. Hmm... it was a beautiful late summer day, sunny, warm but not too warm. Apparently oodles of people thought it was a good idea to visit the animals; the zoo was teeming with people big and small.

In spite of the crowds we managed to enjoy our wander. The highlight for me was seeing the animals use the overhead "trails" that make up Zoo360, a safe space for animals to wander between places in the zoo. I loved seeing monkeys and tigers walking just above our heads!

wandering through the Philadelphia Zoo's Zoo360, a path for (some of) the animals

a tiger stalking through the Philadelphia Zoo's Zoo360, a path for (some of) the animals

A few more photos can be seen in the gallery a few from the zoo.

Friday, August 15, 2014

a sunset sky

From high above the ground, somewhere between Boston and Philadelphia, a beautiful sunset...

the setting sun, somewhere between Boston & Philadelphia

airport seating

I've always liked the rocking chairs that have started appearing in airport concourses over the last few years. They provide a place to relax, to watch planes, to sit and read. Today I found a new variation on the theme - chairs painted with figures from (Boston-based) children's tales...

a painted rocking chair, Logan International Airport

a painted rocking chair, Logan International Airport


I wonder if this is going to open into a flower. What do you think?

an interesting bud

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

photos! Newfoundland

Photos from my wander in Newfoundland are loaded into galleries, ready for viewing. Start with the top level gallery Newfoundland 2014 or click on the photos below to enter a specific gallery.

St. John's and... :

from the top of Signal Hill

to the tip of the Eastport Peninsula:

looking down on salvage


in Twillingate

Interested in words too? You can find my ramblings in the blog entries tagged Newfoundland 2014.


Magic light transforms a jagged coastline on Twillingate South Island.

jagged coastline, Twillingate, Newfoundland

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

tree standing tall

The coastline, rocks, and lots of green surround this tree. It stands tall near the tip of the Eastport Peninsula in Salvage, Newfoundland.

tree standing tall, in Salvage, Newfoundland

Monday, August 11, 2014


The play of sunlight on fanned leaves creates a painting in shades of green.

sunlit leaves

Sunday, August 10, 2014

a garden morning

It felt like a good day to check on the flowers at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. As the calendar moves to mid-August the flowers were in different stages of life. Some of the flower beds wore mainly green, some were still wearing many colors.

As I stood next to beds of still-in-bloom flowers I could see bees drinking, flying to another flower, hovering, drinking. Listen... to the music of the bees, buzzing.

a late season flower, diminishing blossoms

Thursday, August 07, 2014

across the water

Walking to the tip of the Eastport Peninsula required stopping often to soak in the views!

looking across the harbor, Salvage, Newfoundland
in Salvage, Newfoundland

Wednesday, August 06, 2014


Evening light reflects on a calm sea, in Twillingate.

calm sea at sunset, Twillingate, Newfoundland

Tuesday, August 05, 2014


I wonder what kind of plant wears these wispy green strands. I don't know its name but I do know I like the look!


Sunday, August 03, 2014

chasing bees

It was a lazy day today, a day to rest, to stay close to home.

Early in the afternoon I headed to the The Stephens-Coolidge Place to see if the gardens were wearing any new colors. I was delighted to find summer flowers in bloom along with lots of bees and beetles seeking nectar.

I followed some bees around the garden in the hopes that one would consent to pose for a photo. Look! a bee posing...

a bee posing, eating nectar

magic light

In between bouts of late date rain on my last night in Twillingate I found some magic light. This shot was taken from the Long Point Lighthouse viewing area.

late day light, Crow Head, Twillingate Island, Newfoundland

Saturday, August 02, 2014

flying high

Did you know it's hard to use a touch screen when the plane is bouncing in the sky? It's a bit rough up here as we fly from St. John's to Newark. It looks (to me) like we are closer to our landing point than our starting point.

We have a few hours in the airport once we land before we jump onto our next flight to Boston. I think we'll be doing some bouncing through the terminal; Denise said she needs to spend some of the time walking.

Oh! It's getting really bouncy. I think it's time to sign off for now!

--- Rover
flight map showing us between St. John's and Newark

Friday, August 01, 2014

back to St. John's

Hey, it's my turn to write! I could feel that Denise was thinking about writing but I know she's tired from driving (for hours and hours) so I grabbed the computer. Sometimes she forgets that I really like to write too!

Today was mainly a driving day. The day started with breakfast and then we jumped into the car and started driving. I thought we might stop somewhere to hike but the weather got a little funny. It was just gray when we started. Then it started raining on and off - not heavily, just enough to need the interval wipers to keep the windshield relatively clear. Next came the fog. It feels like that lasted a long time but Denise said it was probably only 20 to 30 minutes. I asked her why she didn't pull onto the shoulder to wait it out... she said she felt better moving with the other cars than being stopped on the side. The fog was pretty thick but we could still see the headlights of oncoming cars and the red tail-lights of the cars in front of us. We just couldn't see the lights from too far away! I was very glad when the fog lifted and we were back to light rain for a bit. The rain finally stopped.

After about 5 1/2 hours of driving we reached St. John's.

Funny, Denise didn't head to our hotel. Instead she drove to the waterfront and parked the car on Battery Road. Oh! We walked up Signal Hill again! I bounced up the hill with Denise, then jumped into the camera bag when we reached the top (because I was afraid I was going to get blown away). I left a little opening in the zipper so I could peek out. It was really, really windy up there!

Tomorrow is our "head home" day. We fly in the morning, heading to Newark and then on to Boston. I think we'll do a bit of airport walking in Newark since we have a few hours to wait for our connecting flight home.

--- Rover

Georges Pond on Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland