Denise Goldberg's blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I'm sitting inside listening to the rain.

My walk today started dry. Luckily I wore my rain jacket since a light rain started about 2 miles into my 6-mile walk and continued to the end. The forecast for tonight calls for rain, with new precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible. That's a lot of water!

oak leaves

I hope the forecast is right since we are still woefully short of water. The U.S. Drought Monitor (for Massachusetts) continues to show this region in a state of extreme drought.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

a walk in the rain

It was a gray and rainy day.

I headed for Harold Parker State Forest when the rain stopped for a bit. It started again as I was driving so my walk in the woods turned into a walk in light rain.

at Harold Parker State Forest

soup day

I had quinoa on my mind today; it seemed like a good starting ingredient for a pot of soup. I searched for a starting point, finding a recipe for quinoa corn soup. My soup didn't match the recipe but it made me happy.

Quinoa, carrot, and corn soup:

12 cups water
3/4 cup quinoa
1 can garbanzo beans
1 bag of frozen bi-color corn
8 carrots, sliced
red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
a bit of salt

I combined the water, quinoa, and spices, placing the pot on high heat until the mixture began to boil. I turned the heat to low, cooking the mixture for about 15 minutes. I then added garbanzo beans, corn, and carrots and continued cooking until the carrots were a good texture. Done!

I always make what might appear (to others) to be too much soup. I like having enough to freeze portion-sized containers for later.

It was a rainy day today, a good soup day!

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Reflections from today's blue sky color the Parker River.

Parker River, from a bridge on route 1

Saturday, November 26, 2016


It's gray outside; this splash of color brightens my day.

chrysanthemums, Longwood Gardens
chrysanthemums at Longwood Gardens

Friday, November 25, 2016

receding water

I walked on the beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge yesterday afternoon as the tide was flowing out. The sound of the ocean creates a peaceful environment.

nearing low tide, at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Thursday, November 24, 2016


I'm always fascinated by the movements of sanderlings. They run back and forth across the sand, often as a group. I wonder how they communicate their direction changes.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

photos! Longwood Gardens

Photos from last Friday's visit can be viewed in the gallery Longwood Gardens :: 2016.


Monday, November 21, 2016

a happy dog

Baxter likes to walk some of the time. At other times he plants his paws and refuses to move.

He enjoyed Saturday afternoon's outing to the Valley Forge National Historical Park, happily walking on the wide pedestrian bridge to cross the Schuylkill River.

Baxter, walking in the Valley Forge National Historical Park

winter layers

What luck! I managed to wear the right light layers for walking in the chill wind this afternoon.

The first cold temperatures of the season often make me think I need more layers than I do; that wasn't an issue today. A lightweight long underwear shirt topped with LLBean's Polartec Power Stretch Hoodie and a wind jacket stopped the wind-driven cold air from reaching me. Today's layers were right for comfort.

LLBean Polartec Power Stretch Hoodie
a magic layer

What was the temperature? The air temperature was 35 degrees, and the blustering wind kicked the wind chill down to 25 degrees. I think it was this season's first taste of winter air.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

driving home

It was a driving day today, a time to head home from King of Prussia.

I took the long way down, following the Mass Pike all of the way across the state to the New York Thruway. I was delighted with the (newly implemented) all-electronic tolling on the Mass Pike, no stopping needed!

Today I took I-84 from Suffern, NY to Sturbridge, MA, dropping south a bit before veering to the north and east. This was a shorter drive, but I have to say I preferred the longer route. While I-84 is a limited access road it passes through heavily populated areas with many exits, constantly changing speed limits, and sections of crossing traffic. Interestingly enough there was less than a half hour time difference between the two routes even though the Mass Pike to the NY Thruway route was a good 55 miles longer.

As I crossed the border between New Jersey and New York I started to see a bit of snow cover. The roads were dry, but there were lines of snow on the shoulders, a clear sign that there was enough white stuff to need plowing.

My thoughts of repeating the longer route on the way home disappeared once I saw that there was a winter storm warning for the western part of Massachusetts. Driving through a snow storm didn't sound like fun.

autumn view, in Valley Forge National Historical Park
a taste of autumn
Valley Forge National Historical Park

Friday, November 18, 2016

at Longwood Gardens

It was a day of flowers, a visit to Longwood Gardens. The Chrysanthemum Festival presented many varieties including some that I assumed were some other type of flower.

