Denise Goldberg's blog

Thursday, December 31, 2015

flying high

Sometimes I wonder... is one bird in charge of flight orders, or is it a group instinct that causes a flock of birds to head out together?

flying high

These Canada Geese were flying on the inland side of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

pure magic

It was still a bit chilly when I headed out this morning. Fog stayed with me as I drove to the east, heading for the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. I was very lucky; the fog was just starting to lift when I arrived. As I looked to the south there were low clouds, a wall of white.

walking into fog

I walked to the south for quite a while before reversing direction to head back. As the fog and low clouds disappeared the sky wore a beautiful shade of blue.

The light was pure magic.

the sky wore blue!

More photos from today's beach walk can be viewed in the gallery Parker River and... 2015 starting with this photo and ending here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

top photos :: 2015

It's an interesting exercise looking through all of the photos that I published during the year with the goal of selecting what I considered to be my top 10 images of the year. Somehow choosing 10 photos eluded me; like last year, 13 photos jumped in front of my eyes.

I'm happy with a "top 13". In date sequence, here are my favorites from 2015.

sheathed in ice

sheathed in ice


painted, queen's tears

snowy footprints

snowy footprints

on edge

on edge

a sea of yellow

a sea of yellow

coastal wonder

at Reid State Park, coastal wonder

quarry cliffs

quarry cliffs

curled petals

curled petals

celosia spicata

celosia spicata in bright pink

sculpted rocks and reflection

sculpted rocks and reflections on a foggy day at Schoodic

chrysanthemum in pink

chrysanthemum in pink

reflecting clouds

clouds reflect on wet sand, at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

flurries float above Eagle Lake

flurries float above Eagle Lake, Acadia National Park

These photos are collected into the gallery top photos :: 2015. If you'd like to see larger versions of the photos or you would like to view them as a full screen slideshow, click here to jump to the gallery.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

first snow

Today is a day of changing precipitation, a day that started with snow. I just returned from a walk slowed a bit by sometimes slippy conditions.

My layers were perfect for comfort. Between my rain jacket as a top layer and waterproof snow sneakers I was toasty and dry.

According to the National Weather Service the current conditions are freezing rain, fog, and mist.

first snow

Monday, December 28, 2015

airport art

I was walking through the Philadelphia Airport this evening when I saw a series of clay sculptures by Peter Morgan titled "All Aboard".

Two pieces of the sculpture made me laugh. The subject? It's a dachshund standing on a train car, dressed as a piece of corn and interrupted by a wall.

Dachshund interrupted

Dachshund interrupted

For a description of the art and artist, click here.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


The weather has been more like spring than winter lately but it appears that is soon to change. There is now a winter weather advisory posted for tomorrow night into Tuesday evening.

My fingers are crossed for a flight into Boston tomorrow night. I'm hoping that the flight will leave as scheduled. The snow isn't predicted to start until after I'm home but given that the storm is flowing across the country I suspect that air travel tomorrow may not be ideal.





I'm watching the weather. Are you?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

two seasons

Walking down the same path on days two months apart provided a view of two seasons, a glimpse of early autumn as compared to the entry to winter.

The photos below were taken on a trail near the end of the Jesup Path boardwalk in Acadia National Park.

near Jesup Path, on October 14, 2015
on October 14, 2015

near Jesup Path, on December 19, 2015
on December 19, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

photos! Downeast solstice

Photos from my quick visit to Downeast Maine are available for viewing in the gallery Downeast solstice.

Downeast solstice
snow flurries after a squall, at Eagle Lake

Interested in words too? You can find my ramblings in the blog entries tagged Acadia 2015-12.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

a tree

A tree stands at the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula, decorating the rock with a touch of green.

at the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula

Sunday, December 20, 2015


It was 23 degrees and windy outside (with the wind chill reported at 12 degrees!) when we woke up this morning. Denise thought maybe we would wander the trails in a wildlife refuge in Ellsworth before we headed for home but I convinced her that it would be a very cold wander. I think she would have opted to walk anyway until I reminded her how cold her fingers get on really cold days. This morning it was really cold!

We're home now, and I'm helping Denise look through the photos from our quick wander. Here's one from a favorite place, the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula.

--- Rover

waves crash on the Schoodic Peninsula

Saturday, December 19, 2015


I don't know what made me take a left turn at Hulls Cove but I'm very glad that I did. In all the years that I've been visiting here I didn't know there was a sculpture garden hiding in plain sight.

