Denise Goldberg's blog

Friday, October 31, 2014

hiking afternoon

I was a bit surprised when we headed to the other side of the island this morning. I thought we were going to hike up Gorham Mountain in the morning - but Denise said she wanted to wait until it was a little bit warmer. As it turned out, bouncing up that (little) mountain in the afternoon was good.

We started our walk at the Sand Beach parking lot, walking on Ocean Path until we reached the Gorham Mountain trailhead. Then we walked up and up, starting in the woods then reaching the rocky top of the mountain. There were wonderful views... we could see all of the way back to Sand Beach!

view from Gorham Mountain, Acadia National Park
--- photo by phone ---

From the big mound of rocks and the sign marking the high point of the trail, we kept heading in the same direction to head down the other side. Denise was careful to watch for trail markers so we wouldn't get lost. The markers sometimes were cairns (explicitly placed chunks of rocks) or short lines of blue paint. I tried to watch for the markers too but some of the blue paint was a little bit faded. With both of us looking we were able to stay on the trail.

The character of the trail changed as we headed downhill. There were sections of dirt trail, sections of granite rock tilted downhill, and at the end, sections where I had to hop from one rock to the next. Can you see the trail?

can you see the trail?
--- photo by phone ---

Denise said we're going to walk some flat trails tomorrow.

--- Rover

quietside morning

A chilly morning led me to flip my plans for the day leaving an uphill walk for (potentially) warmer afternoon temperatures.

I started with a quick visit to see the remaining muted color at the Asticou Azalea Gardens, an uphill walk to Thuya Gardens where I found just a few flowers still blooming. Next I headed to the quietside of the island for a walk in the woods. While I prefer to walk in the open I enjoy the Ship Harbor trail. The turnaround point is on a rocky point looking out at the ocean. It's a good spot to sit and soak in the scenery.

The loop road that led to the trail (and to Bass Harbor Light) crosses a bridge at the town line between Tremont and Southwest Harbor on a spot that always calls to me to stop. Luckily it's in a spot where there is plenty of space to pull off of the road since I needed to look at the water, reflections of clouds, simple beauty.

still waters on Mt. Desert Island, at the town line between Southwest Harbor and Tremont
--- photo by phone ---

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Sunshine pulled me a bit further up the coast this morning to visit one of my favorite spots in Acadia, the Schoodic Peninsula. It was a place of solitude, a place I shared only with the birds for most of my visit. An occasional person stopped by, looked and walked a bit, headed back out. I enjoyed the quiet, listening to the sounds of the ocean and the cry of the sea gulls.

Back on Mount Desert Island I turned to Park Loop road, driving and stopping as the scenery called to me. The leaves are definitely past peak but there were still splashes of color that pulled my eyes.

Clouds started to decorate the sky; I followed them to the top of Cadillac Mountain where I walked for a bit. The light seems harsh to me, perhaps because of the angle of the sun above the horizon. Still, it was beautiful.

Before I stopped moving I walked from my home away from home to the shore to catch a glimpse of Bar Island bathed in late day light. At low tide a sand bar provides passage to the island; as you can see from the photo below the tide was high.

looking at Bar Island
- photo by phone -

It looks like tomorrow will be a good walking (weather) day. I think it's time to decide where to wander - although knowing my usual behavior I'll stop wherever my eyes pull me!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

rusty passage

As I drove along the edge of New Hampshire and into southern Maine the afternoon light was pure magic. The road was lined with trees wearing rust-colored leaves, beautiful.

Photos from today are mind images only... it's not a good idea to stop on the side of a limited access (no pedestrians allowed) highway.

driving soon

Later today we'll be jumping into the car and heading to the northeast. Denise will be doing the driving and I will be looking through the windows to see if there are any leaves left on the trees. I'll only be able to see the trees for part of the drive where the sun is still above the horizon.

