Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, May 31, 2015

before the rain

The forecast for today called for cooling temperatures and rain. The sky was gray this morning, the ground was dry. I decided to take a chance and headed to the New Hampshire coast.

Raindrops started falling as soon as I was on the coast road. I walked in light rain for a short while before there was a break in the raindrops. The reflections in the inland waters near Odiorne Point were wonderful.

reflections, at Odiorne Point

When light rain started again I headed home, arriving before the heavy rain. With the downpour came claps of thunder that was so loud that I thought I felt the house shake.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

a sea of iris

The gardens at The Stevens-Coolidge Place were a joy to visit today. I was there Thursday evening to see opening iris; I was back again afternoon to see a sea of iris. There were even flowers some that haven't opened yet!

iris dressed in purples

There are more iris (and other spring flowers) in the gallery spring! 2015. If you'd like to enjoy all of the flowers, jump to the gallery and click the slideshow button.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


I love the dreamy look of these tulips, a portrait in purple.

tulips in purple

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

a happy caterpillar

I had to look twice when I saw this plant in the garden yesterday. I think I see a happy caterpillar enjoying a flower.

happy caterpillar meets a flower

Monday, May 25, 2015

layers of green

Spring is an amazing season, taking us from a lack of color to an explosion of color.

I love the layers of green in this field, from ferns to flowers to bushes and trees.

layers of green

product review :: Surface 3

I usually don't replace my electronic gear this quickly but a trade-in offer from Microsoft led me to replace my traveling computer now, just a year and a half after it jumped into my hands. Microsoft was offering $150 for an "in good shape" Surface 2 (during the month of May 2015) to be used in the purchase of a Surface 3. I submitted the online form and printed a shipping label early in May, shipping the Surface 2 back after I returned from my wanders in Acadia. After all I needed a traveling computer that weekend!

The pre-paid shipping label covered ground shipping to Microsoft's exchange partner. I dropped the package at a FedEx office late in the day on Wednesday, missing the last shipment of the day. It shipped on Thursday and was received at its destination the following Tuesday. By mid-day on Wednesday I had the code I needed to activate the $150 rebate. I immediately placed my order; upgrading from the free ground shipping that was offered to a more immediate shipping method. My new Surface 3 was in my hands by Friday afternoon.

Surface 3

What drove me to replace my Surface 2 with a Surface 3?

I was still happy with the Surface 2, but the switch to full Windows for the Surface 3 made me think. The Surface 2 runs Windows RT 8.1 which I understand may have a slight upgrade in the future (without an upgrade path to Windows 10). The Surface 3 comes loaded with Windows 8.1 and it is eligible for an upgrade to Windows 10 when the operating system is available later this year.

Because the Surface 3 runs full Windows, any Windows applications can be installed. I wasn't missing much with the Surface 2 although I'll admit to wanting access to browsers like Chrome and Firefox. Neither Mozilla or Google chose to make their browsers available in the Windows store; that meant neither could be installed on the Surface 2. The first additional applications I installed on my new Surface 3 were those two browsers.

I already had an Arc Touch Mouse that I bought for the Surface 2. It's a Bluetooth device that is supported by the Surface 3 as well; all I needed to do was to pair the device with my new computer.

In addition to the operating system change there are only a couple of things that jumped out at me when I started playing with my new Surface 3. First is the form factor of the device.

Surface 2 dimensions: 10.81” x 6.79” x 0.35”, weight: 1.49 pounds
Surface 3 dimensions: 10.52” x 7.36” x 0.34”, weight: 1.37 pounds

The change is noticeable since the Surface 2 mimicked the form factor of a mobile phone while the Surface 3 mimics a more typical laptop. This change meant that the Type Keyboard from the Surface 2 does not fit a Surface 3 (and of course the keyboard was part of the trade-in value). As it turns out the new keyboard has improved from the old, attaching more securely and improving the usability of the keyboard when holding the device on your lap.

The next change is the placement of the capacitive windows button on the device. When holding the device in landscape mode (wider side in horizontal position), the Windows button on the Surface 3 is on the right. It was on the bottom on the Surface 2.

I would say that both of these are minimal changes; noticeable at first, but neither interferes with comfortable operation of the device.

