Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, November 30, 2014

words from a tea tag

Most of the tea I drink is packaged in bags without a string and tag. Today only one of the varieties in my closet wears a tag, sometimes presenting words that strike my fancy.

You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.

quote by Marianne Williamson

Friday, November 28, 2014

a first visit

The sun was shining, the air was cold and dry. It was a good day for a first visit to Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ.

I was fascinated by the sculptures (by Seward Johnson) that were scattered through the sculpture park. Some were human-sized; it was sometimes difficult to tell if the figures I was seeing were sculptures or people. Some were many times human-sized; a statue of Marilyn Monroe is 26 feet tall, just amazing.

sculpture by Seward Johnson at Grounds for Sculpture
sculpture by Seward Johnson

The Seward Johnson: The Retrospective exhibition at Grounds for Sculpture has been extended through July of 2015.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

bare branches

Yesterday's snow has moved on leaving a dusting of white on the ground and a sky filled with gray clouds.

at Valley Forge National Historical Park
in Valley Forge National Historical Park
photo by phone

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

a pop of pink

It's late autumn; the trees are wearing bare branches and the sky is cloudy gray. I feel the need for a pop of color so I've pulled a flower (photo) from late September.

a pop of pink


The cooler air of autumn changed the grasses of the salt marsh in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge from green to gold. There were many water-loving birds decorating the waters, happy to visit the marsh in any season.

golden grass, in a salt marsh

Monday, November 24, 2014

standing tall

Two trees, a rocky coastline, gathering clouds, an impending storm...

before the storm
Schooner Head, Acadia National Park

Sunday, November 23, 2014

clouds to blue

With the temperature forecast to be touching 60 degrees I knew I needed some outside wandering. I headed to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge for walks on both the inland and the ocean sides of Plum Island. When I arrived clouds were decorating the sky, sometimes blocking the late autumn low-in-the-sky sun. By the time I moved to the ocean side the sky was mainly clear (although I suppose the inland side might still have worn cloud decorations).

As always, the refuge was beautiful. I arrived just before high tide so walking on the beach was a bit slow, each step sinking into the sand. I much prefer brisk walking as the tide is going out since the newly exposed sand is smooth and hard. The tide schedule didn't cooperate today so it was a soft sand walk.

On the inland side of the refuge, sky wearing cloud decorations:

on the inland side of the Parker River National Wildlife refuge, sky decorated by clouds

On the ocean side, shades of blue:

looking north, on the ocean side of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

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

hawk posing

This beautiful bird was perched on a tree on the inland side of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. It was clearly keeping an eye out for interesting food. Not too long after I stood by the side of the road to watch he dove for the ground, returning to a higher (and further away) perch with his prize.

hawk posing

Thursday, November 20, 2014

photos! Colorado Springs

Photos from last weekend's visit with friends in Colorado are ready for viewing in this gallery. There are images from Garden of the Gods, Ute Valley Park, and forest service land behind the house.

a smattering of Colorado images:

emerging rocks in different shapes and colors, in Garden of the Gods

Interested in words? You can find my ramblings in the blog entries tagged Colorado 2014-11.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


This iconic rock in Garden of the Gods is balanced on what appears to be a very small surface.

With an estimated weight of 700 tons, this sandstone beauty will likely fall at some point. Apparently it is protected from erosion (just a bit) by a layer of concrete surrounding its pedestal, applied by Grace Goerke Boughner's father in 1910. I was fascinated to read that. I was actually driven to look for information when I spotted what appeared to be man-made clumps of square red rocks supported some outcroppings a bit further back from Balanced Rock.

Are you interested in reading a sandstone story? Take a look at the article Balancing act: Iconic rock destined to fall, but when and how? in The Gazette, published on January 6, 2012.

balanced rock, garden of the gods


We had a delightful work break this afternoon. One of my colleagues told us about an owl sleeping in a tree just outside the building. I found it amazing to see how camouflaged he was, standing on a branch of an evergreen taking a nap.

an owl, an afternoon nap, hiding in plain sight

Yes, I know, it is quite difficult to see him. My camera doesn't usually accompany me to the office so this photo is courtesy of my phone.