When I look at the map of our route it feels like the drive will be a lot of hours. I know that it's always worth the time to get to Acadia though.

route from N Andover MA to Bar Harbor ME
route from home to Bar Harbor, courtesy of Google Maps

The weather forecast looks good for the first two days but the next two are supposed to be chilly (in the low 40s) and wet. I guess Denise already saw the forecast because I see she has a rain jacket and good layers ready to go. Blue & I have a warm spot set up in Denise's camera bag. I like to peek out but if it's raining I will stay under cover. I don't like getting wet!

Rover & Blue hiding in Denise's camera bag

We don't have actual plans for our wanders. Our walking routes will be partially dictated by the weather; if it's really wet I think we'll probably stay on flat surfaces. I know that I want to bounce on the rocks of the Schoodic Peninsula so I've asked Denise to schedule a Schoodic wander on one of the days that are supposed to be dry. She really likes it there.

I'm sure we'll get to the Jesup Path too. This photo is from a visit last fall that was a couple of weeks early than this trip so we might not see any bright leaves this time.

boardwalk, Jesup Path
on Jesup Path in Acadia, October 2013
--- Rover

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Bright in color, reaching, soon to be gone...

brightly colored, reaching, soon to be gone

Sunday, October 26, 2014

edged in color

Some trees are wearing bare branches, some are still wearing green, some are creating beautiful paintings with leaves edged in red.

edging into color

late season coneflowers

I was delighted to find bright color in the gardens of Prescott Park in Portsmouth yesterday. Some flowers are still fully in bloom, some are evolving to an end-of-season look.

autumn remnants of a bright yellow coneflower

Saturday, October 25, 2014


The rain finally stopped, leaving a pure blue sky decorated with a few fleeting clouds. The sun delighted my senses with a cloud reflection, blue sky reflecting as blue water.

reflection in blue
along the New Hampshire coast

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Listen... can you hear the rain? The rain started yesterday accompanied with strong gusts of wind, rain moving from steady to heavy overnight. The forecast calls for heavy rain changing to showers later in the day.

It's a good umbrella day!

a leaf with jagged edges, splashed with color

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

(re) learning layers

The temperature has been hovering in the 50s during the day, dropping as the sun sinks to the horizon. That doesn't sound cold but it feels a bit nippy when I head out walking in the early evening.

It is a bit of an art to understanding the layers needed to allow me to be (somewhat) comfortable when I leave the house without overheating during my brisk walk. The transition from warmer weather to the cool of autumn and then the cold of winter surprises me each year - but I think I've found working layers for now. Tonight I wore capri-length tights, a very light fleece shirt, and a rain jacket plus my very bright blinking lights. It was nippy when I initially started (in cool and damp conditions) but I was comfortable and dry for my entire walk. Happy...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

sumac in orange

The wind was gusting, the temperature chilly (and dropping). It was pure luck that these bright orange leaves stopped moving long enough to pose for a photo.

leaves in bright orange

Friday, October 17, 2014

in the grass

The grass is still green, decorated with the bright colors of autumn leaves.

a leaf in the grass

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

luscious leaf

The late afternoon light was wonderful today. It drove me to grab my camera as I headed out for a brisk walk. Knowing that the sun drops quickly this time of year I also grabbed my bright blinking lights.

I was happy I had camera and lights to allow me to be seen as the sky grew dark; I needed both!

backlit leaf

subtle floral color

The colors decorating the greenhouse at Lyman Estates were quite a contrast to the colors of the autumn leaves. I loved the subtle touch of lavender on these small flowers.

touched with lavender

Sunday, October 12, 2014

brights surrounded by blue

It was a day of clear blue skies, a good morning for a quick coastal wander. While I have a strong preference for a sky decorated by clouds, today's pure blue against calm water was a good focus for the bright leaves.

leaves turning orange, sandwiched between blue

Saturday, October 11, 2014

in a greenhouse

Today's chill and rain planted the idea that it would be a good morning for a greenhouse visit. I found tiny flowers scattered through the green showing bright pops of color.


A few more photos can be seen in the gallery greenhouses of Lyman Estate starting with this photo and ending here.