I'm happy.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

photos! Acadia

Photos from my early May wander in Acadia are ready for viewing in this gallery.

It was a good escape, with wanders extending from the Schoodic Peninsula, around Mount Desert Island, and to Stonington on the next peninsula to the west.

Acadia and... May 2015:

along Park Loop Road, Acadia National Park

Interested in words too? You can find my ramblings in the blog entries tagged Acadia 2015-05.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

a Long Hill morning

It was a sunny, breezy, and chilly morning, a good time for a garden visit. I headed to Long Hill, a Trustees of Reservations property in Beverly. The web site says the peak bloom is in May and June. Somehow last year I only managed a single visit; I think I will try to visit again sometime in June.

There were tulips, azalea, and many other flowers, including many tiny, close-to-the-ground species. Forget-me-not were scattered throughout, tiny, blue, beautiful.


More photos from today can be viewed in the gallery Long Hill - 2015.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

first iris

In spite of what felt like a late entry point to spring this year the flowers seem to be following a normal blooming schedule. I saw my first iris today; last year's first iris photo was on May 25th. That's pretty close.

I'm looking forward to wandering in gardens, hoping to find more of these beautiful flowers.

first iris

behind Sand Beach

The water that pools behind Sand Beach creates interesting scenery. I look inland, I look to the ocean.

I see smooth waters reflecting clouds, a bit of sand, and a tiny glimpse of the ocean.

water behind Sand Beach, Acadia National Park
pooling water behind Sand Beach

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

variety in tulips

These very interesting flowers caught my eye as I walked through Bedrock Gardens on Saturday.

lily flowering tulips

I think they are a variety of lily flowering tulips.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

search "tricks"

I stumbled on a page of Google tips today. Two of them jumped out at me.

Did you know that if you type the word "tilt" into Google search that the search results page will be tilted? That made me laugh!

And did you know that you can run a timer for any amount of time? Type "timer" followed by the amount of time in the Google search bar to start a timer running. Just remember where the browser window lives so you can click "stop" to silence the beeping.

Google timer running

I wonder what other tricks are hiding in the search engine.

in the grass

As we move past the mid-point of May local gardens have moved from daffodils to tulips. There are still daffodils showing their colors though; during Sunday's wanders in Maudslay State Park I saw a grassy field full of yellow daffodils and dandelions.

late spring, daffodils

I loved seeing the daffodils standing in the grass. It's a treat to see flowers in a natural setting.

Monday, May 18, 2015

trillium in red

I've seen trillium before wearing blossoms in white. Yesterday I was introduced to the red version of trillium erectum. What a pretty flower!

a trillium in red

Sunday, May 17, 2015


We've been home just a day short of a week and I thought I'd better let you know that Denise is still going through her photos from our wanders in and around Acadia. It usually takes her a bit of time to get ready to share photos when we come back from a multi-day trip. I know that most of you know her habits - but then I thought people might wonder if there would be Acadia photos since Denise already shared a gallery from her visit to Bedrock Gardens yesterday. She hasn't forgotten; it just her takes a bit of time.

While we're waiting (yes, me too!) I thought I'd share an Acadia image from our wanders.

--- Rover

late day light from the top of Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park
late day light from the top of Cadillac Mountain

Maudslay morning

Maudslay State Park is an old estate with many azalea and rhododendron scattered about. Since the azaleas closer to home are in bloom I thought it was time for a visit. I found dogwood and some azalea blooming, more azalea in a bud stage, and a few rhododendron showing (early) flowers.

I think I'll need to return often to enjoy the flowers.

an early blooming rhododendron
an early blooming rhododendron

eagle sighting

I often see hawks flying and sitting on lights and signposts but I can't remember ever seeing eagles in this area before.

Today as I walked in Maudslay State Park I saw a bald eagle flying low. I looked twice, and confirmed it with some other walkers on the trail. That's my second sighting this weekend; I saw one yesterday too.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

to Bedrock Gardens

Today was the first open house of the year at Bedrock Gardens. The weather forecast almost convinced me to wait until tomorrow but I decided a 50% chance of rain wasn't enough to switch the day of my visit.