It's always a good day to wander among flowers.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

walking a loop

Bright sunshine and quickly warming air provided good walking conditions, and Valley Forge National Historical Park provided a good place to wander.

trees, in Valley Forge National Historical Park

Sunday, November 13, 2016

color pops

A pop of color stands out among the evergreens.

a tree dressed in bright colors

Saturday, November 12, 2016

wind effect

Yesterday was a very windy day. When I looked outside this morning I found many trees wearing bare branches. The yellow leaves have pretty much dropped but there are still some reds and browns hanging on.

I headed to Harold Parker State Forest this afternoon to see a bit of color still sandwiched between the evergreens.

late color at Harold Parker State Forect

review :: Samsung Gear Fit2

I really liked my Microsoft Band 2 but its battery life didn't like my level of activity. I went through 4 of the trackers over the past year as the battery misbehaved. Microsoft provided replacement bands at no charge, allowing me to continue to use the device. There were rumors that a new version of the band would be announced in October; instead it appears that they have stopped development. Hmm...

I've become accustomed to wearing a fitness tracker, to knowing the distance my feet have covered when I'm walking for exercise, when I'm hiking, or just when I'm out and about. I thought about just carrying my phone and using the MapMyWalk application created by Under Armour, but I prefer to wear a tracker. Sometimes my phone walks with me, sometimes not.

I started looking for a replacement, focusing on trackers that include GPS and that were similar in form factor to the band I had been wearing.

My choice? I am now the owner of a Samsung Gear Fit2.

The length and width of the case pretty much matches my old device. It is a tiny bit thicker but that can pretty much be ignored since the Band 2 had a thick clasp (containing the battery) and the Gear Fit2 does not. It has a soft band which is noticeably more comfortable.

The case crystal is Corning's Gorilla Glass 3. I wanted a scratch-resistant face; Gorilla Glass meets that requirement. The device has an IP68 rating which means it’s water-resistant in up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. I don't think I'll test that, but it's good to know it won't be a problem if I'm caught walking in a downpour.

The device pairs with the Samsung Gear and S Health apps on an Android phone.

screen shot from Samsung S Health app

I'm using the Gear Fit2 to track exercise, overall steps walked, sleep, and heart rate.

I've been using it for two weeks now, and I'm happy!

Gear Fit2 on charger
Gear Fit2 on charger

Friday, November 11, 2016

past prime

I'm still seeing occasional flowers even though the calendar is well into November. Last weekend's walk along the New Hampshire coast took me to a patch of wild roses that were still in bloom.

a wild rose, still in bloom in November

Wednesday, November 09, 2016


I love the painted look of this lady's slipper orchid.

Orchids are simply exquisite, aren't they?

a lady's slipper orchid

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

a November gift

There was frost on the grass this morning but the temperature quickly warmed to the low 50s. My plan to attend an exercise class this morning was quickly discarded in favor of outdoor exercise. I decided on a longer walk today, targeting a distance 6 miles, walking almost 8.

Later in the day the beautiful weather tempted me with thoughts of a walk by the ocean. I headed to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, arriving as the tide was rolling in. The ocean was playing music. A muted roar in the background was accompanied by the crashing sound of waves. It was wonderful.

a walk by the ocean

Monday, November 07, 2016

late day light

I was heading home from the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge just as the sun was dropping to the horizon. Looking to the east I saw a splash of muted autumn color highlighted by the late day light.

late day light, Parker River

Sunday, November 06, 2016

seed pods, open

As the days continue to grow short, seed pods open.

fleeting moment, seed pods open

Saturday, November 05, 2016

mid-tide walk

There were clouds in the sky and a chill in the air. It was a good day for a walk along the coast in Odiorne Point State Park.

mid-tide walk, Odiorne Point State Park

Friday, November 04, 2016


What luck! I saw an announcement in the Boston Globe last weekend for The Massachusetts Orchid Society annual orchid show and sale, running from today through the weekend.

This afternoon I headed to the show to wander through the beautiful flowers.


More flowers can be seen in the gallery orchids!.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

autumn change

It's amazing to see the quick change from autumn leaves to bare branches.

Here are photos of the same spot in Harold Parker State Forest taken just over two weeks apart.

leaves wearing color
leaves wearing color, on October 13th

bare branches
bare branches, on November 2nd

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

trees reflecting

What a glorious fall day!

Late in the day I headed to Harold Parker State Forest for a walk in the woods. Water in Field Pond was perfectly still, creating a mirror for the trees.

trees reflecting, at Harold Parker State Forest

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

in the woods

The air this morning was chilly, dropping just below the freezing point before the sun started a warming trend.

It was a good day for a walk in the woods.

in the woods, along a trail in Maudslay State Park
in Maudslay State Park, Newburyport, MA