Monday, November 17, 2014

jagged rock

Garden of the Gods wears many colors of rock. This jagged outcrop in a sandy color provides a sharp contrast to the red rocks scattered through the park.

jagged rocks, at Garden of the Gods

Sunday, November 16, 2014

a journey home

It was a day of sitting, a day of flying east, heading home.

I'll leave you with an image from Garden of the Gods, evergreens perched on red rocks decorated by snow.

trees on red rocks decorated by snow

Saturday, November 15, 2014

behind the house

My friend's house backs onto US Forest Service land filled with trails and wonderful views. After a stop at the house for lunch and a warm up it was time to head up the hill behind the house for a quick view.

By the time we headed out the temperature had dropped into the teens, the wind was howling, and snow flakes were in the air. My desires to stay out a while to absorb the views conflicted with the difficulty I was having standing still. Brrr! that wind was cold!

in the hills, Colorado Springs
looking towards Colorado Springs

remnants of trees, Colorado Springs forest fire 2012
remnants of trees burned in the fires of 2012

I know I will need to return here to visit and to wander.

from natural to man-made

A higher than expected temperature (in the high 30s!) this morning gave me hope that today would be a repeat of yesterday from a weather standpoint. That wasn't to be; by the time we headed out it was at least 10 degrees cooler and still dropping.

Garden of the Gods called again. It tends to be more crowded there on weekend days but the chill wind must have convinced some to stay in warmer spaces so there were plenty of parking spaces. We started in the same spot as yesterday, walking a slightly different loop. The wind was howling and the temperature continued to drop. We managed a full loop, laughing as we neared the parking lot to see a group of people turn around saying that they had gone far enough. Hmm... even though our walk was shorter than it would have been in different conditions, it was good to be outside absorbing the sun.

Next stop, still in Garden of the Gods, was Balanced Rock. Luckily my eyes (and camera) were drawn to the trees standing tall on red rocks wearing a foreground of snow - the very large rock was the focus of many people who wanted pictures standing in front of the rock. Focusing on the trees, the angles of the rocks, and the snow decoration made me happy. I walked to the other side of the rock finding interesting patterns of color in the tilted (ground) sandstone. Waiting for a bit allowed the rock to pose for me without people decorations; hopefully I will be happy with one of the rock only photos! If not, I'm always happy with my memory - and it will give me an excuse for another visit, a chance to try again. I'd love to experience Garden of the Gods in different light conditions.

Yesterday Harvey handed me a copy of the book Oddball Colorado to see if there were any places that jumped out at me. I was intrigued by the section titled Kempf's Kreations. It described some large kinetic sculptures placed in front of the sculptor's house that caused a bit of a zoning controversy and the eventual removal of some of the sculptures. There are still some in place though and the description fascinated me enough that I had to see them!

The sculptures are quite large, with a lot of the pieces in a rather small yard I can understand the neighbor's reactions. From the few we saw today that are still in place it seems that the art would be better placed in a sculpture garden. I was glad to be able to see some of Starr Kempf's creations moving in today's strong winds.

bird in flight, a sculpture by Starr Kempf, Colorado Springs

For more information about the artist and the sculptures, click to the Wikipedia article Starr Kempf and to the Colorado Springs Independent article Falling Starrs Kempf sculptures removed (dated June 5, 2003).

Friday, November 14, 2014

an introduction

When I landed in Denver last night Arctic air was still in place. It moved out overnight, giving us an early morning temperature that was much higher. By the time we headed out to wander this morning it felt quite warm under bright sunlight with the temperatures hovering in the mid- to high-40s.

Today was my introduction to Garden of the Gods. If I lived in Colorado Springs I think this park would be a regular wandering location. It's a good place for hiking and a good place for absorbing beauty.

in Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs

Thursday, November 13, 2014

westward bound

It was 50 degrees out this afternoon when I left home, heading for Logan Airport and a flight to Denver. The Southwest WiFi access point tells me it is currently 10 degrees in Denver, brrr...

I'm looking forward to a visit with friends who moved to Colorado recently. I figured that mid-November would allow for walking on dry surfaces but the weather wizard apparently didn't agree; it sounds like I will find snow on the ground when I arrive.