The garden is home to flowers and to Jill Nooney's wonderful sculptures. This month's open house also presented The Dwelling Project:

Every living thing dwells somewhere. Come see what a couple hundred school-aged art students have come up with for a home. Their “dwellings” will be scattered over Bedrock Gardens’ 20 acres, some easy to appreciate and spot, some not so. Trust art to open your eyes – the more you look, the more you see.

It was a gray day, allowing the inhabitants of the garden to pop a bit more. I enjoyed the color, the sculptures, and the sometimes hidden dwellings scattered across the property. Half of my visit was dry, half quite wet. When the drizzle switched to heavier rain I stopped to pull out my rain jacket and to put a raincover on my camera bag. My camera stayed out; I needed it to continue taking pictures.

tulips  dancer

More photos can be seen in the gallery Bedrock Gardens - 2015.

Friday, May 15, 2015


Late afternoon light, temperature edging into warmth, it was time to visit the tulips.

I headed to Stevens-Coolidge Place to check the state of the gardens. Some of the tulips had reached the unfolding state, some were still in their prime. What beautiful flowers!

tulip magic

Thursday, May 14, 2015

shapes in nature

Shapes formed by rocks and water adorn the Schoodic Peninsula in Acadia National Park.

reflections and shapes, Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia National Park

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


A sign on the side of Opera House Arts in Stonington reminded me to have fun.

I didn't really need a reminder. I was wandering in a picturesque spot along the coast of Maine, camera in hand, looking, enjoying...

signs, at Opera House Arts in Stonington, Maine

I do like the sign!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

bare branches... leaves

The trees and plants in Downeast Maine seem to be about two weeks behind the trees and plants at home from a growing season standpoint. This was very noticeable on my drive home yesterday. While there were some trees in Acadia and Bar Harbor that were starting to show a skim coat of green they were mainly wearing bare branches. As I moved through southern Maine, New Hampshire, and into Massachusetts the trees were wearing green, some with full leaves, some a step before.

While tulips here started to open nine days ago, most of the tulips in Evin's garden were not close to blooming. There was one that opened for me, moving from a tight bud when I arrived to full bloom by the time I headed for home.

Evin's tulip

Monday, May 11, 2015

home again

We walked along the Ocean Path in Acadia this morning. I love bouncing along the paths and on the rocks that line the coast. It's so peaceful, looking around, walking, and listening to the sound of the ocean.

It's funny, the rain started just as we turned to the west on the highway, heading home. I think that was pretty good timing, don't you?

--- Rover
sea and sky, on Ocean Path in Acadia National Park

Sunday, May 10, 2015

reflecting light

The sand bar leading to Bar Island was still covered with water when we wandered down to see if the setting sun was painting the water in pretty colors.

We stood on the edge of the water watching ripples of color as the water moved. So pretty...

--- Rover

setting sun colors the water, looking at Bar Island in Bar Harbor

Stonington morning

this morning we headed off island, driving down the next peninsula to the west of here, crossing a very narrow and high bridge to Deer Isle, and continuing to the end of a road in Stonington. It was foggy on the edges of Mount Desert Island, on parts of the drive, and again in Stonington. The fog never lifted at the tip of the island, creating a magic place to walk.

There were few places where it was possible to get close to the water. I thought one of the places that Denise decided to walk might be a bit slippery; the rocks were surrounded by mud and seaweed and the surface looked wet. Wet can be just water or it can be slimy slippery stuff. Denise was careful where she put her feet so she managed to stay upright. I chose to ride in the camera bag for the wet spots of our wander. I like my red feet to stay red, not muddy!

It's funny, I've grown so used to wandering in the fog that I was really surprised when we moved under blue skies just a short time after leaving Stonington.

There were a couple of "must stop" spots on the way back. Sometimes Denise just needs to jump out of the car with her camera to play for a bit.

After we returned to our island home I suggested that we bounce along part of the Great Head Trail again. After all the landscape was obscured by fog yesterday; today we enjoyed the scenery.

--- Rover

a foggy morning in Stoningon

party time!

Oh! When we got home from wandering today there was a gathering of friends in our room. Blue and I joined Evin's four friends for a wonderful get-together. What fun!

it's a party! Rover, Blue, and Evin's 4 friends

I guess it's a good thing it's early in the B&B season. I'm not sure Evin would have been able to convince too many guests to send their companions to our room.