Friday, October 10, 2014

oak leaf changing

Oak leaves come with curves and with sharp angles. I love the color change to red in this leaf; in the bottom of the photo you can see a leaf metamorphosed into brown.

oak leaf changing with the season

Thursday, October 09, 2014

butterfly and flower

A late summer day was perfect for watching butterflies sip the nectar of flowers in the garden.

butterfly and flowers, sipping nectar

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

angled rocks

I can sit and look at the patterns formed by angled rocks and calm pools of water for a long time. The contrast between calm pools of water and the wild ocean painted a beautiful scene.

sculpted rocks along the shore capture pools of water
at Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA

Tuesday, October 07, 2014


There are still pools of bright yellow, orange and red leaves, but autumn is progressing quickly. The colors are fading, showing more rusty than bright.

rusty oak leaves in late day light

Sunday, October 05, 2014

a walk in the woods

I tried to walk at Old Town Hill in Newbury on a day in July when hordes of biting insects drove me away. Today I returned, beginning with a short trail that looped by river and wetlands.

wetlands in autumn

I followed a wide trail up to the top of the hill before turning back. As I was leaving I saw another trail of sorts leading across the wetlands; that will need to be the target of another day's wander.

recipe variation

It was a beautiful fall day today, a day with a touch of crispness in the air. It felt like a good day for soup.

My big pots of soup usually start with a recipe but they often finish as a variation on a theme. Today I started with the ingredients for Soup #1, red lentil base shown in this blog post, adding a bit, changing a bit. I added quinoa, removed the chopped onion, and changed the spices a little.

This tasty recipe gave me dinner for tonight, plus soup for lunches this week and some for the freezer. I always freeze my soup creations in serving-sizeed containers so I can pull it out whenever the desire hits.

Red lentil and vegetable soup:

10 cups vegetable broth
1 pound red lentils
several garlic cloves
1-2 tablespoons ground cumin
red pepper flakes
basil leaves
1 15-ounce can chick peas
1 pound carrots, sliced
6 stalks celery, sliced
4 sweet potatoes, quartered and sliced
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 pound corn (frozen)
1 cup quinoa
1 15-ounce block of extra firm tofu, cubed

I started by bringing the broth to a boil, adding the spices and red lentils, then changing the heat to medium while the lentils cook. At the same time I combined the cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water, brought it to a boil, then lowered the heat. The quinoa finished cooking in about 15 minutes.

When the lentils started to soften (after about 15 minutes) I added the remaining vegetables and tofu, waiting about 10 minutes to allow the the carrots and potatoes to cook before adding the quinoa as well.

It's always good to have a favorite recipe as a starting point - but variety is good too.

coastal color

Close-cropped plants along the coast are wearing autumn colors.

decorated by the colors of autumn
at Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, MA

Saturday, October 04, 2014

to Halibut Point

The sky was gray and the forecast called for steady rain by late afternoon. There seemed to be time to wander (somewhere) without getting soaked so I popped into the car and started heading east. My target today was Cape Ann, for a somewhat overdue visit to Halibut Point State Park in Rockport.

The grasses along the shore were touched with the color of autumn, as were the sumac. There were reds, yellows, and rusts decorating the landscape, still sharing space with remaining patches of green. The air was sometimes dry, sometimes full of heavy mist, and the ocean was wild. I did walk on the rocks but I stayed well away from the water.

the colors of autumn adorn the trees on the edge of the quarry, Halibut Point State Park

More photos from today's coastal wander can be seen in the gallery Halibut Point - 2014 starting with this photo and ending here.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

early dark

The air is crisp, the days are growing shorter. It was still dark this morning when I awoke, and I knew that the sun would drop during my (early) evening walk. It was dusky by the time I returned home.

I'm glad I grabbed and wore my bright blinking lights since I share my walking roads with vehicles that are a lot bigger than me. It makes me smile when I see the cars swing wide, giving me plenty of safe walking space.