I'm westward bound, heading for a good visit with friends.

on route boston to Denver

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Bands of color form layers as I look out over the ocean from high on the Gorham Mountain trail in Acadia National Park.

bands of color, from rocks to leaves to evergreens to the ocean and sky

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

dressed in red

The bright red leaves of a Japanese Maple pop in front of more muted autumn colors.

leaves of a Japanese Maple, in bright red

Monday, November 10, 2014

late season

Late autumn leaves, dry and brown, cling to a tree.

dry but still clinging to a (tree) branch

ever green

A lone evergreen stands close to the edge of the water highlighted by the white trunks of bare birch trees. A small swath of color remains for a while longer.

transition, mirrored

Sunday, November 09, 2014


Let your eye follow the curves of the water, looking back to the mountains and the puffs of clouds.


Saturday, November 08, 2014

light through leaves

Many trees are wearing bare branches but there are still some with brightly colored leaves. Sunshine and leaves create a wonderful splash of gold.

light through leaves


Bright sunlight hovering low in the afternoon sky created an impressionist painting.

reflections create a painting

Friday, November 07, 2014

oak leaves in red

This is the first time I remember seeing oak leaves wearing red. Somehow I usually miss the middle of the progression from the green of summer to the brown of late autumn.

oak leaves in red

Thursday, November 06, 2014


There are leaves in transition, still brightly colored. This torn leaf continues to show a swath of bright red even as much of the plant has faded to rust.

changes... bright to rusty

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

photos! Acadia

Photos from last weekend's too short trip to Acadia are ready for viewing in this gallery. You'll find a mix of park scenes and splashes of autumn color.

images of autumn, Acadia:

rocks and reflections, on the Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia National Park

Interested in words? You can find my ramblings in the blog entries tagged Acadia 2014-10.

Sunday, November 02, 2014


The sound of the rain has disappeared, replaced by quietly falling snow.

a bright red maple leaf sitting in early season snow

It feels too early for winter precipitation. I suppose the weather wizard doesn't want us to get accustomed to experiencing (only) seasonal weather.

rain or snow?

Wow... it turned out to be a good thing that we came home yesterday. I just checked the weather in Bangor and Augusta (since we had to drive through there on our way home) and it is snowing now in both places. Denise prefers to drive on dry roads; she said that wet rainy roads are better than snowy and maybe slippery roads.

The National Weather Service page for Bangor say that the conditions right now are "snow fog". I think I remember that funny name from last winter. It's very descriptive, isn't it?

It's cold and rainy at home today. I'm going to stay in even when Denise goes out walking. Sometimes I think she's a little crazy...

Oh! I've been watching as Denise wanders through the photos that jumped into her camera during our travels. I like this photo that my friend Blue & I posed for on our sunny day visit to the Schoodic Peninsula!

--- Rover
Rover and Blue on the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula in Acadia National Park

stop for a view

This is another photo from the bridge at the town line between Tremont and Southwest Harbor. I've stopped here many times over the years, sometimes catching wonderful light, sometimes not. I've seen it in what I would consider interesting light both in sunshine and in clouds. This was a (slightly decorated) blue sky stop.

a play of light and water

Saturday, November 01, 2014

heading home

The weather forecast convinced Denise that we should head home a day early. Today was chilly with rain starting mid-day. It wasn't the rain, it was the winter storm warning that got to her.

300 PM EDT SAT NOV 1 2014






...Forecast courtesy of the National Weather Service

Maybe it won't snow, but the thought of driving in possibly slippery conditions (tomorrow) didn't sound like fun.

We did a short walk this morning, then we drove to the top of Cadillac Mountain to see if there were interesting clouds. Brr! It was cold up there. When we started up the mountain the thermometer in the car said it was 43 degrees. It dropped to 35 degrees at the top and it was really really windy. I stayed in my hiding spot in Denise's camera bag because I was afraid that I would blow away. Denise told me she had a hard time not getting blown over when she was trying to stand in one spot. We didn't stay too long in that cold strong wind.

The rain didn't start until we reached Augusta - but it followed us from there all of the way home. (Oh! I think maybe we were driving into the storm. I guess that means it didn't follow us...)

Even though our wandering time at Acadia was a day shorter than planned, it was a good escape.

--- Rover

autumn colors on the side of Cadillac Mountain, looking towards the Porcupine Islands