--- Rover

Saturday, May 09, 2015

clouds roll in

The sky was clearing nicely in the early evening. The weather kept changing; by the time we walked back to the water just before sunset clouds had started to roll in.

late day light, along the Shore Path in Bar Harbor, Maine

The air was cold today with the temperature hovering in the mid-40s. Tomorrow should be warmer but it may also be wetter. I didn't tell Denise about the wet part of the forecast; I think she already knows. Funny, I can't seem to hide things from her.

--- Rover

a foggy day

Fog dropped over the area early this morning, covering the coast and hiding the views. That meant that our hiking destination changed (again). Denise said that she didn't want to get to the top of Gorham Mountain and not be able to see anything except fog - so we wandered in other places.

Just after we left the B&B this morning to drive to the starting point for a hike I could see drops of water on the windshield. I think it was just light rain but I suppose it could have been droplets coming out of the fog. What do you think?

We started our day with a walk by "little" Long Pond just west of Seal Harbor. It was a quiet spot, a pleasant walk.

Next stop was the Great Head Trail. I thought we had to start this trail from Sand Beach after crossing water running from the pools behind the beach. It turns out there is a parking lot and trail head for the trail not far from the Schooner Point parking lot. That's where we started our walk. We followed the trail in a counterclockwise direction. The first half of the trail included some rock hopping - but going up and back down again too. I think it's fun bouncing up and down the big rocks on the trail but Denise isn't always sure about that. She was good, even though there were a couple of times when I had to point out the best path to her. It was really foggy... I'm going to try to convince Denise to repeat part of the trail so we can see the view. I think we can do the trail as an out-and-back from the parking area; if we walk in a clockwise direction it will mostly be on a trail without too many rocks to bounce over.

Denise said we needed to stop at Sand Beach again. She wanted to see that really pretty area behind the beach in the fog. We could see the trees that live close to the beach but the mountains disappeared.

The fog stayed for the entire time we were on the coast. When we turned toward the inside of the island it disappeared.

Seeing places in the fog is pure magic.

--- Rover

behind Sand Beach, trees stand in the fog

Friday, May 08, 2015

late day light

Tonight's sunset came just before low tide. That meant that the sandbar path to Bar Island was exposed, and that we could bounce across land that is covered by water half of the time. Cool!

Late day light is very special. I like the way it changes the landscape.

late day light from the exposed sandbar path to Bar Island

sunset, Bar Harbor

I like the light when I'm looking away from the sunset but I thought maybe I'd show you the setting sun too.

--- Rover

to Schoodic

I wasn't sure where we were going to wander today. Denise always needs to visit the Schoodic Peninsula; I thought we might be going there tomorrow. But - we went today!

Our day started with a drive back to the mainland and a turn onto route 1 north (which I think looks like it is heading east!) to head to the next peninsula. Then we followed a 2-lane road to the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula where we hopped out of the car to wander on the rocks.

I did a little bit of bouncing on the rocks but then I jumped back into Denise's camera bag to keep Blue company. It was kind of chilly with the temperature in the high 40s and the wind was howling. I was afraid I would get blown away - and the camera bag was nice and toasty. Blue and I both popped our heads out so we could kind of explore from Denise's back.

Denise was surprised that some of the pools of water on the rocks were much smaller than they were the last time we visited. These pools are no where near where the tide reaches. I've always wondered where the water comes from if it's not the ocean. Or... maybe it is, maybe sometimes the tide is really, really high.

It was a good Schoodic wander.

We stopped for a quick bite to eat, then headed back into the park on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island. We walked a little, wandering down some short trails, then checking the water that lives behind Sand Beach. It was a quiet wandering day for us, a good day.

--- Rover

water, rocks, and clouds, on the Schoodic Peninsula
clouds, rocks, and water, at the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula

upside down

Oh! When we returned to our room after wandering today my teddy bear friend was hanging out upside down. I thought that was funny so I borrowed Denise's phone to grab a picture of him. Then Denise took a picture of the two of us right side up.