I was feeling a bit chilled by the time I found the garden, and some of the paths were very wet. Even allowing these factors to limit my time there today, the garden was a wow!

antique car, hiding behind a funeral sign


Today was my first visit to the Davistown Museum Hulls Cove Sculpture Garden but it won't be my last.

in the park

Our wandering today was in Acadia, starting with entry to the park on the only open road. The park is open year-round but most of the roads are closed (and blocked). The small piece of Park Loop Road that is open to vehicles year-round is accessed via the road to Schooner Head. The road is open from the entry station just before Sand Beach to Otter Cliffs. Of course you can walk anywhere in the park, you just need to figure out how to get to your starting point.

We walked from Sand Beach to Otter Cliffs and back again (since we needed to retrieve our vehicle). There were a few other people around, two folks who were participating in the Mount Desert Island Christmas Bird Count, three brave individuals who were in the water and Sand Beach with surfboards, and a few others walking a similar path to ours.

There were times when we walking on the path, and other times when we wandered out onto the rocks.

from Park Loop Road

We stopped a few more places for a quick look, then Denise found a parking spot near the Sieur de Monts entrance to the park. We walked back to (and through) the Wild Gardens of Acadia, then headed out along Jesup Path.

through the trees

By mid-afternoon the air was feeling a bit nippy, the chill enhanced by the wind. It was time to start heading off-island.

--- Rover

Even though it's December now and the air is cold, the conditions in the park today really didn't scream winter. I'd love to visit when there is snow on the ground. Someday...

If you're interested in visiting Acadia in the cold and snowy months of the year, take a look at the article Acadia in Winter published by Down East Magazine.

flurries and a squall

We were walking on Sand Beach this morning when Denise started seeing white flakes in the air. She thought she was seeing things; I was able to tell her that she wasn't. Those were snow flurries! I'm not sure where they were coming from since the sky was mainly blue with white clouds. They didn't look like snow clouds, but I guess there was snow hiding in some of the white clouds.

It flurried on and off for a bit, then it stopped.

Later, we started walking at Eagle Lake. There wasn't anything falling from the sky at first. Then the clouds lowered and we were in the middle of a snow squall. The mountains behind the lake just disappeared!

The squall didn't last too long, probably around 10 or 15 minutes. When it cleared out it left colder air behind. It had inched up to 39 degrees; after the squall the temperature stood at 34. When Denise checked the weather on her phone it told us that along with the lower temperature the wind had pulled the feel of the air down to 26 degrees. Brr!

--- Rover

in a snow squall

Friday, December 18, 2015

Schoodic afternoon

Oh! I'm so glad we spent the afternoon at the Schoodic Peninsula. There were large ocean swells and crashing waves. We stayed back from the edge, walking on the big rocks, standing and watching as the waves came in. Some were relatively quiet, some rolled and crashed and created a very big splash. It was pure magic!

Later we stopped at a beach that was made up of rounded rocks. We stood there for a while too, listening to the rocks rolling in the waves.

These words from a sign in the park are interesting, aren't they?

Ancient ice and powerful waves worked for eons to round the cobbles that grace Acadia's beaches. Glaciers carried many of them great distances to this spot. Now the sea endlessly tumbles them with local rock creating an ever-changing mosaic of colors and textures.

--- Rover

at the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula on a December afternoon
at the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula

heading north and east

This morning was a time of driving to the north and east. Denise & I were headihg for a quick escape, a December visit to Acadia National Park.

Denise said she would like to see the park decorated with snow but I don't think that will happen on this trip. The temperature stayed in the mid-40s for most of the day. It's supposed to be a bit chillier tomorrow, but I'm sure we'll be OK. Denise brought extra fleece layers, some for her and extras for me and Blue to wrap ourselves in.

It's a good thing that I was keeping an eye on Denise as she drove up I-95. We crossed several bridges with stellar views of reflections where I knew she really wanted to stop. I reminded her that it's not OK to stop on an interstate highway, especially when the cars are moving at 70 miles per hour (and higher). Hmm... I wonder if she would have stopped if I hadn't been with her.

We're in Ellsworth, Maine right now. Did you know that the sun sets here earlier than it does at home? Sunset at home today was at 4:12 PM. Sunset here was at 3:54 PM. That seems kind of funny to me. I guess it's because of where we are situated in the time zone.

--- Rover

Rover and Blue on the Schoodic Peninsula friend Blue & me on the Schoodic Peninsula back in October

Thursday, December 17, 2015

hanging on

A late season leaf poses, caught in the grid of a fence.

a leaf caught in the grid of a fence

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

six months ago

As the winter solstice approaches daylight continues to shrink. While there are still days where there is bright blue visible in the sky, the colors close to the ground are now muted.

I think this is a good day to share some color from six months ago, from a day that was close to the summer solstice.

Japanese Iris, on a day just preceding the summer solstice (2014)

Monday, December 14, 2015

blue on blue

As I walked at Crane Beach on Saturday, the sky and the ocean wore beautiful shades of blue.

blue on blue, sky and ocean at Crane Beach

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Seed pods have faded while other remnants of autumn still show color.

seed pods, faded

Saturday, December 12, 2015

a beach walk

Listen... can you hear the waves?

Today's by the ocean walking destination was Crane Beach, in Ipswich. It's the middle of three places along the northern Massachusetts coastline that call to me for frequent visits, sandwiched on the north by Plum Island and on the south by the rocky shores of Cape Ann.

map of northeastern Massachusetts coast

I arrived about an hour after high tide. There were some sections of beach that were still pretty soggy with other sections starting to provide firm footing. The temperature today felt like spring even though we are close to the winter solstice, a good day for walking on the shore.

I clearly wasn't the only person who thought it was a perfect day for a walk on the beach!

at Crane Beach

Thursday, December 10, 2015

inland waters

I always find it interesting to find a very different view in a single location. Compare this photo to the one that I shared in the post symmetry shared on Tuesday.

inland waters, along the New Hampshire coast

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

summer flower

As the days continue to grow shorter and the air temperature toys with occasional chill I looked back to garden photos to find some summer color.

petunia in pink, Prescott Park, Portsmouth, NH

Tuesday, December 08, 2015


I usually prefer days with cloud decorations in the sky but sometimes clear skies are good.

Saturday's wander along the New Hampshire coast under a clear blue sky brought symmetry in the reflections of bare-branched trees.

symmetry in reflections

Monday, December 07, 2015


At the end of my Halibut Point wander I was walking along the rocks at the top of the quarry, enjoying the view of water near and far. I looked up, searching for a reasonable path to follow back to the trail. I saw a splash of color - an evergreen wearing very blue berries. What a beautiful sight!

berries in blue

Sunday, December 06, 2015

two signs

When I walked through Prescott Park (in Portsmouth, NH) yesterday a 2-sign sequence made me smile. The main restrooms in the park are closed for the season but there is a sometimes open set of restrooms for those who know where they are or who attempt to follow a handwritten but permanent sign sitting by one of the gardens.

sign in Prescott Park pointing to alternative restrooms

Following the direction arrow on the sign (plus knowing you need to turn around the end of a building to find the doors) leads to the set of sometimes open rest rooms, again adorned by a handwritten sign.

a sign, restrooms are only open if it is not raining, cold, or snowy

I have sometimes found these restrooms open in bad weather. Based on the sign I suppose I shouldn't count on easy entry!

Saturday, December 05, 2015

clear blue

The sky today wore blue; the ocean waters reflected the sky.

calm seas and blue sky, along the New Hampshire coast

along the New Hampshire coast

Friday, December 04, 2015

ocean afternoon

Walking near the ocean took a bit of care this afternoon. Some of the darker spots were wearing a slippery surface while most of the (other) rocks were dry.

It's always a good day to walk by the sea.

quiet pool and ocean waves, at Halibut Point State Park

at Halibut Point State Park in Rockport, MA

Thursday, December 03, 2015


A plant's leaves form patterns in green.

patterns in leaves

Yes, it's chilly outside! This plant thrives on year-round warmth in the conservatory at Longwood Gardens.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

inland waters

Wind-created ripples in the water on the inland side of Plum Island reflect the blue sky.

inland waters, Plum Island, MA

Sunday, November 29, 2015

shades of pink

A chrysanthemum wearing shades of pink provides a bright splash of color.

chrysanthemum at Longwood Gardens

Saturday, November 28, 2015

at Reid State Park

Can you see the wind?

The temperature yesterday was in the low 50s but it felt much colder as the wind-whipped air flowed from the ocean. I was happy I had thrown a fleece vest and a rain jacket into the car before I headed to Reid State Park - they were the right layers to keep me warm.

High tide directed my feet along the rocky coastline.

at Reid State Park

Waves rolling onto the shore showed a frothy layer of (sea) foam.

froth from waves, Reid State Park

More photos from today's walk in Reid State Park can be seen in the gallery
from Portland to midCoast Maine :: 2015
starting with this photo and ending here.