--- Rover
teddy bear upside downteddy bear and Rover

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

viola sororia

I love being surprised by the flowers of spring. Tiny blooms seem to spring up overnight, sometimes living in a garden, sometimes spreading across a field of grass.

The Viola sororia is a favorite of mine, small and delicate.

delicate... a viola sororia

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


I think I've finally convinced Denise she needs a couple of slow (or no) exercise days. After all we are heading to Acadia soon and I think she should be well rested so she can enjoy bouncing around the park. Her feet kept moving and moving over the weekend - she walked 8 miles on Saturday and 9 on Sunday. I think that's a lot, don't you? Today was just a 3-mile day; if I have any influence tomorrow should be a shorter day too. We'll see.

I volunteered to write our blog entries during our quick wander in Maine. I always intend to jump in with guest posts on Denise's blog when we're not traveling but somehow that doesn't seem to happen. As long as I can be the official author during our travels I'm happy!

This will be an early season long weekend trip with cool-ish temperatures predicted along with the possibility of some water falling from the sky. Acadia is beautiful in any weather, and Denise really likes interesting clouds - no matter what the weather wizard brings I'm sure she'll be happy.

We're going to stay at Evin's Holland Inn. I'm always happy to stay there; breakfasts are wonderful and all of the rooms have a resident being (like me) so we can gossip and catch up on interesting places to wander.


--- Rover
Rover and Blue on the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula in Acadia National Park
me and my friend Blue
on the rocks of the Schoodic Peninsula

a mystery flower

I was walking today in the late day light when this wonderful flower caught my eye.

I would love to know its name; can you tell me what it is?

a mystery flower... does anyone know its name? fritillaria!

Many thanks to +mandy nunn for identifying these flowers. They wear the name fritillaria.

Monday, May 04, 2015

periwinkle pops

This time of year it's important to direct your eyes to the ground to catch emerging color. I love the pop of periwinkle, small lavender flowers contrasting with shiny dark green leaves.

periwinkle pops!

Sunday, May 03, 2015


After seeing some tulips making an early entrance yesterday I decided to walk to Stevens-Coolidge Place this morning to check the gardens. My last visit two weeks ago showed me a carpet of crocus with tips of green starting to show in some of the flower beds.

Today I found some tulips in bloom. There were clumps of tulips wearing flowers, others wearing buds. More color will emerge in the coming days.

tulip, open

Saturday, May 02, 2015


I received an email from Tower Hill Botanic Garden a few days ago with a message that the daffodil field is in full bloom. That was a signal to me that it was time for a visit.

A big field full of different varieties of daffodils is pretty amazing to see.

a field full of daffodils

There was twine strung along the edge of the field with occasional signs warning of poison ivy and ticks in the daffodils. I wonder if the signed dangers are real or if it was just a way to keep people from tramping through the flowers.

Caution! Poison Ivy and Ticks share the fields with the Daffodils.

I stood and looked over the field of flowers.
I sat on the ground at flower level, getting a little closer.
I enjoyed the daffodils!


The Tower Hill web site includes this description of the marvelous field of daffodils:

Tower Hill is home to numerous collections of plants, but with the return of spring, the flowering bulbs are among the most loved. Over the years, volunteers and staff members have continually added daffodil bulbs to a large field to the east of the Systematic Garden, and overlooking the Wildlife Refuge Pond. When this field of more than 25,000 daffodils comes into bloom in late April, it is a dramatic sight to behold, and many flock to the garden to experience this "field of gold" and take photographs.

early tulip

The two flowers I associate with spring (and smiles!) are tulips and iris. It's still a bit early here in the northeast for these beauties, but sometimes their color will emerge a little earlier than expected.

Today I saw a few early blooming tulips.

an early blooming tulip

taste treat

I often select sorbet when I feel a need for a sweet taste treat. When I saw Ciao Bella's Blueberry Passion Fruit Sorbetto in Whole Foods recently I thought it was worth a try.

From the press release announcing this new flavor (available only at Whole Foods):

Blueberry Passion Fruit Sorbetto offers a delectable combination of tangy blueberries, swirled with the exceptionally sweet-tart taste of passion fruit...

I like it! The flavor combination works well.

Ciao Bella Blueberry Passion Fruit Sorbetto